Local farmers want to sell wine at City Market - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Local farmers want to sell wine at City Market


Local farmers want to sell more than just produce at the City Market.

They hope a new ordinance will allow them to sell their wine. They say it's a win-win for family businesses and customers in Kansas City.

"We started with one cow, one pig and we built it from that," said Bret Fahrmeier of Fahrmeier Family Vineyards and Winery.

Back in 1947, the family business started on a Lexington, MO, farm. Three generations later, the Fahrmeier family is branching out. They added a 13-acre vineyard to produce local wine.

"What better than to eat local and drink local too," Fahrmeier said.

The problem is that right now they say they can't sell their wine alongside their local produce at Kansas City's City Market. They say it's one of the only farmer's markets in the state that doesn't have an ordinance allowing vendors to sell wine.

"It's always been a vision down the road, but the hoops have been high," Fahrmeier said.

A proposed ordinance could change that.

"That's exposing a whole new customer base to these little bitty wineries that can't afford to do all this, you know. It costs a lot of money to get into grocery stores," Fahrmeier said.

The ordinance would allow farmers and producers who apply for and receive an original package liquor sales license and lease a space at the City Market to sell locally produced wine.

The farmer or producer would have to satisfy all of the other requirements of the application process in order to receive an original package sales license, which includes the applicant and managing officer successfully completing a background check. Once a license is issued to any farmer/producer, they will be required to follow all liquor ordinances, which include not allowing lewd and indecent conduct on or within the immediate vicinity of the licensed premise and not causing a nuisance to or change in character of the residential or immediate area surrounding the licensed premise. The farmer/producer will also be placed on a six-month probationary period once their license has been issued and they have begun to sell wine.

The Fahrmeier family said the ordinance is good for local wineries, convenient for customers and it keeps the money local.

"Studies have shown for every local dollar spent in a community, it turns over six times," Fahrmeier said.

City Councilwoman Jan Marcason sponsored the ordinance.

Local wineries will have to wait and see if they can sell their wine at the City Market. The Public Safety and Emergency Services Meeting where city leaders would have discussed the issue on Wednesday was canceled.

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