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!

 

 

2016 in a Nutshell

2016 was a great year for the New Glasgow Farmers Market. There were so many firsts for us and it was exciting to be a part of!

We celebrated the grand opening of our new, heated building and held our first ever Winter Market! The Town of New Glasgow held their 2nd annual Chill Out event at the Market and we are very happy to be the location of the 2017 Chill Out event again this year on January 14th, 2017!

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Because of our new winter home, we were able to provide a marketplace for more than 30+ vendors including farmers, food producers and artisans to sell their wares for the winter and early spring months who would otherwise have not had a local place to sell their goods. This earned them money and of course when you buy, they have to re-stock and that means shopping here at home. We saw record breaking attendance at the opening in January.  We continued to welcome roughly 700 shoppers every Saturday through the winter months, great for our first time open in the winter! This gave our community another place to shop for local goods through these months.

We grew into two buildings when we re-opened the dome in late April. Because of this, we were able to increase our vendor capacity by more than 100%, making our Market home to more than 70 vendors through the peak season!

This year we saw our attendance increase by 60% and on occasion, we more than doubled attendance over last year, showing that we had many new visitors joining us throughout the season.  That means more people supporting local and putting money into our local economy!

As you may (or may not know) the New Glasgow Farmers Market is an independent non-profit organization. We are run by a board of volunteers and we are a co-operative, meaning that all the vendors are also expected to participate in the successful functioning of the Market, and we have one staff member, the Market Manager.  All the money required for operating comes solely from weekly table fees paid by vendors and fundraising. We do also apply for grants as well when possible.

Fundraising includes our gift baskets and weekly 50/50 draw. They also include occasional events that the community can come out and enjoy.

We decided to change our approach with fundraising this year and try some new events. As with all grand plans, some of the ideas were great, others not so much. But it was all worth a shot, you never know until you try!

We held two fabulous main events last year. Our first was our From Market to Main Street event. It was a magnificent farm to table event designed to highlight the integral relationship between urban and rural communities. The event brought the community together in so many ways, more than we ever could have hoped for. That’s what the market is about, great local food and bringing people together!

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On August 27, 2016 160 people dined in the middle of Provost Street in historic downtown New Glasgow.  They came together for an unprecedented night of fun and friendship. We made the table in one long row on purpose, because people would need to sit near someone new, introducing them to someone they hadn’t met before. They enjoyed local food and music and sipped on local wine and craft beer. And in the end, friendships were made and fun was had by all. It really was a magical evening!

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In addition to our amazing contributions from vendors, we had local partners that made it all possible and without them, we could not have pulled it all off.   The Town of New Glasgow provided logistical support and approval to use the beautiful and historic Provost St. as the backdrop. Our food partner for this event was local chef  Jason Conway from J Conway Catering. We gave him the challenge of preparing a meal from as many locally grown foods sourced from the Market as possible. He kindly donated his time and talents  for this event!

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We partnered with Glasgow Square Theatre who lined up local talent. Guests listened to the talents of market favourites Heather Cameron , Amelia Parker and Ray Stewart and of course Pat Spaulding!  Pictou County Pop Classics brought down the house with a preview of their 70’s show which was a sold out event after their appearance at the Market to Main event.

The decor and consulting that provided the most beautiful and elegant setting was provided by local business Rocklin Parties.  All the details, like flowers and hay came from Market vendors and many of the servers were vendors from the Market too!

We had 3 hours to turn a busy and bustling downtown into a beautiful and elegant dining room. Weather was not on our side at the beginning, causing rain delays and maybe a little gray hair for organizers and musicians. A wonderful thing happened when it rained though…guests huddled together under the awnings of local businesses to keep dry. They mingled and got to know people that maybe they hadn’t met before. The rain added to the intricacy of it all. In the end, the night cleared up and the meal was top notch … people were dancing in the streets!

Here are more photos from the event, courtesy of Wonderland Photography and Kimberly Dickson from the Town of New Glasgow, please click on the photo:

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Click here for gallery

The event garnered attention, not only province wide, but we even had Markets from the country contact us asking how they could do it in their communities!

 

In fact, the night was so amazing, that we are going to do it again!   We have a  couple of twists up our sleeve and can’t reveal much more just yet, but you should mark August 19, 2017 on your calendar. Keep an eye out on our website and Facebook page for an announcement on 2017 tickets!

Our other big event for the year was Roktoberfest. Held on September 17th, the goal of this night was to put a focus on our many wonderful distilleries and local music. It was to be a casual and fun environment filled with music and food.  We once again partnered with J Conway catering for a simple, yet delicious German inspired meal. Our partner, Rocklin Parties took good care of us too!

Mike and the MacPhersons, Next Exit and Leah and Kyle treated guests to a fun and musical night!

Big Cove Foods created a cocktail menu using spirits from vendors Steinhart Distillery, Nova Scotia Spirit Company and Caldera Whiskey! Uncle Leo’s and Sober Island were on tap and we also brought in some ale from Tatamagouche Brewing Company too!

The night was a great success! We have a similar evening planned, but again with a twist in store, so for this one, mark October 28th on your calendar… and while we’re keeping it secret, we can tell you it will be a Boo-tiful evening and you’ll have a Monsterous-ly good time!

We also held our first ever weeknight Market in December. More than 2700 people came out and shopped with us! It gave those who may not normally have the opportunity to visit us on a Saturday a chance to come and see what we have to offer. It was so successful, we’ll be holding a couple more in 2017!

All in all, it was a very successful fundraising year for us. We raised more than $15, 000! In addition to operating costs, the more funds we raise, allows us to tackle some of the goals on our wishlist. And when we accomplish those goals and put on events, we strive to use local companies and businesses so the monies raised goes right back into our community. This year as we accomplished our goals and held our events, we also spent more than $20, 000 in our community along the way. That doesn’t even include all the supplies we had to purchase to stock the new building and more!

With some of the funds raised this year, we installed our Market Kitchen which is used on market days by Big Willie’s Brunch, but it is also utilized by some of our food vendors who require the use of an approved kitchen in order to sell at the Market. Without the kitchen, they would be unable to sell with us and offer their amazing food to you.  We would like to thank Alain Bosse, the Kilted Chef for consulting with us and helping us with our vision.  We purchased flooring materials from McLean’s Flooring, and Lyon’s Brook Piping and Welding, did a fabulous job fabricating our beautiful stainless countertops and Happy Harry’s Pictou County found us just the right cabinets. We purchased our stove from Chediac’s . Of course we cannot forget to thank St. Joseph’s Academy for generously donating the beautiful triple sink and tap in our kitchen! Big thanks goes to Colin from Knotty Acres who constructed, painted and built the kitchen and installed the kitchen floor and tile backsplashes in the Market. Lumber and other materials came from various shops within our county.

We also purchased heaters for the dome and while it definitely was not a tropical destination, they did take the edge off. They enabled us to keep both buildings open, offering you more variety of local goods and more vendors had a holiday Marketplace. We purchased them from Terry and his team at Graybar .

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We thank you all for your support and we have some fabulous things happening at Market in 2017! We have a special project or two that we will get to cross off our wish list that will better our community. And of course we will have some more great events that you will not want to miss. Stay tuned and keep in the know, you will not want to miss it!

We look forward to starting our 2017 season with you on January 14 at 9am!

We are continuing to be Local, Fresh and Flourishing!

 

In the News this year:

http://www.ngnews.ca/news/local/2016/7/20/event-to-transform-downtown-street-into-4593344.html

http://www.ngnews.ca/news/local/2016/8/28/from-market-to-main-street-4626909.html

http://www.ngnews.ca/news/local/2016/8/30/market-dining-event-deemed-huge-success-4628730.html

http://pictouadvocate.com/2016/12/14/first-mid-week-farmers-market-hit/

 

NGFM 2016 Gift Guide- Part 1 For Him

Here we are…a little later than hoped. We had wanted to get this out a little sooner but Mother Nature had other plans and Winter came roaring in like a lion bringing snow, wind and power outages to our area. And it’s not really even winter yet!

Weather or not, the 2016 Christmas and Holiday season approaches and once again you are looking for just the right gift for the people on your list. Whether you’re buying for a teacher, a boss, a close friend, acquaintance, family member or secret Santa, the Market has just the right thing…and for every budget. Something unique and personal made with quality and love that represents the person you are gifting to.

Don’t forget that shopping local is so very important. You are directly helping a small business person and their family this season. Shopping local provides a ripple effect in our community. For when you purchase from one of our vendors, they have to make more product. They must then replenish their materials by purchasing supplies and they can also then spend the money they make at other local businesses and organizations in our community. We are happy to provide a space for more than 50 local farmers,  food producers, crafters and artisans from our community every week.

Looking for suggestions? This gift guide is a multi-part series that will help you find just the right thing. If you are looking for additional help, please ask at the welcome table located by the ATM or find the market Manager, Kristi (that’s me) and I will be happy to show you some suggestions while you’re at the Market. If you still aren’t sure what to get, we have Market gift certificates. They come in increments of $10 and can be spent with any vendor at the Market. The proceeds of your gift go straight to vendor as this is a service the Market provides for customers and vendors alike.

Now let’s get on with some gift suggestions for him. Click on the image for a description. And don’t forget to check out the other parts of the series when they are released, because there are many gifts that fit in multiple categories like chocolate, cheese and more.

We are open every Saturday through December 17th from 9am until 1pm and don’t forget our special weeknight Market on Wednesday, December 7th from 4pm until 8pm! We are located at 261 Glasgow St in New Glasgow, NS.

Click on the photo to read the description and find out more info.

Christmas is Coming!

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That time of year is coming up again…the Holidays (as if you hadn’t noticed)! It’s a very busy time of the year with lots of hustle and sometimes too much bustle!  We have lots of things happening at the Market to help make this time a little easier for you!

Here’s what you need to know!

First and most important, when are we open??

  • We are open EVERY Saturday until December 17th, 9am until 1pm (we will re-open on January 14th, 2017)
  • For the first time EVER, we have added a weeknight Market. This Market will take place on Wednesday December 7th from 4 pm to 8pm
    • more than 50 local prepared food vendors and local artisans
    • there will be lots of hot, prepared foods, so come straight after work have a bite to eat or shop and then take some food home and save your the trouble of making dinner!
    • Santa will make an appearance from 6:30-7:30pm and Alley Cats Studios will be on hand so you can get photos taken too!
    • Gift wrapping service available and don’t forget to take advantage of our Help Your Elf Program, details below.
  • Christmas Markets, December 10 & 17th same hours but Santa and Alley Cats will be with us too from 11:30am until 12:30pm
    • Gift Wrapping available and December 10th is the last chance to Help Your Elf

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Special Holiday Programs

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From now until December 17th, we are offering a gift wrapping service with help from Market elf Rhonda!

Bring your gifts to Rhonda and she will wrap them for you. Wrap it as is, or choose a beautiful gift basket or re-usable tote bag. Choose from beautiful embellishments such as chalkboard tags, bows, ribbons and more!  No matter which holiday you celebrate or even a birthday, we have wrapped up!  This is a fundraising initiative for the market, proceeds go to upcoming projects!

Let us take another thing off your plate and make your holiday easier!

Gift Basket

We took something off your plate, let us put something ON your plate! We have a  beautiful gift basket up for raffle. This basket was designed to give you everything you need for your holiday dinner. It includes a free range turkey from Little Dorset Farm, $30 in produce from Lakenman’s Farm, organic cheese from Knoydart Farm, craft beer from Uncle Leo’s Brewery, wine from Petite Riviere Vineyards and Sainte Famille Winery, candles from MacD’s Bees, art, soap, cranberry sauce, spice to cook your turkey with from Big Cove Foods and Mister Products, beautifully handmade chocolates from Chapel Cove Chocolate and the list goes on and on and on and….well you get the point!

Tickets are on sale until December 10th and we will hole the draw at the end of Market on that day. The lucky winner will pick up their turkey, produce, cheese and all the fixin’s on December 17th!  Tickets are only $2 each or 3 for $5

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Help Your Elf!

Don’t want to risk getting a vaccuum, another neck tie or ice cube tray? Let us increase your odds of getting something beautiful and unique!

Introducing our new Help Your Elf program…Print this form take it to the market. When you find something you love, write it down and describe the item the best you can, fill out which vendor you found it at, then return the form to the Welcome table (located next to the ATM and we will e-mail your elf to tell them where and when to find it! You get just the thing your looking for and your elf is happy because you are happy AND you have a  supported a local vendor and their family too! A win-win-win situation!

CLICK HERE TO PRINT AND HELP YOUR ELF!! 

Gift Guide

Coming soon will be our 2nd annual Market Gift Idea Guide…whether it’s for her, him, everyone, stockings/hostess gifts or more…we will be able to give you some ideas so you can find just the right thing! Keep an eye out here the last week of November!

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Gift Certificates & Swag ngfm gift certificate

As always, we have Market gift certificates. they come in $10 denominations so the lucky recipient can shop around the market and get just the right thing!

We also have t-shirts, aprons, onesies and tote bags! Available at the Gift Wrapping centre…see Rhonda for availability and pricing.

 

 

We want you to shop local and we’re making it easy for you! It’s not how much you spend, but how you spend makes a big difference!

buy-local

 

 

Keeping Market Youthful

As you know, the New Glasgow Farmers Market is an incubator for small homegrown businesses. It is where new ideas are born and tested. We love and appreciate our community and we want to foster innovation and promote entrepreneurship and that begins with our kids.

Did you know we offer a table specifically for youth? We have a $15 under 15 program that allows youth to come to Market with items that they have made, baked or grown themselves at a special youth rate. Whether they are growing fruit & vegetables, making food or crafting items…we’d like to give them a start.  It’s a great place for kids to learn how to conduct business and interact with their community.

In order to qualify for the $15 table rate, youth vendors must 15 years or younger and again, the products must be made, baked or grown by the students. Items for sale are subject to approval and applicable regulations, school groups and 4-H groups are also welcome to apply.

To find out more information, qualifications and to see if this might be a fit for you, please contact Kristi at ngfarmmarket@gmail.com

And don’t forget, if you have a school group or community group like 4H that is looking to raise funds, you may also want to check into our Market Kitchen availability.

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