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Stouffville Market gets set for new look at new location in 2022

The Stouffville Market will run every Saturday from May 14 to Oct. 8
May 9, 2022
Simon Martin

A farmers market has been synonymous with Stouffville for years. It wasn’t too long ago that cars poured in from all around the GTA to go Stouffville Country Market on Tenth Line. But ever since the market closed in 2016, after 64 years as a cultural hub of Stouffville, the town has struggled to come up with an adequate replacement.

The latest foray was the farmers market held at 19 on the Park, starting in 2020. But after initial success the first year, numbers dwindled in 2021. Town staff struggled to find farmers to be part of the Saturday market. They either sold produce on their properties, or were already part of more established farmers markets. Vendor attendance at the market also became an issue as the numbers of vendors who actually came varied widely, depending on the weather.

The market saw 5,400 total visits in 2021, down significantly from the previous year.

Instead of giving it another go, the town council decided to put out an RFP (request for proposal) to have someone run the market and move it to the old Care and Share site at 6240 Main St.

Enter Stouffville resident Susan Tucker who decided to step up and run the new market.

“It is a new setup and we are very excited,” she said. “The town didn’t want to run it again.” 

Tucker believes the new location will be more visible and bring more people into the market. But she wants to make one thing clear, this is the Stouffville Market, not the Stouffville Farmers’ Market. “It is not a farmers market,” she said. While Tucker said there will be some produce, and other food items there will also be a number of artisan stands. To be considered a farmers market, 51 per cent of vendors have to farmers and Tucker said that isn’t feasible at the moment.

The market will run 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Saturday, from May 14 to Oct. 8. Tucker said it is important to have something like this in Stouffville. “We used to have a huge very successful market. There is no reason the town shouldn’t have a good market,” she said.

At a council meeting last year, Mayor Iain Lovatt said it was important to find the right person to run the market. “I think it is brilliant idea to move it to 6240,” he said.

Ward 3 Hugo Kroon was happy the town was getting out of the business of running the market itself. “Every attempt, with all due respect, has failed,” he said.   

One vendor moving over to the new market is Freda Sidiropoulos who runs the Belicious stand which sells various honey products. She is excited about the changes being made. “I truly think this year is going to be better,” she said. “It seemed kind of like it was winding down last year.”

Sidiropoulos sells honey and iced honey, as well as beeswax candles and body care products. While she is technically classified as a farmer she is not upset about the market shedding the farmers market label and is happy with the direction Tucker is steering the market toward.

“Moving it to a new location will help," she said. "There will be a wide variety of different vendors."

Tucker said she is trying to make sure there is a diverse group of vendors selling different products. Last year three of the vendors were selling honey, she said. “We are trying to maintain a level of exclusivity.”

Vendors include Belicious Products, Athena Olive Oil, Muddy York Brewing, Baked by Mikayla, Edie’s Kitchen, The Pretty Busy Room, Sai Vam Foods, Esther a.k.a. Schmeksipants, Summon and Stir, Behind the Curls Creative, Jack Macklin Woodworking, Cannoli Express, Angelic Scents, Toss Toss by Ros, The Nock Academy, Mona’s Merch, Bushy Tailed Co., Fallen Tree Creations, Sweets by Lisa and Maria, Marian Tighe Creations, Dog Gone Gear and Front Porch Refillery.

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