Livermore Downtown Inc. has officially reached agreement with a new manager for its farmers' market, selecting Foragers Market to lead operations and put the twice-weekly market in position to return next week.
Announced Monday, nearly two weeks after the previous management company resigned amid fallout from a controversy involving the LGBTQ+ pride flag, downtown officials say the new market manager will not only fit in well with Livermore's diverse landscape but will also be instrumental in expanding the market's offerings.
"The Foragers Market team will continue to curate Bay Srea's best collection of local food purveyors and artisan producers that will fit well with Livermore's diverse and growing demographic. Their focus will be on seeking local Livermore and surrounding Tri-Valley areas for talented food makers," Livermore Downtown Inc. officials said in a statement.
The Thursday farmers' market is slated to reopen July 9, from 4-8 p.m. and continue through October, at Carnegie Park on Third Street, between J and K streets. The traditional year-round Sunday farmers' market is scheduled to reopen July 12, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., on Second Street, between J and L streets.
Livermore Downtown officials say Foragers Market is led by Harvindar Singh, who is well-versed in the local food scene and previously worked as Whole Foods Market regional local forager from 2006 to 2016. Singh was also heavily involved in the San Ramon Farmers' Market.
"Harv's commitment to building local food security and healthy communities through his curation style and various programs has become a huge draw," Downtown Inc. officials added.
Without a management company to lead the operation, the Livermore Farmers' Market has been closed since June 18.
The market's previous manager, California Farmers Market Association, stepped down on June 16 after an argument between its executive director and members of Livermore Pride and a local bakery owner earlier in the month went viral.
The incident occurred on June 7, when Dan Floyd -- owner of Dan Good Cookies, a vendor at the market -- and Livermore Pride Executive Director Amy Pannu were handing out rainbow flags in honor of LGBTQ Pride Month, but CFMA Executive Director Gail Hayden told the duo to stop, saying the practice of distributing flags violated market policy.
Pannu captured the end of the ensuing conversation on video, which then went viral on social media and resulted in calls for boycotting CFMA because of Hayden's actions and tone.
While CFMA later apologized for the encounter, Livermore Downtown issued a joint statement with the city of Livermore condemning the incident and CFMA's conduct.
"CFMA's recent actions were unacceptable and do not represent the values and principles that are appropriate for the Farmers Market, and all other programs or services in the City of Livermore," they said in the joint statement.
"The Farmers Market is a community institution that many have anxiously awaited both for a return to social connection and, importantly, economic recovery for the many independent growers, food crafters, artisans and others whose passion brings them to the Market each week," they added.