Glendale News-Press: Downtown Glendale Farmers Market to Relaunch May 7

Glendale News-Press: Downtown Glendale Farmers Market to Relaunch May 7

Market to reopen on Brand Boulevard after an almost six-month hiatus.

By Arin Mikailian,

Downtown Glendale’s farmers market will be relaunching on Brand Boulevard May 7 after a nearly six-month hiatus triggered by low turnout when the weekly event was held in a church parking lot a block away from the popular thoroughfare.

The market will again be open every Thursday, but this time, it will span Brand between California and Wilson avenues, said Tim Gallagher, spokesman for the Downtown Glendale Assn., which oversees the market.

Another change will be shifting the hours from a morning schedule to afternoon — 3 to 7 p.m. — in order to potentially draw in a new group of customers, Gallagher said.

“Our hope now is by starting later in the afternoon, you can grab people who are getting off work at the end of the day,” he said.

The farmers market for many years was held on the east side of Brand between Wilson and Broadway, but was moved early last year to the parking lot of the First Baptist Church on Maryland Avenue, a larger space the association hoped would house more merchants.

Despite many fliers and community outreach, though, the relocated market couldn’t draw in the number of patrons market organizers had anticipated. Every week, the market made about $4,000 to $5,000 in vendor fees for the association.

However, Gallagher said, the goal of the farmers market was never to generate revenue, but to draw more people to the downtown area.

Philip Lanzafame, the city’s economic development director, said the move back to Brand is expected to generate more exposure and it’s something business owners on the western stretch of Brand have asked for as a means to boost foot traffic.

“If you have somebody in an office building that’s now coming to Brand to purchase their vegetables for the weekend and happen to see a bistro or a little restaurant boutique that they go to, then [the farmers market] has done its job,” he said.

All of the metered street parking on the west side of Brand between Wilson and California will be reserved for the vendors during the market’s operating hours. Visitors can park for free for 90 minutes without validation inside the Orange Street parking garage, Lanzafame said.

There will be about 30 vendors for the time being selling fruits, vegetables and other wares.

Raw Inspiration will be the new farmers market manager and it oversees two dozen locations throughout Los Angeles and Orange counties, according to its website.

A representative from Raw Inspiration wasn’t available for comment on Tuesday. According to the company’s website, its contracted vendors deal in fruits, vegetables and handmade crafts.

A portion of the revamped farmers market will pour into Chess Park, an alleyway converted into a public seating area.

Gallagher said the small concrete park will be a space for vendors that sell prepared food and to feature live music every week.

“It’s going to be lighter music. It’s not going to be a rock band or anything like that,” he said. “It’ll really be more of a place to relax.”

Source: Glendale News-Press