By Loralie Pearce
When was the last time you invited your friends to meet you in aisle 10 of your neighborhood grocery store for a chat? Wait — don’t answer that. Instead, imagine yourself meandering through a beautiful open air space bursting with local art, crafts, agricultural goods, food, music, and if you’re lucky, a giant bounce house. Welcome to the all-new Heber Market on Main!
In 1998 Heber City wanted to create a fun farmers market where the community could support each other through buying and selling locally sourced produce and other goods. Unfortunately, our valley’s climate doesn’t play nice with those who wish to grow a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables. Short growing seasons and surprise late spring freezes have made it difficult for the market to find its identity as a true farmers market.
The good news is that identity evolves with time. Enter the rebranding committee! Suzanne Hansen, Director of Heber Valley Market and Business Licensing; Matt Brower, City Manager; Dave Booth, Chief of Police; Mark Rounds, Director of Parks and Cemeteries; Tony Kohler, Planning Director; and Justin Hatch, Animal Services Supervisor, along with others in our community, have been working hard to create a new experience for Heber.
Beginning with removing ‘farmers market’ from the name, and designing a new logo and website, Heber City Municipal’s main goal for the market is to promote local businesses and create an “inclusive, small town, world-class event for all to enjoy.” Next on the list, they addressed traffic flow concerns. “We’ve implemented a new layout to improve the vendors’ and visitors’ experience. Attendees can find just what they’re looking for while enjoying an easier booth layout, strategically designed to accommodate larger crowds, strollers, and wheelchairs.” Booths will be categorized according to what they are selling — feeling a bit crafty? You can stroll through the craft section. Hungry? All the food trucks will be in one place. In the mood to browse through some fine art — there’s a section for that too. A lot of consideration went into the positioning of booths to make the overall experience fun, exciting, and easy to navigate. One of the last orders of business was to make sure we remember our roots. “There are free, prime placement, booths available to those who are producing locally sourced products. If you are making local honey, growing local tomatoes, or other farm-fresh products, we would love for you to participate.” Even though ‘farmers market’ has been dropped from the name — the farmer has not been dropped from the market.
Recognizing that the market is going to be different, Heber City Municipal shared, “As Heber is growing, there are many people that would like to be part of the Heber Market. We feel diversity adds to the richness of the event; however, local businesses will always get the first shot.” Vendors, visitors, and community members are encouraged to jump online now and take a tour of hebermarket.com, to register or learn more about the all-new Heber Market.
With the understanding that Heber of 2020 is changing and adapting with current events daily, Heber City Municipal is optimistic and excited about our valley’s summer. “We are hoping for a big Fourth of July party for our city, with the Heber Market on Main at the center of the celebration.” Of course, Heber City will follow the Governor’s guidelines and directives implicitly. Our community’s health and safety will always take precedence. “Even if we are only able to pull off four events in July or August — it will be a big deal for our community — because everything else has been canceled.” The Heber Market is a unique event. Unlike other functions that need to take on debt and a degree of uncertainty before their event’s opening dates, the Heber Market pays for itself. Although put on by Heber City Municipal, all the fees collected from the vendors go to pay for the market — taxpayers are not pressed for the event.
While schedules are still uncertain, the new look and layout, new themed events, new entertainment, and new vendors are certain to make the all-new Heber Market worth the wait! Whenever it happens, I plan to stay awhile — meet me at the food booths!
hebermarket.com • #hebermarket