Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tonee puts in long hours

While Lynea Newcomer is correct in that it is wonderful to be able to support local farmers by shopping the Farmers' Market each week, she is truly out of line and unfair to attack Tonee' s Produce Stand.

Part of the greatness of our town is encouraging young (or old) aspiring entrepreneurs to open businesses. That is what makes up this town, the individually owned shops, restaurants and niche businesses. Now you slam this poor young guy because he saw a need, took the incentive, and made the financial commitment to give it a try. If you have been down to Tonee's and met Tonee and his partner, you will find they put in long hours to make it work. Why is this any different than Pike's Place Market in Seattle? Do you really believe they only bring in local produce to all their stands? Atkinsons' has a beautiful produce department and offers a great variety of products, but it is just like Tonee's in that most of the produce is brought in from outside Idaho (look at the packaging).

Tonee had to take out a business license to open shop. Therefore, he is paying his taxes to the city each month. The Realtor is paying taxes on the rental income he is making off leasing the land. So both are contributing to Ketchum and Idaho's economy.

We have numerous wonderful coffee shops, ski/bike shops, restaurants, and real estate offices, why can't we have choices of where we want to spend our money on produce as well? It is nice to have some price competition. The comment I have heard most often from people is that they would shop at the Farmers' Market more if the prices weren't so high. They thought that the Farmers' Market would be beautiful, homegrown, produce costing less than the grocery store because it was coming straight from the farm with no middle men.

I think the real issue of our community is finding ways to make the basics of life, food, clothing and shelter, affordable for all. If we can find ways to do, this people will shop locally; there will be no need to go south where everything currently is affordable; all those dollars would stay here in the community. And, the beauty of all this is that it would be year round business, with no slack...hmm, now wouldn't that be great.

Janet Crews


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