Thursday, June 20, 2013 4:36 AM
Published on: Wednesday, March 13, 2013
By Mary Faddoul
As an initiative to attract people to College Park, the City Council approved a contract with a marketing company to help expand Sunday’s farmers’ market.
At the Feb. 26 meeting, the council voted unanimously to award a one-year contract to KSM Marketing, LLC not to exceed $28,600. The farmers’ market takes place on Sundays in the City Hall parking lot. City Manager Joseph Nagro said that the market began about two years ago, and the council wants it to grow to grab the attention of more people.
“We needed somebody who was going to help the market grow,” he said. “So, we were looking for a ‘market master,’ and this turned out to be a company that does this type of work. They even have a market at the Reagan Building in D.C. right now, and they seem to be doing very well.”
The $28,600 will go towards getting the market master, who will help bring new vendors and expand the market. The council expects this to attract more people to the city, which should help its economic development. The farmers’ market is just one of the city’s investments to draw more people to College Park.
During the meeting, the council members agreed that it would be best if the College Park Farmers Committee set up goals. Robert Boone, a member of the committee, said he will work with the other members to set up data to bring to future meetings and work sessions. Boone also thanked the council for the amount budgeted for the farmers’ market.
The purpose of the market is to draw people to College Park, which is a general goal of the council that also approved about $30,000 for the city’s campaign, “A Smart Place to Live.”
“The council thought the market would bring more people into downtown College Park, and maybe they would visit other establishments to help the city’s economic development,” Nagro said.
Takoma Park resident Martha Nellsmith sometimes visits the farmers’ market in College Park. Recently, she said, “I needed something for dinner, so I just picked up some vegetables from the market.” She noted that there is a farmers’ market in Takoma Park, and she thinks “College Park should have a farmers’ market.”
Several University of Maryland students have visited the farmers’ market with their parents. Sophomore Mubarakat Shaqir said that when his mom drives him to College Park after spending the weekend home, they pass by the farmers’ market to buy some fresh fruit and vegetables.