New location working well for farmers market

4 weeks into season, reviews are positive
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Leader Photo by Jason Arndt Wendy and Kyle Jorgensen, owners of of Yaks ‘N’ Things, talk with a customer at the Shawano Farmers Market on Saturday. More than 20 vendors set up at the market, which moved this year from the City Hall parking lot to the east edge of Franklin Park. The Jorgensens said the move has helped their sales.

Leader Photo by Jason Arndt Connie Keller, of Neenah, purchases salmon from Silver Moon Springs owner Bobbie Schneider, of White Lake, at the Shawano Farmers Market on Saturday.

Four weeks into the season, changes made this year to the Shawano Farmers Market have been well-received by vendors and customers.

The market moved from the City Hall parking lot, where it was held for six years, to the east edge of Franklin Park, at the corner of Division and Washington streets. Washington Street is blocked off to traffic at both ends for the market.

Amy Jagla, who co-owns Platypus Flat Ranch with her husband, Tony, said Saturday that business has been better at the new location.

“This year we have better traffic,” she said. “I have seen a lot more people come up, and our sales have been better.”

The Pella family farm, which is selling at the market for a third year, raises free-range poultry.

Jagla said the market’s move did require some strategic changes.

“We are working to improve on where our spot is and seeing how the traffic flows,” she said. “We now have to figure how to set up our tables and our booths.”

Jagla said vendors and customers seem to appreciate the park setting.

“It was kind of tucked away behind the City Hall last year, and this just feels like a nicer location,” she said.

“It doesn’t have that parking lot feel anymore,” agreed Wendy Jorgensen, co-owner of Yaks ‘N’ Things with her husband, Kyle. “I like the new venue.”

The Clintonville-based firm, which sells meat products made from grass-fed livestock, has been a market fixture for four years.

Jagla and Jorgensen agreed the park setting encourages customers to stay.

“They like the picnic tables, and they get to sit out on the grass and enjoy it more,” Jagla said.

Shawano resident Amber Tipton has been coming to the market every year since it started in 2008.

She said the market does not feel as congested as previous years. She suggested moving it onto the park lawn rather than having it on the street could make it even better.

“It will give it more of a country vibe,” Tipton said.

Leaders of Shawano Farmers Market Inc., the new nonprofit group that took over management of the market this year from the Business Improvement District, are thinking along the same lines as Tipton.

Market manager Nathan Falk said the organization is working with the city, as it develops the park, to add more permanent facilities, such as concrete slabs for vendors, there for the market.

The market, which also features a music tent, information tent and a spot for nonprofit vendors, is open from 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays through Oct. 11.