“Wouldn’t this be a great idea to keep the money in our community?” he asked selectmen. The proposed market would take place on Wednesdays, 4 to 7 p.m., from mid-June to mid-October.
But Selectman Bill Clark, a farmer who sells produce at farmers markets in nearby communities, expressed reservations that it is getting late in the year to start one.
“I hope you have not bitten off more than you can chew,” said Clark. He noted there is a scarcity of farms in the region to supply all the farmers markets that are ongoing now.
Clark says he is neutral as to whether Danvers should have a farmers market. As a potential vendor, he cannot vote on the proposal.
Lyons said that during Tuesday’s Downtown Improvement Committee meeting, the idea did not gain traction, and organizers have to do more within the downtown business community.
Organizers had failed to approach the owners of Danvers Fresh Market, a local grocery store that sells fresh produce on Elm Street, Lyons noted. There are also two florists downtown, Novello’s and Curran Brothers, whose businesses could be impacted if a farmers market comes downtown.
“We couldn’t really answer ... is this good for the downtown,” Lyons said.
“If three hours a week is competition to a business,” Nolan retorted, “they have more issues than they are saying.”
With so many farms in Danvers, Lyons said some at the meeting said it may not make sense to have a farmers market in town.
“Everything they want to bring to the farmers’ market, we have within our community,” he said.
Farmers and potential vendors in town include Connors Farm, Folly Hill Farm, Cherry Street Fish Market (which participates in farmers markets in other communities), Clark Farm, Gibney Gardens and Kane’s Flower World. Curran’s also grows flowers.