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South Mississippi Strong: Retired Chef Brings Fresh Food, Community to Coast With Multiple Farmer's Markets

One woman’s vision to bring fresh food to South Mississippi residents has blossomed into multiple farmers markets along the Coast.

Diane Claughton is a retired chef who has brought fresh produce, homemade goods, livestock and more to communities throughout South Mississippi.

Claughton runs at least seven of the farmers markets found on the Coast. She said it all started with a light bulb moment that resulted in the Coast’s first certified farmers market, which opened in 2004 in Ocean Springs.

“I found a friend who had lived in France and understood about markets. It took us a year to get it going. We did it for a year and Katrina hit,” she explained.

Claughton brought the market back, though, and since then, has opened many more, including the one at Jones Park in Gulfport.

“It’s a quirky little place. You got all kind of things going on here," said Lamont Bowman, owner of Biloxi Street Food.

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