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Slow Food loses 1/3 of its vendors as a new market quickly starts up north

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A new Slow Food market has appeared north of the Centro, comprising about a third of the original mercado’s vendors. Photo: Facebook

About 20 out of Slow Food’s 60 or so vendors were missing from the Slow Food Market in Garcia Ginerés on Saturday. Instead, they had formed a second Slow Food market on the Prolongación.

The vendors, who were not named, gave no notice and their absence took organizers by surprise, a letter from a board member indicates. Days earlier, Facebook posts from Slow Food Yucatán attempted to head off rumors, or a misunderstanding, that Slow Flood was no longer operating at Plaza Colón, where they have been set up for nine of its 11 years.

The board member, Gail Weaver, said the breakaway group’s new market is operating at Gonzalo Guerrero Park in conjunction with Mérida city officials near Boston’s pizza restaurant. The new group’s Facebook page, created Dec. 9, indicates it’s also part of the Slow Food network.

The original Slow Food market still operates at Plaza Colón, within walking distance or a quick ride for many Centro residents. Photo: Facebook

While negotiations for a separation were in the works, the suddenness the exodus caught organizers off guard, said Weaver.

Much of the discussion about conflict, spread on social media, was “either mean spirited or blatantly inaccurate,” according to Weaver’s letter.

“Differences of opinion, vision (and) style are normal within organizations,” said one commenter on Facebook. Details on why some vendors were unhappy were not offered.

The original Slow Food market put out a call for new vendors to fill the vacancies. Already, Soco, a popular bread bakery in Santa Lucia, took a spot.

Both Slow Food markets operate Saturdays until 1 p.m., but the breakaway market starts a half-hour earlier, at 8:30 a.m.

It’s been a difficult year for Slow Food, which already endured a pandemic shutdown that forced it to reshape the way it transacts business, introducing safety measures and delivery.

The Slow Food movement promotes natural and regional foods created by artisans. Slow Food Yucatán is one of only 69 chapters around the world. It was started here in 2009 in part by Chef David Sterling.

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