Government & Politics

June 25, 2014

Local wines could soon be sold at downtown farmers market

A Kansas City Council committee has endorsed a proposal that for the first time would allow Missouri wineries to sell their wares at the downtown farmers market. The measure goes to the full council on July 10.

Area vineyards are starting to yield a bumper crop of great wines, and Kansas City officials are trying to make it possible for customers to buy them at the downtown farmers market.

The City Council’s Public Safety Committee gave the green light Wednesday to a new type of permit for Missouri farmers and producers to sell their wines by the bottle at the City Market farmers market.

“This would allow us to attract a new type of farmers market vendor,” Meghan Buum, marketing and events manager for the City Market, told the committee, which endorsed the proposal.

The measure goes to the full council on July 10 for approval.

Buum said the Missouri Wine and Grape Board has just started offering free samples at the weekend farmers market, but existing city permits don’t allow sales.

Jim Ready, the city’s regulated industries manager, agreed that current city permits are designed for caterers or retailers selling packaged liquor from a building and don’t fit the farmers market situation. But Buum said that other markets in Missouri and Overland Park allow sales of locally produced wines and that it’s time for the City Market to cultivate that opportunity.

This new municipal market vendor permit, available for $25 per day or $50 per weekend, would open up that sales opportunity to Missouri wine producers.

Buum said Fahrmeier Farms and Vineyards of Lexington, Mo., has already expressed interest in the new permit and more wineries are likely to follow.

To reach Lynn Horsley, call 816-226-2058 or send email to lhorsley@kcstar.com.

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