Comment 97225

By kevlahan (registered) | Posted January 27, 2014 at 13:36:13 in reply to Comment 97220

Yes, that's part of the problem. But starting at 6am doesn't really make much sense. Who is going to the market between 6 and 8 in the morning anyway? They would capture much more business if they could actually be open 8am-6pm.

In any case, calling it a "Farmer's Market" seems to be an attempt to use a description with positive associations, rather than describe what it is actually is: a traditional indoor public market. There are very few actual farmers at the market (at least those doing the farming, although there are some farm families represented), but there is nothing wrong with that.

Traditional markets are supposed to be open regular hours, year round, and their attraction is the variety from the different stands, personal service, and emphasis on meats, prepared goods, and produce that are local and higher quality than you would get in a supermarket. There are also markets that try to compete on price, at the expense of lower quality goods, but I don't think that is what Hamilton's market should (or can) be.

Markets often expand in the summer to include more actual farmers selling from the back of trucks and that is what the Market tried last summer by opening up the big doors on York and having seasonal fruit and vegetable stands.

My recommendation would be to:

  1. Make it clear that this is a year-round public market that competes with the supermarkets on quality, selection, personal service and local origin . This means regular easy to remember hours (say Tuesday-Saturday, 8am-6pm) and requiring stall holders to actually be open and reasonably well stocked during all open days. No more shutting down at 2 or 3pm on a Saturday. Stall holders should have to find replacements to cover annual holidays (just like other small businesses) and shouldn't just close down during the week because business seems slow, or on random days unless there is an emergency.

  2. Expand the offering of local fruits and vegetables in the summer by continuing and expanding last year's trial of street side stands on York boulevard.

Comment edited by kevlahan on 2014-01-27 13:43:07

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