Saturday, May 03, 2008

Freight House Farmer's Market Opens

Despite the dreary day and early time of year for produce, there was still a decent turnout at the new and improved downtown farmer's market.
The Mayor, the D1 Redcoats, and some vendors help cut the ribbon.

Hopefully it will clear up a bit today.

If you stop down, the market runs until 1PM, and as you can see its on River Drive between the Freight House and the Community Health Care parking lot, which is also where parking is provided. I was especially glad to see that the cheese curd folks had chosen the downtown market. I did drive out past the mall market, and it had a similar amount of vendors and shoppers it looked like, although much more spread out. I'm not sure how the Freight House market will be arranged when it returns to its home parking lot, but on a rainy day like today it was nice to have the booths lined up close.

25 Comments:

At 5/03/2008 9:48 AM, Anonymous Shelley said...

Mr. Grossman was there, best meat around! That makes it an official Farmer's Market. His chicken is the best I've ever had and the little ribeye steaks are great. Beautiful bedding plants are very reasonably priced. I was there around 8:15 and there was a pretty steady stream of people coming in.

 
At 5/03/2008 1:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Shelly.....Yawn!

 
At 5/03/2008 2:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So would someone please tell us which group is the one staying downtown and which group is the splinter one which moved up to NP Mall?

Which location is the one allowing "semi-commercial"? (to use QCI's words)

Which location is the one not allowing "semi-commercial"?

 
At 5/03/2008 3:54 PM, Anonymous darcy rostenbach said...

Ya know, the weather was a real challenge to the vendors today with rain and WIND-not to mention the cold! It did NOT matter! Every one I spoke with was smiling and happy to be back to market! Postitive energy surrounded us in every direction we turned! We had to expand our perimeter to allow for more vendors than we had planned upon. Warmer weather will bring out even more of us-70 have contracted with the Levee Improvement Commission, so be patient folks- it will get EVEN BETTER! Remember, we live in Iowa and Illinois and our LOCAL growing season is in its early stages! Most of the folks that were not present today were LOCAL PRODUCE GROWERS. Imagine the variety you will have once things start to pop on those farms! It was so great to see our loyal customers that sincerely seemed to miss us as much as we missed them! I would like to thank each and every one of you that ventured out into the cold rainy day to eagerly demonstrate support for the Freight House Market, the vendors, and Steve Ahrens who shares our vission of what a Market should be!

 
At 5/03/2008 4:04 PM, Anonymous darcy rostenbach said...

In response to anonymous:

So would someone please tell us which group is the one staying downtown and which group is the splinter one which moved up to NP Mall?

The Davenport Freight House Farmers' Market is staying downtown. ?

The Mississippi Valley Growers' ASSN. and the River City Market are now calling themselves the Davenport Farmers' Market and they are at the Mall. Although vendors from both of these organizations have left to remain downtown or are vending at both locations.

Which location is the one allowing "semi-commercial"? (to use QCI's words)

All locations allow "semi-commercial" produce, although the Davenport Freight House REQURIES that produce be labeled as local, home-grown, or a point of origin sign must be on commercial or semi-commercial products for easy identification by the consumer.

Which location is the one not allowing "semi-commericial"?

See answer above.

 
At 5/03/2008 7:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We don't need nor care to be confused by association names which can change daily to meet business needs.

Darcy's response to the questions only confuses the issue more than before.

How about relating the original parking-lot _EAST_ group and the original parking-lot _WEST_ group to which group is setting up their tents where?

And to clarify more, which of the two original groups is the benificiary of the TV commercials mentioning days and times for TRINITY, NORTH-PARK, and DOWNTOWN BETTENDORF?

 
At 5/03/2008 7:51 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

What is the question, exactly?

The leadership of both of the groups that used to be downtown have moved to Northpark, and there's a new market downtown. The new market has a mix of both of the old markets, and new vendors.

 
At 5/04/2008 9:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trust me, the vendors all understand the confusion this is causing people. Please remember that THEY have no control over how this split has come about. The vendors just want to offer their products to their customers. Period. When this location change came about, they all had to make a decision: Stay with their original market entities and move to Northpark, or stay downtown and create a "new" group made up mostly of vendors from both of the previous groups that wanted to stay in the downtown location. The media likes to make it more dramatic than it really was. For all vendors, it was a business decision. There's a business risk involved in whatever decision was made. Truly, there are MORE than enough customers in the Quad Cities to fully support either location, and I hope all vendors find this season successful. We've all been working together for years, and consider the other market vendors as friends - no matter which market they've chosen. There's really not the animosity among vendors that the media keeps assuming and implying there is. I am unsure of the rules of the Northpark market/s, but downtown, signage is required to show customers where their product originates from. Last year, the west side allowed "shipped-in" produce and the east side did not. This year, the vendors from both sides that decided to remain downtown will be vending together as one entity. Hope that makes it a little bit clearer.

 
At 5/04/2008 9:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Forgot to address the question about the commercial...
It represents the MVGA, one of the two entities that has relocated to Northpark. I noticed however, that it included some images from years past and show products sold by vendors that have chosen to remain downtown this year. I suggest, if you are looking for a particular vendor, you either visit both locations to find them, or if you know the vendor's name or their business name, you try contacting them directly to ask where to find them. I don't know a single vendor who wouldn't be flattered to know that they had customers specifically seeking them out. As you might imagine, that kind of feedback can really keep vendors going - especially on cold, rainy, windy days. :)

 
At 5/04/2008 10:39 AM, Blogger Mr Ed said...

I am grateful to all that made our opening day a very damp success, and to clear up confussion on vendor downtown, uptown and where ever they may be. The two entities that moved to the mall MVGA and the River City market both in their own way llowed comercial vending. One did it openly and the other did it with a blind eye. Both had local produce and vendors. The biggest difference is that the mvga made sure that all of their vendors carried insurance to protect vendors and consumers alike and the River City market picked and chose whom they required to carry insurance, they used it as a tool to get rid of vendors that did not agree with their tactics. Also River City only made vendors of their choosing label products as comercial, again depending on where you ranked in the market and if you just kept your mouth shut. ( I know I have been vending in both of these markets). Now both of these groups have moved due to a difference of politics amongst their vendorship that wanted a say in how their markets were run, which that did not allow before, they had small board that made decisions and just told vendors how it was. Well, both of these groups still opperate the same at the mall, seperate but together against their own vendors whom have chosen to stay on the Down Town river front and try to work together in an open and transparent way with the city, other business and organizations and their own vendor memebership and yes, you our very important consumer. All of our opinions count and that is the most important issue. Yes we all have pretty much the same types of products you just have to be informed by sinage and by talking with us so that you can make the most informed decision possible. The choice is always yours. Thanks for listening to my ramblings.

 
At 5/04/2008 11:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What happened to QCMIKE? It seems as if he has fallen off his soap box? Too funny, I am never far from mine!

 
At 5/04/2008 1:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So what was the final deal breaker for the split? Was it the 'point of origin' signage or what? Was it a cost issue with increased proof of insurance or booth rates?
Seems like no one is actually saying anything.
I'm wondering how someone can pin this on Craig Malin.

 
At 5/04/2008 1:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

lol, no it's not malin's fault! i wish it were cuz everyone would be over it already!
it was simply the fact that the gals that ran the markets refused to comply with a simple request from the LIC (levee improvement commision) to unify their vendors into one area and keep the parking on the perimeter, making for a safer situation. NUMEROUS vendors from these two organizations and their customers had been asking for this for years! We have seen too many near misses, fender benders, and felt it was just a matter of time before someone really got hurt. they apparently felt threatened by the request to work together to make this happen then moved to the Mall where they feel they can control their markets in the fashion that they are comfortable with. that was their CHOICE. no one forced them to move. no one forced them to "landlock" themselves. i only use this term because i keep hearing it in the media. the LIC only asked that all vendors be in one area and all parking be in another and even gave them 30% more space to boot! I attended EVERY single LIC meeting regarding this and saw what took place. I am not distorting the facts, simply reporting them to you. You must know that the vendors that stayed downtown are pleased to do so for they finally have a voice in how their market is run and will be running it themselves before long. Many vendors, including myself, are working around the clock to insure the public has a strong, unified public market to be proud of, regardless of what is happening at the Mall.

 
At 5/04/2008 4:39 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

I think that people like QCMike getting on the news websites and denigrating the downtown market is one of the main reasons people have this image of animosity. In the other direction, its fairly clear that many of the vendors downtown were not big fans of the leadership of the previous markets, even if they get along with the rank and file members.

 
At 5/04/2008 5:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What was the final deal breaker for the split, you ask? Actually, I have no idea, and I'm a vendor. Honestly, I don't really care. I've heard a lot of rumors, but without firsthand knowledge of the situation, it goes in one ear and out the other. I just wanted to sell my stuff at the market, and chose to stay out of whatever was going on. Life brings me enough unwanted drama, so I sure don't go looking for more. :) Later I was contacted and told I had a choice to make. Move to Northpark or stay downtown, and the money I had already paid would be fairly and fully refunded. I chose downtown for a number of reasons that were entirely based on what I think is best for my business. I know nothing of the people who are/were in charge of MVGA and River City, so it wasn't personal for me. My money has been refunded as promised, and I look forward to getting back to market business the rest of the season, because I love this job! :)

 
At 5/05/2008 8:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shelly would you mind shareing with the rest of us who has the best drugs.

 
At 5/05/2008 9:04 AM, Blogger pioneer98 said...

9:19 - To say the media has overblown the animosity is a bit misleading. I've read numerous comments with animosity toward Steve Ahrens in particular.

Fixing the traffic situation at the market was almost a must. Safety is far more important than whether or not a vegetable is commercial or local. Mr. Ahrens was just the messenger. It's sad that some of the vendors couldn't/wouldn't grasp this, and chose to take it out on Mr. Ahrens.

By choosing to have the market on the same days as the downtown market, the Northpark folks are clearly hoping to "beat" the downtown market. It might have been better for both groups if they had chose to hold theirs on different days. How neat would it be to say Davenport has a farmer's markets 4 days per week? It would be much easier for the same customers could go to both markets, too.

Adding 2 more days of markets truly would have been an addition to our market scene. But nope, it was more important to try to compete with the downtown folks head-to-head.

 
At 5/05/2008 9:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pioneer. How many Saturdays are there in a week. Duh. Mind using your head for a change. Lets see. Should we should move the Freight House Market to Monday and Thursday?

 
At 5/05/2008 10:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ALL the ugly is coming from one direction! Steve Ahrens did nothing wrong folks, he only helped to ensure a decent and safe place for vendors to do their business with YOU, the consumer!
This was just viewed as too much control for those NorthPark gals to let go of. That is it. No more-
no less.

 
At 5/05/2008 11:46 AM, Blogger pioneer98 said...

Mason City, IA has 3 different farmer's markets, none of which are on Saturdays. They have some overlap, so they have at least one market open on Mondays and Tuesdays, and all three are open on Fridays.

I would think Davenport and the QC's would have no problem supporting some setup like this if Mason City can support 3.

 
At 5/05/2008 12:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pioneer,
Market Schedule in SCOTT COUNTY
Monday: Bettendorf Trinity
Wednesday: Freight House
Northpark
Thursday: Bettendorf Downtown
Blue Grass
Saturday: Freight House
Northpark
Davenport and Bettendorf already offer you four days of Market.

If you want to shop on the ILLINOIS side of the river:
Rock Island County Market Schedule:
Wednesdays: East Moline
Milan
Saturdays: East Moline
Trinity-7th Street
Lots of options for the consumer, but remember folks, the grower's do need a few days to actually tend to the business of growing the stuff to offer for sale! Oh yeah, there is also the West Kimberly Market, but I'm not sure what days they operate.

 
At 5/05/2008 12:52 PM, Blogger pioneer98 said...

Population of Cerro Gordo County (where Mason City is): 44,384

Combined population of Scott County & Rock Island County: 311,995

All are 2006 estimates.

 
At 5/05/2008 3:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So whats the deal with smacking Shelly around? The gal is providing decent comments and some anonymous smuck takes cheap shots?

Get a life

 
At 5/10/2008 10:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The downtown market does not have a very good selection. Hardly inspiring. I would not recommend going out of your way to get there.

 
At 5/10/2008 3:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i know, with only 70 vendors, it has so little to offer the public!
come on, get real!
i was there today and couldn't believe the selection!
i can't wait until the local produce becomes more abundant then it will really be great!
life is too short for all the fibs floating about!
wednesday was kind of shabby, though, unfortunately a lot of farm families have had to subsidize their farm incomes with other jobs and they are working during the week, but local produce and dryer, warmer weather will hugely impact the number of vendors participating!

 

Post a Comment

<< Home