It’s almost the big day: The Pier Street Farmers Market returns to town tomorrow.

The market will be held on Sundays – starting May 2nd through to September 26th – from 10:00 am till 1:30 pm, giving attendees the chance to shop around and support local farmers and businesses.

However, with the pandemic ongoing, it will once again be held at its alternative location on Cedar Street across from the Community Centre.

Given public health orders, the City-owned site offered more space for vendors last year, so organizers will be utilizing the space again this summer. Usually, the market is held at the Maritime Heritage Centre.

Despite the location change, last year’s market was a big success: Just over 8,300 people attended, with an average of 693 per day, and 37 unique vendors in total.

The majority of the vendors over the years have been artisans, but these types of vendors weren’t permitted by BCCDC guidelines at markets in 2020.

But things started looking up this past March 19th. That’s when the Province announced non-food vendors could return to farmers’ markets, which means the Pier Street Market is looking at a full slate of vendors for the entirety of its upcoming season.

The city’s economic development officer, Rose Klukas, says it’s wonderful to see so much support for local producers and businesses: “Shopping locally really does have a direct effect on the local economy,” she explains.

“It keeps money flowing through the community, supporting jobs and encouraging variety in the marketplace. This helps to boost both our economy, and our community as well,” Klukas adds. 

The city notes that the market “demonstrates how important it is to offer diverse opportunities for our community members to shop locally.” 

Last year, surrounding businesses – like Beach Fire Brewing, Stonehouse Teas, and The Urbanary – reported an increase in customers on Sundays when the market was up and running.

“I feel that our business got a boost from the market,” says Laura Gosnell of Beach Fire Brewing. “Unlike other days, the place filled at noon, and there were people waiting to get in.”

For the 2021 season, the market will continue to feature local food producers, and will also welcome a limited number of other arts and craft vendors.

Ried King of the Pier Street Market says his team is very excited to welcome a select number of artisan vendors back tomorrow, while adding it’s “important that we are able to offer an opportunity for other local, small businesses to reach shoppers in a safe, and central location.”