“The best thing is just seeing everybody, and everything’s organic,” said Penny Wright, who ate some carrot cake from the Peeks and Perks booth with her husband Larry. “We’re hoping it’s bigger and better than Charlottetown.”
The market is located in the basement of the Dominion Square building on Water Street, and the exposed brick and well-lit room make for a unique environment. Many browsers found that combination of atmosphere and organics inviting.
“There’s local product and friendly people,” said Sheila Laughlin of Summerside, who was visiting the market for her third time. “It’s good to support the local vendors.” Jason Matthews of JL Farms in Arlington was a first-time vendor, but described the market experiment as excellent so far.
“We were down at the Shipyard Market before, but this is by far better. We formed a co-operative and the group that we had all worked together and we all wanted to start this.” Dave MacEachern, who said his Country Cupboard booth has been selling out of its organic products every week, said the market has what it takes to have staying power.
“I think the market here can definitely hold its own,” he said. “I’ve had comments that this market is as good as any in the Maritimes.” While much of the focus is on the food products, the local arts and crafts portion of the market is also thriving with several vendors every week. With consistent crowds every Saturday, vendors are hoping the farmers’ market can draw more businesses to the downtown area.
“We’ve noticed more traffic on Water Street, and that’s what we had hoped,” said Arthur Davies, who operates an Emmerdale Eden Farm booth. “People get breakfast and lunch and sit around. We didn’t think we’d get that so soon.”