It's the end of a long season for the Vegetable Bin.
The local produce shop at East Bay and Society streets is closing its doors in the next few weeks because its building is in need of too many repairs, manager Michael Bailey announced Thursday.
"To bring it up to code would just cost too much money," he said. "We're sad to be closing. It's not exactly what I wanted to do. I'll miss my customers. You see the same people day in and day out, and that's the saddest part."
Bailey reopened the Vegetable Bin in 2008, three years after his grandfather, Billy Leonard, closed the store he established at the East Bay site in 1975. He said the family hasn't yet determined an exact closing date
Bailey said they might consider relocating the business to a new spot in Charleston, though he's unsure where it would go.
In the past six years, the Vegetable Bin has helped fulfill the growing demand for local produce as more consumers and businesses preferred to buy locally grown foods. Most of its fruits and vegetables are grown by Lowcountry farms and delivered to the store the day they're harvested.
"It's good to know we were a part of that. It's a lot of fun selling local stuff," Bailey said.
Corey Burke, owner of the local food truck Roti Rolls, routinely shopped at the Vegetable Bin for his food supplies. In fact, the store's parking lot was one of the first places in Charleston where Burke was allowed to park his mobile dining establishment when it launched several years ago, he added.
"The staff was the best part about it. They would order anything you needed, and they definitely tried to keep their vegetables very fairly priced," he said. "It's definitely sad to see them go."
Reach Abigail Darlington at 937-5906 and follow her on Twitter @A_Big_Gail.
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