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!
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!
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!
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!
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:
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!
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 .
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: