Special to The Lake Report
Humorous, farm-themed roadside signs at Harvest Barn aim to spread positivity for NOTL residents and visitors.
Tammy Van Berkel, a manager at Harvest Barn NOTL and director of finance and administration for Konzelmann Estate Winery, is the driving force behind the creative road signs at the market on Niagara Stone Road.
“When we drive by a sign and it makes us smile or makes us chuckle, it’s an opportunity to support each other with words of affirmation and encouragement,” Van Berkel said.
The store began putting up the signs a few months ago after the town’s “Kindness” campaign began.
Alongside the messages in support of local businesses and spreading kindness, many of the signs have displayed light-hearted produce-focused puns.
Van Berkel said Harvest Barn is a bridge between the residential community and the agricultural sector, and farmers and seasonal produce figure prominently in the signage.
The staff works together to plan the sayings for each sign, sometimes with the help of Google, she said.
They also try to change the signs weekly to “keep things fresh.”
“The challenge for us, that we like, is to take common sayings and then use certain fruits and vegetables to try and do the play on words.”
Like one that said, “Thanks a melon NOTL, we a-peach-iate your support.”
“It might be really corny, but that makes me laugh,” she said.
The store definitely wants to continue the funny, punny signs long-term. (The market isn't the only area business posting light-hearted messages. The eSkoot Niagara rental store on Mississagua Street has contributed fun and philosophical messages for a few years.)
Van Berkel noted, “We’re having a lot of fun with it and also we’ve had a lot of positive feedback.”
And the signs are a way of giving thanks to the community with a positive and encouraging tone.
“We’re just really grateful for the support of the community during the last couple of years,” she added.