'It draws the community together': Farmers' market moves indoors for winter

·2 min read

Instead of packing it in for the winter, a new farmers' market in Quispamsis is heading indoors as the colder weather draws near.

Beginning on Sunday, vendors with the Quispamsis Farmers Market are moving into the Qplex, after spending the summer and fall in the arts and culture park behind town hall, said Andrew Ryder, a co-founder.

"We had a great season," said Ryder, who launched the market in June with his wife, Isabel. "The most vendors we had one day was 56, which is amazing when you figure we just opened on Father's Day."

The market at the Qplex will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays. There will also be a $2 charge to enter, which covers the cost of renting the facility. COVID-19 rules, such as proof of full vaccination and mask-wearing, will apply.

"We're hoping to have enough interest that we continue through the whole winter and then in May, we go back outside," said Ryder. "If anyone is looking to become a vendor, they can always contact us."

Many of the same vendors from the outdoor market will be selling their wares once moving inside. The Sugar Spider, which sells decadent treats, and the craft vendor, Stacey's Creations, are some examples of market staples over the past several months, Ryder said.

The Ryders are the same people behind the Dominion Park Farmers Market in Saint John, which launched in August. That market also recently moved indoors at the Dennis Morris Community Centre due to the cooler fall weather.

The husband-and-wife duo has plans to open a second market in Saint John next year. Ryder said they've met with representatives from Exhibition Park, and are working toward bringing a farmers' market to the Saint John Exhibition.

Ryder has said the pandemic has created an increased demand for local food and products, making farmers' markets a good business to get into right now.

In Quispamsis, residents seem happy to have a farmers' market within walking distance in the town, said Mayor Libby O'Hara.

"It's a way for people within our community to bring their wares and have a place to sell them," O'Hara said. "It draws the community together, so I think it's a win-win when we have the space available, and we have the people with the interest."

Robin Grant, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Telegraph-Journal

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