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Farmers' Market Moving to Lawrenceville Square

Local business owners hope this move will boost their sales as well as those for vendors at the market.

The is on the move.

Starting this Saturday, July 28th, they will relocate from the Old Police Station on S. Clayton Street and return to the Square. Right in front of the free parking garage in .

Businesses in the area hope this will bring a boost to the local shops and restaurants.

“We’ve missed having them down in the parking lot down by ,” said Leslie Maske, owner of . “A lot of people would park, walk down there and then come back on the Saturdays and shop." 

Maske’s shop is directly across the street from where the market will be located. “I think moving it up here will be great and I think people will look forward to it,” she added.

“I hate the location of the Farmers' Market,” said owner Lynn Hinds of the market’s current setup in an old parking lot a few blocks away. “It doesn’t look warm and welcoming to me. Where as people driving down a cute little historical street and all of a sudden they come across a farmers' market. There it just looks like ‘Oh! They found a parking lot and put up a farmer’s market.’ This is a cuter area. It will look more quaint, it will look organized. I think it will draw more people in." 

Carolyn Wright is a co-owner of . When her store opened in 2010, it was just steps away from the original location of the Farmers' Market. “We were involved. We would open early, threw our door open and even had some items outside and it really did help our business.”

Wright says she plans to do the same once the market returns to downtown.

“It’s just sort of a nice welcoming thing to the customers. With the Farmers' Market being out there, it just kind of goes along with what they’re doing.”

The Lawrenceville Farmers' Market is open Saturdays 8am until Noon from now until September 29th. Vendors regularly sell locally produced fruits and vegetables, bread, jams and jellies, beauty products and even treats for pets.

Do you think moving the Farmers' Market will boost business for both the market and downtown businesses? Tell us in the comments section below.

Brennan Washington July 27, 2012 at 09:55 PM
The vendors at the market are small business people just like the merchants downtown. In many cases, our economic viability is even more tenuous due to our limited selling season and the vagaries of climate and Mother Nature. So while we are sympathetic to the needs of increasing traffic to downtown merchants, I think I can speak for many of the vendors in that we have concerns that need to be addressed just as the downtown merchants do. As far as boosting traffic, I know the market will achieve that. I'm intimately acquainted with how much traffic the market brings and what it takes to achieve it. How much it will do it is the question. We are about to enter the annual downturn in traffic that we have seen every year since 2005. We believe that this downturn is caused by the eventual return to school as well as weekend activities such as football. I believe this downturn can be reversed and even improved upon Mayor Johnson and Councilman Martin have been fervent and enthusiastic supporters of both the market and the downtown merchants. And I know that all the vendors desire a truly holistic and mutually beneficial relationship with the city of Lawrenceville. I hope this move will open a new chapter in the life of the market where all stakeholders are working for the betterment of all. And if the downtown merchants can help us address the issue of access to some sort of restroom facilities between of 7-10AM for the vendors, that would be a great.
Vanzetta Evans July 28, 2012 at 03:26 AM
Brennan, I did try to speak to people shopping downtown but there was only one person who had anything to say and she basically just said it was "great." I asked several people, but no other shoppers wanter to speak.
Carolyn Wright July 28, 2012 at 02:32 PM
When the market moved last year, several of my customers expressed their dissatisfaction with the move. When asked why, they explained that (1) They enjoyed the convenience of being able to shop the farmers market & then walk around the square & visit other merchants as well and (2) They preferred the atmosphere on the square. A customer told me just yesterday that she is happy the market is coming back because she feels the other location was "rather cold, uninviting & unattractive". I think that we could all benefit from better communication; merchants, elected officials & customers alike. A business success story here & there does not make a vibrant retail district, nor does an us against them approach. What we need is more cooperation, working towards a set of achievable goals that will benefit all the merchants, seasonal & permanent alike & give customers a great year round shopping, dining and entertainment experience. I truly believe that with the right mix of involvement downtown Lawrenceville can become the must visit destination in Gwinnett County. I applaud the steps the mayor and city council have taken so far in support of the downtown district & I look forward to the implementation of other projects that have been discussed recently. I visited the market bright & early this morning, met many of the merchants & bought some great items. By the way, Farmers Market merchants are welcome to use the restroom facilities at the LONA Gallery after 8AM.
Cindy Pitts Gilbert August 09, 2012 at 03:53 PM
I think this is great. It would be awesome if they could merge it even more by allowing them to set up on the sidewalks between each business to make it a full shopping day for all.
Carolyn Wright August 09, 2012 at 04:31 PM
I agree Cindy, excellent idea and something to work on for next year!

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