Friday, July 20, 2007

San Francisco's Farmers' Market is not Perfect

Sometimes Unnecessary Things Happen there

picture photograph or animated gif 2007 copyright of sam breach

I was part of the following conversation last week at the Madison Growers stand at the San Francisco Ferry Building Farmers Market. Please note that the basil in question was already sitting in one of those plastic sheaths like the kind they often put plants in at a florists...

Mr. Atallah: "Here, have a [plastic] bag."
Me: "No thank you, I don't want a bag."
Mr. Atallah: "You have to take a bag."
Me: "No, I don't."
Mr. Atallah: "You can't buy it if you don't take a bag."
Me (putting the basil back on the table): "OK, I won't buy it then."
Mr. Atallah: "I don't want to be held responsible for messing you up, with the dirt on the pot."
Me: "I think that's my choice."
Mr. Atallah: "No, it's not."

You might think I am perhaps bending the truth a little here, or exaggerating for comic effect, but I had bumped in to my friend Sean Timblerlake just seconds before this conversation occurred and he'll confirm what I am reporting. That Sean was witness is particularly apt since he runs a series called Eatsdropper on his blog, Hedonia that publishes a weekly listing of overheard foodie funnies in the Bay area. You should check it out if you don't already.

I think I will be giving Madison Growers a wide berth from now on!

In other local news, here are some other food blogs and internet resources I have come across recently:
Zoomie Station
Six By 10 Tiny Kitchen
i might be wrong
The Yummy Scoop
Foodhoe's Foraging
Local Forage

© 2007 Sam Breach
San Francisco's Farmers' Market is not Perfect


  • At 20/7/07 08:12, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Heaven forbid you get dirt anywhere on your person!

    unbelievable, I tell ya.....

  • At 20/7/07 08:17, Blogger SteamyKitchen said…

    baggie nazi
    no baggie no basil for u!

  • At 20/7/07 09:18, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    SteamyKitchen -- it was seriously just like that, with the accent and everything. He basically threatened not to sell her basil if she didn't take the stupid bag. I mean, whatev!

  • At 20/7/07 09:44, Blogger Beccy said…

    I would so have done what you did...go Sam go.

  • At 20/7/07 09:59, Blogger ChrisB said…

    I can't believe someone is so stupid as to lose a sale; can he seriously believe you would hold him responsible for a bit of dirt- do american sue for that sort of thing?!!

  • At 20/7/07 13:31, Blogger Barbara said…

    How bizarre.

  • At 20/7/07 20:47, Blogger Monkeyflower said…

    Amazing. I've never had trouble using my own bag at a farmer's market (or anywhere else).

  • At 20/7/07 21:38, Blogger Chubbypanda said…

    Sounds like he had a run-in with a nasty customer who did complain about dirt on the pot and he reacted by going too far the other way.

  • At 21/7/07 14:11, Blogger Catherine said…

    LOL! What a nut case!

  • At 21/7/07 20:48, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    That's so funny!!! I usually have to tell people twice (sometimes three times) I don't want a bag. Most salespeople are kind of programmed to give you one, even when you ask them directly not to do so. When you remind them as they start bagging, they sort of start, like a sleepwalker coming awake, and say, "oh, bag. sorry..."

  • At 21/7/07 22:31, Blogger Emma said…

    Oh too funny! What a silly man. Was he really worried about a potential dry cleaning bill? While I have never been refused service for not taking bag, like Diane, I have had to say no many times during the one transaction. But I do suspect the butcher thinks me weird for putting the meat in my handbag . . .

  • At 22/7/07 06:18, Blogger Truffle said…

    How absolutely bizarre! I would have done the same thing you did!

  • At 26/7/07 05:51, Blogger s'kat said…

    That is hilarious! You would think that Farm Market folk would be more clued into not handing out bags.

  • At 29/7/07 18:16, Blogger Joel said…

    I thought plastic bags were being outlawed in The City anyway? Who would actually FORCE someone to take a container for their purchase in the first place? The question "Paper or Plastic?" comes to mind.
    By the way, Sam, thank you very much for the plug on this post. I write Six by 10 Tiny Kitchen, and it feels pretty good to get a little notice. Keep up the great work!


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