Business

‘Addictive regulars’ frequent market

Portia Dyck, who will be two next month, looks quizzically at Bev,  Dan, Maya and Amber, who were incognito as cows at Island Farms stall at the Langley Farmers Market. - Natasha Jones/Langley Times
Portia Dyck, who will be two next month, looks quizzically at Bev, Dan, Maya and Amber, who were incognito as cows at Island Farms stall at the Langley Farmers Market.
— image credit: Natasha Jones/Langley Times

Despite the rain that was falling when the third Langley Farmers Market wrapped up on Oct. 5, merchants and customers were enthusiastic about the market, and eager for the start of the fourth year starting in May.

But before then, vendors and shoppers can look forward to two Christmas Markets.

They will be held on Saturday, Nov. 19, and Saturday, Dec. 10, both at Darvonda Nurseries on 216 Street in Milner.

The main focus of the farmers market is to encourage people to buy locally-grown fruit and vegetables and locally produced foods, including pies and fudge, cheeses, honey, pickles and salsa.

But it doesn’t stop there.

Throughout the summer there are vendors selling jewelry, candles, soap and other merchandise.

While the market promotes local agriculture and more sustainable agricultural practices, not all the produce is organic.

Kim Heuring is the market’s manager. Before she begins planning for next May’s opening, she will travel to Central America learning hands-on about sustainable farming practices.

Next year’s market promises to be larger still, with the organizers hoping to bring on artists of different genres, including painters and photographers.

As customers left with bags laden with purchases, vendors were smiling.

“We have very addictive regulars,” said Laurie Willgress of Sweet Thea, makers of delectable tarts, fruit pies, cookies and granola bars, and the giant cake that was offered to customers to mark the last day of this year’s farmers market.

His wife is Thea Willgress, a master pastry chef.

Sweet Thea has had a stall since the first year, and there’s no doubt it will be back, as response has been “fabulous,” Laurie Willgress said.

“We are very popular everywhere we go.

“We make good products,” he said, adding that Langley folk are very supportive.

So are others.

 

 

Natasha Jones/Langley Times

Kim Heuring manages the Langley Farmers Market which wrapped up its 2011 season on Oct. 5. Emma-May Kalus, 10, is a young entrepreneur who managed the traders’ table at the weekly markets held at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

The Langley-based company has stalls at about 15 markets a week in the Lower Mainland.

Dyana Biagi uses the farmers market not only to sell her own products, but to boost the businesses that carry her merchandise all year long.

Biagi owns Aji (pronounced ah-hee) Gourmet Products, a line of spicy condiments made with only fresh ingredients and no preservatives.

“My work at the Farmers Market is to show it, get people to taste it, and promote the stores that sell it,” she said.

Outlets include Choices Market and Whole Foods.

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