The Comox Valley Farmers’ Market has moved into the Native Son’s Hall in downtown Courtenay for the fall/winter months.
After 12 years at the Native Son’s Hall for the fall, some changes had to be made to accommodate the growing number of vendors and customers attending the market. Executive Director Vickey Brown explains: “We’ve been bursting at the seams for a few years now, and have had to make some difficult decisions around what the market set up looks like in order to make it work.”
This fall, there won’t be live music on the floor with the vendors, and up to 10 vendors have moved outside to create more space indoors for customers to get around.
“We were hearing from frustrated customers who were struggling to get around inside because it was so crowded. Parents were finding it difficult to keep track of their children while they shopped. And from vendors we heard that it was just too loud, and they couldn’t hear their customers.” Brown states.
While the music is a big part of the experience for some customers, others just want to get their veggies and meat and get home. These two interests combine for a great outdoor market because there’s lots of space for everyone, but at the indoor market they compete.
“Last year we tried moving the musicians upstairs, but they weren’t so happy up there, and neither were the customers.”
With almost 50 vendors attending there isn’t space for a musician and seating as well. “We are so grateful to our local musicians for their contribution to the market, it’s a great relationship. And we’ll get them back at the market as soon as we can.”
The other big change is the addition of more vendors set up outside the Hall. Before you even get to the door of the hall you’ll have the option to buy organic chicken and pork from Halstead Farm, Beef from Glen Alwin or Blue Heron Farm, amazing chicken and turkey from Stonecroft Farm, yogurt from Tree Island, veggies from Merville Organics, Ironwood or Jesse and delicious apples from Applelane Farm.
You might also find wine from Hornby Island Winery, 40 Knots or Coastal Black who will be alternating outside.