Around the year 2000, Mr. W.L. Bradley started selling fresh, local produce to the folks in the little community of Sneads Ferry and to vacationers headed to Topsail Island. Since then, every Thursday and Friday, you can find him at his vegetable stand, set up on busy Highway 172 next to the GunShop. There, you’ll see folks gathered around his canopy-covered table, oohing and aahing over his colorful vegetable display. His pretty, fresh produce needs no advertising and people are drawn to his stand, Bradley’s Fresh Produce Market, like flies to a picnic.
It only takes one visit to his market to understand why Mr. Bradley’s “stand” is a standout! Not only are his tables loaded to the hilt with the best each season has to offer, but Mr. Bradley himself puts his personality on display for all to enjoy. His quick wit, jokes, and little homespun stories make you feel like you stepped into a time when people had time to chat and “carry on” with one another. Before you leave with your little grocery bag full of nature’s bounty, you’ll also realize you’ve made a new friend. Mr. Bradley just makes you feel special!
This spry, eighty-year-old, Warsaw native and father of four, does not mind sharing his story. Retiring from a mechanical designer and supervisor’s job in Stradford, Connecticut in 1994, Mr. Bradley came back to the south and decided to get his hands dirty by farming in Clinton, North Carolina. His farm provides vegetables for baby food companies. These companies demand strict growing procedures for their vegetables and Mr. Bradley is very knowledgeable about how to grow his crops without pesticides and harmful additives. His crops go straight to the baby food plants and are not the ones he chooses to sell us at his vegetable stand.
But wait…no worries! Mr. Bradley’s farming wisdom does not extend solely to baby food! He has carried his knowledge with him to seek out the best vegetables from farmers in our area that grow safe, healthy goodness for grownups too! For years, he has worked with farms, like Burch Farms in Facing, North Carolina, and other ones from Columbia, South Carolina, to Raleigh, and a mix of farms scattered throughout coastal Carolina, bringing us the best, local produce offered in and around Topsail Island.
From noon until sundown, on Thursdays and Fridays, throughout the year, Mr. Bradley can be found sitting by his vegetables, swapping stories with vacationers and locals. Be sure to stop by for some summer corn, squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, okra, peppers, potatoes, onions, beans, collards, and seasonal fruits. Bradley’s Fresh Produce Market offers nature’s best served up with good ‘ole southern charm and a smile!
Bradley’s Fresh Produce Market is open on Thursdays and Fridays from noon until sundown. You can find this Sneads Ferry “jewel” on the lot beside the Gunshop on Hwy. 172 near the corner of Hwy. 172 and Hwy. 210.