After postponing their vendors market last week for weather, the Dufferin Board of Trade (DBOT) officially held their Think Local Market..
“We are thrilled to finally see this event unfold,” said Diana Morris, executive director of DBOT. “Many of our businesses haven’t had the opportunity to get face to face with customers in 18 months, since COVID hit, so this event is really giving them the opportunity to get face to face with customers.”
While the wind was blowing and dark clouds threatened a down pour of rain, the Think Local Market went ahead at Fiddle Park in Shelburne on Tuesday (Sept. 21) with around 40 vendors.
The Think Local Market was created from the Dufferin Board of Trade’s annual “Think Local” showcase, which promotes local food and restaurants and was available only to DBOT members. Not being able to host the showcase over the last two years, DBOT expanded the event to include other industries within the community.
At the market on Tuesday, vendor items spanned from macramé and home décor, to food and baked goods, to soaps and sustainable products.
“The goal of this event is really to celebrate and promote all things made in Dufferin,” said Morris.
Darlene Moran is the owner of Décor by Darmora, a seasonal wreaths and décor business based in Shelburne and she used the market on Tuesday to sell a variety of her Halloween and autumnal themed wreaths.
As a new resident and business in the community this past year, she spoke about the importance of having a space for small local businesses.
“For so many of the small businesses in smaller communities, it’s difficult to start selling online or expanding your business in that way, so events like this get your name, face and product out there,” explained Moran.
Exposure to more customers was a sentiment shared by other vendors of small businesses at the market.
Rebecca Hudson is the owner of SOOPbags a zero waste company focused on providing eco-friendly alternatives for single use plastics such as toothbrushes, deodorants and sandwich bags.
“COVID has really highlighted that small businesses can use the support. Small businesses often form a big part of the community, even if people don’t really know we’re here,” said Hudson. “I wanted to be part of that making a presence in the small business community, uplifting brand names and getting more brand awareness.”
The Think Local Market also marked the soft launch of the DBOT’s most recent shop local campaigns – Dufferin Days.
Dufferin Days consists of three components – Play Local, Eat Local, and Love Local – each focusing on supporting a different sector in the community.
Local consumers will be able to submit a receipt and form during a specific time frame (21 days) for each component, and will be eligible for a prize draw.
Dufferin Days will run from now until the holiday season.
Paula Brown, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shelburne Free Press