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Re: [BodgerPark] Daily Breeze: Growing a Farmers Market

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  • Kim Parker
    This is a really nice place to go. It doesn t have nearly all the variety of Wilson Park, but still excellent, and I *mean* excellent stuff. When I went I
    Message 1 of 3 , Jan 31, 2007
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      This is a really nice place to go. It doesn't have nearly all the variety
      of Wilson Park, but still excellent, and I *mean* excellent stuff. When I
      went I was treated royally; by which I mean cordially and then some. Please
      go see these folks, their products are great and they are workin hard to
      make a living. And it's GOOD!!! K

      On 1/31/07, Brent <brentamorgan@...> wrote:
      >
      > This farmers market is within walking distance of Bodger Park on Fridays.
      >
      > http://www.dailybreeze.com/news/articles/5384066.html
      >
      > Today is Wednesday, January 31, 2007
      > Originally published Saturday, January 27, 2007
      > Updated Saturday, January 27, 2007
      > Growing a Farmers Market
      > Lawndale's fresh food bazaar is nearly 2 years old but still working
      > to take root
      > By Shirley Hsu
      > STAFF WRITER
      >
      > Larry Sardoni lists his breads like Benjamin Buford "Bubba" Blue
      > famously listed varieties of shrimp in the movie "Forrest Gump."
      >
      > There's shepherds bread, potato bread, egg bread, corn bread and squaw
      > bread.
      >
      > There's garden olive, rosemary, Bavarian sour rye, nine-grain,
      > six-grain, multigrain and stone-ground whole wheat bread. Then there's
      > the savory breads, like cheddar, jalapeno and garlic, and sweeter ones
      > like cinnamon raisin and honey.
      >
      > But on a recent chilly Friday morning at the Lawndale Farmers Market,
      > there were more types of bread than there were people at the market.
      >
      > That morning -- following a fierce freeze that destroyed farmers'
      > crops and kept customers indoors -- was an anomaly, organizers said,
      > but they acknowledged that the market has had trouble attracting a
      > growing customer base since it opened in April 2005.
      >
      > The flagging community interest baffles Lawndale City Councilman Larry
      > Rudolph, who wakes up before the birds do every Friday morning to help
      > set up, dragging out barriers to prevent cars from turning onto 147th
      > Street from Hawthorne Boulevard.
      >
      > The market is the pet project of Rudolph, who believes the open-air
      > market, with its fresh produce grown by California farmers and hot
      > food and snacks, is good for the health of the community.
      >
      > Rudolph said competition from discount grocery stores has hurt the
      > nearly 2-year-old market, which did $4,000 a week in sales during its
      > peak the first summer, but now does about $3,200 to $3,500 a week.
      >
      > Market organizers have advertised on an electronic billboard, street
      > banners and fliers. Hours were changed to an earlier time slot -- 8
      > a.m. to 1 p.m. -- on Fridays to catch early shoppers, and the market
      > was moved to the more visible location of 147th Street and Hawthorne
      > from a spot outside City Hall.
      >
      > The market also holds a weekly free raffle, giving out produce and
      > goodies to attract customers, but many come only for the raffle and
      > leave without buying anything, said Rudolph's wife, Shirley.
      >
      > Mary Lou Weiss, who has consulted for and runs several South Bay
      > farmers markets, said it is early yet to pronounce judgment on the
      > young market. It typically takes three years for a market to establish
      > itself, and it took the one now thriving in Hermosa Beach even longer
      > -- about five years, she said.
      >
      > "They're not setting the world on fire, but they're still there,"
      > Weiss said of Lawndale's bazaar.
      >
      >
      >
      > "There are three things that make a successful market. A visible
      > location, and they have that. Parking is really essential, and they
      > have that. And of course, a good selection of farmers and vendors. And
      > they've had that -- they started that way, but needless to say, a lot
      > of vendors have dropped out because of not enough customers," Weiss said.
      >
      > Weiss suggested advertising the market in Hawthorne, which has none.
      >
      > If more vendors leave, fewer customers will shop at the market, in
      > turn causing more vendors to pack their bags. The market started out
      > with about 20 vendors, and now has 12 to 14 regular sellers.
      >
      > Ellen Emerson, an administrative assistant in charge of the 6-year-old
      > Gardena Farmers Market, said competition is tough on smaller community
      > markets.
      >
      > The Gardena market reopened in August 2005 after a five-month hiatus
      > due to lack of interest.
      >
      > "Every city around us has a farmers market," she said. "Torrance's
      > Saturday market is the best around here. They have way more vendors,"
      > and the market attracts customers regionally, she said.
      >
      > While competition is stiff on weekends, weekday markets lose working
      > customers.
      >
      > To attract people, the city gives out coupons worth $1 for every $3 a
      > customer spends, Emerson said.
      >
      > Val Patterson, who manages the El Segundo Farmers Market, said she has
      > accumulated an e-mail list of customers to give electronic updates and
      > reminders about the market.
      >
      > "It's just like a reminder to come out, to remind them what we have,
      > and to get them hungry," she said.
      >
      > Sales are increasing at the 8-year-old market, which has some 40
      > produce and crafts vendors, said Patterson, who suggested handing out
      > surveys to people to find out what vendors would be popular.
      >
      > At the Lawndale market, vendors displayed dried fruits and nuts, hot
      > pupusas filled with chicken and cheese, and organic Fuji apples,
      > tomatoes, avocados, pomelos and grapes.
      >
      >
      >
      > "I think people still don't know we are here," said Torrance resident
      > Patti Shaw, who with husband Rod is enjoying her retirement selling
      > roasted peanuts.
      >
      > "It takes time for the customers to build up. Everyone has to stick
      > with it and stay," said Patti Shaw, a former beauty shop owner.
      >
      > Sardoni, at his bread booth, said many customers do not understand the
      > difference between goods at a farmers market and those found at the
      > grocery store. His breads, baked fresh daily, contain no
      > preservatives, and some varieties have no sugar, making them safe for
      > diabetics.
      >
      > "It's the freshness," said Lawndale resident Bruce Rezin, who said he
      > has come to the market every chance he has gotten since it opened. He
      > likes shopping in an outdoor setting, he said as he picked up a loaf
      > of bread at the Old Town Baking Co. stand.
      >
      > "I love a good sourdough," he said.
      >
      > shirley.hsu@...
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > Yahoo! Groups Links
      >
      >
      >
      >


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Patricia Lin Hachiya
      I ve been to this farmer s market. I think the problem is that it is not near a real pedestrian area. I used to live in El Segundo and their market on Main
      Message 2 of 3 , Feb 1 7:28 AM
      • 0 Attachment
        I've been to this farmer's market. I think the problem is that it is not near a real pedestrian area. I used to live in El Segundo and their market on Main Street is very visible because a lot of pedestrians cross that area.

        Brent <brentamorgan@...> wrote: This farmers market is within walking distance of Bodger Park on Fridays.

        http://www.dailybreeze.com/news/articles/5384066.html

        Today is Wednesday, January 31, 2007
        Originally published Saturday, January 27, 2007
        Updated Saturday, January 27, 2007
        Growing a Farmers Market
        Lawndale's fresh food bazaar is nearly 2 years old but still working
        to take root
        By Shirley Hsu
        STAFF WRITER

        Larry Sardoni lists his breads like Benjamin Buford "Bubba" Blue
        famously listed varieties of shrimp in the movie "Forrest Gump."

        There's shepherds bread, potato bread, egg bread, corn bread and squaw
        bread.

        There's garden olive, rosemary, Bavarian sour rye, nine-grain,
        six-grain, multigrain and stone-ground whole wheat bread. Then there's
        the savory breads, like cheddar, jalapeno and garlic, and sweeter ones
        like cinnamon raisin and honey.

        But on a recent chilly Friday morning at the Lawndale Farmers Market,
        there were more types of bread than there were people at the market.

        That morning -- following a fierce freeze that destroyed farmers'
        crops and kept customers indoors -- was an anomaly, organizers said,
        but they acknowledged that the market has had trouble attracting a
        growing customer base since it opened in April 2005.

        The flagging community interest baffles Lawndale City Councilman Larry
        Rudolph, who wakes up before the birds do every Friday morning to help
        set up, dragging out barriers to prevent cars from turning onto 147th
        Street from Hawthorne Boulevard.

        The market is the pet project of Rudolph, who believes the open-air
        market, with its fresh produce grown by California farmers and hot
        food and snacks, is good for the health of the community.

        Rudolph said competition from discount grocery stores has hurt the
        nearly 2-year-old market, which did $4,000 a week in sales during its
        peak the first summer, but now does about $3,200 to $3,500 a week.

        Market organizers have advertised on an electronic billboard, street
        banners and fliers. Hours were changed to an earlier time slot -- 8
        a.m. to 1 p.m. -- on Fridays to catch early shoppers, and the market
        was moved to the more visible location of 147th Street and Hawthorne
        from a spot outside City Hall.

        The market also holds a weekly free raffle, giving out produce and
        goodies to attract customers, but many come only for the raffle and
        leave without buying anything, said Rudolph's wife, Shirley.

        Mary Lou Weiss, who has consulted for and runs several South Bay
        farmers markets, said it is early yet to pronounce judgment on the
        young market. It typically takes three years for a market to establish
        itself, and it took the one now thriving in Hermosa Beach even longer
        -- about five years, she said.

        "They're not setting the world on fire, but they're still there,"
        Weiss said of Lawndale's bazaar.



        "There are three things that make a successful market. A visible
        location, and they have that. Parking is really essential, and they
        have that. And of course, a good selection of farmers and vendors. And
        they've had that -- they started that way, but needless to say, a lot
        of vendors have dropped out because of not enough customers," Weiss said.

        Weiss suggested advertising the market in Hawthorne, which has none.

        If more vendors leave, fewer customers will shop at the market, in
        turn causing more vendors to pack their bags. The market started out
        with about 20 vendors, and now has 12 to 14 regular sellers.

        Ellen Emerson, an administrative assistant in charge of the 6-year-old
        Gardena Farmers Market, said competition is tough on smaller community
        markets.

        The Gardena market reopened in August 2005 after a five-month hiatus
        due to lack of interest.

        "Every city around us has a farmers market," she said. "Torrance's
        Saturday market is the best around here. They have way more vendors,"
        and the market attracts customers regionally, she said.

        While competition is stiff on weekends, weekday markets lose working
        customers.

        To attract people, the city gives out coupons worth $1 for every $3 a
        customer spends, Emerson said.

        Val Patterson, who manages the El Segundo Farmers Market, said she has
        accumulated an e-mail list of customers to give electronic updates and
        reminders about the market.

        "It's just like a reminder to come out, to remind them what we have,
        and to get them hungry," she said.

        Sales are increasing at the 8-year-old market, which has some 40
        produce and crafts vendors, said Patterson, who suggested handing out
        surveys to people to find out what vendors would be popular.

        At the Lawndale market, vendors displayed dried fruits and nuts, hot
        pupusas filled with chicken and cheese, and organic Fuji apples,
        tomatoes, avocados, pomelos and grapes.



        "I think people still don't know we are here," said Torrance resident
        Patti Shaw, who with husband Rod is enjoying her retirement selling
        roasted peanuts.

        "It takes time for the customers to build up. Everyone has to stick
        with it and stay," said Patti Shaw, a former beauty shop owner.

        Sardoni, at his bread booth, said many customers do not understand the
        difference between goods at a farmers market and those found at the
        grocery store. His breads, baked fresh daily, contain no
        preservatives, and some varieties have no sugar, making them safe for
        diabetics.

        "It's the freshness," said Lawndale resident Bruce Rezin, who said he
        has come to the market every chance he has gotten since it opened. He
        likes shopping in an outdoor setting, he said as he picked up a loaf
        of bread at the Old Town Baking Co. stand.

        "I love a good sourdough," he said.

        shirley.hsu@...






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