Friday, July 5, 2013

Defections from the Flint Farmers' Market

Is this a sign of things to come? Two big defections from the Flint Farmers' Market and its new downtown location. Jeremy Allen of mLive reports:
Two of the biggest vendors at the Flint Farmers' Market say they won't follow the market when it moves to downtown Flint in 2014, instead opting to join a proposed new market set to open in Davison in May 2014.

Coykendall Produce owner Sandy Coykendall and the owner of Knob Hill Meats, Tom Alex, said that they won’t make the move from the Flint Market’s location at 420 E. Boulevard Drive to downtown because it’s not in the businesses' or their customers' best interests.


  1. I'm really disappointed in Handsome Dick Ramsdell's condescending remarks towards market vendors. The guy has totally sold out to Uptown and the Fenton developers.

  2. That's too bad. These 2 vendors are in the top 5 must-stops when I go to Flint Farmer's Market. People act as if the new Flint Farmer's Market is going to be miles and miles from it's current location. If anything, it will be closer to the heart of things downtown. I won't be going to the Davison market. It's way too far and won't have that downtown Flint vibe. Sorry to say, but I think they'll regret their decision in the long run.

  3. The Davison market--I assume actually an enlargement of their existing once-a-week market--won't attract many Fenton/Linden shoppers, but it might get a few from Grand Blanc. It's pretty easy to head over to M-15 through Goodrich or Atlas, and Davison is just up the road. And that'll include Grand Blanc shoppers that would have been unwilling to go to the Downtown FFM.

    I'm sure the key is that an enlarged Davison market will pull customers from a larger radius to its east and south. I'm sure the vendors are aware of the impressive disposable income numbers for the north-Oakland/south-Lapeer-County area.

    As to Mr. Ramsdell...I don't get slamming him. He works for Uptown, which essentially is the Mott Foundation. He's doing his job.

    I also don't get the frequently heard "Fenton developers". The Mott Foundation is about as -->Flint<-- as it's possible to be. And, Fenton is a perfectly fine place to get customers from. Anybody trying to turn this issue into Flint-vs-Fenton is business-foolish. A Flint-customers-only Farmers Market wouldn't have the revenue to stay open even a month.

  4. The civic-minded Mott Foundation of the past is quite different from the development/real estate-minded Uptown of the present. Philanthropy is now just another word for investment.

    The "Fenton" thing comes from the fact that the developers are not from Flint, nor do many of them live in Flint, yet they determine the course of Flint. Rest assured if the market move is a flop, it will have little effect on their community.

  5. Is there another thread here, or maybe an article at MLive, that would explain to me why the Mott Foundation via Uptown--the operating entity that they set up because of how the charitable-foundation tax rules work, and because separation-of-operating-liability is sensible business practice--would care about making a profit from its "development/real estate" activities?

    They have a bazillion dollars, thanks to C.S. Mott's business acumen and philanthropic generosity. They spend roughly all of their investment earnings each year on Foundation-worthy projects. A sizable percentage of that money is spent in Flint, without their even making a concerted effort to get credit for all the good they do. Nothing else that they do, around here or in their other global charitable activities, is profit focused. Where does the idea come from that suddenly they're profit-grubbing investors just on the Farmer's Market project?

    Hey, I think the move downtown is a bad idea too, but only from a marketing-psychology perspective...not because of where someone who happens to work for the Mott Foundation happens to live.

    I very much respect the Mott Foundation for their willingness to spend more of their money to make something happen that they think would be good. I just don't happen to agree that it will be good.

  6. More info on this issue:

    Usually we think of the Journal as the local paper of record, and the suburban shopper-papers as less news-oriented, but not always. The Burton View, and probably related papers by JAMS Media, has an informative article on the latest developments. Read it at .

  7. FOR CRYING OUT LOUD PEOPLE!!. I was born and raised in Flint. Lived, played, partied, prospered, and started a family there for some 46 years. My parents and relatives some 60 plus years before that. Flint is DYING!! it is time to embrace a new prosperous type of thinking. Time for Flint to join the outlying suburbs, like Fenton, Lapeer, Davison, Schwartz Creek, Grand Blanc, Durand!. Time to become part of a tax based "COMMOMWEALTH" - all resources pooled together. Time to blow up the old, pick up the garbage, bury it and become something new!!! FLINT AND DETROIT ARE DEAD!!! Get it through your stubborn brains folks! Nothing and I MEAN NOTHING will save your precious traditions until you bow down and ask the suburbs for "ANNEXATION". Why waste your emotions on a dead Farmers Market location. Get off your butts and affect a change?.

  8. Here we go again. I don't believe they were invited,dude. Nor ever will be.


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