A move to a new location in 2016 at Banta Park and the introduction of some new vendors has led to a resurgence of the Crossfield Farmers’ Market.
“It’s really evolved over the years. It used to be kind of a sad affair in our arena and it’s really developed into a great outdoor market in Crossfield,” said Tennelle Gilfoil, president of the Crossfield Agricultural Society, the group that oversees the market.
“I’ve been part of the farmers’ market for, I’d say, at least the last five years and…this year and last year have been the most successful it’s ever been. It’s definitely evolved and grown to be a true Alberta farmers’ market. We’ve got B.C. fruit trucks. We’ve got a lot of make it, bake it, grow it – as well as consumer vendors.”
This year marks the 42nd year for the market. It runs every Thursday from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m., from June to September. More than 50 vendors fill Banta Park each week, featuring homemade foods and goods. Food trucks are also part of the mix.
Amit Arora, owner of the Damit Amit That’s Tasty food truck out of Airdrie, said he’s built up quite a regular clientele by participating in the market.
“It’s a very steady market. I’ve been very consistent in my sales. I want to be able to support Airdrie, Carstairs and Crossfield and not have to worry about going to Calgary,” he said. “It’s a diverse market. (The manager) is always looking at different ways and different vendors to promote it and get more people out. For different age groups, whether you’re a kid or a senior, there’s something for everyone to look at or buy.”
Arora said he’s also been able to partner with some of the other vendors to help both of their businesses.
“You try to use each others products when you can. I’m working with one of the mustard guys to try to work out what I can use…with his product,” he said.
Jacque Thomas and Noel Penton, owners of Our Precious Pantry, sell canned and baked goods at the market. This is their first year of business and Thomas said the Crossfield Farmers’ Market has helped make the business successful.
“We’ve been working on the concept for about a year now and were looking at larger markets but they have very large waiting lists. Someone suggested we call Crossfield…and wow, it just changed my whole perspective,” she said. “It really just feels like we’re a family out there and…I just love it. I love the people interaction. We’ve got some regular customers now and it’s just a great feeling.”
The market is also important to local residents.
“The farmers’ market is valued and brings vibrancy to the community. It is a place to connect with local growers, farmers and business owners as well as other community members,” Nicky Nash said.
“It is a great chance to taste and buy seasonal items, help the environment, eat healthier, and to know where your food comes from. It is one of the many things that makes living in Crossfield so great.”