As a volunteer with the Lansdale Farmers’ Market I think it’s important to chime in here to clear a few things up. I wouldn’t typically discuss the details of a vendor’s selection, out of respect for their privacy, but I think a bit of background is needed here as I see that the full picture is not being presented.
Alice Bakery was not invited to the market this year because of attendance. We’ve discussed the topic with Dennis numerous times and he is aware that this was our reasoning, I’m sorry that he didn’t share this with you. We have just a few specialty bakers at the market and only one “bread guy”. Alice signed up for a full season but did not attend more than a third of the Saturdays last year, and a similar number the previous year. We have been very up front that we need a vendor who will be there consistently to serve our customers. Imagine going to the super market and find that they have no bread. Would you keep shopping there if it happened five weeks in a row? We understand and respect Dennis’ other commitments, and his decision to prioritize as he did, but we must consider the best interest of the market as a whole when choosing vendors. If our customers come to market through the end of the season and can’t purchase what they want and expect, they will stop coming and that hurts all of our vendors.
The unfortunate thing is that we love Alice’s products - that’s why we recruited him two years ago. We expressed our disappointment when he left early during his first season, and when it happened for a second season we were forced to consider other applicants. Please understand that this was a tough decision and not one we wanted to be making in the first place. We know our customers love his bread, so do we! But, while the market is a community event run by volunteers, it must make tough decisions as a business would from time to time.
Dennis is lucky to have such loyal customers. I’m not trying to change your opinion of him, or of the market for that matter, I just think it’s important to share a clear picture. Including the fact that Alice’s check was never cashed. Not sure where this notion came from, but I am certain of this and the fact that it has been returned. There are always hurt feelings when we go through this process and I don’t wish to stoke the flames, I only ask that you consider the market’s position. I know you are disappointed by the outcome but I hope you can respect where we are coming from.