With the COVID-19 pandemic putting an increased focus on shopping local, the North Bay Farmer’s Market has been seeing some increased foot traffic.
“We’ve had the opportunity to have the light shine upon what’s available at the market,” beamed Donovan Daniel, a board member for the North Bay Farmer’s Market.
The market, which features booths set up by local farmers and craftspeople, has been the beneficiary of the “shop local” rhetoric being stressed by all levels of government.
Daniel says he noticed an increase in shoppers during the summer when the market was set up outside the North Bay Museum.
“It’s quite evident during the winter market as well,” he noted. “We believe that is due to the increasing popularity of locally produced food and products.”
Daniel estimates on an average Saturday morning, the market sees approximately a thousand people.
For the vendors at the market, Daniel says the 40-plus retailers and farmers have adjusted well to the new health protocols that have been imposed.
“The vendors have been great in terms of making adjustments for their own booths,” Daniel said. “They have certainly been embracing increased attendance.”
Peter Chirico, president and CEO of the North Bay and District Chamber of Commerce has been among those leading the charge of the area’s “shop local” movement. He believes the local businesses will be instrumental in recovering from the pandemic.
“If our farmers and our retailers are successful, they’ll expand. That is what is going to be key to recovery over the next couple of years because it is going to take some time to recover from this,” Chirico said.
In lieu of the holiday season, the North Bay Farmer’s Market will be holding a nighttime market in the week leading up to Christmas.
“We know supply chains have come under tremendous pressure…we know of certain disruptions at our local malls and that has an impact on shoppers hoping to complete their to-do lists before Christmas,” Daniel said.
The nighttime market will be at the North Bay Mall from 5 pm to 9 pm on December 23.