Starting October 1st, 2015, the North Shattuck Farmers’ Market will be operating from a new location, occupying the frontage road that runs alongside CVS Pharmacy and continues into the parking lot of businesses just south of CVS. The market will feature the same array of farmers and vendors, and will take place at the same time. “I think the (farmers’ market) move will be smooth, and that people will move right on over with it,” predicts Tim Mueller of Riverdog Farm. “Parking may be a little bit easier, it will tie in with the restaurants better, and it will go off without a hitch!”
The market’s relocation positions the farmers’ market at the doorstep of east-side Shattuck businesses, including Coldwell Banker, Books Inc, The Shop, Soulmates, Saul’s Deli, Masse’s Pastries, Bing Wong Cleaners, and Toyo Japanese Restaurant. “We are excited for the market to start in its new location,” says Paul Masse of Masse’s Pastries. “We are looking forward to the crowds the market will bring.”
“Maintaining good relationships with these businesses is a priority for us,” says Ben Feldman, Ecology Center Director of Food and Farming. “The market’s longevity depends on neighboring businesses viewing the market as an asset.” To that end, the Ecology Center is working with the adjacent businesses to develop coordinated marketing materials and to encourage market shoppers to patronize neighboring businesses on the same day that they shop the market. “By bundling errands, farmers’ market shoppers can do their laundry, banking, and have dinner with friends, all in one delightful afternoon,” says Feldman.
The farmers’ market move is being prompted by City of Berkeley staff, who cite “ADA, retail impact or related safety and liability issues” as the reasons why the farmers’ market can no longer exist at the same location it has occupied for over a decade.
“Most people are not aware of the logistics that go into staging a successful farmers’ market,” says Farmers’ Market Manager Martin Johnson. “We have been working for many months to create a layout that balances the needs of farmers, vendors, neighboring businesses, the City, and shoppers, including those with disabilities.”
“The North Shattuck Farmers’ Market has become an iconic North Berkeley destination, much like Chez Panisse,” says Johnson, who was the Floor Manager at Chez Panisse for 10 years before joining the Ecology Center. “The quality of food is top-notch, the customers loyal. Our challenge is to make the farmers’ market experience the best we can, within the new parameters.”