First of all, a little background: This week, the Chronicle reported in a column by CW Nevius that the Aidells booth at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market was being asked to leave by the end of the month.
Aidells is the popular sausage company that was begun in 1983 by Bruce Aidells. In her book Comfort Me With Apples, Ruth Reichl recalls first meeting Aidells, having no idea that one day he would become the "sausage king of America." Fast forward nearly thirty years, and Aidell's is a $20 million operation with sausages available in your corner store. Aidells sold his interest in the company in 2002.
Each year, CUESA, the organization that oversees the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, assesses the applications of all market vendors (they must reapply each year) and makes decisions about what vendors will participate in the market. Needless to say, a spot at the Saturday market -- one of the biggest and most lucrative markets in the country -- is highly sought after, and participation in the market can bring a farm or purveyor into the spotlight.
CUESA takes this responsibility seriously. The vendors who have come into the market recently -- Drinkwell Soda, 4505 meats, and Catalan Family Farm, for instance -- are small business with fantastic, sustainable products and a ton of potential.