Originally a wood and sheet metal structure called the Jacksonville Produce Market, the Jacksonville Farmer's Market opened in 1938 (and perhaps before that) and today boasts to be Florida's oldest public farmers market. At one point, the market was home to the southeastern produce operations of the A & P grocery chain (http://www.npr.org/2011/08/23/139761274/how-the-a-p-changed-the-way-we-shop) and even featured a barber shop and a steakhouse (Sandy's Steer Room).
Today over 25,000 people from every walk of life pass through the market every week. The market features nearly three dozen locally owned businesses that sell everything from local seafood, almost any kind of produce you can imagine, rice, beans, artisan breads, kettle corn, flowers, pastries to some of the best boiled peanuts south of Georgia.
Caron and I bought quite a bit of produce from the market today and we saved over half of what we would normally spend at the grocery store. That's not an exaggeration.
I started off my portion of the Super Bowl feast with a mozzarella focaccia that was purchased for $4. This was better than any cheese bread ordered from the closest pizza delivery chain.
Rounding out the experience, I brought some organic corn chips from Grassroots Market in Five Points (www.facebook.com/Grassroots5Pts) and an assortment of homemade dips. The dips were made from items procured earlier in the day from the farmers market and included guacamole, a moderately spicy salsa and a black bean and corn salsa. The chips were about 35% more expensive than a bag of Tostitos found at Publix, but the produce was so cheap that I still came out ahead. Even surrounded in a sea of chicken wings, ribs and hot dogs bought from non-locally owned businesses, you can still sit down with the boys for a football game and not lose any street cred.
Stay loyal to your locals.