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POPS is ‘one-stop shop’ for produce
By BERKLEY HASSEBROCK | For the Independent
Gary Leckie has always “loved good food.”
He is the owner of a “one-stop shop” produce stand in town known as the Port Orchard Produce Stand (POPS), which offers fruits and vegetables with a helpful staff.
The produce stand has been up and running for nine consecutive summers along Bethel Road.
Because POPS is a seasonal stand, Leckie said think of POPS on Father’s Day — because it’s the stand’s open day. The stand will close the first week in September.
The stand, owned and operated by the third-generation Washingtonian, is stocked with various kinds of fruit and vegetables that are locally grown.
“I want to give my customers what they want,” said Leckie.
Customers can make special requests for any produce grown in the state.
Leckie drives every Thursday to Yakima to pick up most of his fruits and vegetables. He also sells some fruit from his own “backyard,” such as blueberries from Olalla and blackberries from Puyallup.
“His food and produce is great,” said one customer.
Leckie gives back to the community in many different ways. He donated more than 8,000 pounds of produce to South Kitsap Helpline’s food bank. He was a sponsor of a Kitsap County bowling tournament and he hopes to be sponsor again this year.
Leckie said he make his frequent customers feel like family, but he still is struggling similar to other small business owners.
“It’s hard to get people out of their normal routine,” he said. “Even though POPS can beat grocery store freshness and normal prices, people still don’t stop by.”
The stand, which opens at 10 a.m., is located in front of Farmer George’s Meat Market on 3870 Bethel Road.