A child cools off with a tasty treat at the BV Farmers’ Market. (File photo)

BV Farmers Market seeks to recruit more vendors

The market is currently offering new vendors their first stall rental for half price.

The Bulkley Valley Farmers’ Market (BVFM) is looking for new members.

As part of a vendor recruitment program, the market set up a Vendor Recruitment Committee in the spring of 2018.

The purpose of the committee, which is made up of vendors who have been involved in the market for several years, is to find and implement strategies for recruiting future vendors and retaining current ones.

“The area outside the museum, we used to fill that whole parking lot and there were people waiting to get in. Now we’re down to just the core of the market and we would like more people to come and experience the thrill of meeting everybody and selling things,” said recruitment committee member Betty Campbell.

This year, the committee was successful in an application for grant funds to hire Ally Dick as a coordinator for the program.

Her role includes reaching out to potential vendors, answering questions about the market and supporting new vendors with vending at the market.

READ MORE: Why farmers markets matter

She will also be compiling a report and survey made up of previous, current and potential future vendors to determine optimal strategies for growing the market.

For her part Dick said the BVFM, which has been running for over 20 years, is an essential part of the community.

“The market is important for our local economy and also a great gathering place for locals and tourists to purchase locally made produce and crafts, get hot food and listen to live music.”

She added that the market is a proven platform for small businesses in the area (provided they make, bake or grow their product, a requirement of the market).

“We are currently running a promotion for first-time vendors where your first Farmers’ Market stall rental is half price, [as well as] two free canopy rentals,” she said.

“The Vendor Recruitment Coordinator can also help promote your business through social media and connect you with long time vendors as a casual mentorship program.”

Mark Fisher is the Electoral Area A Director for the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako (RDBN).

He has also been a vendor at the market for approximately 15 years, selling various produce — namely assorted flowers, garlic and squash — over those years.

And while he noted that market-level businesses will likely not be a sufficient full-time source of income, Fisher said that the market was essential in helping his own farming business flourish.

“If someone is trying to develop a product locally it allows you to test it out without having to get into all the logistics around getting into stores or exporting and stuff like that, so it lets you build your business slowly and test it out.

“If you provide a good product it’s word a word of mouth [thing]. That kind of model made sense to me and I’ve been selling ever since.”

He also attributes part of his success at the market — which can see up to 1,000 people — to its communal aspect.

“You’re selling directly to [customers] and they come back week after week, for the most part, so you can build that relationship and get honest feedback.

“It kind of is a little bit of community too. So you get the feedback from other vendors on what works [and] what doesn’t for marketing.”

But despite the nature of the market, Fisher noted that there is never really competition at the market, rather just a very responsive feedback system with regards to what one is selling, something he said helped his business in the long run, noting that over time he switched to specializing in three or four different products based on what others were already selling.

“We don’t say there’s competition but you do get to know the other vendors and what they’re specializing in and what they do well and then you can tailor your business — it’s really responsive.”

Dick said that people interested in vending at the BVFM or learning more about the program should contact her at 514-346-0514 or at bvfmvendor@gmail.com.



trevor.hewitt@interior-news.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

BC Green Party leader visits Wet’suwet’en camps at heart of pipeline conflict

Adam Olsen calls for better relationship between Canada and First Nations

Calls for dialogue as Coastal GasLink pipeline polarizes some in northern B.C.

Coastal GasLink is building the 670-kilometre pipeline from British Columbia’s northeast to Kitimat on the coast

Smithers only taxi company closing down

BV Taxi parking its cars at the end of January

Coastal GasLink repeats desire for meeting with hereditary chiefs

Coastal GasLink says they’re ready to meet with the hereditary chiefs at their convenience

B.C. Green Party interim leader to visit Wet’suwet’en camps

MLA Adam Olsen stands behind First Nations

‘Like an ATM’: World’s first biometric opioid-dispensing machine launches in B.C.

First-of-its-kind dispensing machine unveiled in the Downtown Eastside with hopes of curbing overdose deaths

Canucks extend home win streak to 8 with 4-1 triumph over Sharks

Victory lifts Vancouver into top spot in NHL’s Pacific Division

‘Extensive’ work planned at Big Bar landslide ahead of salmon, steelhead migration

Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan visited the site of the slide from June

B.C. society calls out conservation officer after dropping off bear cub covered in ice

Ice can be seen in video matted into emaciated bear cub’s fur

Royal deal clears way for Harry, Meghan part-time Canada move: experts

Keith Roy of the Monarchist League of Canada said the deal is exactly what Harry and Meghan asked for

Horgan cancels event in northern B.C. due to security concerns, says Fraser Lake mayor

The premier will still be visiting the city, but the location and day will not be made public

B.C. landlord sentenced to two years in jail for torching his own rental property

Wei Li was convicted of intentionally lighting his rental property on fire in October 2017

PHOTOS: Eastern Newfoundland reeling, search underway for missing man after blizzard

More than 70 centimetres of new snow fell overnight, creating whiteout conditions

Most Read