Fantastic news came in from the city yesterday morning, announcing that they were extending the Wednesday schedule of the Farmers’ Market located downtown.
I don’t know about you, but the opportunities to support local farmers seem relatively few and far between. Bucking the trend, this demonstrates the city’s commitment not only to the farmers, but to the market’s loyal patrons and the downtown vendors who benefit from the increased traffic. This should be a move that helps the city in both the short- and long-term.
“Joanne Shuttleworth, Guelph Mercury, August 9, 2012
Wednesday Farmers’ Market to continue through October
Anna Marie O’Connell, supervisor of parking facilities and the market, said the number of vendors has been steady and the number of shoppers has been growing since the market added Wednesday hours in June.
She said there were 683 shoppers on the first Wednesday and numbers have been as high as 944 since. The number of vendors has held steady — somewhere between 37 and 45 have set up shop each week, she said.
“The customers have asked us to continue and the vendors have found it worth their while,” O’Connell said. “And we think in large part it’s a brand new customer base, so that’s positive too.
“Years ago they tried it and it was horrible — something like six vendors and two shoppers. So we are very pleased to see this turnaround.”
O’Connell said Wednesday hours will not go through the winter, so it will be back to Saturdays-only starting November. But a Wednesday market could operate from May to October next year. She said staff will go over the numbers and the costs to determine if it’s profitable or at least revenue-neutral for the city. She said staff will prepare a report for council, who will ultimately decide whether to continue the Wednesday market next year.
O’Connell said new corn vendors have signed on for August, and apple vendors for September.”
This latest initiative can be bundled right into a number of new ideas that make the downtown core that much livelier. There’s never been a better time to get downtown and see what’s changed. If you don’t find yourself there on a regular basis, take a trip. You might just realize how much you’ve been missing…