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Business Members to Discuss Farmer's Market Cancellation

Merchant Meeting postponed due to holiday

While the Downtown Dixon Business Association Vice President cited lack of participation for the decision to cancel the Saturday morning Farmer's Market, some new ideas will be brought to the table by young board member Devon Minnema on attracting more vendors and re-opening it.

Minnema, who was depending on the market for a summer job, planted one acre of bell peppers, tomatoes, chili peppers, wheat, corn, cucumbers, zucchini, squash, and green beans. He also had been spending evenings grinding locally grown wheat into flour to sell when his father called to tell him that he had read in a local paper that the event had been cancelled. Although he had been a vendor for the past two years, he was not notified and was the sole vendor at the Women's Improvement Club Park last Saturday. 

"I sold out of almost everything," he said. " But, I was the only one there."

"I'm disappointed the market was cancelled and I felt it needed more time," said Minnema. "Most farmers are just now getting their first yields. Farmers are having to find new ways to market their goods such as Twitter, which I use to tell people where I will be selling my goods." Minnema's Twitter handle is @DixonVeggieCart.

Ted Maciel and Suzanne Lorente, singers at last year's markets, also have offered to perform free of charge if the market returns.

The DDBA has approximately 70 members and not just in the downtown core. Many larger companies and even some in the surrounding areas pledge their support to revitalize downtown as the cultural center of Dixon.

Due to Independence Day, the regularly scheduled meeting was postponed to Thursday, July 12, at 8:30 am. Nominations for Board positions will also happen at the next meeting. Jill Orr is the current President and is ending her tenth year.

The meeting will be held at Nana and Company Children's Boutique at 141 N. First Street. For more information, contact Ana Tejeda at the DDBA office: (707) 678-8400.

suzanne cook July 06, 2012 at 04:50 PM
Why could he not get the proper permit and allow him in the park, being he sold very well...I say let the market continue, do not understand the problem with people, go to walmart and you pay lots for crap! Competition is keen wit surrounding us are farmers markets...I wish Devon luck...here is a young man trying to make some money!
Gary Erwin July 06, 2012 at 06:38 PM
The Farmers Market paid for the liability insurance, was responsible to make sure that the crops were being sold by Farmers/Producers, checked County Ag inspection paperwork etc. They also took on the responsibility of advertising, setting up, removing, cleaning up, booking entertainment etc. It is no simple task..it was a real labor of love and duty to the DDBA and the local businesses. The majority of Dixon residents want inexpensive food. They are not lured in by the thought of the actual farmer selling his goods, farm to fork so to speak. Yes there are some willing to pay for that connection and helpful in their support but not in the quantities needed for a healthy market. Example, I can spend two days and sell one years production of Honey at one market location and at Dixon not sell the same amount during the whole summer. When time is money and every day at the market edges your profits down where do you sell? You sell where you get the biggest bang for the buck. Again the Dixon Farmers Market really is best for the Hobby Farmer or FFA Farmers. They have lower overhead, more free time and it helps them build market experience.
Debra Dingman July 06, 2012 at 07:50 PM
Very excellent points, Gary, and exactly what Devon said, too. But, maybe the market could have continued to include different vendors and entertainment. Suzie did a great job bringing in fresh cut flowers and unique grocery baskets but was more of a one-woman show. The work might be easier if it were spread out among others. When the DDBA did the market on a Thursday evening, it provided entertainment for a lot of folks and was so much more successful. There are just some other options to look at for our unique community.
Marda Henry July 07, 2012 at 05:17 AM
I think Thursday is a better day. So many of the vendors are at the Davis, Winters, Vacaville Farmers Markets. These vendors can't do both. Check out those markets and see what farmers are selling there.
Marilyn Keller July 08, 2012 at 01:34 AM
I went to first advertised one...day of May Fair parade...BUT no market. Went to following week as advertised...AGAIN no market. Went to advertised opening (finally!!!)...only a few vendors and only one doing fruit and veggies. Throughout June no improvement and June 30th no market! Whoever was responsible for organizing and advertising this event should be fired. Last year's turnout was also very poor. You need to go back to Thursday evenings. Saturday is a bad day...one reason because surrounding communities have bigger and better markets at that time. Thursday is unique and they were very successful.

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