The Dearborn Farmers Market has ended for 2012, and fans of the weekly outdoor event can expect some changes when it reopens in the spring of 2013.
The first of those transitions is already apparent, as new market manager Millie Judd—a Dearborn Heights resident and frequent volunteer of the Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce—has taken the place of market founder Joan Reed.
Reed, who started the market under the chamber five years ago, said she resigned from the job due to disagreements between herself and chamber leadership over the future and direction of the market.
Reed said her vision was a market that sold only Michigan-made goods from local vendors, and was a community gathering place.
"I firmly believe in the mission of the market," Reed told Patch. "We needed a positive thing in Dearborn—something where people could come and see their neighbor."
Chamber of Commerce President Jennifer Giering confirmed that the market would return, though the ways it will change are still being explored.
“Under the leadership of the new market manager, Millie Judd, we will be exploring new ways to make the market attractive to our vendors and their customers," Giering said. "Some of which could include cooking and recipe contests, fitness walks and food trucks.”
Reed admitted that the market did face challenges, including growing its crowds, as well as its vendor base. She said she believes eliminating paid parking, as well as setting it apart from competing nearby markets are key to its continued success.
Still, Reed added, "I think the market has had some great vendors."
"I hope it does well in 2013," she added.