Mike Husar's Letter Explaining Position on Downtown Farmer's Market Expansion
posted Apr 8 2014 9:21AM
You can hear an interview with Mike on right side of this page. He was on the Morning Show today (Tuesday)
Downtown businesses rally to expand West Bend Farmers' Market 4/7/2014
From: Mike Husar - Husar's House of Fine Diamonds & Pete Puskas - West Bend Coin & Collectibles
RE: Expand the Farmers' Market
WEST BEND - Who wants to expand the downtown West Bend Farmers' Market? We do!
Businesses on the south end of Main Street including HTG Jewelers, Husar's House of Fine Diamonds, Diffusion Hair Studio, The Exclusive Co., and West Bend Coin & Collectibles are all in favor of expanding the downtown Farmers' Market.
Retailers on the south end of Main Street believe it would be good for the downtown, good for the community and good for the market as a whole however, the expansion would be better on Sixth Avenue.
"Nobody has ever said we don't want to expand the market," Mike Husar owner of Husar's House of Fine Diamonds said. "We want to see the Farmers' Market expand, just not on south Main Street in front of our stores."
Husar's dad, Marv Husar, was the one who started the downtown market in the 1970s. "Years ago it was in front of our stores and approximately 20 years ago it was moved north because it negatively impacted the businesses," Husar said.
"People can't see our store when the market is in operation. The format of the market has people walking in the street and not on the sidewalk so they're not seeing our store, or looking in our store windows or being enticed to walk into our store," he said.
Pete Puskas, owner of West Bend Coin & Collectibles. He said 'downtown is for business and when you impact the businesses - which the market does - it hurts my business.'
Puskas gave the example of tents and trailers used by vendors at the Farmers' Market. "Nobody walks behind those things. If I want to get to my store on a Saturday during the Farmers' Market I walk on the sidewalk behind everything because there's nobody there," Puskas said. "The market expansion will negatively impact my business."
Puskas and Husar both deal with an older clientele that don't like to walk, people coming to and leaving the store do so with expensive items, and both businesses have 60-80 percent of their customers coming from out of the county to shop on Saturday.
In terms of layout the south end businesses differ from the north end of Main Street which focuses on food service. "Grasshopper isn't blocked, nobody is currently in the old Ziegler building, the taverns aren't open when the market is in session, the bank has a drive through and the bead store and Savoring Thyme moved to Main Street because of the Farmers' Market," Husar said.
"On the south end we're retailers that need visibility. People can't see the front of our store. Customers are being driven to the street instead of the stores," said Husar.
The West Bend Farmers' Market runs 24 weeks every summer. "The market closes at 11 a.m. but vendors don't aren't cleaned up until 11:30 a.m. We open at 9 a.m. - - I'm sure other business owners wouldn't be too eager to give up two and a half hours of their pay each week for 24 weeks of the market- - why am I?"
For more information contact Mike Husar at 262-334-3453