Farmers' Market opens to big crowds, excited vendors for 35th year

Truro Daily News, April 5, 2015, Ryan Cooke, TRURO 

Leigh McFarlane at the Truro Farmers' Market

Leigh McFarlane handled handfuls of customers at a time, as people walked up to her soap stand in droves. She pored over pamphlets and products to the customers, explaining in detail each product on the table in front of them, moving seamlessly from one interested shopper to the next. For MacFarlane and dozens of other vendors at the Truro Farmers’ Market, the hustle and bustle returned on Saturday morning with the dawn of a new season.

“When I left here last year, I was the last vendor out the door at the end and I burst into tears,” said MacFarlane, who operates The Soap Company of Nova Scotia out of Sherbrooke. “So I was super excited to come back.”

Like many of the other vendors, she sells out of several different places, but the Truro market is the Soap Company’s biggest seller.

Milling around amongst the crowd was a wide variety of customers; out-of-towners and locals alike, of all ages. Some, like Peter and Katherine Hunt, brought their kids out to enjoy the rainy day.

“We come most Saturdays when the market is open and buy some great local products,” Peter said, adding it’s a part of their weekend routine they miss when the winter rolls around.

It’s more than just routine though, Katherine said as she kept close watch on her two young daughters.

“I like them feeling the community aspect too,” she said. “It’s a good thing to grow up around.”

And with so many people and products of different backgrounds, it’s an educational place as well.

“The more they know about where things come from, the better,” Peter said.

Like MacFarlane, other vendors were equally thrilled to be back in action after a long, snowy winter. Despite the pouring rain outside, not much could damper the spirits indoors.

For Vickie Gourley, it was the kickoff to her third year at the market since starting her own business, All Sauced Up.

Gourley handed out samples and sold bottles of the wide variety of dressings, marinades and barbeque sauces she makes from her home in Truro.

“I was just a little bit excited this morning,” she said with a laugh. “I think I was up at about 6 a.m. putting the finishing touches on everything.”

Throughout the market season, Gourley sometimes gets up at 4 a.m. on a Saturday morning to mix up new batches of sauces.

“I’m like a mad scientist in the kitchen,” she said. “Just whatever I can come up with.”

The Stewiacke native, now living in Truro, owes much of her success to the market, she said. It was there last year where representatives from Sobeys approached her about selling her sauces in their stores.

“The market is the biggest part of my business,” she said. “After all, it all started here.”

The Truro Farmers’ Market will now be open weekly on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Twitter: @tdnryan

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