Wednesday, April 16, 2014

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Bounty Market is likely expanding to Monmouth

MONMOUTH — The Polk County Bounty Market will come to Monmouth on Tuesdays starting in May, pending a contract between the city and the Dallas Area Visitors Center.

Sara Weeks, center, pays for produce at the Akha Farm booth at the Polk County Bounty Market in Dallas last summer. The market expects to open a Monmouth location in May.

Pete Strong/Itemizer-Observer file

Sara Weeks, center, pays for produce at the Akha Farm booth at the Polk County Bounty Market in Dallas last summer. The market expects to open a Monmouth location in May.

February 11, 2014

MONMOUTH — The Polk County Bounty Market will come to Monmouth on Tuesdays starting in May, pending a contract between the city and the Dallas Area Visitors Center.

“Our vendors came to us and said we want another market somewhere in Polk County,” Chelsea Pope, executive director of the Dallas visitors center, said.

The market has been going for three years in Dallas, and Pope said she is excited to see it expanding to Monmouth.

“We see you as a supportive and active community,” she said at the Feb. 4 Monmouth City Council meeting.

Monmouth’s farmers market ceased operation in December, according to a memo to the council from Mark Fancey, community development director.

Polk County Bounty Market

Polk County Bounty Market

Benefits of partnering with the Dallas Area Visitors Center include a core group of vendors and a proven system in place, including marketing and advertising.

Mayor John Oberst asked if the market could be on Wednesday instead of Tuesday, so it could be on the same day as the weekly summer music in the park series.

Pope said Tuesday was better for the vendors, allowing them to have a day off between county markets.

Oberst also asked about selling secondhand items, which he said has happened at other Monmouth farmers markets.

“We would manage that,” Pope said. “You have an extra special clientele of university students. We would want to talk with our Western students and see what they are missing, what would bring them down.”

The market would be paid for through Monmouth’s tourism fund, which has a balance of $50,000 and an annual revenue of about $30,000 from hotel taxes.

The market would have a start-up cost of $15,000 to $20,000, not taking into account sponsorships or vendor fees, Pope said. Costs cover paying for tents and tables, which are rented out to vendors, and salaries for staff time and an onsite market manager.

Bonnie Dreier, Polk County Bounty Market program and market manager for the Dallas location, would also work for the Monmouth location.

A Tuesday market in Monmouth would join the Thursday one in Dallas, Saturday markets in Independence and a Sunday market in Rickreall.