In small-town Texas, the Decatur Fresh Produce Market provides organic and locally grown produce—and in the process, is preserving a way of life. 

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes


Located at the corner of Business Highway 380 and Walnut Street, a busy corner in the sleepy town of Decatur, Texas, you will find the “Decatur Fresh Produce Market,” a charming family business run by matriarch Nina White and her three children: Debra, Lisa, and Doug. 

For more than 16 years, the market has been a thriving mainstay for this town of just over 7,000. Step through the threshold with a traditional doorbell chime and you’ll find a rainbow of fresh fruits and vegetables displayed in wooden crates and baskets, an array of refrigerators containing locally raised meats, eggs, and milk, and a “seller room” crammed with locally made jams, jellies, and locally jarred fruits. You’ll likely be greeted by a member of the White family, each easily recognizable by their charismatic smile and genuine interest in you and your story. These ladies don’t know a stranger; come in as a shopper and walk out as a friend.

The store opened in 2007 when Delbert and Nina White saw a strong community need for local, organic produce and grocery goods. Since Delbert’s passing in 2021, the family has stepped up and continued his legacy. “Dad used to sit outside on the bench out front and wave to everyone as they drove by,” says Debra. Now, a bench dedicated to him decorates the front porch.  

The love the family has for each other and their customers is apparent. They also share a love of the land that spans generations. Most people overlook the environmental costs of chain grocery stores. But this family knows that keeping their community fed with local and fresh produce also benefits  future inhabitants of the Earth. 

Decatur Fresh Produce Owners

Buying locally produced food helps the environment by reducing “food miles,”  the distance which food travels from producer to consumer. Most items in a chain grocery store travel more than 1,500 miles to reach your plate. Local produce has a smaller carbon footprint, cuts fuel consumption, and reduces air pollution caused by overseas plane travel and long-haul transportation. It also reduces the need for shipping facilities, packing facilities and materials, and refrigeration—further saving on resources

Many smaller local farms pride themselves on following sustainable farming practices—keeping products organic, hormone free, and pesticide free.  These farmers and ranchers also practice beneficial crop rotation, cover cropping, and other natural methods to enhance soil heath and protect biodiversity. 

Decatur Fresh Produce Market

A secondary benefit of buying local is the workforce opportunities brought to the area. By purchasing groceries locally, you’re helping keep local growers, creators, and farmers in their jobs. Without consumer demand, these local farms and ranches may not exist. Employees would have to seek work elsewhere, outside of the community, which adds to highway congestion, increases fuel consumption and enlarges the overall carbon footprint.

While Nina, Debra, Lisa, and Doug are always delighted to see you walk in the door, they are also grateful for your environmental stewardship in purchasing locally. Together, the good people of Decatur, local farmers and ranchers, and the Whites are helping to keep the land fertile and healthy for future generations. For the Whites, that includes a budding family of eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren … to date. 

It’s no wonder that smiles abound.