“I didn't know he was going to use our store in an ad. No, I don't support Governor Perry or his views.”
–Peg McCoy, owner of Farm to Market Grocery in South Austin
Farm to Market Grocery is a small business in Austin located on South Congress. Farm to Market sells goods, organic foods, and other sundries. The store and its caring owners, Angela Atwood and Peg McCoy, have a long history of community service and outreach. And now, thanks to the 2010 Texas Governor's race, they have the unexpected notoriety of being prominently featured in Rick Perry's first television ad of his general election campaign.
Earlier today, Governor Rick Perry and his campaign released their first television ad of the campaign season. The following is a screen-shot from the opening seconds of the ad — which shows one of the store's workers carrying flowers to put outside the store:
This afternoon, I went over and spoke with Peg McCoy, one of the owners. What struck me immediately about Peg was how caring she was. She is not political — she's spent her life trying to feed, shelter, and care for those in need. Her work was featured in the Austin Chronicle in 2005, in a short piece titled, “Community Cornerstones”:
Angela Atwood and Peg McCoy know a thing or two about communities and have spent the better part of their lives developing them. Angela has more than a dozen years' experience in development of housing and homeless services programs in Austin/Travis County and served as the senior director of community affairs for SafePlace. Peg worked with housing projects on the border and also served on the Homeless Task Force here in Austin. Their latest venture, Farm to Market Grocery, might seem at first like a severe departure from their activist roots, but the duo's commitment to building thriving communities is evident in their jewel of a grocery store.
Housed on South Congress, a street that sees extensive foot traffic, Farm to Market embodies neighborliness in its wares as well as in its location. Atwood and McCoy are committed to working with local growers and producers and have stocked their shelves and refrigerators with a wide variety of Austin's goods. From the sweet baby squash and crisp apples to the jars of salsa, salad dressings, and other condiments, the best of Austin and the surrounding area is available.
Peg was very surprised her store was used in the ad, and none too happy. While she didn't know her store would be used in an ad, she does know this: she will be voting for Bill White this election.