Louisville, KY (WDRB News) -- He is a one man operation, bringing only farm fresh products to his customers in Old Louisville, and despite the long hours of running his own business, he is planning on opening a second location.
"The doors are open, I am paying all of my bills, and the customers keep coming," says Ron Smith, the owner of the Root Cellar. He opened his store one year ago inside what was an abandoned gas station at Third and Hill Streets in Old Louisville.
He decided to go into business for himself after being laid off. He says his goal, in addition to making a living, is to provide fresh fruits and vegetables to an area of town he believes is underserved.
"I really want to help not only myself make a living," he says, "but also the local farmers, we need to build that local agrarian economy, get that money into the community where it does the most good."
Smith stocks his store with only farm fresh products grown within a 150 miles radius of Louisville. He says he visits each farm to make sure their products are up to his standards.
He buys some of his lettuce and herbs from Grateful Greens, a greenhouse operation in Clarksville.
"It is great to work with somebody who has that much passion," says Grateful Greens owner Greg Graft, "that much gratitude for their farmers that are providing the food for him and it shows when you go down to his place."
Despite a hectic work schedule, Smith is now making plans to open a second location in the Germantown neighborhood. He says, "Our target is the Fourth of July weekend and I have a lot of work to do between now and then."
Smith acknowledges the expansion is a lot to take on, but says he gets a lot of satisfaction out of operating a business where customers can buy local products.
"I love good tasting food, that is my passion," he says.
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