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Bradford Farmers’ Market ready for Thanksgiving’s bounty

This is the last weekend of the in-person shopping at the Bradford Farmers' Market

Over the last handful of years, locally owned businesses in Bradford have certainly acquired a renewed sense of appreciation.

As shopping locally has become imperative with the pandemic, the significance of supporting these establishments has also become progressively more understood as an integral factor in maintaining a well-rounded community.

One of the best examples of local shopping is the Bradford Farmers' Market that takes place every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the parking lot of Bradford West Gwillimbury Public Library (425 Holland Street West). Vendors from all over town set up their booths and share their artisanal products with friendly-faced patrons. Whether you need products farm grown, handmade, snacks made from scratch, or you’re just looking to exchange pleasantries and meet the vendors, the farmers' market has something for everyone.

Sometimes it’s hard to pinpoint what makes shopping local so impactful or what it really means to support these businesses, but it can significantly enhance a community’s overall dynamic. When asked about their business and participation in the Bradford Farmers’ Market, several vendors were graciously willing to share their thoughts and perspectives on what it means to support local businesses.

In a smaller town such as Bradford, there’s a substantial consensus that practicing support for one another allows a community to maintain a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere. This goes for business owners too as they are sure to mutually support one another whenever possible. As Shane Singh, co-owner of Springh Farms, shares, “Shopping local as a farmer is good because its nice to be able to support other businesses and (shopping local) has been more supported over the last year, which is great to see”.

Singh and the rest of his family also expressed how great is to see a noticeably greater understanding around why shopping and supporting local businesses matters.

Shopping small and supporting local doesn’t necessarily mean one thing in particular, and when asking Carlee Hallarn, owner of Sweet Pea Sprouts, she said that when you support local businesses, “(You're) supporting the community and helping keep all businesses afloat especially after this last year where we saw so many businesses take a hit. It’s so important to support local businesses doing what they love and bringing quality products to their fellow locals.”

Hallarn also mentioned how her involvement with fellow local businesses has enhanced her appreciation for the community. She shared how she is able to “feel connected and constantly meet people who are great” as well as how gratifying of an experience it was to finally meet her loyal customers in-person as opposed to leaving someone’s order at their doorstep. It’s no secret that the return of in-person shopping was exciting, as business owners were able to regain that connection with their loyal customers.

Although Bradford has a wide variety of shopping options, it’s important to keep in mind that local businesses often bring an additional sense of passion, craftsmanship, and unique authenticity that contribute to the overall community dynamic rather than just provide a product or service. Abe Halagh, another market vendor, had some insights on why a local business outlet such as a farmers' market is beneficial to a small town like Bradford.

He said, “It keeps the community healthy in many ways. People are able to socialize, buy healthy foods and quality products, and experience a good atmosphere.” Halagh's business, Alphonsa’s, has become a market favourite for homemade hummus, hot sauces, and jellies

Bradford’s local farmers’ market is wrapping up its weekly outdoor festivities after the upcoming weekend (October 9th), however, the market intends to continue throughout the winter with a shorter pick up window introduced after Thanksgiving weekend. For more details, be sure to check the Bradford Farmer's Market website for updates as confirmed dates will be announced within the coming weeks.