The Vanderhoof Farmer’s Market has changed locations, after seven years at Riverside Park; and the market’s manager, Michelle Roberge, says that’s meant an increase in vendors and customers.
The market—now located at Ferland Park—moved from Riverside because of the high water and flooding earlier this year. “Everyone loves the new venue,” says Roberge. “There’s more shade and it’s less windy than at Riverside. It just feels more friendly.” Roberge adds that the new location means it’s within walking distance for people on their lunch hour, who come to the market to grab a bite of lunch and look over the two dozen or so vendors who have set up displays.
“People come from as far away as Prince George and Fort St. James to display their goods,” says Roberge. She points out that the huge range of products for sale—fruit, vegetables, meat, preserves, baked goods—provides a lot of what most people would need for a week, enabling market-goers to do most of their shopping, get high quality products from the area, and support local vendors.,
There’s more to the Farmer’s Market than just food, however. Artisans come to display their creations, and the YMCA has a booth with free activities for kids. “That’s a real asset,” says Roberge. “It gives kids something fun to do while their parents look around.”
Roberge estimates that the number of people coming to the market—held each Thursday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm—has increased by about 30% from last year, and there are more vendors than ever before. “Some people come down and stay for hours,” she says, “to have lunch and shop.”