Rossland Mountain Market celebrates a successful season
One sure (and sad) sign that fall is upon us is the end of our local farmer’s market season. Last Thursday saw the final day of Rossland’s farmer’s market, and according to organizer Rachael Roussin, 2010 was an exceedingly successful season.
The market’s downtown location on Queen Street between the Credit Union and Ross Vegas saw an average of about 100 visitors every Thursday, including not only Rosslanders, but people from Trail and Warfield and a fair number of tourists, depending on weather. Also depending on weather, there were between five and 15 vendors each week. Most vendors were local, with the exception of a few from Grand Forks and Nelson. Says Rachael, “we are not an agricultural community so there was a real need to have some veggies brought in from a close community. Although Grand Forks is not in our back yard, it is as local as Rossland is going to get. We did have some Rossland vendors selling grown-in-Rossland produce such as Joe and Mary and Happy Valley Greens.”
Some of the most popular vendors were Rebecca Gilhula’s Sweet Dreams Cakery, whch sold up to 23 dozen of Gilhula’s amazing cupcakes each week – and always selling out; The Grind, who sold their artisan breads; Trisha Rasku’s homemade vinegars and soaps; and Michel Germaine’s table of baked goodies.
While having no numbers on what individual vendors’ profits were over the season, the fees for tables at the market brought in Rossland REAL Food, the organizing body, about $900. “We have to cover costs,” Rachael told me.
“Rossland Mountain Market has the lowest vendor fees in the West Kootenay with $5 for a small table and $10 for a large table with a tent. We want to keep it low so that people are encouraged to come out and sell what ever they have, even it it’s lemonade and cookies. [The fee] pays for the expenses such as the yearly insurance, advertising, business licence, etc.”
Rachael notes that the new time slot, Thursday afternoons from 3 PM to 7 PM as opposed to the previous Saturday morning time slot, worked very well for both vendors and attendees. This gave a chance for vendors who work during the day to be able to sell their goods, and the after school crowd and people who work in town a more convenient opportunity to come out and enjoy what the market had to offer.
Rachael is enthusiastic about the market’s future, noting that while nothing will essentially be different next year, the market will indeed be bigger and better. “People now know that Thursday is market day and vendors are also catching on,” Rachael says. “Next year we will have more steady and predictable vendors as we are going to encourage vendors to make a commitment to come every week. We also hope to have more art and music that we plan on organizing with local groups.”
She adds, “regardless if you want to shop or not, the market is a fun place for the community to gather every week. The market represents so many great things that Rossland REAL Food believes in–local, community, and great food that you know the source of.”
Rachael encourages as many community members as possible to come out and sell their stuff, whether it be huckleberries or lemonade. “You don’t have to be an expert to sell at this market. It’s also about socializing, having fun and connecting with the community.”
Lastly, Rachael emphasized that should community members decide to sell at next year’s market, they must comply with health regulations. These regulations are available on the Rossland REAL Food website, www.rosslandfood.com,where people wishing to set up a stall next year can also stay tuned for updates about setting up a stall at next year’s market.