Two Sundays ago, The Queen Square Farmers Market opened for the season and today I finally had a free Sunday to visit.
Founded in 2011 by Brian Irving and Jody Kliffer as a way to encourage people to buy local and to help revitalize Queen Square, the open-air market is now a well-oiled machine which is loved by locals and continues to grow each season.
One of the reasons why I love this market so much is because it really showcases all the diverse ethnicities that you can now find in our region. There are so many choices of delicious foods from around the world here that it's impossible to leave this market still hungry.
On top of all the wonderful food vendors, the market also features so many talented artisans. Jewelers, wood-workers, photographers, painters, and more. If you're looking for a unique gift, this market is the place to find it.
Many of these vendors have inspiring personal stories about how they started their business!
Take Dominique Leger from In Pursuit Mobile Boutique who, not long after abandoning retail for a 9-5 job, realized soon after that she had made a grave mistake. She missed having the one-on-one with people and she longed for a creative outlet that her 9-5 was simply not affording her. After a fortuitous trip to Boston where her idea first took shape, she's now trying to leave the space she occupies a little better than she found it, she said.
There's also Henry Stuart of Henry's Cedar World who started wood-working as a hobby 20 years ago by building bird houses with some wood scraps he had from his mill. Today his pieces, which include bird houses, bat houses, and folding picnic tables, are well in demand. He said he'll come to the market with 5 big pieces and have sold 6. Now that's good business!
We also have Chris with Lone Woods, a small-batch beard oil and grooming supplies business he started. Chris was a graduate of Dalhousie University's Neuroscience Program but his real passion was beards! He said that he found his beard quite dry in the winter and had heard of the benefits of beard oils, which lead him to craft some of his own. When his fellow bearded buddies started using and recommending his products, that's when Lone Woods really took off.
My favourite story though is from Ryan Golden of Maple Lane Apiary (what a perfect last name for someone who deals in bees and honey). His wife wanted bees on their property to help with their land and (being the caring husband he is) he obliged even though he was quite indifferent. Not very long after acquiring their bees, Ryan's wife became pregnant. After having their child, it fell to Ryan to take care of the hive. So suddenly he went from being indifferent to finding out that bees were fascinating, wonderful, and he had a new passion. Now Ryan sells honey, lip balms, and creams at the market all made with the raw honey produced by his own bees.
So, if you're looking for something fun to do on a Sunday, I'd highly recommend the Queen Square Farmers Market which is open from 9am to 2pm until Mid-October, rain or Shine.
Check out some of my photos of the day by clicking the back and forward buttons.