Michael Landrum- Owner of Mason’s Farmers Market
The history of Mason’s Farmers’ Market dates back more than four generations. My great-grandfather, Bunk Miller, opened Miller’s Easy Mart in Valley, AL, as a local business that serviced the bustling mill town. In the early 1960s, my late grandparents, Evan and Jeanette Mason, transitioned the business to the Village Curb Market (later shortened to Village Market). My sister and I were raised in the store, mainly in the back office, which doubled as a nursery and playroom until we were old enough to start working behind the counter.
The Village Market was known in the community as a place where friends could gather to tell stories, talk politics, or simply grab a tomato sandwich. When the usual crowd wasn’t deliberating over how to solve the world’s problems, we were busy working. Both of my grandparents had an incredible work ethic, which they instilled in me at a young age. By the age of seven, my grandfather would wake me up before daylight so that we could make the long drive to Atlanta’s Farmers’ Market and secure the freshest produce. I learned how to drive a tractor well before my feet could reach the pedals, and I spent my fair share of days picking vegetables along the Chattahoochee River at our family farm.
One of the most significant lessons that I learned from my upbringing is the importance of giving back to our local businesses, such as schools, restaurants, hospitals, and law enforcement. These experiences contributed to the opening of Mason’s Farmers’ Market in 2015, a family-owned business strongly rooted in our charming town, with a commitment to serving our community. The lasting friendships and connections that my grandparents built still resonate with locals today, and I’m honored and humbled to continue the traditions that were passed down to me. These days, when I make those early morning trips to Atlanta’s Farmers’ Market, I feel proud of the business that I’ve built and thankful for the customers who make it possible.