As I write, we are going into the 15th weekend of the Beechwood Market's third season. A significantly evolved scene from our first year, the vendors, community and I have learned a lot.
With a lot of returning vendors like Gentlecraft Organics, Jargon Preserves and Buddy Bites, we added a few newbies such as Allium Farm, Beking's Eggs and Barking Barista. Carefully selected for their quality, presentation and attitude, the idea was to enhance the shopping experience while maintaining the culture of cool and happy. A fantastic mixture of small businesses, they quickly got to cross promoting, trading products and helping each other out. Friendships made, our end of year party will no doubt be a doozy.
With a lush new site, the residents of the East End came in greater numbers, stayed for longer stretches and came to rely more heavily on the local produce. With many dedicated regulars, every week I also happily heard 'I live around the corner and never knew this was here!' That's OK, you're here now. A place to shop, listen and eat, the Market has become a regular part of many residents' weekends.
My lessons hovering mostly around how to best lift heavy things early in the morning, I was also exposed to some new marketing avenues, plenty of different PR conduits and an accidental crash course in electrical engineering. My greatest pleasures have been befriending the vendors, regularly seeing the local population and being a part of a neighbourhood finding itself again.
OK, thank yous. My lovely, uber-competent Market Coordinator, Heather. Modbox was a great marketing partner, always open to my property requests and tolerant to the odd moan. Jeff and Tina at Vanier Moderns (in the church basement) supported us in every way. And, as cliched as it may sound, without the support of the community, the Market would simply not exist. Thank you so much.
There will be a Winter Edition inside the church. The format undecided, it will be a place you can escape with your kids on a Saturday, do some local shopping and reconnect with your Market friends.
The Summer Market 2017 will be at the same location. Start date TBD.