OGDEN -- The Oasis Market, currently in the outdoor Oasis Community Garden, will move four blocks away next week to be inside.
"We need to make sure people have access to healthy food year-round," said Nikki Lovell, program grant administrator. She oversees a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture that funds the market, run by United Way of Northern Utah.
Lovell said the move will be permanent. She said maintaining a permanent location will help area residents establish a pattern of shopping at the market, which is designed to serve their needs.
"It makes fresh produce a little more accessible because there is no chain grocery store downtown," she said.
A large portion of the market's customers walk there for groceries, she said.
The market, which runs from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. each Wednesday, will move from the community garden run by the Junior League of Ogden, 2405 Monroe Blvd., to the former First United Methodist Church, 2604 Jefferson Ave.
Di Sedgwick, market coordinator, said the new location will give the market increased visibility.
"People couldn't even find it," she said of the garden spot. "They would drive right by."
Market customers now will enjoy ample parking as well as public restrooms, neither of which were available at the Oasis Community Garden, said the women.
"When we work at the market, we plan our lives all day long so we don't have to use the restroom," Lovell said. "We have made arrangements with 7-Eleven, Johnston Animal Hospital, the Dollar Store, Rite Aid and the realty company for people to use their restrooms."
A commercial kitchen also will improve potential market offerings, they said.
"The ladies who made tamales couldn't sell them there because they were not made in a commercial kitchen," Lovell said, adding that the former church's stage also will be a welcome addition for local artists donating their time and talents.
"We have music every night at the market. They will have a place to play."
Lovell said the former church was purchased by developers who plan to invite other nonprofit and community groups to use the building.