This could be the last season before the Germantown farmers market undergoes some major changes. Location and time are among the possible alterations being considered for 2015, according to Park and Recreation Director Justin Casperson.
It wouldn't be the first location change for the market, after unsuccessful bouts at a handful of locations in the village, including Village Hall and the Senior Center. Currently, the market is located in the parking lot of Life Church on Mequon Road.
"Life Church has been more than gracious. ... Maybe a location change would grow the customer and farmer (attendance), maybe it wouldn't," said Casperson, adding the market currently has nine vendors signed up for 2014. "The farmers market is a valuable resource for the community and we want to work to grow and continue to develop that resource."
The question is where to relocate, and Casperson said the answer is "not always easy to find." But it is the intention of the village's Park and Recreation Commission to consider alternative locations and times throughout the course of the 2014 season, as well as to survey the vendors and other local markets for ideas.
"We want to figure out what we can do to increase traffic on both ends of the spectrum," he said. "What comes first — is it the farmers or the customers? More importantly, how do you get them both?"
The neighboring market of Menomonee Falls is among those Casperson cited that he hopes might offer an example. Located in the parking lot of North Junior High School, the market features almost four times the number of vendors as well as support from returning customers.
"I would say our location definitely plays a major role in the traffic we see on a weekly basis," said Menomonee Falls Business Improvement District director Barb Watters, who oversees the Menomonee Falls market. "We also have quality vendors who have been with us since the market began in the early 1990s."
Though Wednesday is not a commonly thought of market day, Watters said she thinks it contributes to the success of the market.
"It's in the middle of the week, so you can get all geared up for weekend grilling and other summer events," she said. The Wednesday market runs through October, overlapping with the Sunday market, which begins in August.
AT A GLANCE
WHAT: Germantown Farmers Market
WHEN: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays, May 3 through October 25
WHERE: Life Church parking lot, N11325 Squire Drive
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