Contact: Janet Bloom, Events Planner
Farmington Farmers & Artisans Market Preparations Promise a Fantastic 2012 Season
Farmington, MI. (April 13, 2012). As the 2012 farmers market season quickly approaches, Farmington Farmers & Artisans Market Manager Walt Gajewski and the Farmington Downtown Development Authority (DDA) event staff have been hard at work during the winter season preparing for the opening of the market. Goals for 2012 include increasing sponsor support, data mining the market for more metrics and demographics, and reducing expenses.
“Community support and encouraging volunteers fueled our successes last season, leading us to rededicate and update the mission of the Market. By encouraging community outreach with education, information and volunteerism, we’re really becoming a conduit for open exchange and public gathering in a welcoming atmosphere that we will work hard at to always be vibrant, colorful and festive. Every Saturday is like going to the fireworks, with children’s activities, educational demonstrations, community outreach, great music, awesome chefs, super volunteers and the best produce and artisans. I can’t wait for opening day,” said Gajewski.
Similar sentiments are shared by others. “The Farmers Market has established Farmington as the place to be on Saturdays, seeing old friends and meeting new, showcasing our Downtown and bringing customers into our stores and restaurants. I’m very proud of our Farmers Market and it has a very bright future”, stated Bob Rock, Farmington DDA Board President.
Maintaining the momentum and legacy of the market requires months of preparation that is largely based on feedback and lessons learned from previous years.
“The future success of the Farmers Market will rely on us further discovering the needs and wants of our customers, vendors, and DDA businesses. We will always keep an open line of communication to listen to those in the community. We are poised to build on the achievements from the past year and continue to make improvements in what we offer and how we offer it.” stated Janet Bloom, Events Planner at the DDA. “Moving the market for the first time to a position of profitability was key for us to be able to implement several of the programs, improvements and activities that impacted our customers, our vendors and our Downtown.”
The 2012 Market Season is kicking off with a full roster of vendors mapped around the new layout introduced just last year. The new layout proved to be popular with vendors and customers alike because the Market consistently averaged 3,300 people per week. Last year there were 37 active vendors on the roster and before the 2012 season begins, there are 67! While it can be a challenge to accommodate a roster this size, it greatly benefits the market goers. Visitors can expect to see on average 8 vendors a week who were not at market the week before. Anchored by the farmers, market enthusiasts can count on all of our growers returning for what hopefully is a long growing season.
Overall the market will be refreshed as 20 new vendors make their debut this year. Prepared foods are always in demand and expanding the lineup further with greater variety and choices including raw, gluten free and organic is very important to accommodate all of our customers’ need. Even though the season is booked for the full 29 weeks, the applications keep coming in. These hopeful vendors all share the same sentiment “Farmington is the place to be.” A great location with lots of shops and dining choices all within walking distance in a quaint town – truly makes the Farmers Market a weekend destination.
A new component to be rolled out this year is rotating DDA restaurants at the market for increased exposure. DDA businesses still have a free booth available to pass out information onsite at the Market. Also underway is the creation of Market Days, to garner more traffic from the market into downtown shops.
“We are researching the logistics and viability of accepting cash alternatives at the market, such as Bridge cards, to remove barriers so area residents gain access to healthy and nutritious food,” explained Bloom. “Time will be spent to discover logistics and needs in having an end of market day food donation program to local food banks. Grants will be explored to help propel the market as a premier market in Southeast Michigan.
The Farmington Farmers & Artisans Market will be ready to open on May 5, 9 am – 2 pm, with the theme “Cinco de Mayo”. Come enjoy the sights and sounds and be an active part in this community gem.
Events Coordinator, Farmington DDA