Dispute over signage is forcing fruit stand owners in West Count - KMOV.com

Dispute over signage is forcing fruit stand owners in West County to sell

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The sign that Fruit Stand was required to take down by the City of Manchester. (Credit: KMOV). The sign that Fruit Stand was required to take down by the City of Manchester. (Credit: KMOV).
WEST ST. LOUIS COUNTY (KMOV.com) -

A dispute over signage is forcing owners of a fruit stand business in west St. Louis County to sell.

For more than a year, the family-owned and operated business in Manchester has battled with the city over a sign it won't let them put up.

"It is hard to cope when it's as simple as a sign," says owner Lauren Charboneau. 

The store is off  Manchester Road near 141.  Charboneau says her business depended on a sign they had in the front to let customers know about the sales and specials, but it didn't fit with the city's rules. So it had to go. Now, they have a different, temporary sign out front advertising Valentines Day specials. 

"You are only allowed a temporary signage so that sign can only be up for 20 days and we will have to take it down," she says. 

But that's not the only sign someone will see. 

"We didn't make as much money as we did and Manchester is very expensive city to do business in. We listed it for sale because I don't know we had to," she says. 

Charboneau says the business took a hit because they were not able to advertise regularly with signage. She says there's been interest, but no buyers yet. 
To supplement the business lost at this location because of the signage rules, she's got a game plan. It's three miles up the road and opens in February. 

"We are going to start off with chocolates and strawberry's for Valentines Day. It's going to be an outdoor location. As soon as the weather is nice enough, we will put up a tent and start selling produce," says Charboneau. 

Charboneau says if the main store doesn't sell by April, she says she will take it off the market and keep it without the sign. 

"Signs are great, great of our business. It keeps customers knowing what is for sale and what is in season," says Charboneau. 

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