The Italian Market’s iconic streetside stands could start filling up if all goes as planned with a management change that goes into effect on Jan. 1.
Plan Philly reports that the South 9th Street Business Association will take over management of the market and have greater control over stand rentals, thanks to a bill passed in City Council last month. The legislation allows vendors to rent more than the current two-stand maximum and will let an association committee search for and vet potential new sellers.
Michele Gambino, business manager for the association, said she’ll be on the lookout for organic produce vendors and other ideas that will diversify the market’s offerings.
Says Plan Philly:
Gambino said that vendor requirements will relaxed, and will no longer restrict stand rental to city residents who also own a brick-and-mortar business in the market. That shift is geared at giving smaller vendors looking for startup space an opportunity to rent a stand. …
“We know we need an organic produce stand,” Gambino said in hopes of meeting that consumer demand. The market is and always will emphasize food, Gambino stressed, but the association would like to invite local craft vendors to occupy stands, particularly given the popularity of the Italian Market Festival’s craft booths. “The more diverse it is the more shoppers will come and have a better experience.”
Sounds like a good plan, especially since only about half the 160 stalls between Christian and Federal streets are occupied.
Can we also force every vendor to scrub the street underneath the stands on a daily basis? Yes, some already do it, but requiring all of them to clean daily would go a long way toward providing a more welcoming environment, no?