Visalia Farmers Market replants at nearby location

Visalia Farmers Market will move across the parking lot away from Mooney Blvd to make way for Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers eatery

VISALIA – For the first time in some 40 years the Visalia Farmers Market will be moving to a new location. But don’t worry, it’s just across the parking lot.

Market manager Angie Warkentin announced the move on the market’s social media and website last Thursday, saying “Our new location will be on the same property but behind Sears, west of where we are currently located. This new location will not be visible from Mooney. If you don’t see us when you drive by on Saturday morning in a few weeks, don’t worry, we are still there! You just have to look a little bit harder and a little bit to the west.”

Warkentin added in an interview, “We will continue to have signs at the corner of Mooney and Caldwell letting people know we are nearby and even have a few community members who have volunteered to be sign twirlers at the corner.”

Warkentin said the market will open at its new location on Nov. 14 to make way for construction of a new building to house Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers. The Louisiana-based restaurant is known for its “One Love” slogan of narrowly focusing on its passion for quality chicken finger meals. Founded by Todd Graves in 1996 in Baton Rouge, La., Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers has about 500 restaurants in 27 states, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates with multiple new restaurants under construction. The nearest Raising Cane location is in Bakersfield, where the company has two restaurants, with the rest of California stores located in Southern California. The drive-thru restaurant also has plans to open a Tulare location on Prosperity Avenue across from the Evolutions Center.

Warkentin said all of her vendors have been notified and community members are starting to come around to the idea.

“They made us aware of the project more than a year ago and we have a great relationship with the property owner,” Warkentin said.

Warkentin said she is excited about the new location long term. LA developer Dave Paynter purchased the mall property in 2013. Paynter, who has a knack for reinventing retail space, has publicly stated his plans to possibly tear down the indoor mall and redevelop the property into an outdoor mall.

“Think a scaled down version of River Park [shopping center in Fresno] right here in Visalia,” Warkentin said. “I’m really excited for the future of that property and the Farmers Market being able to be a part of that.”

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