Options to purchase, and support local vendors will soon be available to residents in Magrath and the surrounding area as the town prepares to host their inaugural Farmer’s Market next month, on June 10.
After moving to Magrath from Red Deer, where he lent himself to around five market per week last year, Ray Sauer talked with town’s chief administrative officer Wade Alston about bringing a market to residents in the area.
“Last year, as a vendor, we baked pies and I sold Hemp Hearts and craft signs. I talked with Wade about my past experience and he asked if I would be interesting in heading this event and I just sold my property up in Red Deer, so now I’m here full-time,” explained Sauer. “And it started right there, I got a hold of the Ag Society and got a hold of the chamber and everybody who might be interested and all of a sudden it started coming together.”
Sauer was appointed manager of the Farmer’s Market, and drew on help from locals like Leisel Quinton for help and support in gathering information and vendors.
“Leisel was unbelievably helpful for me in acquiring vendors that she knew of. She’s been priceless, there’s no way I could have done this without her,” he said.
Markets will be held throughout the summer, on Tuesdays, from June 10 to Sept. 30, excluding July 1.
So far the response has been “wonderful.” Sauer sent around 30 applications out, to be a part of the market, to vendors in the area and received calls from all of them.
“They are interested and they want to be a part of the market. I don’t send an application unless you’ve inquired and said ‘you’d like to be a vendor,’” he explained. “We already have vendors from Raymond, Lethbridge and Cardston – we have also talked with the chamber and they are going to advertise for us on their Facebook Page.”
Vendors in the market can have up to three stalls for their display. One stall would provide a vendor with an eight-foot table, which is “a pretty standard size.”
Those who wish to apply to become a vendor are required to pay for four markets up front, which don’t have to be picked immediately, or consecutively.
“I need at least 48 hours notice if they are not going to be there for Tuesday,” he said. “There is already some money coming in and that’s going to help with some more of the advertising – signage, sandwich board advertising and any other costs incurred for advertising. The bottom line is the whole thing should be self-supporting, and by the end of the year we should be able to come up with a bit of the profit for the Ag Society.”
Both the Town of Magrath and Magrath Chamber of Commerce will be “supplemented” for their support of the market, be it for waiving arena-use fees, or donations of things like chairs or advertising for the event itself.
“We also invite the people at the market to enjoy a home-cooked, hot meal at Megan’s Kitchen, where you can eat-in, or take-out and there will be a different menu every week,” Sauer said of the market cafeteria.
Depending on the response from the community there might be a winter market available for residents to browse as well, Sauer added.
“It all depends on the response. We probably wouldn’t have more than two or three if we did . . . it would be just more crafts and baking,” he said of the possibility.
Those who wish to apply to be a vendor, or have questions, please contact Ray Sauer at 403-758-3723.