Open Letter to Mayor Murillo and Councilmembers,
I write to urge you to keep the Saturday Farmers Market at the Cota Street Commuter Lot and find an alternative location for the new police station.
As a farmer who for the past 23 years has been growing and marketing organic produce in Santa Barbara, I can assure you that the Saturday Farmers Market has been invaluable to my livelihood. My customers, the vast majority of whom reside in Santa Barbara, Montecito, Carpinteria, and Goleta, depend on the Saturday market for the wide variety of high-quality fresh produce, plants, and flowers it offers. No other farmers’ market in our area provides such diversity of products or draws as many customers, as the fact that the Saturday market generates over half of the Santa Barbara Certified Farmers Market Association’s total revenue attests. This past Saturday, on which sales were just average, market staff counted over 3,600 people!
No other local entity, week in and week out, brings thousands of people — principally local residents — to downtown Santa Barbara. And while downtown, Saturday Farmers Market customers also patronize De Angelo’s Bakery, The French Press, C’est Cheese, Shalhoob’s Deli, Handlebar Coffee, and the Santa Barbara Fisherman’s Market — just a few among a host of other local businesses and restaurants who positively benefit from the market’s central, easily accessible location and strong customer base.
Mayor Murillo and City Councilmembers, I know that you love Santa Barbara and work hard to enliven its culture, its beauty, and its people. For over 35 years, the Saturday Farmers Market, in the Cota Street Commuter lot, has been a community hub for local residents, integral to the life and health of this place. I urge you to give it your unequivocal support by keeping it where it is.