An open letter of thanks from the organizers and vendors of the Payson Farmers Market.
Every Saturday morning on Main Street, something extraordinary happened. If you were there, you experienced it, if you never made it, we are already planning next year’s Payson Farmers Market.
Sept. 26 was the final Farmers Market for 2009. We want to take this opportunity to share our experience and remind everyone about the amazing community we live in. We also want to thank some wonderful people whose contributions, often unseen and in the background, exemplify leadership, service, good will and the possibility for all people: “when we work together toward common goals with cooperation, understanding, and kindness, magic happens.”
To run a market you need farmers and bakers, canners and cooks, a location, permits, insurance, advertising and entertainment, just to get started; and that’s where all the great people we met entered the game. Thank you all for making something special happen.
We always imagined the market on Main Street, and the Community Presbyterian Church was perfect. The minister, Charles Proudfoot, and the church’s session elders opened their church and provided an amazing venue. With a view of Green Valley Park, front row seats for parades, electricity and insurance, we had the perfect place. Wow ... We want to send a special thank you to Carolyn Snell, church administrator, for her enthusiasm and support. I don’t know too much about religion, but when it comes to divinity and spirit, the people we met at CPC demonstrate it daily.
I know public officials take a lot of heat and are rarely recognized for all their great work. We want to go on record as saying our experience has been delightful; we learned everything we needed to open on time and operate all summer smoothly and safely. A special thanks to Sheila DeSchaaf in planning and zoning for our permits and Shane Stuler in the Gila County Health office for educating us on the world of food safety.
If you came to the market you probably heard the amazing music. We owe a huge thank you to Anne James and her husband Jim. Anne not only played and sang on a few market days, she also used her many talents and contacts to fill the slate with amazing entertainment for the season. Whether it was a solo act or wild jam sessions, the atmosphere was alive! Thank you Anne, Jim and all the wonderful musicians.
In order to have a business, customers need to find you. If you followed road signs to the market you saw artists Jan Ranson and Sue Jones transform my functional but boring signs into beautiful works of art. If you arrived online, you can thank Leslie Prest for our professional Web site. If you came via radio, you can thank Andy Kofile at 98.5 KCMA or any of the great people at 1420 KMOG. And if you arrived via print than thank the wonderful people at all four newspapers. As I said, this is a great community.
It takes many people to smoothly, safely and professionally operate a market or any community event and we had a great team. Right from the beginning, Sally Low brought her laughter and leadership to help us run the market; without her, I’m not sure we would have attempted it at all. Additional thanks to Del Bohlmeyer and Donna Hickman who covered for us when we were out of town.
Finally, as any business owner will tell you, if you don’t have customers you really don’t have a business. Thank you for choosing to shop at the Payson Farmers Market and making it a community success. We loved getting to know you and are already looking forward to bringing you an even greater experience in 2010.
The Payson Farmers Market was born during the fall of 2008 through the spring of 2009. As you know, it was a time of large scale financial uncertainty, politics dividing us against ourselves, and lots of fear and pessimism. While we can’t deny the challenges facing us then and today, if the Payson Farmers Market stands for anything, it affirms when people work together as citizens, neighbors and friends, we can accomplish anything.
We are honored to have founded the Payson Farmers Market and are looking forward to seeing everyone again in 2010. If you’re interested in participating next year as a vendor, or as part of the creative team, contact Lorian (928) 468-0961.
John and Lorian Roethlein