In my old city is an old shed market that is constantly undergoing its own trials and tribulations. It is the very heart of our city, being the spot that Native Americans traded their wares and the French built the city around. However, in my lifetime it has become a set of buildings without a plan.
The link leads to a letter to the editor of our local paper and it and the ensuing comments are important to note as they come from some of the vendors. I am not sure the entire story is being told in this letter- well, let’s say it is not, nor did the letter writer expect to cover 250 years of history in it.
I will add that as a farmers market organizer I ran a weekday open-air market in this place as a favor to this corporation and its history as our market heritage, and one of the only things I was glad of post-September 2005, was that my organization could rethink that decision before reopening. We did not reopen that market- it was the only one that we ultimately did not and had more to do with resources and new management unknown to us, then the potential of the place. But, it was a difficult place to run an entrepreneurial market, and this is from someone who ran 3 others weekly and another holiday market every December.
There are many ideas that could work here, but none of them (in my mind) start with reducing the vendors without a strong plan to reinvent the base. I still am not sure the management know who their target audience is and how to reach them. I am not sure they even know how to find their target vendors or how to work with existing vendors to maximize their hard work and the market’s investment.
In short, even though I study markets daily, I am not sure of anything when it comes to the French Market.