Devon Community Market, RIP

There’s a meeting scheduled for October 21 to discuss planning the 2016 Devon Community Market. It’s been a failure for the past three years, and is past the point where any fixes would help. The best solution is to scrap it and create the true Farmers Market the neighborhood wants.

Everything about the Market’s current incarnation is wrong: the concept, the name, and the location.

It’s an affront to the residents of West Ridge, who have been vocal in their demand for a true farmers market, and have shown their distaste for the Devon Community Market by shunning it.

It’s unfair to the vendors, who discover that there are no customers and therefore no money to be made. Many show up once and never return, and a good number of them migrate to true farmers markets in other neighborhoods where they are successful. The word is out: The Devon Community Market is bad for vendors, and that makes recruitment harder.

Other diverse neighborhoods enthusiastically support farmers markets, in Rogers Park, Edgewater, and Andersonville, for example. Why should West Ridge be any different? The Devon Community Market was designed to support local merchants on Devon, virtually none of whom have supported the Market in return (exceptions being Ted’s Market in 2013 and Europrint Imports [cell phones] in 2015).

My next few posts will detail both problems and potential solutions for a true farmers market in West Ridge.

The meeting is scheduled for Devon Bank on October 21 at 6:30 p.m. It’s sponsored by the West Ridge Chamber of Commerce.


3 thoughts on “Devon Community Market, RIP

  1. This is part of a discussion in a neighborhood Yahoo group. I’ll leave the name of the writer anonymous:

    “Too bad when the Chicago Farmers Markets began the local pol didn’t let the Farmers Market continue in Warren Park.

    Many of you may not know the story:
    There were lots of farmers (didn’t count them) and vendors, lots of parking and everything was going great until a local Produce Market Owner (Devon & Talman) complained to the former Alderman that his business was losing money on Saturday mornings.

    The following year, the Farmers Market (about 12 farmers only) moved to the parking lot of Clinton School and of course we all went there to buy fresh produce. Apparently that didn’t please the Produce Market Owner again.
    Why do I know this?
    Because I asked the Alderman and he told me.

    The next year the Farmers Market (6 farmers) was moved to the corner of Granville and Leavitt by Stone School without much advertising. We went there for 2 years until it was down to 3 farmers and they stopped coming.

    The 50th Ward Farmers Market was put out of existence by one business that contributed to the political campaign.
    The residents lost their fresh farm vegetables and everyone went to buy produce at Talman & Devon.”


  2. The gold standard for community markets is the Evanston market on Saturday mornings. Plenty of superb produce; high quality cheese, meats, flowers, pastries; ad hoc entertainers, etc. That’s too much to expect from a mid-week community market on Devon, but the Evanston market should provide inspiration and motivation.


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