The town of Strathmore hosted its second of three planned Farm and Flea markets this year on Aug. 21.
The market, which had been introduced as a new initiative last month, was meant to give businesses a unique avenue to engage with customers one on one and to encourage people to be out and about.
Economic Development Coordinator, Kristen Shima, said response to the markets has been positive and foot traffic is becoming greater, as well as more consistent.
“We had a great response,” she said. “It’s been very consistent with traffic throughout the day, which is exactly what we want to see.”
Shima added between 400 and 500 people attended the first market in July and vendors had reported the August event to be even busier.
The trick, she explained, has been getting the word into the community that the markets are taking place and encouraging people to come out.
The first market saw just over 20 vendors show up, and roughly 35 in total for the August market. According to Shima, those who attended in July had reported positive sales numbers and many had returned for the event on Saturday.
“The word is getting out there slowly, so more and more we’re just getting that awareness out there. Because it is a new event, we’re actually very, very happy with the amount of people coming through all throughout the day,” she said. “More people are expressing interest, the marketing is getting out there stronger and consistent, and as people hear about it more and more … awareness of the event is (is) bringing people together, and also supporting our local makers.”
The markets were launched this year as a different sort of project to help support local businesses and vendors that survived through the COVID-19 pandemic.
The town intends for similar markets to take place in future years and continue the initiative.
“More people are expressing interest, the marketing is getting out there stronger and consistent, and as people hear about it more and more … awareness of the event is [is] bringing people together, and also supporting our local makers,” she said. “Markets are a great place to have a pop-up, or to even try a new business idea or a product line. A lot of businesses start within a market capacity just to introduce themselves (and) get their name out there.”
Next month’s market is scheduled for Sept. 18 and will be hosted in line with Alberta Culture Days.
John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times