The opening of the Hartford Farmers’ Market has been postponed for 1 year.
The Board of Directors for the Market decided that the Market simply did not have enough vendors signed up for the mid-May opening to make it viable. You only get 1 chance to make a good first impression and having a market open with just 3 or 4 vendors would have been an economic disaster and may turn people away permanently. If we had 8 vendors we might have tried it this year, we would prefer at least 10 for the first year and hopefully get bigger every year.
The Town Board had been primed to receive a presentation from Market Manager Pat Imbimbo Tuesday night over the Market Budget and funding information. But earlier that day Pat and the Market Board of Directors decided that we waited as long as we could for vendors to sign up and unfortunately we felt we didn’t have enough to make a go of it..
At first the Market felt that March would be early enough to solicit vendors but that now appears to be wrong. Many of the vendors that we approached said that they normally commit to a market in January. They would have come to Hartford if they only had known about us in January.
Even though I am the President of the Market’s Board of Directors, I am also the Supervisor and Chief Financial Officer of the town. The Board of directors, myself included cannot justifiably try to solicit funds from the town when we know in our heart that the market will not succeed this year.
There are boatloads of shopping support from the community but unlike that movie Field of Dreams ,if you build it, the vendors wont necessarily come.
The Market will remain organized with an active Board of Directors, Market Rules, Application Forms, Market Logo contest, etc. Instead of attempting a fizzling start for year 2010 we will now have a huge head start for soliciting vendors and funding for 2011. Our goal now is to open mid-May 2011 and operate until mid Oct 2011 for year #1.
Assemblyman Jordan, Senator Gillibrand, and most of the community have been very supportive of Hartford starting a Farmers’ Market. The market now asks you to continue your support into next year.