A unique employment opportunity is only one of the exciting changes taking place at Cariboo Growers Market. They are also implementing a big harvest sale, planning for weekly specials and establishing competitive pricing, and working on strategies to grow the Market to create a strong local food economy.
There will be a new face at the counter at the Growers Market for the next few months. Local Farmer Brianna van de Wijngaard is stepping in as store manager till the next growing season begins on her own farm, while long-time store manager Jessica Knoedel is on maternity leave.
The Market will seek to fill that position early in the new year.
A vendor at Farmer’s Market and owner operator of Puddle Produce Urban Farms, Brianna said that the goal is for shoppers to be confident they’re getting the best prices and for the store shelves to be fully stocked with wonderful food all winter.
“We have three priorities when we source products,” she explained. “We source local (Williams Lake), regional (Cariboo) and then provincial.
“Another priority is that everything we stock is organic, or grown sustainably.”
The harvest sale will take place October 24-30, and will feature a bounty of storage crops from local farms, such as carrots, potatoes, beets, cabbage, onions and long season items like melons and spinach, as well as door crasher sales and great deals.
“We’ll have some farmers on hand helping at the store so people can meet them, sample products and get information about it,” she continued. “The store will be open Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday that week.”
Local farmers will also take part in the second annual Harvest Run on October 16 at 11am at Cariboo Memorial Complex, where there will be three gift baskets with local food in the draw.
“Growers Market is a gem in our community; it provides a brick and mortar store where people can access agricultural products from a community that is largely agricultural,” Brianna stated. “It gives people access to that sector on their own doorstep, and the farmers have a retail outlet.
“This is one place to grow their business so they can keep producing.”
Just over six years ago an old gas station in the heart of downtown Williams Lake was transformed into the Cariboo Growers Market. The Williams Lake Food Policy Council wrote a strategic proposal for the City, according to Growers Market director and public health dietician Tatjana Lauzon. “We knew it was important to the City to prevent crime and liven up the downtown area, and proposed that a local food market, the BIA and Community Policing share the space,” she noted.
“A strong local food economy is our current goal, as well as seeing our local food and farmers taken seriously. We want huge security for local farmers and want great food available to our community.
“We wouldn’t be where we are today without our supporters, such as the Williams Lake Food Policy Council, our partners, the Downtown Business Improvement Association and Community Policing and our hard-working board of founding directors,” she said, adding that the market is in place thanks to grants from the City and CRD and businesses that include United Concrete and Pioneer Log Homes.
“This food is the very heart of who we are,” she said.
“Know the source of your food: meet a farmer.”
For more information about upcoming events at Cariboo Growers Market, visit www.cariboogrowers.com, phone 778-412-2667, email firstname.lastname@example.org or find them on Facebook.