In the just-published Boise Weekly, we report how more than 50 vendors have set up new digs at the Boise Farmers Market on private property (11th and Front streets), offering an alternative to the much-larger Capital City Public Market, which will open Saturday, April 20.
We also have a conversation with Karen Ellis as part of the Citizen series in today's BW, in which she chronicles her annus horribilis that was 2012. Ellis was shown the door by CCPM's board in September 2012, but she has resurfaced as the director of the new BFM.
"One of the vendors, Ed Wilsey [Homestead Natural Foods], said, "If you don't help us start a new market, I won't be in downtown Boise anymore. We're not going back to CCPM," Ellis told BW.
But vendors moving over to BFM needed to secure individual vendor's licenses due to the fact that they were now on private property, as opposed to a blanket "special events license" that covers the CCPM. A number of vendors told BW that they were unaware of the requirement and that they were scrambling to get all of the proper paperwork, including background checks, processed.
It turns out that the City of Boise communicated in early February to representatives of the vendors regarding the rules, according to Boise Municipal Code.
"Your market vendor/participants may need individual vendor/temporary merchant and/or eating and drinking licenses from the City Clerk's Office," wrote Susan Churchman from the City Clerk's office on Feb. 8.
But somehow that got miscommunicated, misinterpreted or both, because a number of the vendors were still without licenses on the April 6 opening day.
"With an event like this, it's impossible for us to guess who plans to participate," said Adam Park, spokesman for Boise Mayor Dave Bieter. "If they don't understand [the ordinance], we're always willing to answer questions."
Now, apparently, things are fine between the vendors and the city.
"Last Saturday was awesome and we're working with the city," Ellis told Citydesk. "They were very kind to us. They gave us a couple weeks grace because there was some misunderstanding about the license thing. They were very gracious. We're all working on the same page now. They've been very cooperative."
Park told Boise Weekly that a possible solution "down the road" would be to secure a special events permit for BFM for next year.
"It looked like their opening day was pretty successful," he said. "I imagine they would go for a special events permit."