HYDE CREEK—A new farmer’s market in Port McNeill got off to a small but enthusiastic start Saturday with a half-dozen vendors setting up tables in a grassy area alongside the Hyde Creek Esso station.
With the cool, wet spring slowing local gardeners, the inaugural market was less about farmers’ produce than crafters, with vendors selling wares ranging from jewelry to hula hoops, hand-crafted baby items and baked goods.
“As long as it’s homemade, home-grown and hand-stitched, it’s welcome,” said organizer Neva Perrott, who credited the work of Gwen Alsop with getting the market started.
Originally, organizers planned to hold the market in Port McNeill. But Hyde Creek Esso owner Aaron Gabrysh offered the vendors free space for the debut market, and tables will cost just $5 for future markets in August and September to offset the extra use of washrooms and garbage disposal at the adjacent convenience market.
With brilliant blue skies overhead, the handful of vendors saw brisk business, especially in the opening hour. Amber Kennedy quickly sold all of her 30 loaves of homemade bread and two dozen cinnamon buns and broke down her tent while customers continued to browse at other tables.
“I’m quite pleased with the amount of traffic,” said Ashlee Wall, who staffed her table of hand-crafted baby items, herbs and hula hoops with baby Emma sleeping in a tummy carrier. “Surprised, actually.”
Perrott expected the selection of goods to improve in future markets as the growing season advances, and hopes more vendors can be coaxed out in the next two months.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity,” said Kate Pinsonneault, who traveled from Port Hardy to set up her jewelry table. “It’s hard to start something new; it takes time to get the word out.”
The next farmer’s markets will be held in Hyde Creek Aug. 11 and Sept. 8. To register or for more info, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Port McNeill Farmers Market group on Facebook.