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Farmers market may go year-round

Idea is met with mixed feelings

Brittany Lawrence
Staff Writer

The city of La Verne holds its farmers market on Thursdays throughout the summer months on D Street on the east side of the University of La Verne.

The market’s run has recently been extended to December and discussion to let it go year-round is ongoing.

The market’s extended run, however, has been a source of some friction between market vendors, the store owners on D Street and some ULV students.

“During the summer the street fair is fine,” said Nick Tondee, an employee at Coffeeberry.

“But when school starts we get really slow when the street fair is happening on Thursdays and we have a big parking issue for customers,” Tondee added.

The farmers market has presented problems to those who own shops that the vendors sit in front of.

Because the market causes a large section of D Street to be closed to traffic during the Thursday event, parking has become a critical issue affecting for many of the stores. The parking issue also affects students who already have a hard time finding parking.

“The street fair attracts a lot of kids who can get annoying because they sit on our patio when they are not customers,” Tondee said. “I would hate it if the street fair continued year-round, parking is already bad enough as it is.”

Coffeeberry is only one of many stores on D Street that is affected by the farmers market.

“I am against the street fair being year-round,” Bridget Drake, owner of La Verne Sweet Shoppe, said.

“It is fine in the summer time but people get burned out by the fall and the winter. It is going to hurt my business for the holidays,” Drake said. “It is one day a week that closes us down because we are so slow.”

The vendors on the other hand, feel differently about the issue and like the idea of a year-round farmers market.

“I am fine with the street fair being a year-round event, people know I am here,” Russell Levine, founder and beekeeper for Bare Bees Honey, said.

“I get a lot of business here, I don’t have a store, I only sell at farmers markets,” Levine said.

Bare Bees Honey is not the only vendor at the street fair that does not have an actual store.

“We only have a booth, not a store, but we get good business here at the street fair,” Adela Barcenas, owner of OMG Accessories, said.

“We are excited for the street fair to be all year-round, the city for now agreed to have it until the end of December. We have only had our booth here for four months and we have a lot of regulars already,” Barcenas said.

There are many issues at hand and an obvious divide in opinions between the farmers market vendors and the store owners. It hurts a majority of the shops’ business while it is the only time some of the vendors get business.

The other group of people the farmers market affects is the students of ULV.

“I have only gone to the street fair a couple times and was only there a few minutes,” Tamlyn Tarango, sophomore said. “I like it and it has cool little things but I do not want it to happen year-round because of parking.”

“Parking is already bad as it is and during the street fair a lot of parking spots are eliminated,” Tarango said.

Brittany Lawrence can be reached at brittany.lawrence@laverne.edu.

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