Letter from Windmill Farms
Dear Friends, Family, and Valued Customers,
We here at Windmill Farms have been faced with a devastating problem. After almost 34 years servicing the San Ramon Valley, The Contra Costa Environmental Health Services, will financially force us to go out of business if something is not done. Contra Costa Health Services wants us to remove products that have been sold here since Windmill Farms first opened its doors in 1974. These products include all bulk food items (grains, nuts, dried fruits, etc.) and the cut produce (i.e. watermelons, pineapples, etc.). On top of these demands, we have been told to build a fully enclosed structure by August 2008 or be forced with legal actions.
Windmill Farms has never had any health related issues that would be a cause for any concern. We have always put the safety of our customers and employees first.
Windmill Farms has tried numerous times to solve this matter quietly through meetings with both the City of San Ramon and Contra Costa Environmental Health Services. All our attempts have failed. Now it is time for us to speak up and defend our way of life. An administrative hearing conducted by Contra Costa Health Services on July 17, 2007 lead to a ruling to discontinue the sale of our various products and fully enclose our business. We question their logic or fairness for our business to bide by there ruling when farmers markets are permitted to operate throughout the area, selling cut produce and other prepared foods in an open-air environment. It is our belief, that the Contra Costa Health Services has made it their mission since 1997 to shut us down. Now they are in the position to do just that. We believe that the time has come for everyone to be made aware of this situation we are in, which threatens to force us out of business after almost 34 years.
We have also tried to get the City of San Ramon to help us out in this matter but we feel they have turned their backs on us now that there are plans to redevelop this entire area north of Crow Canyon Rd. with a specific plan that is limited to a mixed-use only environment (housing, retail mix). It is our belief that by Windmill Farms being gone it will be a starting point for implementation of their specific plan.
For those of you that are new to the Windmill Farms family, we are one of the last open air markets in the area. We have been in this community since long before there was even a City of San Ramon. We are family owned and operated and have been since 1974. We have always tried our best to bring the freshest, tastiest, and local products around. We have employed hundreds of employees over our almost 34 years in business as well as supported numerous local farmers.
Now we are forced to ask for the help of our customers, friends, and community. We are asking for you to send letters, make phone calls, and voice your opinions to everyone. Get everyone involved, including News Media, local and state Government. Please help us preserve our small business that has been a part of the community for decades. If we are to go who will be next?
Thank you for all of your support,
The Smith Family
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