Shopping Small=BIG Difference

buy local

Shop Local, Buy Local, Spend Local, Support Local…we hear all of these things all the time it seems. Local is the new buzzword.  Shopping local has become trendy and popular. You see it in stores, on television, virtually everywhere. But does it ACTUALLY make a difference when you shop local? Everyone always tells you it matters where you spend your money, and we tell you that all the time. But why should you believe us? Lots of people tell you lots of things and sometimes it turns out not to be true or it’s some kind of stretched reality of the actual truth.

Trendy and popular is great only if it becomes an actual trend. To have a lasting shift in behaviour and thinking, is something quite different. Thankfully though, shopping local is an actual trend. People are caring more about where their food and goods come from, and they want to know who makes/grows them. It is beginning to be a movement and we are starting to see a measurable shift and for good reason.  The impact you have when you shop local IS real and I am not talking from a Market(ing) standpoint, after all we are non-profit. We exist for our vendors and because of our vendors and community. What we do is for them and for you.

So instead of me telling you AGAIN, that where and how you spend your dollars makes a real difference, I’m going to share with you some of our vendor success stories. You know these people. If you shop at the Market, you see them every week.

These are your friends, your neighbours, your community.  Actual. Real. People.

Before we start, let’s refresh a couple of important points for you to keep in mind as you read their stories.

  1. All vendors run their own businesses. The Market has a set of rules and regulations and policies that help us to operate smoothly.  However,  when it comes to the actual vendor and their busiest, that is all them. They have full control over their business.
  2. Vendors are at the Market for different reasons. Some are there as a hobby, some like to keep busy during retirement, some are using is as a business tool to test products, develop business models and launch into bigger arenas. For many it’s a livelihood or an important part of a livelihood and for others, it funds interests and the “extras”. Maybe next time you’re at the Market, ask a vendor why they sell at the Market. Trust me, it’s really interesting.

So knowing that, lets move on. We asked our vendors to submit their success stories. They want you to know that you make a difference. Your dollars spent at the Market have changed lives. No joke.

Here’s some stories (and there are more):

Bramble Hill Farm

2017 was a game-changing year for Bramble Hill Farm. Since starting at the New Glasgow Farmers Market in the spring of 2015, Cathy has felt encouraged and supported by amazing customers and fellow market vendors.

Throughout the last few years, as her business has grown, Cathy has focused on finding her ‘fresh niche’ and worked to offer fresh salad produce year-round. In the summer of 2017, Bramble Hill Farm ran a successful Kickstart campaign helping to raise the capital needed to build a 4-season greenhouse.

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This expansion would not have happened if it weren’t for the generous support of market customers, family, friends and FarmWorks Investment Cooperative. What started as a micro-local dream of providing fresh salad to her community market here in New Glasgow;  has become a reality of a flourishing business supplying wholesale and restaurant customers. In 2018 has expanded out to vend at city markets. It all started right here at home in Pictou County where Cathy  always looks forward to greeting smiling market customers on a Saturday morning and offering the very best of her farm products. As Cathy put it, “Passion fuelled this dream but our community built it!”

Shree Curry Place

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Vandana, Sam and son Dhruv are Shree Curry Place.  They will tell you that they believe their biggest business success is the Farmers Market. “We consider the Farmers Market to be our main success. Because of the wonderful customers and their response at the Farmers Market, we gained the confidence to open the Food Truck.”  “We see returning regulars, but there’s not a single Saturday we do not see  lots of new people, who end up being regular shoppers at the Market.” This winter, you will find Shree Curry Place in the Market Kitchen with an expanded menu, including breakfast!

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The Spoonery

You may have caught a live Facebook video we did in November or December. As can happen, we had some technical issues and so we’re not sure whether you got to hear about Matt’s success story and if you did happen to catch it, it still warrants repeating. Matt operates The Spoonery. He hand crafts wooden spoons, cutting boards and his ever-popular BBQ scrapers among many other unique items. Like many of our vendors Matt worked full-time in addition to crafting his wares and vending them at the Market. During a casual conversation with Matt, he mentioned how he was enjoying retirement…clearly he picked up the puzzled and confused look on my face and then elaborated. Matt expressed that since he started at the Market, he has seen his business steadily increase and that 2017 was his best year to date. In fact, it was so good, Matt was able to realize his dream of leaving his job to focus solely on his craft. All because you supported by spending with him. Matt will be expanding into other endeavours with The Spoonery but his heart is at the Market, so you will see him back in the spring when we expand back into to two buildings!

Big Cove Foods

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Many of you know Dave, Sarah (and now, baby Rex). They have been with the Market for several years and we have all watched them as they have grown their business.  Not only do they sell at our Market, but they now sell online, opening a whole new world of possibilities for them. You can also catch them at Halifax Seaport Market occasionally.

“The market has been a great starting off point for our company and continues to be a great part of how we grow, as we get a very personal, one on one feedback back from our customers.

Creating ingredients that our customers can take home and become inspired to cook only enhanced our drive to keep on that path of making new and interesting products. When people return the following week to share what delicious things they made in their own kitchens using our products, that’s really what the farmers market is all about; a community inspiring and encouraging small businesses to keep going.

Thanks to the support of the New Glasgow Farmers Market, we were able to put all our focus on Big Cove Foods and continue to create new products out of our newly built commercial kitchen. An opportunity that would not have been available if it weren’t for the help of our community.”  #supportsmallbusinesses

Small Holdings Farm

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This season, we welcomed Keltie and Michael to the Market. They relocated to Pictou County to revitalize a farm that is now known as Small Holdings Farm. You may also recognize Keltie as the Exectutive Director of the Farmers Markets of Nova Scotia.

“This summer was our first season at the New Glasgow Farmers’ Market – in fact, it was our first summer owning our own farm. We truly looked forward to going to market each and every week and we are eagerly awaiting spring, when we’ll have tables of fresh vegetables once again. 20 years from now, when someone asks what our first season at the New Glasgow Farmers’ Market was like, I will smile and think of the day one of our regular customers brought us a jar of their homemade preserves. Thank you to the wonderful customers, vendors and staff that made us feel so welcome.”

Additionally, thanks to community/Market supporters like the Kilted Chef, several of our vendors have had the opportunity to promote their products on the ferry between Caribou and PEI. Vendors such as RoRo’s Hotsauce, Chapel Cove Chocolate, Big Cove Foods and Knotty Acres to name a few, have benefited from the extra exposure for their business and the opportunity to promote all the wonderful local products that come from right here in our own backyard!

So as you can see, you have made a real impact on real people. People have been able to pursue their dreams as a direct result of dollars being spent locally.  This is happening all over our province and country. So wherever you are, visit your local Farmers Market and small local businesses. It is an important and necessary step to promoting a healthy, local economy in your community and contributes to the larger overall picture.

We will continue to share success stories with you, because a little great news goes a long way.

See you at the Market!

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2017, A Year in Photos at the New Glasgow Farmers Market

In addition to our 2017 Year in Review post, we thought you might like to take a look back at all the awesome happening at the New Glasgow Farmers Market last year! We look forward to making new memories with you in 2018!

 

 

NGFM 2017 in Review

We are just a few days away the from opening the Market for the 2018 winter season. We thought it was a good time to look back at where we’ve been for 2017. Being that you have shown your support for us, we figure it’s only fair that we tell you what we’ve done as a result of your support and encouragement.

We had a lot going on in 2017! Early in the year, we received a grant from the Pictou County Health Authority to put toward a community garden. We got a group of vendors together to form a community garden committee to figure out how to make the most of the funds. As we sat down to our first meeting in late May, we opened a letter informing us that we had received a generous sum of money as part of the 150 Forward Fund from the Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage. This was a game changer!  We were able to come up with a more comprehensive plan and wanted to get it all done by July 1 in time for Canada’s 150th. This was a massive undertaking in a short time. This year, our committee will be looking at ways we can maintain the garden and how to keep it going. Read more about the community garden here.

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We held two large fundraising events. The first was our annual dinner, this year it was Dinner By the River. We could not have anticipated its success and the event sold out in minutes! It was fantastic to sell out, but wished we could have accommodated everyone. We had such a great vision of having people dine by the river, but of course, Mother Nature did not co-operate as we were on the heels of a tropical storm and the rains came down in sheets. We quickly adapted and moved the Dinner inside. With a lot of help from our friends, we transformed the Market into an elegant space for 175 guests and musicians! Guests enjoyed an elegant 3 course meal by Pantry Kitchen Catering while listening to sweet jazz tunes by Men About Town. Later, with the help of Market supporter Mike Vinneau and the great production of Hoss Tec Sound, the dome was turned into an intimate concert venue where

 

amazing local musical talent took the stage. The Kitchen Criminals, Hot Mess and Pistol Packin’ Papas kept people dancing until the wee hours of the morning! Despite the weather, a ton of fun was had by all!  We are looking forward to this years event where we are aiming to double capacity to host a full entertainment experience at our first ever, Luau at the Market!

 

The second event was our first ever All Hallow’s Ball! We asked people to dress in their best costumes and our guests did not disappoint! We had some AH-MAZING costumes! We had Market prizes for the top 3 costumes. Guests were treated to spooktacular foods from our friends at Smokinstein who came up from Halifax to join us. We had more local music rock the house! We were joined for the first time, by Marigold and then Market supporters and always loved Mike and the MacPherson’s and the Leah and Kyle Collective were with us and all of them in great costumes!

 

The party was such a success that we’ve been convinced to do it again! So mark October 20th, 2018 on your calendars for this years event, Nightmare on Glasgow Street!

Both of these events were part of our fundraising plan. For those who aren’t familiar, the Market is a non-profit organization run by a volunteer board and full-time Market Manager and volunteers. We are home to 70 fabulous vendors who are  all entrepreneurs and small business people composed of farmers, food producers and artisans. We offer them a low-cost place to do business every Saturday. The Market relies on tables fees, fundraising and grants in order to operate. Additional fundraising includes our 2 annual gift baskets, our monthly 50/50 draw and the ATM. Two dollars of the transaction fee from the ATM comes back to the Market which directly helps the Market and it’s vendors.

While the Market operates independently and is financially solvent, we get by with help from our friends! That means vendors, customers and community partnerships. We value an important working partnership with the Town of New Glasgow and work closely with the Department of Community Economic Development who was instrumental in securing the 150 Forward Fund grant for the Community Garden this year. We are thankful for the ongoing encouragement and support that the Town of New Glasgow shows us.

We also receive support the Municipality of Pictou County in the form of a grant. This year with their help, we were able to purchase new tents to provide our outdoor vendors. We thank them for their ongoing support and important contribution.

With the proceeds from fundraising, we were also able to give the dome kitchen a makeover of sorts. New tile floors were laid and much-needed new appliances were purchased. Another special project was a portable stage and this deserves special mention. This stage was designed and built by avid Market supporter Mike Vinneau. He donated his time to build a stage that out musicians can use for our events. This is a cost saving measure and saves rental fees, making our fundraisers that much more successful. When not in use, they can be moved or reconfigured for many types of uses and events. In fact, you may remember, some of your vendors were elevated for part of the season. That’s because they were on top of this portable stage. This is something we’ll be able to use for years to come and countless events. We thank you, Mike!

We also added seating in the way of new Adirondack chairs and convertible picnic tables and benches. We will be investing in some seeds and other needed touches on the community garden in the spring as well as some other cosmetic enhancements to the dome.  All of these things we are able to do because of your support!

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Also very important to the success of the Market and its operations, are our weekly volunteers. They lend a helping hand to our Market Manager and our vendors, not to mention our events and general operations. They are fun and personable and there are not really enough words to express our thanks and gratitude.

We don’t have pictures of all of them and we have many that come through our doors, but we would like to give special thanks to regular volunteers Rhonda, Christopher, Jennifer, Colin, Stacey, Maxine, Kelly-Rae, Kaleb, Mike, Pat, Noah, Colleen and the list goes on.

This year, the Market enjoyed increased traffic all season long. Our spring season saw a 60% increase in traffic, while we enjoyed a 23% increase during the peak season, on some weeks with as much as a 50% increase and overall traffic annual increase of more than 15%. That means, we had more community visitors and tourists visiting us throughout the year and growth is a good thing! We increased the number of vendors, you may have noticed that many of them join us on an occasional basis and we welcomed some new weekly vendors in 2017 as well. We are thrilled to welcome new vendors as space allows.

This year we were also thrilled to win the Leadership in Business award from the Pictou County Chamber of Commerce! This is a big deal for us! We try very hard to achieve growth and be a part of our community while working for our vendors. As an anomaly in business community, we don’t really fit in any kind of category so we were honoured to be included among so many other well deserving local businesses.  We will continue work hard and provide a great place for our community, its citizens and many entrepreneurs. 22635443_10155573743351413_382487922_n

Like many of you have done or will be doing, we will be sitting down to make our goals for 2018. We are looking forward to another fantastic year and we hope to see you every week. Don’t forget that we will be open every Saturday from 9am until 1pm from January 13th 2018 straight through until December. We will share with you all of our special dates as soon as we have them.

Over the next day or two, we will share with you our year in photos, special events for the coming year (which you can already find under the event section of our Facebook page) and we want to share with you additional successes including our vendor successes as well.

We thank you for you ongoing support and can’t wait to see you this Saturday!

See you at the Market!

Holiday Hours and Markets

The New Glasgow Farmers Market will be open om Friday, November 10th from 4pm until 8pm for a special weeknight Market. We will be closed Saturday, November 11th in observance of Remembrance Day. 

Below are the remainder of our Christmas/Holiday Market dates for the rest of 2017. 

We will re-open for the 2018 Winter Market on January 13th at 9am! 

Leadership in Business 2017

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On October 18th, the New Glasgow Farmers Market was the recipient of the 2017 Leadership in Business Award, awarded by the Pictou County Chamber of Commerce, sponsored by Mac, Mac & Mac.

As described, the Leadership in Business Award is “presented to a business that is a leader in its sector and a significant contributor to a stable local economy. This business strives to be the best in class in all that it does from employee relations and customer service to exceptional financial results.”

That’s a pretty huge compliment! Of course, I am a little passionate about our market and local and as such, I have never been accused of being short on words.  I had a speech written so that I could be sure to get across what I wanted to say on behalf of the Market and it looked short at the time but once I was up there, not so much.  In the interest of time, couldn’t quite manage to get it all out.

Below is what I wanted to say and what I had written. It’s been edited for context, but mostly I want to be clear that this is a team achievement. We are a co-operative. This is a win for us as a whole Market. An enormous amount of work and dedication goes into the Market from a whole lot of people and the Market is supported by the community. When you show up to shop, attend our events and bring your friends, you are supporting farmers, artisans, musicians and entrepreneurs.  Any local business requires local patrons to shop and support it. We are no different.

Here’s entirety of what I wanted to say on behalf of our Market:

“Thanks to the Pictou County Chamber of Commerce. We are very honoured to receive this award and to even be considered a leader in present company is very humbling.  In truth, the Market represents more than 70 individual leaders and I am thrilled to accept this award on their behalf.  The Market is a bit of an enigma, not really fitting in anywhere in particular which makes this even more special for us.  We are unique in that we offer a space for a number of farmers, food producers, artisans and local musicians to come and showcase their work that is low cost and low risk. All of our vendors have different reasons for attending, some are there to test new products and use the Market as a springboard into bigger ventures, others are there for the social aspects and to keep busy. For some the Market is a livelihood, for others a hobby and for some it’s a way to fund other endeavors.

It is the Market’s goal to join producers to the community and connect people with their food through education and awareness in a marketplace, something that has been lost in decades gone by. And while our primary focus is education and awareness, it is also to connect people personally in a world that is becoming increasingly impersonal.

We want to make a positive, lasting impact on our community and being an independent, non-profit organization run by volunteers, it’s not always easy. But as the song goes, we get by with a little help from our friends. We are lucky to have some great partners and cheerleaders in our corner. The Town of New Glasgow, the Municipality of the County of Pictou and our community who helped us to double in size over the past couple of years and this year some of our business community came together to help us install our new “Giving Garden:

As a result, we have enjoyed a 30% increase in traffic this season.  We are now able to remain open year-round, which gives increased “employment” to our vendors. We now have one full time employee and have doubled our vendor capacity.   We hold special and unique events not just to raise money for improvements and programs, but in an effort to connect Pictou County residents to each other and the broader community by highlighting all of the amazing innovation, creativity and uniqueness that this county has to offer and showcasing it to everyone we can. We offer a unique setting that is inclusive of everyone in a fun and casual atmosphere, reflective of the warmth of Maritime culture. The Market is a place where vendors and customers alike get to associate with people they may never have otherwise connected with and learn about other cultures. I often refer to it as my happy place and we strive to make it everyone’s happy place.

We are committed to supporting local agriculture, we continue to strive to make a positive contribution to local business and bettering our community.  Thanks again for this recognition and we’ll see you at the Market!”

Thanks for reading and sharing. Most of  all, thank you for supporting. We are lucky to live in a community rich in creative, innovative, dedicated, talented people and organizations. With the holiday season knocking at our door, we really encourage you to shop local and show them your support. And of course, no matter where you live, visit your local Farmers Market!

 

 

Just a preview of what’s coming up at the Market for the next couple of months!  We hope you join us and continue supporting local!

All Hallow’s Ball, October 28, 2017

A Costume Ball Event, A Market fundraiser

The Market will be taken over by ghouls and goblins, so haunting, you will barely recognize it! Complete with music from Marigold, the Leah & Collective & Mike & the MacPhersons, Smokinstein Food Truck joins us from Halifax with frightening good food! Local brews and drinks made with spirits from our own local distilleries, a costume contest, prizes and more! Tickets are $40 per person,

Buy tickets HERE

   

Harvest Time Festival, October 28 9am until 1pm

Fun for all ages at the Market on the morning of October 28th! Farm animals, costume parade, wagon rides, pumpkin painting, live music and trick or treating for the kids. All activities are completely free!

Find out More HERE

Holiday Schedule 2017

Music at the Market- Hayley MacLeod

Hayley MacLeod graduated from Acadia University with a BA in English and a BMus focused in Music Education.

Today, she teaches traditional fiddle, classical violin and music theory from her private studio in Pictou County.

Hayley began playing and recording with local musician Ashley George in 2015 and the two now play in a 4 piece Celtic Rock band, The Kitchen Criminals.

We are thrilled to welcome Hayley to the Market for the first time tomorrow, September 30th to help celebrate Culture Days, and nothing say Nova Scotia culture more than the fiddle!  You will catch her from 9am until 10:30am!