Thursday, July 12, 2012

Food Trucks and Farmers Markets

Maybe it's the invading hordes from NoHo we have to watch out for...

You just never know who or what you're going to see at Wednesday's Food Truck Night. I stumbled right into private negotiations between Century 21's owner Ray and NoHo's farmers market manager Eddie for Eddie to set up a farmer's market for Ray on Food Truck Night. According to Eddie, Ray wants a farmers market in his shopping mall on Food Truck Night but "no merchandise vendors; Ray wants only produce vendors because they will make him money". (Farmers Market vendors pay 10% of their profits to the market owner while merchandise vendors only pay a set fee of $25. A farmers market on Food Truck Night will "rake it in" and pay 10% of a lot of $$$.)

Eddie could barely contain himself as he trumpeted that he has "a big 'in' with the Chamber President, what's her name? Oh yeah, Sonia... it's a sure thing." He assured me: "No, no one ran this by anybody, we don't need to, Sonia said its ok." Well he would know the value of keeping a simple "deal" quiet, our Eddie would.

Last year Eddie told me he and his partner loaned their market manager thousands of dollars. There's no explanation for this windfall since the managers were on unemployment when they were not working for the entertainment industry (or the market) at the time. Oddly the monies they were given for the market somehow fell short of the projected goal for their community supported market at that same time and they were unable to buy the advertising banner, pay the markets phone bill, send out advertising postcards, and meet other promised financial goals.

But everyone deserves another chance... at another community's expense. After all Sonia and Tomi Lyn persuaded the Sunland Tujunga Neighborhood Council to support farmers market manager "Manny" last year by upgrading the appearance of Century 21's entire business complex with new paint, awnings, etc. "for the community farmers market". Then they were taken by surprise when a poster on the Foothills Forum informed them "their" farmers market manager had moved the market from the (upgraded) site to his church. Well they are probably rationalizing now that another farmers market makes use of the upgrades and fits in profitably with their Food Truck Night. Right? Everybody's making a buck; well not the brick and mortar stores. If only the assurances were true...

...Tell me again how it's all about community.

No comments: