Montrose Harvest Market's success sparks feuds

The Montrose Harvest Market has become so popular that vendors are fighting over a limited number of spots.

The issue came to the fore on Thursday when a feud between chiropractors for booth space sparked the need for the Montrose Shopping Park Assn. to clarify rules that allow the market manager to rotate vendors of certain types.

That could spell trouble for Dale Ellwein, a chiropractor who has set up a booth at the market for roughly eight years. He said he generates about 33% of his business from the packed Sunday market on Honolulu Avenue. If others are rotated in, he'll lose his booth for some weeks, and therefore some of his business.

"That's a big chunk of money," Ellwein said, emphasizing how much advertising at the market has helped his business grow.

The market restricts how many of each kind of vendor, from vegetables to antiques to chiropractors, can have a booth each week.

"We've never had a need for it," said Linda McMenamin, promotions coordinator for the shopping park, referring to a rotating schedule.

Ellwein said the market organizers should either block other chiropractors from taking his spot or give him more weeks than the newcomers, since he's consistently done business with the market.

But board member Gigi Garcia said the association needs to be fair to all businesses in the shopping park that pay annual dues.

McMenamin said she has yet to decide how exactly she'll rotate vendors, but it will be on a case-by-case basis.

The market's popularity not only results in feuds among vendors, but it also has stirred up animosity among the brick-and-mortar business owners in the shopping park.

For years, the market has taken place on the 2200 block of Honolulu Avenue, but starting next month it will move up to the 2300 block to spread the foot traffic to storefronts further west in the shopping park. That arrangement will last for six months.


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