Monday, March 22, 2010

Happy Spring...

First, let me say Welcome to all new members who signed up at the Canadale Spring Garden show. We had a fun weekend and it was great to connect with so many market goers! I am looking forward to seeing you all at the market and, yes, I will likely remember - my memory of faces tends to serve me well so please track me down to say "Hi".
Spring has sprung and we are in the final stages of enhancements to the market building. The results are in from both the vendor survey and the customer survey. Thank you for your enthusiastic and beneficial comments. We are compiling the data for the Board of Management to review. The results will be posted on the blog shortly so in the meantime, let me briefly fill you in on what's happening in the next few weeks.

The updates to the market include: in the building - a new ventilation system, an electronic security system, stainless steel countertops with 3-part sinks, a vendor utility sink, changes to the accessibility washroom be a family washroom complete with baby change table, door closers on the other two washrooms, and directional changes to the doors to help increase fire code capacity. Outdoors, we upgraded the electrical service in the north pavilion to run on separate breakers. (Now more than one vendor can 'plug-in' at a time). Signage is on its way and tables and chairs for the indoor are also on order.

Whew - that's quite a list! And with a large number of dedicated people behind those upgrades from all the many different groups and associations involved, we can all be proud of these accomplishments. The funding came through the Community Adjustment Fund (CAF) under the Local Food Strategy initiative. The St. Thomas Horton Farmers' Market Board of Management (the Board) also contracted the services of a strategic planner who facilitated the design of a three year strategic plan and a vendor communications package. All of this will start to roll out in the 2010 Market Season.

So, what's happening on opening day? Saturday May 8th! 8am - 12noon!

You'll get chance to connect with many returning vendors and also meet a few new vendors! You can expect fresh, home-made pizzas, baked goods, fresh bread and bedding plants by the dozens. Meat, eggs, honey, spring rolls, maple syrup, organic lettuce and maybe even a few radishes! We also have local, high-quality produced dog food & treats, bath products, and specialty chocolates. Hot brewed coffee to go with the pancake breakfast we're serving up on Mother's Day Weekend. The Promotions Committee has been planning all winter long - stay tuned for events from their 2010 season calendar.

We had a vendor meeting just this past Tuesday - Thank you to all who were able to attend -the momentum is rising. Everyone has fresh ideas and energy to infuse the market with life once again.

Can't wait to see you at the market!

Tricia Herbert
Market Manager

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