Wednesday, June 06, 2007

So what's the big deal?

I am a little curious as to why the downtown Saturday-only farmers' market is getting so much hype. Prominent chefs and restauranteurs are touting it, it's all over the news, they're on the local morning shows.

And all this for doing about the same thing that the Agri-Center farmers' market has been doing SIX DAYS A WEEK for as long as I can remember. Granted, week days at the Agri-Center aren't as exciting as Saturdays are, but the farmers and growers are there. And on Saturday, there are the herb lady, the flower man, the meat man, the Amish with their canned goods, bakery products, and lots of small farmers selling out of the back of their pick-up trucks.

I just don't get it.

7 comments:

Gregg said...

99% of everything downtown is local, plus it's a very vibrant community of people. They are reaching a segment of Memphis that can't or won't make the 30 minute drive to the Agricenter. They also have good PR and are diligent about getting in front of the newpaper and TV people (most of whom are based in Midtown or Downtown).

The product is fantastic as well. I don't know if they have counterparts at the Agricenter (it's been a few years since i've made the drive), but the Arugula guy from Holly Springs and the goat cheese guy from a bit east of here have tremendous local products. Keith from Whitten Arkansas has a a great selection of really tasty vegetables and beautiful flowers. Granted, all this may be replicated out east on Saturday mornings. It's an event for our family to get Downtown, grab a bite, watch the trolleys and hit a couple of other stores. Our 3yr old and 1 yr old love it and look forward to it every Saturday.

There's also chef demonstrations, kids activities, a small cafe and music.

I know the Neola beef man sells at both locations, but he is doing REALLY well Downtown. He's even stocking his product at Cafe Francisco downtown due to the demand.

I would love to see someone hype the Agricenter market so I know what I'm missing...

Gregg

Big Mike said...

Alyce,

You know anything downtown or midtown has to be better than the devils of east memphis have!!! I love the agricenter and am glad I live close... At least no one every asks me for a dollar when I am there unless it is to pay for something I am buying!!

gsmith said...

Oh and I forgot...no one with attitudes like Big Mike.

Have you been Alyce? Or you, "big" Mike?

citykitchen said...

Downtown rocks over agricenter because there are many organic farmers selling produce,heirloom tomato plants, honey, local cheese, etc. Specifically, Bennett Farms and Downing Hollow Farm (she sells the best salad greens outside of california).

Alyce said...

I must admit I haven't been down this year. In all fairness, I went early last summer, probably before it picked up a lot of steam. I was more impressed with the activities (chef demos, live music, craft demos, etc) than the wares available.

It's such a LONG way down for me so early in the morning! I'll give it a shot in the next few weeks so I can be more objective!

Skeeter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
big mike said...

Gsmith, I must apologize for the attitude. I work with a large group of mid towners and nothing the other side of Parkway is worth burning down according to them. I must not rush to judge all of the group or things offered inside the loop. I have been to the Farmers Market downtown and numerous other things Spindini’s , the grizzly’s, the Peabody just to name a few. More than most mid towners have been east, I would venture to say. Like River Oaks, Equestria, Erlings. Let’s not turn this into a deal. I have said I am sorry for the “tude” and will acknowledge many thing good about mid and down town. But I still prefer the agricenter market for convenience.