Crystal Beach Farmers Market
ACB first held a very limited Farmers Market in 2016, selling local produce from the Community Garden on Dominion Road. That was a VERY hot summer, watering the garden exhausted the water supply but we were able to supply a large quantity of fresh vegetables to the residents of Crystal Beach. Due to the travel distance for volunteers without vehicles we decided not to continue the Community Garden.
We approached Carol McKay, owner of the Crystal Chandelier Cafe, about the possibility of using her parking lot for a market. She was enthusiastic about the idea and we began planning. We approached a variety of vendors over the winter and in late May 2017 the Crystal Beach Farmers Market opened with ACB volunteers managing it.
Residents were supportive and liked the idea of a market within walking distance. Vendors were pleased with the support they received from residents and they were happy and consistent in attending. The vendors asked about going indoors for the winter and again, Carol McKay was enthusiastic. Space inside the Cafe was more limited than the parking lot but it had a cozy feel and residents came out to see and buy from their favourite vendors. New vendors came in and were very pleased at the positive response to their crafts. The Indoor Market continued until close to Christmas and then started up again late March until May when we again moved outside.
In May 2018, we received a $50,688 grant from Niagara Prosperity Initiative [NPI] to fund a 2 year part-time Market Manager and to assist in promoting the Market. We were very pleased to hire Corinne O’Neill who had been volunteering to assist in setting up the Market. Many of the regular vendors have consistently attended the Market; Corinne has also been successful in attracting new vendors to the Market as well as instituting activities for children who come to the Market.
Our goal in creating a Farmers Market in Crystal Beach is to provide easier access to fresh local vegetables and fruits to residents as we don’t have a grocery store nearby. We also wish to provide a venue to showcase our many local artisans and further develop and strengthen a sense of community within our village.
In 2016 a local businessman suggested a welcome package of Crystal Beach/Greater Fort Erie information for new residents. We liked the idea and followed up on it, collecting information from local Crystal Beach businesses including a map of their locations and a variety of pertinent data about our area for newcomers. We put everything into a swag bag made of colourful cloth material lovingly sewn by our volunteers and distributed them.
Please email us if you haven’t received one.