Many farmers' markets fail. Success depends on many factors: the dedication of vendors to show up every week to build consumer confidence; a community that wants fresh, locally grown food and is willing to fit the market hours into their shopping habits and schedules; support of local media; and a fantastic location.
Many farmers' markets are given space for free by local businesses. And many of these local businesses are actually national chains owned and/or managed by local business people. I find this to be a wonderful balance of goods and services for our communities.
In our area, two national franchise chains support our efforts to have farmers' markets. In Bucyrus, Sears allows Lil' Farmers' Market to set up in their parking lot on Saturday mornings. In Galion, KFC supports NorthSide Farmers Market by providing both the large grassy area in front of the store for vendors plus their large parking lot for customers.
It is heartening to know that the franchise owners of these corporate businesses realize the value of supporting the 'little guy'. I am grateful to them, but do they know it?
So, here's an idea....if you shop at a farmers' market that is supported by a business, how about taking time to pop in the front door to say 'thank you', or if you have time, send them a thank-you note? After all, the owners and managers of these places are people, too. And who doesn't appreciate a pat on the back once in a while instead of the usual complaints?
I know I do!