First Gore Bay street market a huge success

Michelle Biggins, right, of Far Out Farm, sells one of her tie-dye shirts to a customer at the street market. photo by Tom Sasvari

GORE BAY—From vendors who took part, to business owners on Meredith Street in Gore Bay, everyone seems to feel that the street market, which made its debut last Friday, was successful and will become even more of a success over the summer.

“I think this street market is going to take off,” stated Michelle Biggins, of Far Out Farm whose locally produced wares include tie-dye clothing, felt, knitting, leather work and upcycled goods. “The community is very supportive,” she said, noting that she also regularly has a booth at the weekly summer market in Kagawong.

“These types of markets are becoming more popular everywhere,” said Ms. Biggins. “More people seem to be moving up from the city to small towns, opening their own business and participating in markets.”  She has experience with markets in the past, having a booth at the Owen Sound market for over 25 years.

The Gore Bay Street Market opened with almost 20 vendors filling Meredith Street in downtown Gore Bay. There was everything from baking, customs signs and children accessories, art, crafts, face painting along with some local organizations manning booths and much more. The street market café was open in the community hall with coffee, tea and tasty treats.

Annette Schulze of Nettie’s Goodies and Crafts of Gore Bay said, “this is my first time here at the market. Oh yeah, it’s been great. I plan on coming back every Friday.”

Krista Smith of KMS Kreations custom signs and children’s accessories of Allenford and Gore Bay said, “this is the first time I have (manned) a booth here in Gore Bay. We have a summer camp just outside of Gore Bay.”

“It’s been great here today,” said Ms. Schulze. “I’m happy the market started up here and that it is open to crafters and other vendors.”

Gore Bay Mayor Dan Osborne, who owns Island General Merchandise said, “this had a good start for the first time holding a street market in the downtown area. I think it is only going to get better and it is nice to see so may people around. It helps everyone.”

“Our town is becoming more of a destination place to visit, with our restaurants and shops and businesses like Split Rail Brewing, Finnia Chocolate and many other attractions we have to bring people here,” added Mayor Osborne.

The original idea for a street market had been brought to town council (where it was given full support and approval) by three local residents, Carrie Lewis, Ashley Whyte and Jeff Hietkamp.

Mr. Hietkamp told The Expositor, “I thought it was a great start, and there was a nice atmosphere. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.  With events going on all over the Island on Canada Day, this probably thinned the number of vendors out a little. I expect there will be even more vendors on hand next Friday.”

“I’m very pleased with the way things went for this the opening day of the market,” added Mr. Hietkamp.

The Gore Bay Street Market will be held from 9 am to 12 noon every Friday during the summer.