Treatment not in line with market vision

The Gazette Opinion Staff
Published: March 29 2014 | 12:01 am - Updated: 1 April 2014 | 10:18 am in

By Tatyana and David Kieler

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Tatyana and I would like to thank our NewBo customers and friends for their support and encouragement. We very much appreciate your kind words and thoughts both verbally and in letters to the editor.

It is heartening for us to know how much you enjoyed our food and for letting us know how much we will be missed at NewBo.

We never viewed NewBo as an “incubator for future businesses,” as stated by the executive director. We joined the NewBo community for the long haul. That is why we invested more than $20,000 in equipment and furnishings and thousands of hours of our time into building our NewBo business.

It was always our intention to build a strong customer base and at some point in the future to sell the business to entrepreneurs such as ourselves. Unfortunately, we never were given that opportunity.

On Jan. 28, Tatyana was shown a copy of a registered letter that stated our lease was not to be renewed and we had 30 days to vacate the premises and to return the space to the way we found it. We were given no stated reason. We were given no opportunity for appeal.

We contacted Terry Pitts, president of the NewBo board, and asked to meet but were told the board supported the executive director’s decision and they refused to meet with us.

We disagree with a fellow merchant who stated in a recent letter to the editor in this newspaper that our lease termination was a “well-considered management decision that (was) fully consistent with the mission and rules of the market to which all merchants sign on.”

It is our opinion that this treatment of ourselves and other merchants whose leases were not renewed is in no way consistent with the original ideas presented to us by Sarah Ordover and Patrick DePalma when we were first approached with the idea of a community market. If we had known this was the way the market would be run, we never would have competed for a spot or invested the kind of time and money that we did.

We very much regret how things were handled because we are believers in a community market and what it has to offer. NewBo has the potential to be a great asset to the community; we just hope with the proper leadership that it succeeds.

Please visit us at Tatyana’s Russian/American Cafe in Hiawatha where you can enjoy the crepes and other Russian delights you have come to know and love.

Tatyana and David Kieler of Cedar Rapids operate Russian Delights, a former vendor in NewBo City market. Comments: tatyana@tatyanas.net

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