• Report: #501646

Complaint Review: Jeff Zeckel

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  • Submitted: Tue, September 29, 2009
  • Updated: Sat, June 18, 2011

  • Reported By: Lillian — Noblesville Indiana U.S.A.
Jeff Zeckel
zecksbbq.com Internet United States of America

Jeff Zeckel Noblesville Main Street Farmers Market Jeff is not allowing me to participate in a Winter's Market venue that I allege he used internal Farmers Market Emails as volunteer director to glean names for private venture. Internet

*Author of original report: Customers report back to me, and find me in two local stores

*Author of original report: Entire situation has, I beleive, affected my health

*Author of original report: Entire situation has, I beleive, affected my health

*Author of original report: This is not resolved.

*Author of original report: I have asked the Editor to remove this post

*Author of original report: I will not cower to a certified letter I perceive to be threatening to me.

*Author of original report: Requesting retraction of this post

*Author of original report: Update

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I have been selling my handmade soap at the Noblesville Farmers Market for about 10 years now. When I first started at the Farmers Market, there was a nice female director who was very helpful. She was not a vendor. She would watch vendor booths if we had to use the restroom, and so forth.  Then Jeff Zeckel took over as volunteer director of the Noblesville Farmers Market.  That's when Farmers Market grew larger and became less personal and I believe, more about making money than helping downtown Noblesville. As a program of Noblesville Main Street, Farmers Market does not help downtown merchants, of which I am one (retail location in Logan Village Mall).

My problems with Jeff started when I taught a young lady to make handcrafted lotion. I made the error of sharing my original recipe and trust with this young lady that she would not use my creative work to compete against me at the Noblesville Farmers Market. My students agreed to that, except for this one. Lyssa tried to get in with some vegetable vendors 2 doors down.  I had asked her not to do that. Her mom gave me the phone number of the vendors, and I contacted them to ask her not to do that. I didn't mind if she used another lotion recipe, but not one I created.   Jeff found out that I did that and got upset, because he had okay'ed the lotion lady to join the veggie farmers.  I was shocked that he was not willing to respect my creative rights. In the end, the decision was between me and Lyssa and did not have anything to do with Noblesville Farmers Market. Lyssa had assured me she would not do something she ended up doing.  Once again, I do not mind that she sells lotions, but not with my creative and hard work of designing the lotion recipe. That's just not right. I have changed the lotion recipe in my classes to a commercial one so this will not happen again.

I was on the vendor selection committee for the Farmers Market and consistently found Jeff going off and making decisions about vendors without consulting the committee. One year we had a guy selling purses from China. Jeff let him sell, even though the market is 100% handcrafted.

I spoke up and when Jeff yelled at me I put my 2 cents in.  As a result, Jeff stopped speaking to me. He, volunteer director of the Noblesville Farmers Market, believes that he speaks for the Main Street organization but he is a volunteer, not an employee. There have been others who have been offended by his abrupt manner, but no one speaks up. We vendors want fairness. We want to be treated kindly. Forget it with Jeff. He's out there selling his pulled pork and is so into what he is selling that I do not believe he can be an effective volunteer director for the Noblesville Farmers Market.

The latest is that I allege Jeff has used internal vendor information to solicit vendors for his private Winter Market that will run when Noblesville Farmers Market is not running. He is leaving out a few people, including me. He wrote me an email where he told me I was not invited to sell at the private market, which is an LLC between him and two partners. I spoke with one of those partners. She knew absolutely nothing about his decision. Boy does this sound familiar!

A pizza place near downtown cannot sell pizza at the Farmers Market. I believe Jeff doesn't want her competition. Yet she is a brick and mortar business near downtown who deserves to have a spot there because she's paying taxes and has a business near downtown.  The only thing we vendors can eat if we want to eat at the market as far as lunch is pulled pork, or pork. I can't eat Jeff's pork. I got food poisoning from it. I buy a pork sandwich from the one other vendor who just THIS year was allowed to sell his pork sandwiches and they are very good.  But if I want pizza, or gelato on a weekly basis, they are not allowed.   I don't understand why Jeff is allowed to sell pork and these Noblesville merchants can't set up with their food booths to compete with him.   People don't want to eat pulled pork all the time.

Finally, I heard of a story where two Noblesville children showed up with their instruments to play music at the Noblesville Farmers Market. To the best of my understanding, I heard that Jeff yelled at them because they didn't have an appointment to play their music. If you are the mom of those two children who confronted Jeff on his abruptness towards the children, I want to hear from you please.

I would like to organize a group of vendors who would like Noblesville Farmers Market to have a volunteer director that is not a vendor, for fairness.

Also, if you buy Fragrant Blossom Soaps at the Noblesville Farmers Market, please contact me because I have a feeling that by posting this, Jeff will make sure I get kicked out of the market. He's been very rude to me.

If you are a business who has been denied participation in the market, please contact me. I would like to lodge a formal complaint to get things turned around, so they can be the way they used to be before Jeff took over the Farmers Market! 

That City Market that is being planned I allege using vendor emails from the Farmers Market, should benefit Noblesville, not Jeff's pocket!

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/29/2009 10:24 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Jeff-Zeckel/internet/Jeff-Zeckel-Noblesville-Main-Street-Farmers-Market-Jeff-is-not-allowing-me-to-participate-501646. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Author of original report

Customers report back to me, and find me in two local stores

AUTHOR: Concerned - (USA)

Noblesville Main Street brought in at least two, perhaps three, soapmakers from out of the area. I live in Noblesville, and I am not allowed by the Board of Directors of Main Street to complete in my local market because I spoke up about an issue I felt was very important, and that was bullying.

Since that time, I have been stopped by both vendors and customers offering greetings.  The consensus of the vendors is that I should have kept my mouth closed because they believe there is no room for raising your concerns when it comes to Noblesville Main Street. I believe the view of the other vendors whom I spoke with, as expressed to me, is correct and there are quite a few of them. Indeed, a MEMBER of the board of directors, stated to me that if you get on Jeff's bad side, you are "toast".

Gone are the mornings that helped me to help my college aged kids, because I spoke up.  If Main Street tells you they are handling the situation, it certainly wasn't by talking to me.  I believe they led me on to believe I could apply, I sent my money in, and that money was cashed and they had it for FIVE weeks.  I turned down other markets. Their decision to cash my check and hold on to my money for 5 weeks is unethical and wrong.   Their decision to not allow me to sign up, to the best of my understanding, for ANY Main Street events because of my choice to speak up, is wrong.  

I built Jeff a "free" website.  His payment to me was pork sandwiches for a season which I could not keep eating because I had a bad reaction to them.  

Jeff still uses that free website.  

They said no to letting me sell, bring in several other competitors and won't let me compete against them, and the person whom I believe is at the head of this, operates his business using a site valued at approximately $1000, the work of my hands.  I did it out of goodwill. In the end, it didn't work. The yelling won out.

I have heard from several vendors this year that the yelling continued. Apparently the term was over at the end of last week.

I have yet to receive an apology from Noblesville Main Street for what has transpired here. After giving them my best for 8 solid years, and to speak up about bullying - I was rejected.

I have hope - because my customers are finally finding me in the two large stores I carry soap in. The inventory was about 50 percent gone in both locations, but it took them weeks to find me.

This is the man you all elected to city council. This is the man I don't want to be mayor someday. I believe that the whole way Noblesville government is run is corrupt and that is my free speech honest opinion.   One customer told me that they are all buddies and another person, who happens to be an attorney, told me that Noblesville is run by an "old boys club".

Solutions for gaining back my trust in Noblesville:

Change the Noblesville Farmers Market into a completely green market.   R

Respond to concerns and phone calls in an open forum with the vendor or customer who has a grievance to air instead of yelling at them, and then ignoring them.   In this economy, you are bringing in  more competition for downtown Noblesville, whom you claim to help, but have not created a forum for downtown Noblesville to be positively affected by the Farmers Market a couple of miles away, and I say this honestly because I am a Noblesville subleaser downtown and you won't give me back my space in the Farmers Market.

Free trade at the market between farmers and/or crafters if they remain. No jurying. It's a free market.  Vendors can choose not to be part of it.

Ensure tax collection practices are in place. In the eight years I sold at the Noblesville Farmers Market, no one checked to see that we were collecting taxes.  Our schools are suffering and need the aid. By not enforcing tax collection, we are not helping Indiana.

Appoint a woman with an open mind to lead this. Not one who tries to sell me a house instead of talking about the real issues. I have spoken to her broker.  Apparently two of the people in the thick of this entire mess are real estate agents. When they fall into this situation, they ensure that customers are aware of the nonethical decisions in place and will not purchase or sell homes through them.

Due to the Riverview Hospital stance, as I undrstand it, that this event on their hospital  grounds is a separate event from them, knowing I was yelled at, knowing it affected my health, and knowing that I was hospitalized with them twice for issues that endangered my life, each stay 3 days long approximately, a heart catheterization on top of that, I state this morning that Riverview Hospital has lost my business as a patient. I'm going to another health system and have already benefitted from the caring treatment of another network.   If you do not care enough to make sure that things are run positively on your grounds, Riverview, I don't want to be a patient at your facility.
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#2 Author of original report

Entire situation has, I beleive, affected my health

AUTHOR: Concerned - (USA)

Dizziness, blurry vision.
Hospital test shows I could very well be in 3rd stage kidney disease.
Potassium depletion happening
ER visit on Thursday.

I was denied a 10x10 space at the Noblesville Farmers Market because I posted on the Rip Off Report. Ed Magedson's site has it showing up on the first page everywhere.

Ed, I thought if I tried to retract my post they would let me sell.

It didn't work.

you were right. Please keep my posts up. thank you.
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#3 Author of original report

Entire situation has, I beleive, affected my health

AUTHOR: Concerned - (USA)

Dizziness, blurry vision. Hospital test shows I could very well be in 3rd stage kidney disease. Potassium depletion happening
ER visit on Thursday.

I was denied a 10x10 space at the Noblesville Farmers Market because I posted on the Rip Off Report. Ed Magedson's site has it showing up on the first page everywhere.

Ed, I thought if I tried to retract my post they would let me sell.

It didn't work.

you were right. Please keep my posts up. thank you.
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#4 Author of original report

This is not resolved.

AUTHOR: Concerned - (USA)

I stated this was resolved so that I could fill out an application to sell my soap. I have 3 kids in college and we really need the money and in addition, my mother is very ill. I had hoped to be able to afford to go see her.

Noblesville Main Street cashed my $250 check on April 15th through Chase Bank.  I turned that in with a contract to participate.    I was supposed to have heard about participating, but didn't get any updates. I kept asking about it. Finally, on May 9th, I got a phone call from the Board of Directors. They don't want me in the market because I posted on the Rip Off Report about being bullied.

I asked Ed to take this down and he would not remove my post. Part of me wants to forget and move forward but truly, when you are being yelled at, bullied and denied opportunities to sell because you spoke up about bullying.
 
Other vendors have come to me, to lean on my shoulder, to tell their accounts but they are afraid, afraid to speak up because they will lose their positions.

HOw could you hold on to my $250 all this time, knowing that I needed this money for my business, and then give me the news you don't want me in the event? I could see if you had the check but didn't cash it while you decided.

But you cashed it. You took it out of my bank account.

Ed, I need some help. Any ideas?    These people simply have to understand they cannot do these things.
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#5 Author of original report

I have asked the Editor to remove this post

AUTHOR: Concerned - (USA)

This situation has been resolved and I have asked the Editor to remove this post.  It is not my intention to keep this post online any longer and I would like for it to be removed immediately. Any and all posts regarding my town, its activities or volunteers in this specific post, I want removed immediately.

Thank you,

Lillian
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#6 Author of original report

I will not cower to a certified letter I perceive to be threatening to me.

AUTHOR: Concerned - (USA)

The following statement is true to the best of my understanding and I am protected by the First Amendment and my rights as an American to speak out.

After retracting this post, more out of fear than anything else, for I emphatically state that I did not lie. I received a certified letter stating that since I retracted the statement, I could sell at the summer marke

I want everyone to know that I  have decided not to sell at the market. I quit. If I have to choose between my right to speech and my right to feel safe in a selling environment or being silenced so that I can retain my right to sell, I choose the former.  To all of my customers, you may contact me privately at my website and I will direct you to the new location where my soaps will be. I informed most of you at the Holiday Market. To the best of my recollection I was yelled at there while I was setting up.

I am not lying, I will not be censored and I will not be afraid. I miss the market the way it used to be, and the wonderful female director who was so kind to all of us. I choose to remove myself from any and all situations where there is screaming and yelling and I will not be a part of them.

God bless America, and the right to our free speech to say what is on our mind. As long as we share this truthfully, and honestly, that is our ultimate defense.  Amen!

I am choosing to stand up for myself and proud that I will not be silenced. My sales may go down over the summer, but you know what, just as I make soap the best way I know how, and as I care very much about what I do, I will not be silenced when i speak the truth.   I am encouraged by the work of the ACLU and they are right. God bless America!
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#7 Author of original report

Requesting retraction of this post

AUTHOR: Concerned - (USA)

I am understanding that the Ripoff Report will not allow me to retract my post. I was as honest as I can be in posting it, but I really would like to retract my statement publically at this time.    There is too much at risk for me and my family to speak up and I just want to have the entire post taken down, please.

As this website will not allow its retraction, I request that the readers disregard this complaint completely. I just want to move on and past this situation.

Thank you.

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#8 Author of original report

Update

AUTHOR: Lillian - (U.S.A.)

Apparently the partners of the Winter Mart had a meeting and decided to offer me the ability to show up at the Winter Mart.  I will tell you that I have refused. The reason I have refused is that I truly believe that any type of winter market that runs in Noblesville when Farmers Market is not running should benefit Main Street and the City of Noblesville. I declined because of ethics.

Jeff has been silent with me. I believe he owes me an apology for the manner in which he has treated me and others with his abrupt manner at the market. The volunteer director of the Farmers Market should be kind to all the vendors!

I am asking Main Street to consider a new director for 2010, and a bit more fairness as to the food vendors that can sell at Noblesville Farmers Market.  Please allow the businesses who have brick and mortar establishments, who pay taxes, who pay lease on their buildings, to help keep their businesses open by selling their food at the Noblesville Farmers Market.  

If you live in Noblesville, support your brick and mortar food merchants.  Next time you want to go out to eat, eat out in Noblesville.

Please write Main Street and ask them to support food merchants for Farmers Market, more than just pork. Pizza, gelato, asian food.   Preparation of food by food artisans via our restaurants IS handcrafted, the work of their hands. Let's let them sell at the Farmers Market!
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