Creston Valley Farmers’ Market settles into new location, schedule

Moving to the community complex for the winter allows the Creston Valley Farmers’ Market to continue to grow while providing better parking and access for customers.

There was no time for the Creston Valley Farmers’ Market to rest on its laurels after another record-breaking summer season at its Cook Street outdoor location.

October 22nd saw the popular market and most of its vendors pack up and head to its new winter location in the Creston Room at Creston & District Community Complex.

Without enough space to meet vendor demands at the former Morris Greenhouse location, the Food Action Coalition board chose the Community Complex as the site most able to accommodate the market’s continued growth, manager Jen Comer said last week.

Former FAC president Jan MacDonald explained the decision.

“As a member of the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets, our mandate is to provide a space for vendors who make, bake or grow fabulous products,” she said. “We hate to turn away anyone who meets those criteria.”

Directors and Comer created a wish list that included the opportunity to allow the market to continue to grow, along with accessibility and adequate parking.

“The Creston Room meets those needs nicely,” Comer said. The summer location on Cook Steet benefited from Highway 3 traffic passing by, and the Community Complex generates a lot of traffic, and has a “beautiful, well lit sign” on Canyon Street, too.

The change had its complications because it required a change of market days from Saturday to Sunday.

“The Creston Room is popular asset and we simply couldn’t book it for every Saturday through Christmas,” Comer said. “After consulting with vendors and weighing the issue carefully, we chose to move the winter market to Sundays. While there was a negative impact on a couple of vendors, it also opened the door for others to participate who wouldn’t have been able to otherwise.”

Winter road conditions and Sunday church services were important factors in setting the market’s winter hours from 12 to 3 pm, Comer said.

Monthly markets will be held from January through April, with dates to be determined.

Comer, who is facing her own changes, will be filling her responsibilities as market manager (for which she was named the 2016 Market Manager of the Year in BC) through December, when her contract expires. She recently accepted the Fields Forward coordinator’s position, which allows her to maintain and build on her relationships with many market vendors. A new market manager has yet to be selected.

“We would like to thank all of the patrons of the Creston Valley Farmers’ Market for their continued support of local makers and growers,” Comer said. “The steady growth of the market translates into success for local families, many of whom rely on the market for part or all of their livelihood. We are grateful to you all and look forward to seeing you at the new location on Sundays. It’s shaping up to be the best Winter Market season ever!”

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