Hospitality Services removes popular hot dog & sausage vendor from campus

Scott Hallman dismissed from Queen’s Farmers Market after years of service

Scott Hallman at Confederation Park on Wednesday.
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After six years of business on campus, Queen’s University Hospitality Services removed Scott Hallman’s hot dog and sausage stand from the Queen’s Farmers Market.

Every Wednesday for the past nine years, the Market at Queen’s has featured various food vendors on the corner of University Avenue and Union Street from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

On Oct. 14, Hallman received an email from Queen’s Hospitality Services stating his application had been revoked from the farmers market because “his offerings no longer fit” the market’s purpose. The email didn’t state the definition of that purpose, nor how Hospitality Services came to the decision. 

“I was very surprised by it,” Hallman told The Journal. “Doing it over email is wrong and doing it halfway through the market season is wrong.” 

Hallman attempted to contact Queen’s Hospitality Services for three days, but his calls weren’t answered until Wednesday morning. Finally Michel Bartkowiak — a Sodexo food service professional — told Hallman he was being removed from the market because he was no longer permitted to re-sell products. Prior to this interaction, Hallman wasn’t told he couldn’t do this, nor was he given the chance to update his food selection. 

“They never came to the market to talk to me about any concerns,” Hallman said. “It was just out of the blue.”

When he went to visit the market on Wednesday morning, Hallman said there was one vendor who re-sold their products. When Hallman asked Bartkowiak why someone was permitted to participate in the market and he wasn’t, Bartkowiak supposedly responded with, “well, that’s our decision.”

To express their concern about Hallman’s removal from campus, Marina Galentovskaia, ArtSci ’17 and her peers emailed Executive Director (housing and ancillary services) Bruce Griffiths. In his response, Griffiths wrote to the students that a reviewal of the market program had been caused by a decline of vendor participation. He said this was “due to vendors not realizing the sales they had hoped for.”

Hallman believes that the market’s decline began with changes made in 2012. “All hot food vendors were banned, with the exception of myself,” he said. “Market attendance plummeted. Not only did they [Hospitality Services] kick out these vendors, they increased their vendor fees.”

In his email to the students, Griffiths reinforced that the market’s new purpose doesn’t allow vendors to re-sell products, writing that they “must be hand-made by the individual.”

Hallman purchases his ingredients from the Kingston community and by promoting these products, he encourages customers to invest in the local economy. The new policy developed by Hospitality Services doesn’t allow him to continue this. 

“No longer do I go to my Portuguese baker once a week and get $40 worth of buns. There’s a ripple effect in them doing this to me,” Hallman said. “It’s going to affect my local suppliers. It’s going to affect students who needed a quick, cheap option of something to eat.” 

Queen’s University Hospitality Services introduced this new market structure based on how another market in Kingston — with a different clientele — operates. “We [Queen’s Hospitality Services] worked with members of the Memorial Centre market over the [2017] winter term,” Griffiths wrote, “to determine if we could regain vendor interest and align our market with the principles of a true farmers market.” 

Griffiths wrote that the Queen’s Farmers Market had “to ensure it was meeting the needs of both the campus community and the vendors.”

“None of us market vendors have ever been invited [to meetings pertaining to the market],” Hallman said. “It’s completely behind closed doors.”

In light of these changes, Hallman is most concerned about losing his connection to Queen’s students.

“I’m more upset about not being a part of the Queen’s community,” he said. “I truly love Queen’s campus. It’s the highlight of my week.”

A petition to reinstate Hallman to the market has been launched by Teghan Nightengale, ArtSci ’17, on change.org, and as of Oct. 19 has garnered over 1000 signatures.

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