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."
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.
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"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.