East Bay business owner berated for handing out Pride flags at farmers market

Bay Area

LIVERMORE, Calif. (KRON) – An East Bay business owner was berated at a farmers market for handing out Pride flags.

Video from June 7 captures the Director of the California Farmers Market Association telling the owner of Dan Good Cookies in Livermore he was violating the rules. 

A local Pride organization has now gotten involved in the situation calling it concerning. 

The owner of this cookie shop who is also a member of the LGBTQ community says he handed out Pride flags at last year’s farmers market and it didn’t appear to be a problem.

This year the farmers market is run by a different organization and he was aggressively told it’s not allowed, forcing him to quit being a vendor.

A confrontation captured on camera appears to show the Director of the California Farmers Market Association telling a gay cookie shop owner to stop handing out Pride flags.

The woman identified as Gail Hayden says pushing political views is against Livermore market rules.

“I’m super anxious every time I watch the video. It just made me feel terrible,” Dan Floyd said. 

Dan Floyd is the owner Dan Good Cookies on Pacific Avenue. 

He says he was handing out the flags in celebration of Pride month. Last year he did the same thing but this year he was told it wasn’t allowed.

“I really don’t know the motivations behind the way that they reacted. They haven’t come out and spilled their guts to me about why they did it,” Floyd said.

The CFMA took over the Livermore farmers market earlier this year. The association has a set of rules for each vendor to follow.

One of those states “petitions and flyer distributions are prohibited inside the market.” 

Livermore’s Pride Organization argues the flag is neither.

“Handing out a Pride flag is not a political act, it is something to celebrate,” Amy Pannu said.

Executive director Amy Pannu was the one recording when Hayden questioned Floyd.

She says Hayden’s enforcement of these rules was her excuse for attacking members of the LGBTQ community. 

“It was like they were coming up with any possible reason that we shouldn’t be there,” Pannu said. 

Floyd has asked for clarification of the CFMA rules but says instead he was given a citation for being uncooperative.

That action, Floyd says, has forced him to pull his business from the Livermore Farmers Market.

He says the citation is sending a bad message.

“It definitely sends a message that if you don’t fit with whatever their vision of the market is then you are not welcome,” Floyd said. 

Floyd says he has not ill-will towards the Livermore community, who have actually been supporting him and keeping him very busy with orders.

KRON4 reached out to the CFMA for comment on this confrontation, they have not yet responded.

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