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Bad Decisions, Bad Press

I believe in free speech, really I do. But what I have a problem with is when a piece is printed about a group at large and quotes statements from one spiteful member of that group as if it’s the opinion of its entirety. That is exactly what Tyler Hayden did when he wrote the Santa Barbara Public Market article “A Public Market Divided.”

My name is Rori Trovato, and I own Rori’s Creamery. Hayden called me, and we spoke regarding my experience at the market. I let him know quite frankly that we were very happy and loved the energy at the market and our fellow merchants. He asked me if I had any questions for him, and I did. He mentioned he wasn’t trying to “stir the pot,” and I told him boldly that he was.

This isn’t a real story; it’s just a fluff piece trying to get the community worked up. If every business that failed due to bad decisions and didn’t want to assume responsibility for those mistakes and, oh, I don’t know, called the press to get publicity, we’d have papers full of these pathetic so-called stories.

To blame a landlord because of your commercial failure is insane. We all signed the same lease, there was no “promise” that the governor would show up, and if he had, would the Pasta Shoppe still be in business? NO.

We have heavier traffic each month, and my business is thriving. Marge Cafarelli showed us traffic stats from other markets both in Santa Barbara and out, but never promised that 3,000 people would walk the market every day.

I have four commercial leases and only one landlord that holds classes for the merchants to teach us how to improve our businesses and work more effectively as a marketplace. I have only one landlord that assumes the cost of a portion of the overhead because our CAM (common area maintenance) charges did increase higher than they were estimated. I have only one landlord that spent tens of thousands of dollars — in your paper, I might add — on advertising to promote each of us merchants. Marge Cafarelli is admittedly a firecracker and ruffles some feathers, but she supports the merchants and is the drive that’s behind our passion and conviction for the success of the market. And she will continue to be long after no cares about Hayden’s and Diane Harding’s 10 minutes of fame.

To print a piece that highlights the failure of one business in such a showcase story is in poor taste and can only hurt many of us merchants. No story here, just hype. It’s too bad this is what your paper has to resort to to maintain readership. This belongs on page 6 of the New York Post at best.

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