RVMS Winter Farmers Market Manager Position Available

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RVMS Mission Statement

The mission of Roslindale Village Main Street (RVMS) is to promote Roslindale Village as an appealing destination and the dynamic center of our community. As a nonprofit organization, we bring together local volunteers, businesses and public agencies to strengthen the Village’s economic vitality, physical appearance and unique local character. 

The Roslindale Farmers Market (RVMS FM) formed to celebrate our locale and region by providing a unique gathering place for our residents to access healthy and affordable foods grown by local farmers, alongside local prepared foods, crafts, music and programs provided by Roslindale entrepreneurs, entertainers and educators.  We hope to work side by side with vendors and farmers to promote and encourage environmentally sustainable practices and a spirit of having a small footprint through use of and maintenance of the market and its community space.

Overview:

RVMS is seeking a market manager to attend each weekly market on Saturdays, help promote the market, and keep accurate records of market activities. The market manager is the “go-to” person for vendors, consumers, and entertainers during market hours.

Each Saturday, the manager will be at the market from 8:15 am to 3:00 pm to set up the RVMS table and assist vendors, oversee the RVMS area and market generally, and clean up/break down. Other responsibilities involve the managing of the children’s area and other entertainment, welcoming and greeting customers, and actively working to expand our contact list at the market.

Training on the in-office and pre-season aspects of the market will occur in late October – early November, while most responsibilities will begin on the first day of Winter Farmers Market on Saturday, January 9th. 

Specific Responsibilities:

PRE-SEASON PREPARATION

  • Recruit volunteers – ensure that there will be 1-2 volunteers to assist at the market each week.
  • Collect payments from accepted vendors.
  • Assist Farmers Market Committee with outreach, merchandise orders, and any other issues on a limited basis. Attend committee meetings if possible once per month.

GENERAL MARKET SUPPORT

  • Must be willing and able to work outdoors and to safely lift and carry 50 pounds.
  • Develops and maintains good working relationships with RVMS staff and volunteers, market farmers and vendors, Sons of Italy staff, consumers, and community members.
  • Assists vendors, community representatives, and consumers by providing market-related information, conflict resolution, and general aid as appropriate.
  • Reviews and enforces market rules and policies.
  • Establishes a consistent space to set up and operate the market manager’s table.

MARKET LOGISTICS

  • Arrives at 8:15 am for market set-up and stays until break down is finished, around 3:00 pm
  • Places directional signs promoting the market around the community at key locations prior to opening on each market day, and removes those signs at the close of market.
  • Operation of the market manager’s table:
    • Setting up the table each week
    • Displaying and distributing promotional materials for RVMS.
    • Conducting SNAP/Boston Bounty Bucks transactions and issuing reimbursements to vendors at the end of market day.
    • Displaying and selling RVMS merchandise. Maintaining written record of merchandise sales.
  • Returns RVMS tables and other equipment to RVMS annex or office after market.
  • Assists with restoring the Sons of Italy’s layout of tables, and cleaning up (sweeping, mopping) as necessary.
  • Maintains a written record of SNAP/BBB transactions and weekly vendor reimbursements.

IN-OFFICE RESPONSIBILITY

  • The Market Manager should spend approximately 3 hours weekly on administrative tasks for the market:
    • Fill out Bounty Bucks logs to submit to BCFF
    • Count merchandise sales; cash out and record sales in spreadsheet
    • Create weekly vendor map
    • Send weekly vendor email
    • Confirm entertainment for each week
    • Make sure any checks for vendors and entertainers are ready for the market
  • Respond to any vendor/community problems or questions that arise.

 

For questions, contact Christina DiLisio at 617.327.4065 or at rvmsdirector@gmail.com.

 

Designing Woman

 

A Chat with Darlene Donovan

By Elizabeth Hawley

Longtime Roslindale residents can’t help but notice the changes in Roslindale Village over the last three decades. The appearance of the Square is perhaps the most easily defined change to come to the Village in that time. As we look back over the last thirty years, and forward to the next thirty, we sat down with long time RVMS Design Committee member Darlene Donovan to discuss the Design Committee’s work over the years, and the vision for the future.

“The Blue Star block… was really our first breakthrough,” Darlene says. “It didn’t even look like the same building. The pilasters were covered up with fake stone, there was metal on some of it, it was just really hodge-podge-y over the years.”

That’s when the Design Committee stepped in. The city of Boston was providing support to redevelop signage and redesign storefronts, but prior to the renovations to that block of Corinth Street (between Birch and Cohasset Streets) in or around 1986, Main Streets projects tended to have the same look and feel.

“You could always tell a Main Streets Project,” Darlene remembers. “They always had the same awnings and fonts. They always had the same goose neck lamps. They always looked the same.”

The Design Committee decided to do something a little different for Roslindale. “We don’t want Roslindale to look like other communities,” Darlene explains. “We’re a funky, urban, diverse community and we want that to be reflected. We’re not trying to be something we’re not.”

Blue Star Restaurant
The façade on the Blue Star block was a major project for the RVMS design committee.

Instead, the committee developed a cohesive look and feel that steered clear of uniformity, making sure that each building and store front had its own colors and its own graphics. RVMS steered clear of the awnings and goose neck lamps, too.

The end result wasn’t popular with everyone right away – some people felt the colors were too bright – but ultimately, the block became an example of what a Boston Main Streets project could be. As Darlene puts it, “you don’t have to do all the same things. You can still have architectural cohesion, but that doesn’t mean the signage has to be exactly the same. That was a real turning point.”

Other major projects followed the redesign, including the Environmental Branding Project, which Darlene spearheaded, and which developed a brand for Roslindale as a neighborhood.

“People said ‘where’s Roslindale?’ It had no identity,” Darlene describes the Roslindale of the past, “So it was a lot of work for a lot of years with a lot of people to create an identity… It was really about changing people’s minds when they thought about Roslindale.”

The new branding was incorporated into the RVMS logo, which takes into account the urban nature and diversity of the neighborhood. That led to the first custom kiosk in an urban Main Streets district. “We always try to push the envelope and have our own branding,” Darlene says of the Design Committee’s work, “we want people to see that this is a special place.”

Roslindale Business Directory Kiosk
Roslindale was the first Main Street organization to install a business kiosk.

“Hopefully, what design does is it communicates,” Darlene says. “How do you communicate to people who aren’t in the know – people that might consider moving here, or that don’t really know the community personally? It’s taking what’s already here and communicating it to the larger audience, and making people feel that they belong here.”

As for the next thirty years?

Darlene and the design committee are focused on reinforcing and building on the vision that they’ve been realizing all along.

“We were the first urban Main Streets, and we were the first ones to do so many things,” Darlene says, “and I think that we’re such a strong community. We owe it to the other Main Streets to be always pushing the envelope.”

 

RVMS Office Assistant Position Available

Organization:

Roslindale Village Main Street (RVMS) follows the operating principles of the National Main Streets Center, a national movement serving a network of more than 2,000 communities across the U.S. RVMS was established in 1985 as one of the first urban Main Street Programs in the nation, with the help of then City Councilor Thomas M. Menino and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The RVMS office, in the heart of the Roslindale Village business district, is managed by two fulltime staff who work alongside the RVMS Board of Directors, numerous volunteers, and community leaders to promote local empowerment and to celebrate our unique commercial district.

Job Description:

RVMS is seeking a Part Time Office Assistant — a rewarding position that allows the person to become intimately familiar with a community and gain a working knowledge of how a small non-profit functions and enacts their mission. Working alongside the Project Manager (PM) and the Executive Director (ED), the Office Assistant will gain skills in: public relations, communications, event planning, community building, urban planning, non-profit leadership/administration, database management, and volunteer coordination. Additionally, the Office Assistant will have the opportunity to form relationships with many RVMS partners, including business owners, property owners, elected officials, city staff, community leaders, and Roslindale residents.

Job Duties:

The work of the Office Assistant changes from day-to-day and may occasionally comprise adhoc projects, but it typically falls within these categories:

Administrative

  • Welcome in-office visitors and answer general questions (whether via email or over the phone) about the community of Roslindale Village and the Roslindale Village Main Street organization
  • Provide in-office assistance with database management (DonorSnap), knowledge management, financial management, and merchandise inventory management

Marketing and Promotions

  • Support the creation of new, or improved, outreach materials and informational materials
  • Coordinate with office staff, volunteers, business owners, and other stakeholders to spread interest in local events and local merchants through a range of tools (e.g. printed material, word-of-mouth campaigns, advertising, cross-promotions, programs, and campaigns)

Outreach and Communications

  • Support the development of web content, social media posts, e-newsletter articles, and informational flyers and/or brochures
  • Assist local business with access to resources and information

Event Planning

  • Help manage the RVMS yearly fundraiser as well as provide light support to other regular events like the RVMS Farmers Market

Position Requirements: 

  • Very strong organizational skills with an attention to detail and polished timemanagement habits
  • Strong communication skills, both written and verbal
  • A demonstrated history of showing initiative and follow through
  • An interest in working in diverse communities and local politics
  • A Bachelor’s degree or two years of relevant experience in related fields
  • Experience in web-based applications (Word Press) and MS Office applications (including Excel)

This is a paid position of 15 – 20 hours per week with an opportunity for flexible in-office hours. The position is available starting September 14th, 2015. Please submit a resume and cover letter to rvmsdirector@gmail.com or to 2A Corinth Street, Roslindale, MA 02131.

Turning Points in Roslindale’s Revival

Carter Wilkie

As Roslindale Village Main Street celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2015, past board president Carter Wilkie shares key moments in Roslindale’s evolution from 1997 to today.

 

Roslindale’s revival has been a drama in three acts. Act I, or the stabilization phase, was akin to treating an injured patient brought into the emergency room, where priority number one is to stop the bleeding. My wife and I made Roslindale our home in 1997, at the start of Act II.

Within weeks of our arrival, Chris and Kim Fallon opened Fornax Bakery on Corinth Street. At the time, Roslindale seemed like the last place for an artisanal bakery, but the couple saw potential where others did not. It was to be the first of many successful new businesses to join longtime establishments like Sullivan’s Pharmacy, Tony’s Market, Roslindale Fish Market, Harrison Refrigeration and Wallpaper City.

On a sunny day in February 1998, a crowd stood on Corinth Street for the grand opening of The Village Market. The full service grocery store became the equivalent of an anchor department store in a suburban shopping mall, a magnet that draws in pedestrian traffic every day of the week. Before the market opened, Corinth Street was dark and empty at night, with metal grates and graffiti covering many storefronts. The Market lit up the sidewalk at night, made the street feel safe and welcoming, and proved that a small,18,000 square foot grocery store could thrive in a tight, urban location. City planners made sure the building fit the look of the district: brick exterior, flush to the sidewalk, with parking to the side, a departure from shopping center design that puts parking lots in front.

About the same time, a flutist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra bought and rehabbed the brick flat iron building on Belgrade Avenue, attracting Centre Cuts as a tenant in 1998. Shortly after, a new full service restaurant, Gusto, opened at 4174 Washington Street. The upscale menu drew people to Roslindale Village for evening meals and more restaurants soon followed: Steve Judge’s Delfino and then Village Sushi and Grill.

(A quick word on the name of the business district: the term “Roslindale Square” came into use after World War II. Before that, the area was simply called the “Village.” The older name was revived in 1986 when commuter rail service was restored, recalling Roslindale’s turn of the 20th century roots as Boston’s “Streetcar Suburb.” RVMS marketed “Roslindale Village” as a deliberate branding strategy to set the location apart. Every neighborhood in Boston had a square, but few had a village or a village feel.)

An entrepreneur named Stavros Frantzis bought up a block of decrepit buildings on Birch and Corinth Streets and set about fixing them up. The courtyard behind them was his idea, inspired by places he loved in his native Greece and in Cartegeňa, a colonial Spanish port on the coast of Colombia. Three Garufi brothers returned to Roslindale from the suburbs to create Birch Street Bistro, and then Joe and John opened Sophia’s Grotto soon after.

In 2001, RVMS won a grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation for a study of what could be done with the empty substation on Washington Street, unused since 1971. Donovan Rypkema, an expert in the reuse of historic buildings, told us the project would take seven years. Fourteen years later, the work continues, steered indefatigably by a soft-spoken local real estate attorney named Adam Rogoff, with help over the years from the nonprofit group Historic Boston Incorporated and the Boston Redevelopment Authority.

Patience is vital when reviving a location, because the desperation for a quick turnaround can tempt people into accepting any development proposal that comes along. A community can accept the future it gets or choose the future it wants. Our community held out for the best outcomes and said no to options that didn’t meet our vision of what the district could become. In 1997, neighbors said no to a Wendy’s fast food franchise that wanted to put drive thru service next to the library. The parcel held a boarded up former gas station, a real eyesore. Critics said a drive thru would ruin the walkable village atmosphere and make it smell like a deep fat fryer.

Some of our biggest victories were the awful proposals you don’t see today. Charlie McCarthy and Glenn Williams led the fight against a four-story storage warehouse proposed on Washington Street, at the site of the closed Ashmont Discount Store, next to Dunkin Donuts. More than 300 people packed a meeting to oppose the plan. It was the largest crowd I’ve seen assemble for a meeting here in 18 years. Later, when Joe Murphy sold Boschetto’s Bakery across the street, he turned down an offer from a dollar store chain from out of town to accept a local bid to bring in a restaurant with a bakery attached. Joe was the community spirited mensch who initiated the annual “A Taste of Roslindale” event to show off the great food in our location.

In 2005, the BRA initiated a strategic plan to guide future development of Roslindale, rezoning the neighborhood for the first time since the 1950s. Roslindale is indebted to city planner Marie Mecurio and architect Michael Cannizzo, who helped the community articulate on paper our vision of how we wanted the Roslindale Village to develop in the future: buildings should come flush to sidewalks, no drive thru businesses, no new driveways across sidewalks, no parking lots in front of buildings, no roadside signs on poles, and no plastic back-lit signs on buildings. The new zoning dictated the design of the new Staples building on Washington Street. Later, when a developer came to Roslindale Village Main Street proposing a new retail building next to the library, he shared plans for a one-story strip mall, angled perpendicular to Washington Street, to allow maximum surface area for parking cars. Our board suggested that he bring his building flush to the sidewalk and raise it three stories, to fill out the street wall on that part of Washington Street. The new zoning also encouraged new housing units on upper floors of commercial buildings, to bring more residents and life to the district.

For years, the Farmers’ Market had operated in the MBTA parking lot atop Belgrade Avenue, a meager flea market selling trinkets, with only one farmer, Peter MacArthur, from Holliston. Sonia Garufi suggested moving the farmers’ market to Adams Park, saying it could become a bigger attraction in the center of the town, where everybody could see it, and see everybody else. Jaime Pullen, Steve Gag and Rick Ward raised an army of volunteers who grew the market into what it has become: the most popular weekly celebration of locally grown food in any Boston neighborhood.

There were many more small (and not so small) achievements: the “Litter Posse” led by Adriana Cillo got the Public Works Department to commit to sweeping sidewalks of litter on weekdays. Volunteers from Roslindale Green and Clean planted and maintained flower beds in pocket parks, after city departments redesigned ugly traffic islands and made them look presentable. RVMS branded the location with new sign posts and raised money to put up holiday lights on lamp posts, installed by volunteers from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Graphic designer Brad Harris created a series of art posters that became Roslindale icons. Mayor Tom Menino steered millions of dollars to construct the new medical center, followed by the renovation of the municipal building, where activists prevented the Registry of Motor Vehicles from abandoning for the suburbs. The Parks Department then worked with the community to redesign Adams Park. City Councilor Rob Consalvo and his aide Lee Blasi were allies through all of this.

The biggest achievements over the last two decades have been the rise of a broader and more inclusive civic leadership and a reinvigorated pride of place in Roslindale Village as a destination where people want to be, especially for food. The growing popularity sets up new challenges for Act III: managing the scarcity of street parking so customers can shop here; optimizing the retail tenant mix; and confronting rising rents and chain stores that threaten mom and pop businesses. These burdens are a different set of challenges compared to what confronted Roslindale when city councilor and future mayor Tom Menino initiated Roslindale Village Main Street and Roslindale’s revival thirty years ago in 1985.

 

Carter Wilkie is a former board president of RVMS and co-author of “Changing Places: Rebuilding Community in the Age of Sprawl.” He was an advisor to Mayor Menino from 1997-2000.