By David F. Rooney
Saturday, May 3, proved to be a cold and rainy start to the Revelstoke Farm and Craft Market’s 2014 summer and fall season. The weather perfectly reflected the popular mood around town of people perturbed by changes to its vendor-scape, specifically the exclusion of Kurt’s Sausages.
“People walked past us all morning muttering and cursing us,” said longtime plant and vegetable vendor Sharon Bailey of Mayfair Farms.
A member of the board that governs the Revelstoke market, she said the public attitude is unfair and unjust and is bitter about the role played by the anonymous ranters who have inflamed the situation.
“Some of what they’ve said is slanderous,” she said.
It’s probably a rare person in Revelstoke who hasn’t heard that there ise a change or two in the vendor-scape at the summer market in Grizzly Plaza. Just in case you are one of those rare individuals the word is that the Kurt’s Sausage booth has been disallowed because it now sells out of Kurt’s Deli in the Demille’s store in Salmon Arm.
“People who have storefront shops can’t sell at the market,” says Revelstoke Farmer’s Market Vice-President Mark Hartley. “What you should see at a market like ours are the people who actually produce the foods and items they have on sale.”
Bailey’s husband Gene says that if all vendors were allowed to sell out of stores the Farmer’s Market would soon become little more than a strip mall.
The BC Association of Farmers Markets defines a ‘farmers’ market’ as a market “comprised exclusively of vendors who make, bake, grow or raise the products they sell, of which a majority of the vendors are selling farm products of British Columbia origin. These markets must be British Columbia non-profit organizations, whether incorporated or not, with at least 6 vendors, that operate for 2 or more hours per day for a minimum of 4 markets in a year.”
Kurt’s Sausage may have been in the market for more than a decade but if the rules don’t allow it to sell out of a store, well them’s the breaks.
There’s little doubt that this issue has been poorly handled by the Revelstoke Farm and Craft Market board and it might well have been able to manage complaints at its recent Annual General Meeting. But as market vendor and Current reader Sandra Flood notes in a letter to the editor that didn’t happen.