Sunday, April 15, 2001

Vendors relocate to keep tradition




By Andrea Tortora
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Findlay Market moved southeast Saturday to Court Street, where a tiny fraction of the market's vendors set up shop to keep alive the spirit of one of the city's historic gems.

        With their regular location closed because of the week's vandalism and fears of unrest through the weekend, Patti Piatt, Gerry Brauckmann and Eugene Harris decided to sell anyway.

        They posted a sign at the market, telling customers where to find them from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

        “We do this every Saturday, and if there was any way possible we wanted to do it this Saturday,” said Mr. Harris, who owns the Gospel Poet. “Sales will be much less today but we do this for a living, and we need to make a living.”

        Ms. Piatt, who owns The Herbalist, and Mr. Brauckmann, partner in Rialto Flora, said they had only a portion of their wares available.

        “A lot of the vendors had already canceled orders,” Mr. Brauckmann said.

        The market association decided Friday to close for the weekend. Market vendors expect to reopen Wednesday.

        Easter weekend is traditionally one of the best as far as sales go, so the market's closing comes at an unfortunate time.

        Faithful customers came anyway.

        Lori Anthony said she likes to support the vendors, and Mr. Brauckmann's flowers were bright and cheerful Saturday. She asked him to make a bouquet with purple irises. He paired them with tiny yellow hybrid limonium and tree fern.

        Ms. Piatt set up fresh herbs, flavored butters, potpourri and dried flower bouquets. Looters destroyed her shop and stole $12 “Bible bouquets” earlier in the week.

        “I was determined to show up today as a show of faith,” Ms. Piatt said. “People will lose a lot of money and some of the vendors might not come back.”

        Brenda Tarbell, who lives downtown, came to the makeshift location after looking at the damage at Findlay Market Saturday morning.

        “I go every Saturday, and I just wanted to patronize anyone who came out,” said the wife of Cincinnati Councilman Jim Tarbell.

        Even other vendors came to shop.

        Jeanne Scott, who owns Mrs. Goodpie, didn't have time to bake her wares. On Saturday, she brought a show of support as she bought fresh flowers from Mr. Brauckmann.

       



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- Vendors relocate to keep tradition
Hot dog vendor pays back hero with relish
Unrest rekindles memory
A familiar story of Easter
Notebook: Here and there