By John Blankenship
Terry Clark has a mission. His task is to keep Clark’s Produce Market open for business. For the past 27 years, the business was operated by Terry’s brother, the late Roger Clark, who recently lost his bout with cancer.
“My brother wanted to keep the store open,” Terry Clark said. “He was determined until the very end; he was going to open up the store in time for Mother’s Day.”
That was his brother’s hope, Terry explained, because it was customary to open the flower and produce business a couple of weeks before Mother’s Day.
Now the job falls to the younger brother, Terry, 53, of Craigsville.
The store recently was stocked with flowers, vegetables, fruits and shrubbery.
“We have 75 different varieties of flowers, hundreds of individual plants for customers to set out, even hanging baskets,” Terry said.
Joyce Flanagan, co-owner of the establishment, is an authority on the plants and aids customers in their purchases.
“We want the public to know that we are going to carry on the tradition,” she said. “We’re here to stay.”
For nearly three decades Clark’s Produce Market has served the community with its tradition of carrying quality flowers, plants, fruits and vegetables at reasonable prices.
“We are going to continue to carry the homegrown Tennessee tomatoes in July that our customers are so fond of,” Terry said. “We also will continue to carry West Virginia peaches in August and New York apples in September.”
The store is open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week.
Keeping such a busy schedule throughout the growing season is one of the couple’s greatest challenges.
“We work a normal 75-80-hour work week,” Terry said. “We work hard to find quality produce and plants at reasonable prices so that we can pass the savings along to our customers.”
Terry owns a companion market in Summersville called the Sunnyside Market. The produce market in Daniels will be called the Shady Side Market.
Seasonal flowers currently on sale at the market include petunias, impatiens, marigolds, zinnias, geraniums, dahlias, rhododendron, roses, daisies and more.
Terry is expecting a shipment of cantaloupes later this week. Watermelons are due in the week after.
In addition, there are potatoes, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, red peppers, Vidalia onions, squash, sweet potatoes, apples, bird-eye beans, bananas and cabbage.
“As the year progresses, we haul the biggest portion of our produce,” Terry said. “We have two trucks on the road at the same time.”
He added, “We have a great clientele in our community, and I give my late brother all the credit and admiration.”