Dear Eleanore Turkington::
I know that this is not the typical Traffic and Trash gripe you receive, but it is indeed a gripe, so it seems that you ae the proper recipient of this complaint.
As you know, this year, the powers that be chose to move the Farmers’ Market from its less than its knowingly spot on the Green to the shoreline. This seemed to be a positive move, especially since the two actual farmers were joined by many crafters and vendors (on the Green there has really been two and sporadically a food vendor.) Of course, the new location had a lot of time to really get going, but it seemed as if with some publicity and word of mouth it would be more successful than its previous literation.
Imagine my surprise when I made a visit mid-season and found that very few tents were left.
At some point after the market had been there for a few weeks, the Health Department appeared and, evidently, chased off the food trucks and bakers (the olive oil vendor obviously had prepackaged items, but I don’t know if he come back since).
Now, obviously, the food trucks are inspected and certified independently and should not be in violation of health codes. I also know that those who set up the market obviously followed health rules, even rather esoteric, bad, counterintuitive, ones (e.g. a woman who sold candles and soaps wasn’t allowed to sell her hand lotions as they were considered a “health product”). As far as Wave Hill Breads, they sell the bread (uncovered) the same way in their literally open-door Norwalk bakery and there at least 15 other state farmers markets at which they sell, I presume the same way as here, with, it would appear, no municipal health objections.
So, it seems as if we have another example of one city entity working to get something positive going and another city pulling it down. It seems suspicious that this came up midseason and that all or almost all of the food vendors were affected (and while I am not sure it seems that the Health Department may not have shown up at the Green when the market was there to check out the baked potato vendor). Obviously, the Health Department received a complaint or complaints, perhaps from the small contingent who never wanted the market moved from the Green. Subsequently the food sellers didn’t simply remedy the “violations,” which raised another set of questions.
Losing the food vendors took away much of the momentum the market was trying to establish and foresaw the loss of other vendors, who found it economically unfeasible to continue their tenure here.
I would like to know exactly what happened for this to transpire. I couldn’t get information from the city.
Meanwhile I am hoping that the city will support what remains of the market and make its voice known that this was a positive for the city. It was there until the end of October.
“Missing That Olive Bread”
I directed your question on the removal of vendors from the Farmer’s Market on the Green. to West Haven Health Director Maureen B. Lillis who replied, “The Health Department only permits food vendors. We have nothing to do with where they set up.”
Following this reply, I heard from Michael Walsh,, City of West Haven Public Relations Information Coordinator. “This question has already been answered by Health Director Maureen Lillis and has nothing to do with the Health Department. For the information you are requesting, please call Killian Gruber or the mayor’s office.
Readers, I continued to search for an informative reply, so I contacted Killian Gruber, Oct. 12, asking what happened to the vendors during the Farmers Market on the Green and any helpful details to this question.
As of Oct. 28, I had not received a reply. Gripe Vine welcomes any input on my reader’s inquiries.
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Coming up…Greta Street Pot Holes…crumbling asphalt on Hillcrest Avenue……senior center inquiries……cats on Valleybrook Road…Ward Heitman House questions….Robo Calls ..face masks at the Senior Center…vehicle blocking sidewalk at Peck and William and much more.
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