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Archive for Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Farmers’ Market to launch ‘soft’ opening Saturday

April 8, 2009

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You might not see a lot of hubbub around town about it, but if you show up Saturday morning at the public parking lot on New Hampshire between Eighth and Ninth streets you’ll stumble upon the Lawrence Farmers’ Market.

Why so hush-hush?

The market vendors voted during their annual meeting to do a sort of soft opening to the 2009 season — beginning the season April 11 but saving the big promotional push for somewhat of a “grand opening” May 2, says market coordinator Tom Buller.

“What we’re doing is we’re kind of doing a two-phase starting,” Buller says. “So basically, between April 11 and May 2, it’s just Saturday markets and we’re not going to be doing a whole lot of promotion or anything. ... We’re trying to do a bigger promotion for May 2 to get the market kind of kicked off, and that’s when the Tuesday and Thursday markets will start.”

Buller says that from what he understands about the meeting — he became market coordinator after the vote — the decision was based on the fewer items the market carries at the beginning of the season. Rather than disappoint new customers looking for a bounty of fresh produce that hasn’t yet ripened in Northeastern Kansas, the market vendors decided to use their promotional muscle a few weeks into the season.

But even though Saturday’s opening will be without the bells and whistles of May, market-goers can still expect vendors with products ranging from meat to breads, from lotions to crafts and a small selection of produce.

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