It’s a wrap for the South Cariboo Farmers Market.
Most food vendors said Friday they were nearly sold out of everything by noon, and credited market manager Amanda Patterson with helping to stage another successful year. The market, held in the parking lot of the South Cariboo Rec Centre, drew about 26 vendors this summer.
Although vendors said the market was a success, they did suggest changes for next year, which included finding a secure location – the market had to move a couple of times due to the pandemic and wildfires – and better signage by the highway advertising the new location.
Jacky Hemer, Big Rock Ranch farmhand, said business was a bit slower compared to last year when the market was located outside the 100 Mile Community Hall on Birch Avenue.
“I think it would be really cool to have a town square permanent farmers market spot,” she said. “I think that’d be really nice if it was in town.”
David Laing, of People Power Society for Healthy Communities, agreed. Although he only had two tubs of carrots left as the market wound down, and there was a lot of support from the local community, he said having to move wasn’t good for vendors or customers.
“That’s no one’s fault but I’m hoping that between the market and the town we can come up with a secure, safe location that will be guaranteed throughout the season next year,” Laing said.
Crafter Richard Minato said he found it inconvenient not being able to attend the market in the middle of the summer. The wildfires pushed the market to the parking lot of the South Cariboo Family Enrichment Centre for a couple of weeks, and there was not enough room for crafters to attend.
However, while he hasn’t crunched the numbers yet, he feels he did about the same amount of business as last year. Next year, he hopes to be able to do a full season at the market.
“I’ve had good feedback from customers (on the new location) because of ease of parking,” Minato said. “I’ve liked it myself except for when it gets windy.”
Despite the challenges, Loralei Snider said she enjoyed her first year of running Soulstice Herbals from her tea trailer. Snider often had people lined up to sample her teas regardless of location and is hopeful the rec centre site will become the market’s permanent home.
“(Market manager) Amanda Patterson is amazing. She puts on the most incredible market and all the vendors are like family,” Snider said. “I hope that next year we’re in a place we can have our tourists back.”