15 July 2011

Bellevue Market at Party Source

After last week's blog post complaining about Findlay Market raising prices for the farmer shed, I had to visit the place several of the displaced farmers have moved to: the Bellevue Farmer's Market in the parking lot of The Party Source. First off let me say that whoever owns The Party Source is a genius. They have a prime location right across the river from Cincinnati, right at the exit to 471 and they have a well run store with a wide selection at good prices. Every time I visit, they seem extremely busy. Try going there on a holiday weekend, or almost any day in December, and the place is packed.

But the area is bland. The Eat at Joes across the street is ugly, heck everything across the street is ugly, the Justin Scott Memorial Hwy is wide and ugly, and the traffic pattern is becoming more and more congested and unpleasant. Is a place like this a good place for a farmer's market?

Well maybe. It didn't seem so busy, and the farmers all had lots of stuff left to sell at early afternoon. Talking with a couple of them revealed that they had much better sales at Findlay Market. The problem with Findlay they say is that the smaller farmer's could no longer afford $300 to setup at Findlay. Yes, the larger farmer can. For example, Backyard Orchards is setting up at both Findlay Market and Bellevue. He can do this because he has a unique product and lots of it, plus he has a son who can watch the second stand. But the smaller sellers, including Turner Farms and 3 or 4 others have moved to Bellevue. The produce diversity at Findlay Market has suffered as a result IMO.

There were some crafty types selling stuff here too, but the produce selection was pretty good. It just didn't seem like the farmers had enough shoppers.

overview of setup

Ugly road

apples and peaches

string beans and garlic measurer at Turner Farm stand



Billy Wayne said...

Just got back from buying meat and fish at Findlay. Seemed busier than usual for a Friday. No farmers of course today, but noticed a booth on Elder for Dianetics! What next?

The Magpie said...

My husband and I love the Bellevue Farmer's Market. We visit just about every Saturday to stock up on fresh goods. We live in Northern Kentucky, so this is a little closer than Findlay (even though we enjoy Findlay as well).

Jim Uber said...

I don't understand why a group of 2-3 smaller farmers, with less produce, don't just form a consortium and sell their combined produce at Findlay.

They'd only have to keep track of what was sold, which should be pretty easy from an inventory, and then share the cash at the end of the day. Plus, they get the bonus of having a day off every now and then, allowing their partners to take the wheel.

The fact they didn't do something so obvious suggests they are really just sort of POd at Findlay, as opposed to thinking clearly about how to sell the most produce for the most money.

CityKin said...

^why are they PO'd? Seems like the farmer's shed was mismanaged. I hear they have a new manager of the farmers ...maybe she can smooth out some of the bad feelings.

Anonymous said...

It is actually only $200 to set-up at Findlay Market for Saturday and that also gets you Sunday and Tuesday. If Saturday is a no go, then a farmer can set-up for $100 for Sunday and Tuesday.