SEARCY, Ark. – In the era of big box stores in Walmart country, it’s still possible to shop local for your grocery needs. Along with offering unique, fresh food items, these local shops often cater to all types of dietary and health conscious needs including plant based, keto, and gluten free diets, supplements, and even items for those “foodies” not on particular diets.

While you would expect to find these kinds of stores in major cities, you can find quite a few great local grocers and sellers right here in Searcy.

J&M Meat and Seafood Market

The perfect spot to pick up a locally sourced main course. They have all the classic cuts of pork, steak, beef, chicken. Plus great seafood options like salmon, crab legs, catfish, and ready to boil crawfish.

They can even help you spice up your protein with homemade spices and bbq sauces. We really like the margarita key lime grilling sauce that goes great on chicken!

Searcy’s local butcher also has some creative items that can serve as a main dish or a delicious side, like stuffed mushrooms and chicken bombs — chicken breast stuffed with cheese and jalapeños wrapped in bacon. You can also pick up some perfect side-item produce like potatoes and onions, and various types of cheeses- even vegan cheese.

Address: 106 W Mulberry Ave.
Hours: Tues-Friday 10-5:30. Sat 9-4pm

Photo by: Phillip Slavin

Good Measure Market

One of Searcy’s two health and wellness focused grocers, Good Measure Market offers a variety of products you won’t find anywhere else in town.

Stroll the isles, and I am sure you’ll find something healthy and tasty! Along with picking up some things for the pantry, you can also pick up pre-made plates that fit a number of dietary restrictions, including whole30, plant based, or gluten free.

Try their soup of the day! With regulars like their tomato basil-whole30, Broccoli soup, or Thai chicken and rice, you’ll keep coming back. 

They also offer Kombucha, which is good for the gut as well as refreshing. Make sure an pick-up some homemade, chocolate chip or monster cookie dough; the perfect cheat day snack. Don’t worry it’s gluten free.

Beside unique foods and meals, they carry grocery items like fresh fruits and vegetables as well their everyday organic products. 

Along with food, they also have a large selection of vitamin and health supplements to keep your body healthy. Stop by, or order online on their website.

Address: 614 S Main Street
Hours: 9am-3pm Mon-Sat.

The Natural Food Store

Searcy’s other health and wellness conscious grocer, the Natural Food Store is the perfect spot to pick up items grown and produced right here in the Natural State!

You can find fresh bread from Serenity Farms, farm fresh eggs, plant based food options such as ‘Beyond Burger’ patties, and locally grown fruits and vegetables, and packaged snacks you will not find anywhere else. 

But if you’re looking for what sets them apart? First, it’s their make-your-own olive oil selection. Choose from different oils and aromas to make a special blend of olive oil unique to you.

They also offer health supplements and pharmacy goods such as their essential oils, vegan health products, or CBD oils

While shopping, grab a cup of coffee from their inhouse coffee shop Rise and Grind. They offer specials regularly and are offering curbside service right now. 

You can order online and they offer delivery within a 10 mile radius.

Address: 500 S. Main St.
Hours: Mon-Friday 8:30-6pm, Sat. 9am-3pm.
The Natural Food Store

Photo by: Ashel Parsons

El Mercado

If you really want some unique finds and flavors, then head to Searcy’s Mexican grocer, El Mercado.

You’ll find items and produce, like Mexican sodas, snacks, peppers, frozen tamales and papusas, corn masa flour, homemade cookies and pastries, and spices and sauces. They’ve even got farm-fresh eggs laid by the owners’ chickens!

But aside from the great mexican flavors, they’ve got a great selection of fresh, cut meats, including Carne al pastor, Taco meat, Chambarete, Fajita steak, Costilla, and Chorizo.

Address: 1527 E race. Ave
Hours: 10am-8PM Mon-Fri, 10am-6pm Saturday, 11am-4pm Sunday.

The Fruit Stand

Nothing is better than fresh, locally-grown produce. That’s all you’ll find at the Searcy Fruit Stand. They are open most of the year and have different products each season. They have all types of fruit and vegetables such as strawberries and blueberries, Cave City Watermelons, fresh green tomatoes, purple hull peas, and a LOT more. Really, it’s best to drive by throughout the year to see what’s in season and in stock!

Besides produce, they sell local Ozark Mt. Jams and sorghums, Arkansas Honey from Fred Frazier in McCrory AR, and assortment of relishes & chutneys. 

Locations: 2121 Beebe Capps & 3002 E. Race St. in the old Colton’s parking lot.
Hours: 8am-8pm seven days a week

Photo by: Phillip Slavin

Searcy Farmers Market 

Every Tuesday afternoon and Saturday morning you can head downtown to the White County Courthouse Square to check out all sorts of locally grown goods and locally produced goodies! 

Around a dozen or more vendors set up weekly to offer a variety of in-season fruits and vegetables, local honeys and jams, fresh meat, plants and flowers, free range eggs, spices and herbs, and many more unique items. If it’s fresh and in season, the market will have it.

Address: 310 N. Spring St.
Hours: 3-6pm Tuesday, 8am-12pm Saturday
*Make sure and check out their Facebook page for information on what vendors will be in attendance each week and for current social distancing policies.

Local farmers

If you’re in need of some Farmers Market merchandise on the off-days, check out the local farmers and producers yourself!

3D Farms of Judsonia offers all types of meats such as bacon, sausage, pork steak, pork chops, grain finished beef, and free-range eggs. Call them at 501-230-5940 to place an order to pick up, or they do deliver to Searcy 1-2 days a week. They’re located at 596 graham road Judsonia, AR. Check out their Facebook page for more information.

Cannon F Ranch, raises cattle ethically and locally right outside of Searcy. They sell all different types of beef products such as ribs, steaks, tenderloin, different types of roasts, ground beef, and sliced liver. Call in orders at 501-827-2876 year round or visit their booth at the Searcy Farmers Market. Check them out on Facebook.

Five Acre Farms is located in Pleasant Plains, Arkansas and is a small Certified Naturally Grown farm that strives to offer central Arkansas fresh, sustainable produce. Cut a share of their crop by participating in their farm share weekly, or bi-weekly boxes. These boxes are a surprise and will be overflowing with what’s in season and even some unique vegetables that will broaden your palate. If you don’t know how to prepare these vegetables, they offer delicious recipes and instructions on how to store the produce. You can order these boxes on their website, or if can’t pay up front for the season, they offer a weekly payment.