The downtown is one of the only year 'round markets in the South Bay. It attracts crowds that fill downtown Campbell's streets every Sunday, but it also does something that many may not be aware of.
According the Downtown Campbell Business Association at tonight's Campbell City Council meeting, the farmers' market also hurts downtown businesses.
"Having a farmers market has helped our downtown grow and we appreciate it, but the configuration of it has had a detrimental effect on our business," says Sally Howe, DCBA member and downtown business owner.
The current set up of the farmers' market allows visitors to go down the center of Campbell Avenue and places the backs of the vendors to the existing businesses, thus "blocking them" from the large crowds, DCBA members contested March 20.
At a DCBA meeting earlier this month, members threw out ideas for alternative setups similar to popular Campbell festivals like where the vendors set up down the middle of the street, allowing better visibility for the businesses.
"By all accounts the farmers' market is a success," Dana Smith says. "But blocking the businesses is nuts. I believe that the longer the city council allows this layout, the more businesses we will lose."
Smith's business, is at the end of this month and he contends the loss of business on Sundays played a role in his decision.
Deb Rohzen, owner of and a DCBA member told the council that she used to have a location up the street where the market did not block her boutique, but after relocating to her current location, she has seen a difference in traffic.
"It's a world of difference in the business on a Sunday, especially in this economy," Rohzen says. "We are asking to keep the farmers' market, we love the farmers' market but we need equal exposure. We are fighting for a better setup."
Sonya Paz, the DCBA's president brought up the possible expansion of the market, from where it currently ends as something she'd like to see change, along with the configuration.
"Our building is only four years old and the farmers' market was set in motion before we were there," Paz says. "So our building was not taken into consideration because we didn't exist. We are now at full capacity."
The building Paz' business, Sonya Paz Gallery, is located at recently filled spaces with the additions of BYR of Belgium and .
"It's great that we have the world's best farmers' market," says Laura Moore, business owner and DCBA member. "Just tweaking it enough to work for both the businesses and the farmers' market."
The city council was receptive to the idea of discussing the issue over a sub-committee or study session.
"We can't promise to fix anything but it is worth talking about," says Councilman Jason Baker. "It involves two very important things to Campbell: the downtown businesses and the farmers market."
Check back with us to read more on this story as it develops.