Registered acupuncturist Laura Abdallah shows a number of her herb tea mixes for sale at Farmers Market & Delights at the Farm Centre on University Avenue Saturday. The new market will be open on the first and last Saturday of every month.
©MITCH MACDONALD/THE GUARDIAN
A new farmers market in Charlottetown isn't trying to compete with, but rather complement the already existing one, say organizers and vendors.
Farmers Market & Delights was open to an enthusiastic crowd Saturday while showcasing a number of P.E.I. producers, bakers, artisans and other vendors at the Farm Centre on University Avenue.
Organizer Sherri Lannigan Stewart said the idea to start the market came from the growing demand for local goods as well as a large number of producers.
"There's been a waiting list at the other market for some time now. So there's definitely a need for other vendors and businesses in P.E.I. to showcase themselves," she said. "It's a complement to the other market, it's not competition."
Many vendors at the new market have experienced a seemingly never-ending wait for a spot at the Belvedere Avenue market, which has been in operation for more than 30 years.
"I think there's close to 50 people ahead of us on the waiting list," said Molly McGrath of South Shore Dairy Goats.
McGrath and her husband Stephen have operated the dairy goat farm in Desable for the past five years, although have only recently begun selling commercially.
They produce raw goat milk for pets as well as more than 30 different scents of goat milk soap.
"We did it for ourselves at first and now we're branching out and selling to the public," said Stephen. "So far, it's been really good feedback."
Laura Abdallah, of Picadilly Acupuncture and Apothecary, was one of the market's other vendors with a unique product.
The registered acupuncturist was selling a number of herbal tea mixes.
Having earned a doctorate in traditional Chinese medicine, Abdallah said the product includes both culinary uses and health benefits.
"In traditional Chinese medicine, there are lots of different flavours that correspond to different health issues... I try to find a way for people to expand their palate," she said. "It's a lot different than your average coffee or tea that most North Americans would consume with cream and sugar. A lot of these help to reduce the amount of sugar intake."
Abdallah said she heard most market-goers were happy with the diverse range of products, which also included different cuisines, crafts, baked goods, vintage items, clothing and even homemade dog treats.
"They were pretty happy with the amount of vendors and what everyone was offering."
One of the most unique aspects about the market wasn't a particular vendor, but an online integration on the market's website.
Paul Trainor, of the P.E.I. Business Federation, said the site includes profiles for many of the vendors.
The profiles include pictures, specials, directions to the vendors' other locations as well as other details and links to separate websites or Facebook pages.
Most importantly, there will also be a way for consumers to order products online.
"And then be able to pick it up next week at the market," said Trainor. "This market is going to be different because you can come here and get introduced to a product then go online and at your own leisure and buy it throughout the week."
Lannigan Stewart said while not every vendor may be listed online, the website serves as a great addition for many of them.
Terri Tremblett, Crumbles With a Twist, is one vendor who has already made an online presence on the site.
The page shows pictures of Tremblett's homemade gluten free treats, as well as a wealth of information about her business and how to contact her.
"They've done a really good job with the site," she said. "It creates an interest so people aren't just shopping on Saturday,"
For those who want to see the products in person, the market will be open again this coming Saturday.
It will continue to open on the first and last Saturdays of every month, although Lannigan Stewart said the goal is to eventually have it every week.
"We're potentially expanding to the gardens outside as well in the summer months," she said.
The basic facts about the farmers' market
1- Farmers Market & Delights is located at the Farm Centre on University Avenue
2 - It will be open on the first and last Saturday of every month from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
3 - More information on the new market and its vendors can be found at www.charlottetownmarket.ca