Nichols Farm and Orchard, a longtime vendor of Wicker Park Farmer's Market, was kicked out last weekend for allegations of violating coronavirus guidelines.
After 22 years at the Farmer's Market, Nichols Farm and Orchard, located in the Illinois town of Marengo, did not operate a market booth in Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood.
The Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce said the farm was in noncompliance of several safety protocols since the first week the market opened.
Pamela Maass, director of the Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce, said they worked with the booth to resolve the issues, but a DCASE inspector informed them that Nichols Farm continued to have noncompliance issues.
"Currently we have 20 other Wicker Park Farmers Market vendors that have been willing to work with us to comply with the COVID-19 health and safety protocols at our market this season; we were unwilling to make an exception to these rules for Nichols Farm," Maass said.
Todd Nichols took to the farm's social media saying they believe the removal was due to a personal issue between the new market manager and their staff and farm.
"We have been unjustly removed from the market, never to return, by the current manager," the Facebook post read. "While they have given themselves this power in their market rules and regulations, this is also their power to abuse."
Nichols said there is little the farm can do after the incident, but asked that their customers continue to stay with them, as the market was a major source of revenue.