Mission & Story

Supporting Local Food. Nurturing Local People. Growing Community.

At Chicory Market, our mission is to support local food and empower the people who make and benefit from it. We believe in local food because it is better for our bodies, for the land around us, and for our local economy. Our mission us three-part:

  1. To support the local food system by working with farmers and foodmakers to source quality produce, meat, and grocery items for the Oxford community.
  2. To improve accessibility to healthy, local food for people of all income levels, health status, and lifestyles.
  3. To build community around food involving people of all socio-economic means, colors, creeds, and life backgrounds.

Our Story

The current Chicory Market site has been a food space in Oxford for more than 30 years. In the early 1990’s, Burlin Hollowell ran his produce stand out of the old service station building, selling vegetables that he and his friends raised and trucking in exotics from distributors. Liz Stagg and her husband Frank took it over as the Farmers Market and expanded the grocery offerings, tapping into a growing local food movement and catering to new immigrant communities in Oxford. The Farmers Market became a community hub for people looking for quality produce, a place where all felt welcome and attended to, and a homegrown alternative to the big supermarket chains.

In 2017, Kate Bishop and John Martin renovated the space as Chicory Market, connecting to a new generation of farmers and opening a kitchen to provide healthy prepared meals focused on local ingredients. As an Oxford native, Kate grew up in a community connected by food. She had fond memories of eating watermelons and pimento cheese from the old James Food Center and regional supermarkets such as the Jitney Jungle, Big Star, and Sunflower. Kate and John feel strongly about creating a special place that preserves and grows the spirit of Oxford as a place that nurtures creativity and welcomes newcomers and curiosity seekers.


  • Chicory Market will be a place where all people in the Oxford & Lafayette County community feel welcome and empowered to enjoy local food.
  • We aim to make local food more accessible for people of all income levels by creating a marketplace and helping to improve the economic viability of local agriculture and food-making.
  • We will support as many small farmers and foodmakers as possible, while improving access to organic produce and quality groceries that cannot be found elsewhere in our community.
  • With the Chicory Kitchen, we strive to reduce food waste and buy more from local farmers.
  • The priorities for our food offerings are, in order, are 1) LOCAL, 2) REGIONAL, 3) ORGANIC