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June 20, 2013
Grosse Pointe Woods — Families looking for fresh produce, fruits and herbs to complement their Sunday barbecues may have a shopping venue close by if plans for a farmers market come to fruition in Grosse Pointe Woods.

The market idea was discussed at a meeting last week by the Mayor’s Mack Avenue Business Study Commission, and while no decision was reached, a report was released indicating a farmers market could be a possibility.

Woods city officials have been in contact with Terry Solomon of Grosse Pointe Park who put together the very successful West Park Farmers Market and is held Saturdays throughout the summer on Kercheval in the Park.

“They’ve invented the wheel,” said Woods city administrator Skip Fincham. “Terry was very helpful and forthcoming with information. She let us know what worked and what didn’t.”

One item decided on was the day the market would be held, with the commission noting holding the market on Sunday would not have it competing with the Park market on Saturday.

“Recruitment of vendors will be an issue,” Fincham said. “Saturday is a very popular day, obviously, so we are looking at Sundays.”

One objective of the market is to draw shoppers to Mack Avenue, which would benefit all businesses along Mack. Holding the market on Sunday would have a limited impact on businesses as many are closed on Sunday, but it was suggested business owners could be offered a vendor spot at a reduced rate.

Fincham said the city would hold the market on the front lawn of the city hall complex on Mack.

Woods resident Margaret Potter attended the meeting, and expressed concerns.

“I think we’re putting the cart before the horse,” she said. “Let’s see if there is a need before we make all these grandiose plans.”

Potter, whose house is adjacent to the city hall complex, said neighbors are concerned about trash and noise.

Woods resident Sean Byrne, whose law office is on Mack and who is a member of the mayor’s commission, urged city officials to involve local businesses.

“Something like this would work best with a core group of business vendors,” he said.

“I think this would be a definite benefit to the community and our businesses.”

Due to a lack of quorum, no vote was taken on the issue, but the option of holding a farmers market was sent to city council for discussion at a committee of the whole meeting.

The full report on the feasibility of holding a market, written by executive assistant Sue Como, is available on the city’s website, gpwmi.us.

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