Down to Earth Farmers Markets, the group that runs the market in Croton, is looking to work out a new arrangement with the village by early next month in order to prepare for this year’s market season. The market was located off Route 9 exit, at the lot on Municipal Place, last year.
The company, based in Ossining and formerly known as Community Markets, is looking to change the location of the Croton farmers market and work out a more favorable rent agreement with village officials. Organizers are hopeful that the changes will help the market adopt to the unfavorable economic conditions it has faced the past few years
Daily shopper attendance has gone down by 39 percent, from 498 to 304 shoppers, since the company began operating the market in 2009. The average attendance needs to be closer to 500 in order for the market to be viable, the group said in a proposal submitted to the village earlier this month.
The amount of vendors at the market also declined to six last year.
“The market is very minimal right now in terms of what it is bringing in to the vendors as well as our company,” Frankie Rowland, Down to Earth’s marketing director, said during the Feb. 19 village board meeting.
In its proposal, Down to Earth suggested it pay the village a percentage of the income it receives from vendors each market day, instead of the $75 it has paid in past years. That equal out to about $50 based on the amount of vendors who attended the market last year.
The company also presented the following options for the location and hours of operation for the market:
- Municipal Place; Fridays; from 1:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
- Municipal Place; Sundays; from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Upper Village Street; Sundays; 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Rowland said those locations and times were picked based on input that it received during public community session that where held in December. She said Sunday morning would be the most preferable time.
The proposal also requested that the village help with marketing through bulletins, email blasts and any other forms of communication.
Board membera suggested that the farmer’s market simply request that the village lower its daily fee to $50 a day as a way simplifying the process.
Deputy Mayor Ann Gallelli said if that the village already announces the opening and closing of the farmers market for the season in its newsletter. She wondered what more could be done.
Rowland said village employee wouldn’t be asked to take on additional man-hours. She suggested a relationship similar to the one Ossining where farmers market events are including as part of weekly email newsletter.
The village board said that it would consider Down to Earth’s requests and provide a response by early-March.