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Why Norco thinks the time is ripe to start a new farmers market

By in Press Enterprise on September 16, 2017

By Stephen Wall

After failing twice, Norco is taking another crack at a farmers market.

The City Council recently approved a one-year agreement with a nonprofit group to run the market, which is expected to kick off Oct. 29 and be staged Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Norco Community Center parking lot.

The market is set to start with 15 vendors: five farmers, five crafts vendors and five artisan food producers selling items such as locally produced cheeses, honey or olive oil. It will have a Western theme, capitalizing on the city’s Horsetown, USA nickname, officials said.

The market will be managed by Claremont-based Heritage Education Group, which runs farmers markets in Chino Hills, Ontario and Rancho Cucamonga. The city is not contributing any money but will create advertising banners and provide electricity that vendors may need. Heritage will be paid a portion of each vendor’s proceeds.

“It’s the kind of amenity that residents will enjoy and ultimately will make the city more vital and enhance other local businesses,” said Roger Grody, the city’s economic development consultant. “It helps complete the picture for Norco as a destination.”

The city unsuccessfully tried to run a farmers market in 2010 at the corner of Hamner Avenue and Sixth Street. Norco College had a flea market in 2013 that “seemed to be eclectic in nature” and “was doomed from the start,” said Scott da Rosa, the city Economic Development Advisory Council’s vice chairman who spearheaded the current effort that began more than a year ago.

The city received proposals from two market managers, Heritage and Oscar De León. The City Council on Sept. 6 agreed with the economic development panel’s recommendation to pick Heritage.

City leaders predict the new market will succeed because it will be in a more visible location and people are more health […]    

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