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Elmvale BIA steps up to bring back Springwater Farmers' Market

'It’s a win-win for business, but a much bigger win for the folks in Elmvale and the vendors,' says Beamish Honey owner; market has new operator, new night and new hours
The Springwater Farmers' Market in Elmvale has been rescued by the Elmvale BIA, which will host the weekly market beginning in June.

Like the proverbial phoenix rising from the ashes, the Springwater Farmers’ Market in Elmvale will be back for the summer of 2024.

The Elmvale Business Improvement Area (BIA) recently voted to relaunch the market under the Elmvale BIA banner after Springwater council voted to end the township’s support of the market and the part-time employee who managed it. 

“The Springwater Farmers’ Market Elmvale has been a staple in our community for 14 years,” Matt Garwood, Elmvale BIA board member and Springwater Township councillor, said in a release announcing the market’s return. “The farmers’ market brings farm-fresh food closer to home while providing a gathering place for local artisans, musicians, and community groups.”

At the Oct. 4 council meeting, council voted on a motion that would see the market continue in 2024 with township support. The motion also included making the contract economic development assistant position a full-time, permanent role and including the position in the township’s 2024 budget for consideration.

Council defeated both parts of the motion.

“After countless conversations with local business owners, it’s evident the farmers’ market attracts visitors to our downtown core and assists in the economic growth within our community,” Garwood said.

Not only does the market have a new operator, it’s also got a new night and new hours, which should dramatically increase the market’s chances for success.

The 2024 season will find the market in the Elmvale Community Hall municipal parking lot every Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m.

“We are excited for the Springwater Farmers’ Market Elmvale to be held Thursday evenings in 2024 and believe this will allow more families and visitors the opportunity to experience our community,” said Crystal Graveson, president of the Elmvale BIA.

The market’s return was music to the ears of the vendors who relied on it to sell their wares.

“Thank you very much to the Elmvale BIA for stepping in,” said Kevin Beamish, a market vendor and owner of Beamish Honey in Oro-Medonte. “It’s a win-win for business, but a much bigger win for the folks in Elmvale and the vendors.”

Beamish said the Elmvale market is his favourite market and he’s looking forward to another season of meeting “incredible people who enjoy the market experience.”

Beth Havers, founder of Aunt Beth’s Whisky Cookies, was one of a number of vendors who joined the Elmvale market for the first time this past season.

She said the Elmvale market is one of the smaller ones she attends, but its value is beyond the dollars and cents it brings in — it’s about building a brand that is authentic and true to its roots.

“This will mean the world to small businesses,” Havers said. “Farmers’ markets are all about community. They’re local, unique and different.”

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Wayne Doyle, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

About the Author: Wayne Doyle, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Wayne Doyle covers the townships of Springwater, Oro-Medonte and Essa for BarrieToday under the Local Journalism Initiative (LJI), which is funded by the Government of Canada
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