Claire Campbell joins DIB Board
Posted: Oct 6, 2021 3:23 PMUpdated: Oct 6, 2021 3:23 PM
A New York media producer turned Downtown Pensacola business owner is joining the Downtown Improvement Board.Claire Campbell has been appointed by Pensacola Mayor Grover C. Robinson, IV, to serve on the five-member body which seeks to foster growth in a 44-block district in the heart of downtown.Campbell is the founder and owner of Ride Society, the region’s premiere indoor cycle studio. A native of Pensacola, Campbell spent a decade in New York in marketing before opening the Palafox space in 2018.“We are very excited to have Claire join our team,” said Wilson Walker, executive director of the DIB. “Her perspective as both a business owner and communicator will bring a unique and valuable perspective to everything the DIB does.” Campbell’s first meeting as a board member was September 28.In addition to serving on the DIB, Campbell is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Pensacola Little Theatre and Pensacola Cultural Center.The DIB is dedicated to improving the district’s quality-of-life and economic success by creating a cleaner, safer and more enjoyable environment.
DIB Seeks Finance Committee Member
Posted: Oct 5, 2021 1:47 PMUpdated: Oct 5, 2021 1:47 PM
Pensacola’s Downtown Improvement Board is looking for a new member for its Finance Committee.The Pensacola Downtown Improvement Board (DIB) is a dependent special agency funded by a tax levy on properties within its district boundaries. The district consists of 44 blocks that encompass the urban core of Downtown Pensacola, an area that was proclaimed “Florida’s Best Place” during a vote conducted by the American Planning Association’s Florida Chapter. The Finance Committee provides financial expertise and guidance to the DIB’s five-member Board of Directors.Applicants must own property, work or live within the DIB's 44-block downtown district, which runs for several blocks east and west from Plaza De Luna to Belmont Street. They must also be available for monthly meetings, with three consecutive absences constituting a resignation.The Finance Committee works in collaboration with the DIB Board for the overall benefit of the district regardless of individual personal feelings, experiences, perceptions or beliefs.Appointees will be governed by Florida’s Public Records Law and Sunshine Law, as well as the City of Pensacola Code of Ethics. The appointment will be reviewed annually or as determined by the DIB chairman. To apply, CLICK HERE.
Local Farmers, Artists Gearing Up for Special Edition "Halloween Market" Oct. 30
Posted: Sep 30, 2021 2:27 PMUpdated: Sep 30, 2021 2:28 PM
Children are encouraged to dress in their most outrageous costumes for a special “Halloween Market” edition of the Palafox Market on Saturday, Oct. 30. Vendor booths will be decorated for the autumn holiday, offering candy to trick-or-treaters. Kids can get their faces painted for awesome Halloween selfie opportunities. Also, candy prizes will be awarded in a costume contest and in a Halloween-themed scavenger hunt. In addition to the sweet treats, everybody’s favorite arachnid superhero, Spider-Man, as well as Disney’s Princess Rapunzel, will be mingling with fans. Palafox Market, coordinated by the Downtown Improvement Board, is staged in Martin Luther King, Jr., Plaza, every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. As many as 8,000 people meander along the plaza’s red brick walkway on the busiest of days. “Our vendors love interacting with their patrons, and Halloween is an exceptional opportunity for that,” said Emily Kopas, DIB chief operating officer. “The weather is beautiful this time of year and the produce is abundant, so we think Halloween is a great time for a special celebration at Palafox Market.” The market features up to 200 vendors ranging from local farmers and bakers to artists and craftsmen and women. All the items available at Palafox Market are grown, created or produced within 100 miles of Pensacola. While the market is open year-round, produce is available according to local farmers’ growing seasons. Fresh veggies and fruits likely to be in season at Halloween include locally-harvested arugula, oyster mushrooms, collard greens, radishes, carrots and apples. Shoppers may also find plants, baked goods, local honey, cut flowers, many different kinds of art and handmade goods and lots more.  The “Halloween Market” is a great opportunity to snap up unique fall décor and start Christmas shopping. Entertainment at the market is provided by the String Farm bluegrass band near the MLK bust. In 2020, Southern Living magazine named Palafox Market as the best farmers' market in Florida. Palafox Market also consistently wins local awards in categories like “Best Farmers' Market," "Best Free Thing to Do" and "Best Place to Buy Local Produce.”
DIB Seeks Manager for Palafox Market
Posted: May 17, 2021 2:02 PMUpdated: May 17, 2021 2:38 PM
The Market Manager oversees the day-to-day operations and market day set up as well as accepts and processes vendor applications. The market manager sets the tone and represents the market internally with vendors and externally to shoppers/visitors while representing the Downtown Improvement Board and its mission. Characteristic Duties and Responsibilities:Oversee the incoming vendor applications and perform necessary bookkeeping of application feesSetup and maintain a jury pool of local artists to review applications and submitted works by applicants on a timely schedule (monthly)Track market metrics such as attendance of vendors, cancellations of vendors, waiting lists of approved applications Collect vendor fees and proper bookkeeping per office protocol Maintain all vendor applications and records, including current licenses and permitsEnsure proper permit applications are submitted and approved to operate market Maintain any and all volunteer recordsAssist Executive Director in annual budget of the marketSupervise vendor setup properly and breakdown properly each market day including overseeing of waste control/disposalEnsure proper equipment is ordered and delivered and or maintained for each market day including but not limited to port-o-lets, handwashing stations, consumable goods for port-o-lets and handwashing stations, padlocks for electrical boxes and port-o-letsHandle any emergencies or situations that arise with vendors or visitors of the marketAssign vendor spaces and manage overall market layoutCultivate and maintain a balanced market with a variety of vendors and goodsSubmit regular reports to Executive Director and present publicly to Board of DirectorsAssist in creation, produce, management of market promotions, advertising and special eventsAny other duties as assigned by Executive Director Core Competencies:Experience with Quickbooks softwareStrong organizational and personnel management skillsProficient skill in Microsoft Suite (Word, Powerpoint, Excel) software programExcellent time management skills and ability to coordinate interrelated projectsExperience in database initiation and maintenance Education or experience in Fine ArtsStrong interpersonal & conflict resolution skillsMinimum Acceptable Qualification:Associates or at least 5+ year(s) of project/event management experienceSufficient strength and physical dexterity to perform duties and responsibilities of this job, including moderate lifting, long period on your feet and in all weather conditionsNo criminal record (other than minor traffic violations)Possession of a valid driver's license for the State of Florida, or ability to obtain within 30 days. Must have at least 5+ year(s) licensed driving experience. Must have a clean driving record within last 5+ yearsAbility to provide/pass pre-employment background check, criminal background report, negative drug & tobacco test result and credit report when requested COMPETITIVE SALARY AND BENEFITS based on training and experience.REPORTS TO:  Executive Director of the Downtown Improvement BoardSEND RESUMES TO:  Executive Director Pensacola Downtown Improvement Board, 226 S. Palafox Place, Suite 106 Pensacola FL 32502 NOTE: All expressions of interest and resumes must be received at above address by 5:00 pm CST on Friday May 21, 2021 to be considered.
Palafox Market Celebrates 14 Years
Posted: May 11, 2021 10:20 PMUpdated: May 11, 2021 10:20 PM
The modest farmers market project that blossomed into the centrepiece of Saturday mornings in Downtown Pensacola is celebrating its 14th anniversary. On Saturday, May 15, shoppers at Palafox Market will enjoy live entertainment, activities for kids and giveaways. The market is open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Saturday, rain or shine, in Martin Luther King, Jr., Plaza. “We’re all looking forward to celebrating 14 years of Palafox Market,” said Sydney Barrow, market manager. “This market wouldn’t be what it is without our amazing vendors and the support of the community.” This anniversary is especially meaningful because the market was closed last year from March to October due to Covid-19. “Our vendors offer a variety of products like unique art, baked goods, fresh produce, live plants and so much more,” Barrow said. “These vendors took a big hit in 2020 due to the pandemic, so it has been great to have everyone back together.” Palafox Market, coordinated by the Downtown Improvement Board, opened in 2006 with a strictly agricultural focus, giving about 25 local farmers a venue to offer their products to shoppers in the downtown area. It first met under the Interstate 110 overpass, and then a vacant lot, before finding its home in Martin Luther King, Jr., Plaza. Maria Pena said she brought her homemade soap and other handmade goods to Palafox Market in 2009 or 2010 after she and her husband retired. “We were at the end of Palafox in a little lot.” Said Pena, who’s booth is called Lady PMOBug Natural Soaps. “There were eight, maybe nine, vendors, mainly a lot of vegetables and stuff like that. I was the only one making soap at the time. We’ve been doing it ever since. We’ve met so many nice people.” In the beginning, the market was only open on Saturdays during harvest seasons. “The DIB decided to make the market year-round when it was expanded to include other vendor types like bakers, jewelry makers, artists, etc.,” said Lissa Dees, the former executive director of the DIB. Dees recently went on to become the parking manager for the City of Pensacola. “Once enough other vendors were part of the market, the DIB felt that it could be sustainable throughout the entire year and not just limited to spring and summer,” she said. “Ag vendors could still sell seasonal products in the fall and winter months, so it made sense.” Today, as many as 8,000 people meander along the plaza’s redbrick walkway on the busiest of Saturdays. Customers might be sampling fresh tamales, buying local squash or perusing original works of art for sale by Pensacola artists. The String Farm bluegrass band performs for donations in the center of the plaza near the MLK bust. With current Covid-19 restrictions, there is space for 120 vendors at the market.  Not only are all of the available spaces usually spoken for, but there is typically a waiting list.  There is always food ready to eat for sale, ranging from giant bags of popcorn and fried pork rinds to homemade pies and cakes. Many of the edible items are organic or otherwise aimed at a niche market, like gluten-free and keto-friendly baked good and specialty mustard. The products offered at the market all come from within 100 miles of Pensacola. Like Pena, many of the vendors are cottage entrepreneurs for whom the market represents much of their sales. “Ninety-nine percent of my sales come from this market,” Pena said. “This market has been great for me.” Amanda Wyant and Patricia Schrieber started New Roots Farm in early 2020, and they’ve been a part of Palafox Market since January. New Roots Farm grows organic micro-greens, like kale, purple kohlrabi and clover, sought for their dense nutrition when eaten raw. Wyant, who lives in Navarre and makes the trip to Pensacola every Saturday, said Palafox Market puts her in contact with her target audience. “It is a commitment, but it is absolutely worth it,” she said. “We tend to cater a little bit to people who are vegan or vegetarians, or are looking to improve their health.” In 2020 Southern Living magazine named Palafox Market as the best farmer’s market in Florida. Palafox Market also consistently wins local awards in categories like “Best Farmer’s Market,” “Best Free Thing to Do,” and “Best Place to Buy Local Produce.”