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Fruit Vendors on the corner

Original post made by Amy on May 31, 2010

Is it legal for the fruit vendors to sell fruit on the corners of our neighborhoods? I don't like it because it sets a dangerous precedent. What will people be selling next? Will we allow anyone to sell things? Will we have many vendors all lined up on our corners? These are residential areas. It think they should have to have a license and should only sell in official farmers markets. What can be done to stop this?

Comments (31)

Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on May 31, 2010 at 6:52 pm

If you do not want it do not buy it

If you want a good deal bargain and buy it

what is the problem?

Posted by anonymous, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 31, 2010 at 7:49 pm

Reminds me - there was an article in the Wall Street Journal that was sort of funny about the conflict going on at farmer's markets - sometimes the vendors are resellers who get stuff at auctions or others who represent they have homebaked pies, etc. when that is the case and they undercut the REAL farmers who are there selling their own stuff they have grown or produced.
My point is I wonder where they got this fruit. It seems odd to have random spots/corners in suburban neighborhoods with some person standing there with a couple boxes of fruit. Seems like they should have a license, but I don't know the rules.

Posted by anonymous, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 31, 2010 at 7:51 pm

oops - I meant to write "...others who represent they have homebaked pies, etc. when that is NOT the case..."

Posted by Outside Observer, a resident of another community
on May 31, 2010 at 8:07 pm

Welcome to 3rd world America

Posted by Janice, a resident of Midtown
on May 31, 2010 at 8:25 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on May 31, 2010 at 8:25 pm

What is the 3 rd world these day ? that is a leftover concept from the cold war-- the soviets the west and the rest

V. S. Naipaul called it the " Turd World "--- he can do that because he was born in Jamaica of Hindu parents before he was educated at Oxford

Posted by Outside Observer, a resident of another community
on May 31, 2010 at 8:47 pm

I stand corrected to a much more appropriate definition :)

Posted by Palo Parent, a resident of Greenmeadow
on May 31, 2010 at 8:57 pm

People puhleez, this topic was already beat to death last year, see link: Web Link

Posted by call police non-emergency, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on May 31, 2010 at 9:09 pm

Call the police at the non-emergency number. You may have to give your name and address, the corner at which things are being illegally sold, and the race of the person or people selling. If you can give that information, you will likely get a police visit to that corner to explain that they need a license and that what they are doing is illegal. Police may also contact one level up from the people on the street. This will probably keep them away for a few years.

You won't likely get follow-up to go after the huge operation that is growing this business.

Posted by Anon., a resident of Crescent Park
on May 31, 2010 at 9:21 pm

I agree its a concern. It's also a concern to be what we are buying in the supermarket too.

I got some bell peppers of all colors the other day at Safeway, and then a day later I cut them open and they were black on the inside. How do we know what is sprayed on the stuff we buy, or what is in the land used to farm it.

There's a monetary value to organic stickers, and I'm sure there are plenty of people who would just print them off and stick them on whatever without a second thought.

But as far as strange people selling stuff in your neighborhood I don't think it is legal, and I think you can call the police. You might even get some free produce if you can get them when they take off and leave their strawberries on the curb. Seriously, I am not sure though.

Just out of curiousity ... can anyone that has bought these strawberries tell us if they are just the same as you get in a store, or are they actually ripe and fresh. Strawberries are wonderful, but its really hard to find a lot with more than about one or two ripe good strawberries in it.

Posted by Neighbor, a resident of Jordan Middle School
on May 31, 2010 at 9:28 pm

I saw one of them being ticketed by police. I have read that they are somewhat like slaves in that their bosses pay them very little or not at all - they owe their bosses for bringing them here.

Posted by Nora Charles, a resident of Stanford
on May 31, 2010 at 9:33 pm

When I see them I just think what fun to stand or crouch for hours in the sun hoping a car will stop. Anyway, in light of the many problems we all face, this seems a relatively minor concern.

Posted by love those vendors, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 31, 2010 at 9:46 pm

good god is it really causing you hardship?

Posted by qq, a resident of Barron Park
on May 31, 2010 at 9:48 pm

Perhaps we can federalize PAPD like AZ is doing to their police forces, and begin asking fruit vendors for their immigration status after breaking the law.

All we would do is have PAPD enforce already in place federal law like AZ.

I'm sure there would no longer be corner fruit sellers almost overnight in Palo Alto.

PAPD is already having to runs Mexican DL's and Matrícula Consular cards all the time. Most of the time these are "undocumented" *cough* illegal *cough*, unlicensed, uninsured drivers.

Web Link


Posted by Yes to Street Vendors, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 1, 2010 at 8:04 am

If you can do it and get away with it good luck. If you're an immigrant (legal or illegal) with no marketable skills and a family to feed, you sell oranges on the corner.

Give the guy a break let him sell his fruit; it's tough for him to stay one step ahead of the Police but he has to do what you has to do to feed himself and his family. if you don't like it don't buy it. Amy, you express a very elitist point of view.

Posted by Andy, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jun 1, 2010 at 11:01 am

I've bought from them occasionally. I don't see what the problem is. The quality is better than in the supermarket and the price is better, someone is earning a living and frankly it provides a little character, like the farmers' market on California Ave on Sundays.

Posted by Janice, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 1, 2010 at 11:30 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by anonymous, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 1, 2010 at 7:41 pm

If the merchants don't mind, I guess I'm ok with street vendors on commercial blocks: University, California and Middlefield @ Midtown. I'm not a big fan on residential blocks. What's next? Knife sharpeners and tinkers? Live chickens and goats?

Posted by Janice, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 1, 2010 at 8:18 pm

There is a real problem with selective enforcement of laws. For those of you who think neighborhood vendors are not a problem, and they should be able to ignore the law, then do you also think other laws should be ignored? For example: Leash laws, gas-powered leaf blowers, parking in diabled parking spaces without a license to do so, not maintaining your yard, not parking on your lawn, anti-littering laws, anti-noise laws, construction hours laws, anti-smoking laws, anti-gun laws, etc. Open disrespect of the vendor law leads to disrespect of other laws.

Posted by tim, a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Jun 1, 2010 at 10:07 pm

janice - some offenses are harmful
i see no harm in selling fruit

Posted by Resident, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 2, 2010 at 1:32 am

On a recent visit to Japan, I was shocked by the number of Americans
begging for money in Tokyo.

Posted by No Mass, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 2, 2010 at 9:09 am

No sellers license, no inspections, no oversight.

How do you know fruit is not from Mexico and has been sprayed with DDT. Buyer be Ware!

Posted by Staffing, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 2, 2010 at 10:08 am

I doubt PAPD has the staffing to be sending officers out to deal with fruit vendors. With the City cutting an already seemingly bare bones police department, I wouldnt expect they will have extra officers availabale to respond to this.

Posted by SoCalTransplant, a resident of Professorville
on Jun 2, 2010 at 12:43 pm

This is common and normal in Southern California neighborhoods. Still looking for the folks with the shopping carts full of homemade snow cones and that yummy corn on the cob. They'll be here soon.

Posted by Unbelievable, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 3, 2010 at 8:09 am

Come on give this guys a break. They do not make that much money as you think. So they are not taking your money. These people have families to feed, and they chose to make the money in a decent way. What do you rather have fruit sellers or people breaking into your house, they need the get the money one way or the other. It is a survival skill. Also the strawberries are very delicious.

Posted by Janice, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 3, 2010 at 8:30 am

"These people have families to feed"

They are quasi slaves that are being run by a mafia racket. They are illegal aliens who owe their coyotes a lot of money, and they are being completely exploited. DO NOT BUY FROM THEM! If you buy, you are only contributing to inhumane treatment.

Posted by Unbeliaveable, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 4, 2010 at 2:30 pm

It is unbelievable how shallow we have become. No wonder why some people called this city Shallow Alto. The good think is that not everybody is shallow. Today my son (18) had cherries in his car, he offered me some, and he said the man selling at the corner gave them to him as a sign of gratitude because he went and took him a bottle of cold water. He did this because he thought that guy must be very thirsty. I am glad he practice what he learned in church: I was thirstily and you offered me water. I am so proud of him, if most of the people were like my son, the world would be a different place. You do not even have the facts straight. Some people who have to do this job, are not paying for the coyotes, but they have to do this job because they were lay off, and are doing this temporarily, while they find a better job, and it is the only way to survive. Of course you would not know about this because you live in another world. This people wish they could do something else, especially when they have to put up with people who jump into conclusions like many who posted here. Hope heaven is not like that, and God does not say, hum, let me think did you help the other people in need when you were on earth. Otherwise there will be a lot of us sorry for judging, and making other people's lives miserable.

Posted by anonymous, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 7, 2010 at 7:59 pm

Lots of good points here, HOWEVER, there are legitimate business people in Palo Alto selling fruit who have purchased business licenses, insurance, pay rent, etc. People standing on the corner are not fair competition for legitimate businesses, no matter how little they sell.

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 8, 2010 at 8:06 am

I don't live on a corner, but I feel that if I did, I would not want this happening outside my home for many reason. Not only is it keeping business away from the legitimate businesses, but it is a nuisance for the immediate residents with added parking/traffic and home security issues.

Posted by mmmmMom, a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 12, 2010 at 3:09 pm

Yeah, I am one of those people who lives on a corner, & there are numerous problems with this illegal activity. The illegal "vendors" use the nearby bushes for their bathroom, & leave their garbage behind, including left-over &/or rotten fruit, which then attracts rats. It is, as someone else mentioned, a problem for our local stores, which must pay city & state taxes, as well as their employee wages & benefits.
The "coyotes" who set-up these curbside people are abusing them, & we should NOT be supporting those operations.

Folks, there are plenty of extremely important reasons why the buying & selling of food - whether by store or single vendor - is regulated by the city & the Health Dept. Do your research!

Posted by Heidi, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 1, 2010 at 4:20 pm

Seriously? This is an issue? I wish there were more vendors around on the street corners! The produce is cheap and delicious. Bring the person on the corner a bottle of water and enjoy the fruit you just purchased.
Some people complaining about this need to worry about serious matters!

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