Farmer's Market Prospects in Doubt
Organizer has a lot fewer applications than needed for weekend venture
Rodney Shaia is hopeful he’ll be able to bring a Farmer’s Market to the Mayfield Heights area this summer, but if the early application numbers can be measured like taking stock in your crops, the forecast for this season’s harvest is in some doubt.
Shaia said he needs about 20 vendors for the market which is scheduled to begin July 7 on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon on the west end of Marsol Rd. in the parking lot by the ballparks.
So far, Shaia has received less than 10 applications.
“We’ve got a few vendors signed up, but we’re having a hard time getting enough produce vendors. And that’s the main ones. We want produce vendors more than anything else,” Shaia said. “We’re still working on it. We haven’t given up yet.”
In late April, city council approved two measures that opened the door for the outdoor market that mirrors the kind of weekly local shopping seen in Shaker Square, Hudson and Geauga County.
Despite getting approval at the time, Shaia was concerned there wouldn’t be enough time to get the market up and running for the summer. Shaia, who is a resident of Lyndhurst, stresses this wasn’t anyone’s fault, just the circumstances of the business.
“A lot these farmers don’t have the manpower to go to more than one or two farmer’s markets a week and they’re always on the same date. It’s always on a Saturday. They’re already committed ahead of time on other markets, so that’s the problem.”
Shaia, whose 35 years of business experience includes work at the Northern Ohio Food Terminal, believes the late start hampered things, but he’s still pushing ahead in hopes of getting ready just after the Fourth of July holiday. Shaia is still receiving calls from sellers looking to join up.
“As of now, we’re not positive. It might take another year,” Shaia said. “We’re approved and all ready to go. It’s just a matter of getting some more commitments from some of these vendors.”