“Ideally, we would love to stay at the mall and we’re really looking for support from the town as we try to see if we can swing that.”
Although the University Mall led the market’s board of directors to believe in the past that the market would have to move soon, that plan is less certain now, said Jeffry Goodrum, owner of Seeing Stars Farm of Orange County — one of the market’s vendors.
Goodrum said the market does not want to change its location but said the board is exploring alternative options in case the market will not be able to secure a permanent placement there.
“All of our customers know us to be there, and it’s the market board’s preference that we stay,” Goodrum said.
Rudel said a permanent location for the market would need to provide space for expansion, permanent signage and ample parking and accessibility for customers.
Goodrum said the University Mall location meets most of those requirements.
Another location being considered for the market is the Edge — a proposed mixed-use development at 3000 Eubanks Road. The Chapel Hill Town Council discussed this option at a meeting on Monday.
Council member Jim Ward said the Edge location features some of the market’s requirements for an ideal space, such as ample parking, but it would be better if the Chapel Hill market could remain where it is
“I’d love to see what I can do to help facilitate this, but the mall is undergoing a lot of changes right now with several new businesses coming in,” Ward said. “It’s more important to me that the market gets a permanent home, and we’re trying not to leave any stone unturned.”
Will Cramer, co-owner of Ever Laughter Farm and president of the market’s board of directors, said a location change would be disruptive for loyal customers.
“Consistency is really important, and it’s incredibly frustrating to customers when there is uncertainty involved,” Rudel said. “Even just moving around in the mall parking lot, we had customers who couldn’t find us and thought we were closed.”