The Meridian Township Farmers’ Markets may permanently move from Central Park Pavilion to the Meridian Mall parking lot, according to the Parks and Recreation director, LuAnn Maisner.
The department is discussing with Meridian Mall to create a partnership plan for the new shared location. The department hopes to incorporate new green space with picnic tables and other amenities to the new location.
“It will take several months to be implemented, but plans are being discussed,” Maisner said.
Marjorie Johns has been a vendor at the farmers’ market for several years and is opposed to the move of the market to the Meridian Mall parking lot.
“The current location is a lot more picturesque, it’s a green space and a lot more welcoming to adults and children, especially with the playground,” Johns said.
Johns said that the mall location is not as inviting as the green spaces at the park.
“Some vendors consider the market as a commercial opportunity, but I think of it as more of a community opportunity,” Johns said. “All of the farmers’ markets that I am aware of has been started by community, not by a bunch of farmers coming together, so I think the green space is really important.”
Sue McMaster is a produce vendor at the market alongside her husband, Dan. They support moving the market to the mall’s parking lot.
“There is so much more parking, they customers can get close to you to pick up items. In the middle there is a larger walking lane which is so much easier for people that are handicapped in wheelchairs and walkers to move about,” McMaster said “We love it there, the customers like it, and I would say there are more customers who like the idea of the move than those that want us to stay here.”
McMaster said that when the market had temporarily been moved to Meridian Mall parking lot it was better for business.
“We get a lot of extra people that are going by that don’t see us over here,” McMaster said.“They say ‘oh, we didn’t know there was a farmers’ market.’ Even though we have signs here, they see us better when we are out there in the tents.”
McMaster believes the new location could be a positive addition for Meridian Mall as well.
“People love this farmers’ market, it’s a great and very diverse market. It draws a lot of people and I think the mall would be thrilled to have us here. I think it would be great,” McMaster said.
The market is currently operating on the Summer/Fall Market schedule: Wednesdays and Saturdays, 8 am to 2 pm; July through October; at the Central Park Pavilion location.