Provo’s Farmer’s Market began Saturday, and Laura and I really enjoyed it. However, there were a few changes from previous years. Below I’ve included a few pictures of the market’s successes as as well as areas in which I hope it improves.
This year, the market has a great new branding campaign. Smaller, single-fruit versions of this banner appeared in stores and restaurants all over downtown. This campaign succeeds because it’s charming, funny, and of course has an obvious connection to the market. And those are obviously important characteristics for any branding effort.
The biggest shortcoming of the market is that the entire center of the park is torn up and gated off for the construction of a “water feature.” The water feature should be cool in the future and in the long run a few months with less space don’t matter. But at least for now, it was a pain to have to go around all this construction.
The result of the construction was that the booths were crammed into a smaller space. Note, Volker’s bakery in this picture on the left; I bought the asiago cheese bread and didn’t regret it.
Because the vendors were crammed into a smaller space, the market actually felt really crowded. My gut reaction is to call that a failure because it was occasionally hard to move around, but I think it may actually be a success; more people in a concentrated area makes it feel more lively. Even if people hate walking through dense crowds, those crowds implicitly suggest that the market is the place to be. Relatedly, my mother-in-law was in town from Escondido California and commented that Provo’s farmer’s market is better than the one in her town. I suspect that Provo’s is actually smaller, but the crowds and compactness made it feel bigger and better attended. (This experience happens to be a good illustration of why population density is generally a positive thing in cities.)
Of course, there are other places that Provo could hold its farmer’s market. Center Street, for example, would be charming and similar to the approach taken by other cities that hold farmer’s markets along their main drags. In any case, note in this picture the wooden rack where attendees can buy plants.
Filed under Downtown, Food