OGDEN -- Larry Florence has collected and sold honey for over 50 years, but Saturday was his first day to sell it at the place where he once spent his time exercising.
The United Way of Northern Utah's farmers market held a grand opening at its new home at 550 25th St., in a building first known as the Deseret Gym and later, Gold's Gym.
"I remember coming here when it was the old Deseret Gym," Florence said. "Now I'm here to sell my honey. Look at how golden it is."
Florence, who owns Golden Glow Honey in North Ogden, told his customers that not only is honey delicious to eat, it helps ease sore throats, upset stomachs and sunburns. Also, it never expires.
"The bees do all of the work and then I rob them," he said, smiling. "Did you know the honeybee is the only insect that makes food for humans?"
The market moved to its new location this month, said Di Sedgwick, market manager and United Way community impact specialist. It has been at the Oasis Garden run by the Junior League of Ogden and then at Jefferson Creative on 26th Street.
"We had a very nice place at the Oasis Garden, but then winter came and we couldn't very well sell our items outside in the cold," she said. "So we moved over to Jefferson Creative and learned from the city that it wasn't zoned for a farmer's market."
Sedgwick said the owners of Jefferson Creative, who also run Sprout Utah, a non-profit organization dedicated to revitalizing parts of east central Ogden, recently came to her and said they had purchased the old Gold's Gym building and invited her to bring back the farmer's market.
"Oh, we were so thrilled," she said. "They invited us back with open arms and we have been very busy getting everything put together so we can have a busy and successful market. To top it off, we will join downtown Ogden at their farmer's market in the summertime, so we will now have a year-round farmer's market."
In addition, Sedgwick said, an ENT machine will allow customers to use their Horizon Food cards to purchase their items.
Ron and Karen Peterson of Hooper were glad to see the indoor market.
"We've been to a lot of indoor markets, especially in California. We really like the idea of having one here," Karen Peterson said. "I love getting fresh fruits and vegetables year round and it looks like they have a really good mix of vendors here today."
Other vendors at the new indoor market included Andrew Allred, who grows his own parsnips, walnut trees and fruit bushes. Lisa Musselman presented her hand-sculpted soap floral bouquets. Winder Dairy sold milk and fruit juice and the ladies from Second Chance offered homemade crafts. Key racks, chalkboards, jewelry, candles and stuffed animals were also for sale.
There were also plenty of fruits and vegetables to be had. Potatoes, oranges, carrots, tomatoes, cauliflower, green cabbage and garlic filled baskets along the front counter. There were also fresh-baked doughnuts, cookies, pita bread and scones available from Topper Bakery.
Chris Parker, executive director of Sprout Utah, and Paige Pitcher, project director, said the farmer's market is just one area of the building being revitalized. On the upper floor will be residential quarters. A coffee shop and juice bar, along with other commercial businesses, will have space in the 80,000-square-foot building.
The market is open every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. A child's corner is available for crafts and tutoring.