As the final Saturday of the Niagara-on-the-Lake farmers’ market approaches, staff and vendors look back on the season as one of the best years they have ever had, despite it being during a global pandemic.
Adapting the Market at the Village to accommodate changes due to the pandemic has given the market a whole new look, said co-ordinator Sharon Brinsmead-Taylor.
“I think the way we set it up and the flow just works for us,” she said.
“It looks busier and it’s more spread out. It also makes it easier for people to see what each vendor has.”
The market sees the same faces week in and week out, Brinsmead-Taylor said, as well as day-trippers from out of town. She estimates 95 per cent of traffic to be locals shopping on Saturday mornings.
“It’s great. They get to know the vendors, they’ve got their farmers that they buy from and I think it makes a big difference when they get to know their farmers,” she said.
Brinsmead-Taylor wants patrons to know how grateful they are for the support this season.
“Living in a small town, it’s really nice to see that people appreciate local business and do their shopping locally,” she said.
“It’s a tough go for a lot of the vendors right now, but the market has been one of the real positives this year for all of them.”
Brinsmead-Taylor said the market at the village was unable to offer on-site food consumption and sampling this year due to COVID-19 restrictions and precautions, but she hopes to see those things come back next year.
“It helps with sales,” she said. “There’s a lot of people that come for the first time and they’re not going to buy something without trying it.”
The farmers’ market is typically a popular summer pairing with the Supper Market, which normally happens Wednesday evenings, though it was cancelled due to COVID.
“We’re hopeful that the Supper Market will also run again next year,” she said. “That’s a big part of Niagara-on-the-Lake and what locals do. It’d be nice to be able to get the community together again.”
The NOTL Farmer’s Market wraps up the successful season at the end of the week which has been a positive for vendors and patrons alike.
Oct. 3 will be the final day of the Market at the Village for 2020.