WTOC Hometown Hero: Vickie Sikes - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

02/02/07

WTOC Hometown Hero: Vickie Sikes

Vickie Sikes Vickie Sikes

A friendly and familiar face has been greeting farmers and customers at the State Farmer's Market on Highway 80 in Garden City for as long as many of folks can remember.

The market manager, Vickie Sikes, has dedicated her career to bringing Georgia grown produce to market and our tables.  She retired on Wednesday and is this week's WTOC Hometown Hero.

Sikes said the market has been like a second home. She has spent the last three decades running the market and helping local farmers sell their fresh fruits and vegetables.

"I've been with the farmers market for 30 years and enjoyed it," said Sikes. "The farmers and their families. it's a family oriented place so you get to know the farmers children and grandchildren and watch them grow up, it's real gratifying but it's time to do something else."

Sikes began her career here as a secretary and worked her way up. She finished up some paper work and flipped through old photos on her last day at work, including a picture from 1999 when the market flooded.

There's no question Sikes is going to miss the market. Lately she's been showing Kipp Braswell the ropes. "He is very familiar with farming, he's from the Toombs County area," she said.

Braswell is her replacement. Braswell said, "After 30 years it's probably some pretty big shoes to fill for such a small lady."

He said he knows it's going to be a challenge. "She knows everybody, she's been around. They say she's kin to everybody in the area," said Braswell.

Sikes said the time has simply come to start a new chapter in her life. "For a couple of weeks I'm going to do nothing. I'm going to stay at home!" she said. "I really don't have any big plans right now. rest and recuperate and see what direction I need to go in."

Many said the farmer's market blossomed under her reign and agree that Vickie Sikes is their hometown hero too.

Reported by Michelle Paynter, mpaynter@wtoc.com .

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