A big shake-up occurred at Studio City’s farmers market when the board of directors recently canned Carole Gallegos, the market’s manager for seven years, in exchange for lawyer and board member Melody Dosch, who owns the neighborhood’s popular Artisan Cheese Gallery with her parents. The new crew is hoping the change will allow for greater diversity among vendors in the market and more organic product that will get local restaurants to do there shop here. Meanwhile, Gallegos, who tells North Hollywood-Toluca Lake Patch that she “was always out there, rain or shine,” has her defenders as well, especially seeing as the market has tripled its sales under her watch, was named one of The Valley’s top three markets by the L.A. Times, and earned a Los Angeles magazine nod for “Most Kid-Friendly Market.”
Former market board member Bruce Neckels, who helped hire Gallegos, says, “I am completely baffled by this…The vendors always loved Carole, and she made sure everything was in compliance with the codes, and she made sure everything was done right…I think everything has been fine, I do not know what direction they want to go in, but this could be a big mistake.”
That same sentiment is echoed by Allen Ravert, the Umami Burger and Mexicali Cantina co-owner who helped to start the market. Ravert argues, “I think the vendors should be worried. I’m not sure the board of directors knows how to run a farmers market. I hope they don’t ruin it…I hired Carole Gallegos as the manager of the market, and she knows how to run a business.”
For their part, the new regime seems to be laying out a lot of generalities at this point that don’t clearly necessitate the manager’s firing. Dosch offers at least one concrete goal of adding more exotic produce and “more different colors” to the market. Elsewhere, Art Howard, a longtime member of the market’s residents association, claims that the market wants maps to help guests differentiate the vendors, something we suspect could be done without the axe landing on the head of someone who tripled the take here.
Farmers Market Eyes ‘Change in Direction,’ Fires Manager [North Hollywood-Toluca Lake Patch]