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Whistler Farmer's Market sees busy first day of operations

Market opens with vendor numbers at maximum
BUSTLING MARKET Whistler Farmer's Market sees busy first day of operations. Photo by Clare Ogilvie

Whistler's first Farmer's Market was a busy place with some merchants selling out before closing time at 4 p.m. on its first day of operations, June 16.

But with plenty of choice, customers weren't disappointed right through to the end.

There were new faces at the market including artisan marshmallows, vendors offering gluten-free baking, the Aussie meat pie guy is back after a hiatus, and Salt Spring Island Cheese has joined the market. But at least one favourite is no longer at the market - Purebread.

Market manager Chris Quinlan explained that with the popular bakery opening in the village it was no longer eligible to be part of the market.

There were no shortages of applicants this year for vendor space.

"We have a great reputation with vendors around the province," said Quinlan.

"We turned down about 60 different vendors this year through our jury process.

"We are sold out for vendors on our first market of the season, which hasn't happened to us before. Usually we open with about 65 vendors but we have 85 vendors here today.

"It is going fantastic."

About 5,000 people a day go through the Whistler Farmer's Market on a busy day - that makes it an important part of the resort's offering to visitors and residents alike.

One of the things driving its growing popularity, said Quinlan, is the desire by society to reconnect with those who grow produce or produce local goods.

"One of the things that society is moving towards is going back to public markets to be able to meet the producers, meet the growers, and be able to understand what it is they are eating.

"The Farmer's Market provides this in spades. The value in it is knowing what you are putting in your belly - what you are hanging on your wall."

Quinlan expects the market to be successful enough this year to offer grant money back to community organizations.