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Fate of Current Farmers Market Manager Remains Uncertain

The Westwood BID postpones a decision on new management of the Westwood Village Farmers Market.

It's still unclear whether newcomer Raw Inspiration will replace the longtime Westwood Village Farmers Market operator, after the Westwood BID on Thursday decided to take no action on the matter.

Time constraints led to the Westwood Village Improvement Association Board of Directors' decision to continue the farmers market management discussion next week at a sub-committee meeting.

The District Issues Committee will take up the issue at 8:30 a.m. Sept. 27 at 10880 Wilshire Blvd.

It will once again be brought before the full board at the group's next scheduled monthly meeting at 8:30 a.m. Oct. 18 at Skylight Gardens, 1139 Glendon Ave.

See also: New Management Likely for Westwood Village Farmers Market

Two managers are vying for the board's approval—Steve Whipple, who has operated the Westwood Village market for the past five years, and Raw Inspiration, an operator that currently runs 23 markets throughout Los Angeles, including those in Brentwood, Century City and Pacific Palisades.

Raw Inspiration responded to a Request for Proposal (RFP) shortly after the WVIA solicited responses from farmers market managers in May. Whipple chose not to respond.

"The WVIA is the sponsor of the farmers market," Jessica Dabney, board chair, said. "We have the authority to manage the process and to determine who will operate the market."

Whipple said the RFP "didn't seem to respect" the investment he made in the market.

"I'm not asking ... for some God-given right," he said. "We feel like we were [going] in the right direction and the RFP did not really acknowledge that."

John Edwards, Raw Inspiration president, talked to the board about his markets in Los Angeles.

"I think we're better than anybody else to do this," he said. "... We don’t want to be here to harm anybody’s economic interests."

Check back with Westwood-Century City Patch for more updates on this story.

Who do you think should manage the Westwood Village Farmers Market? Tell us in the comments section below.

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Roxane Stern September 24, 2012 at 05:02 AM
The Westwood Farmer's Market has never recovered from the closing of the Weyburn location. Perhaps new management can restore the number of vendors selling fresh produce.

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