Seaport Farmers' Market rethinking business plan
Halifax's Seaport Farmers' Market is considering hiring U.S. consultants to improve its viability as a business, CBC News has learned.
The market, which opened in August 2010, draws big crowds on the weekend but during weekdays it lacks foot traffic, vendors said.
"There might have been an overreach to go from a one-day, one-afternoon market straight into a six-day market," said Graeme Ruppell of Getaway Meat Mongers.
Seaport's board of directors asked New York-based nonprofit consultant Project for Public Spaces to assess the situation. It conducted an initial assessment in June.
PPS submitted a proposal on Oct. 26 and considered the business plan, communications and marketing and rules for vendors.
CBC News obtained the proposal to provide interim management services and a repositioning strategy. The report stated that the market should consider scaling back to weekends and one or two weekdays, and amend rules for vendors.
Should the market choose to hire the consultants for interim management, the cost would run $800 to $1,800 U.S. per day, or a total of nearly $200,000 U.S.
Kaitlynn Harris of Noggins Corner Farm, near Wolfville, expressed support for bringing in outside expertise. "We need to do something that's for sure," she said.
Ruppell also said it was a good idea. "There is certain point where you have to say okay we need a bit of help; these guys know what they are doing."
Seaport's board said it is too early to comment on the consultants because it is still developing its sustainability plan. They said no decision has been taken to hire the American consultants.
The market's future will be discussed at a meeting of members next week.