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Local officials asking for gardeners’ market to stay at courthouse

October 22nd, 2015 Posted in Arts and Life, Logan News

Cache Valley Gardeners’ Market board members, along with county and city officials, have decided to keep the market’s new county courthouse location for another year after receiving positive feedback from vendors.

This spring the market moved from Willow Park to the county courthouse, with the mission of finding a new permanent location because of plateauing sales and a future fee increase from the parks and recreation department.

“We have more competition this year than last with our honey,” said Lonnie Lofthouse, who sells honey and produce at the market. “But otherwise, I think people have done better this year than they did last year at Willow Park.”

The market’s management team received mixed feedback from customers after the location change, but vendors like the flat terrain and most have seen increased sales since moving downtown.

“Produce vendors sell out of almost everything and craft vendors say they sold more here than in previous locations,” said Mary Ann Hubbell, a member of the market’s management team.”

Sue Kusan and Robert Motyka attended the market on a regular basis during the summer months with their children Maya and Kai.

“As parents of an almost 2-year-old and a 4-year-old, we like the Willow Park location better because it was by the playground,” Kusan said. “I mean this is nice and it has more of an urban feel if you will, but the other one felt more true to what Cache Valley still is.”

When the move was first mentioned, most of the negative feedback the market’s management team received was from parents concerned that the new location wouldn’t be safe for their children.

“We are a farmers’ market,” Hubbell said. “Our first interest is to provide a safe place for our vendors to sell their produce, crafts, or food to their customers.”

The management team worked with county officials to make the downtown location more safe and comfortable for children and their parents.

“They let us close the parking lot access to make it safer for our vendors and customers, allowed use of the restrooms in the county building, and bought tables to give customers somewhere to sit,” Hubbell said.

The market’s management team made the decision to approach the mayor for help in finding a new location at the end of the selling season last year.

“We’d never had much support from local leaders in the past,” Hubbell said. “It feels good to have these leaders come to market weekly to support us.”

Anna Tuckett, Natalie Deaver, Cynthia Dixon, Alix Zelener, Janessa Fillingim and Mark Rosa contributed to this report.
– mdl

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