Like many good things, it all happened over beer. J.R. Johnson got the idea to bring fresh produce to his Wheat Ridge neighborhood while sitting in a local pub one afternoon, watching residents cruise up and down the streets after work.
He put his head together with a buddy in the wholesale business, who agreed to supply him with produce. Perhaps equally importantly though, is that his friend also outfitted Johnson with a sweet 1953 International L-160 Pickup. Red.
Johnson got the go-ahead from the Wheat Ridge Poultry & Meat Market at 5650 West 29th Avenue, to park the truck there; this weekend will mark Johnson's third week in business as "Mr. Greenjeans."
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The purpose of the truck is really twofold, explains Johnson: selling fresh produce -- including things you don't normally see, like giant artichokes and one-pound baking potatoes -- but also teaching people how to cook. Johnson has partnered with local chef Deb Moodey to give folks cooking and gardening tips as well as recipes.
"Really what we do is help the people in the neighborhood cook different things in different ways," says Johsnon. "We're a neighborhood destination."
You can look for Johnson and Moodey (and their sweet ride) weekends at the market. Weather permitting, they will be there every Friday afternoon starting at 2 p.m and Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. through the fall, "probably into pumpkin season," Johnson says.
They'll be adding prepared foods, like breads, jams, and pickles as the season progresses.