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Letter: Market vendors have different opinions on move to North End
To the editor:
I write with reference to the front page article (by Jennifer Smith) dated Tuesday March 25: Farmers’ Market Could Split to Two Sites.
I am one of the vendors who voted No to the proposed move of our market to the north end Clement Avenue location. It is unfortunate that your publication did not seek out the input of the large portion of the market who were not in favour of this move.
My main reason for opposing this move was not fear based but primarily the location on Clement.
The market is presently located in the geographical centre of Kelowna close to many other amenities including malls, other stores, Hwy. 97, high density residences, a major park and major arterial routes making this market very visible.
The Clement Avenue location is out of the way in an unattractive part of town, off the beaten track.
Based on the proposed development and road re-widening it would most likely be an unpleasant experience for shoppers for several years.
With the BC Tree Fruits outlet directly across from the market our farmers would have a challenge to compete with their prices.
As well we would be moving to a smaller lot—one acre compared to 1.6 at Orchard Park.
Our market will be located for the 2014 season at the Orchard Park location. Although the lease has to be renewed annually, there do not appear to be any plans to discontinue our relationship beyond this year.
It should be noted that Orchard Park appreciates our market and was instrumental in providing the financial support to start this market in the first place.
This talk of a split in the market does not come from the 62 per cent who disagreed with this move—it comes from the media and the spokesperson for the board—Wolfe Wesle.
Referring to “key vendors” who make most of the money as being for the move and no brainer “small vendors” (whose income is dwarfed by the key vendors) as voting No: This could cause a split.
By attempting to make this move even after this vote: This could cause a split.
The Kelowna Farmers & Crafters Market is a very important asset to this community. I do not want to see it destroyed.