Okay, okay, the title is a bit harsh. But hear us out, first. The following discussion is about an extreme case experienced at one of our usual markets. Disclaimer: This does NOT happen every market, but to be honest little stuff like this does pop up often enough that we wanted to discuss it, for comedic relief if anything.
The Gist: The mall administration/ management that hosts the farmers’ market every Wednesday came out during the market hours (one of the first times they have done this) and began kicking out certain vendors because they did not have the required applications on file, which was a violation of their insurance policy. We have been coming and selling at this market since the middle of October, so about 6 to 6 and half months, and this was the first time hearing of this policy.
Laurie: My first gripe to this was, why didn’t you tell us the week prior that these vendor applications needed to be filled out 48 hours prior? because all you told me the week before was that my name was not on a list, and I needed an application. My second gripe, this was all avoidable. They told me that Allison* (the market manager- not affiliated with the mall administration/management) had known this since last November, but has yet to tell any of the vendors. So why is it, that the vendors are paying for the mistake of Allison? But I was going to be a rebel and stay, so I filled out the application on-site, turned it in and continued to sell cookies. I was already set up. I have already driven 45 minutes to get here, and then add the 30 minutes it takes to set up and be ready. All of that was done- plus I had a full inventory of cookies ready to be sold. I was not leaving.
Haley: Welllllll, my first notification of this whole process was through a phone call of a frantic mother asking for the web address for our website because she “had to fill out a stupid application”. Then after a little bit of prying (not much because she was so ready to talk about it) I found out the details that Allison had not filed paperwork for any of the vendors, and this was the week that the management decided to come down and lower the boom on all those non-compliant (yet unknowingly non-compliant) vendors. So, while not being there I could see that this was not the fault of my mom, nor was it the management. But it wasn’t fair, in my outside opinion, that the management was taking it out on the vendors. I think it is also difficult for the management to see how hard it is for vendors- especially those who make this a livelihood, and aren’t just here for kicks and giggles. We are trying to build a business here.
Laurie: (laughter… more giggles). Deep breath. I thought to myself, I’m already set up, not to mention all the perishable product that is now displayed – so if they aren’t going to physically remove me, I will continue to sell on. This is currently my livelihood!
Haley: Right?! But seriously, this small business has really changed you, mom…. I don’t know who you are.
Laurie: Sometimes you just have to fight for it.
Long story short, we kept the tent up and kept on selling. Others left and didn’t sell- but we stuck around. Who knows what is going to happen next.
To be continued….
*name has been changed