Thu12182014

Business & Real Estate

Farmer's Market produces bumper crop for city this year, fertile plans for next


Town Crier File Photo

Profits from the newly-implemented downtown Farmer's Market may produce a partnership agreement for a Maintenance Fund to provide mutually agreed-upon projects for Los Altos.

According to Economic Development Coordinator Laura MacEachen and Los Altos Village Association executive director Kathleen Byrne, the market produced exactly what was intended.

"This first-year event on Thursday evenings from 4-8 p.m. enhanced the business climate in downtown Los Altos last summer," MacEachen said. "Some stores stayed open later and restaurants did a booming business. Now it remains to be seen whether more stores will jump on the bandwagon next season to capture a portion of the business the market brings in."

MacEachen said the city was delighted to have the Village Association coordinate "a very complicated and time-consuming event." She said she sees no reason the city would not issue a special event permit for continuance of the market next season.

The Board of Directors of the Village Association was pleased with the outcome of this year's market, according to Byrne. In a special report to the city, she said, "We achieved our goal of providing a community event to bring residents downtown during non-peak periods and to promote downtown business."

Opening June 15 and running until Oct. 26, 20 market days, the market was located on State between Second and Third streets. An average of 200 farmers participated, including three walk-away food vendors and 15 food purveyors who sold such items as flowers, bread and olive oil.

"The merchants' response to the market was very positive for a first year event," Byrne said. "The nearby businesses were largely supportive and many - such as Linden Tree, Flooring Options and Citibank - participated in the event."

The Los Altos City Council discussed the season wrap-up of the Farmer's Market at its Dec. 12 meeting and tabled it for consideration in 2001. The selection of vendors through a competitive selection process and a partnership agreement for a Downtown Maintenance Fund are next year's challenges.

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