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New sponsor for Farmers' Market

Whole Foods joins the city of Santa Clarita in supporting the weekly event.

Posted: April 10, 2008 4:42 p.m.
Updated: June 11, 2008 5:04 a.m.

Shoppers scrutinize the produce at the Farmers' Market in photo from April 2007. Whole Foods Market in Valencia has partnered with the city of Santa Clarita to become a co-sponsor of the Farmers' Market in downtown Newhall, which reopens today.

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Whole Foods Market in Valencia has partnered with the city of Santa Clarita to become a co-sponsor of the Farmers' Market in downtown Newhall, which returns to Market Street today.

The sponsorship between the city and Whole Foods, an Austin, Texas-based retailer of natural and organic foods, is designed to stir an interest in the open air market from all areas of the Santa Clarita Valley, explained Phil Lantis, arts and events administrator for the city.

"It's meant more as a city-wide and community-wide event," he said.

Lantis also hopes that this year's market will see an increase in the number of vendors joining the event.
In previous years, Lantis said the market was averaging between 8 and 10 vendors.

He would like to see the number reach somewhere between 15 and 20 this year, adding that they want to make the market more of an event with its weekly live entertainment.

Tina Landrum, marketing supervisor for Whole Foods, said the store decided to participate in the 2008 Farmers' Market because it gave Whole Foods a way to reach out to the entire local community.

Additionally, Landrum said the concept of "buying local" is a core value of Whole Foods.

Even though Whole Foods sells organic goods, Landrum said the store will not sell its own produce at the Farmers' Market. Rather, she said that the store will be inviting vendors of other products that are exclusive to the organic retailer to set up at the market several times a month.

Landrum said that a portion of the produce booth fees will benefit the Whole Planet Foundation, an organization initiated by Whole Foods to benefit the poor of growing communities around the world.
The remainder of the fees will go towards the vendor coordinator.

The Farmers' Market will be held every Thursday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. through October 30.

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