Urban Farmer’s Market comes to Charlottetown

By Kayla Fraser
March 7, 2014

Some vendors are thriving and others are struggling at the Urban Farmer’s Market in the Confederation Court Mall.
The market runs every Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the mall food court.
One vendor, Reg Clark of Clark’s Country Kitchen, said he got involved when he was told about it from a friend.
He sells lines of marinades and barbeque sauces that range from mild, medium and hot.
He said the market gives his business more of a profile and provides good marketing promotions.
“At my business, I have my products in some other shops but this just gets me out there to see the public and getting their reactions from the products.”
In April, they will have a new line of dry soup mixes, he said.
Carl Lloyd of Lloyd’s Specialty Meats said he got involved because the mall invited him to participate.
His business involves charcuterie, which essentially means ‘butcher’.
“We run the Cardigan Farmer’s Market, down in the old train station. We sell most of our products there.
“They liked what we were doing in Cardigan, so basically they invited us here.”
He has moved to Stratford to be closer to Charlottetown and to make his base better, he said. It also frees him up to do markets.
The market helps put his business out there, he said.
He cures and smokes beef, pork, lamb, moose and caribou, he said.
“If it’s got four legs, I will cure it.”
John Morris, photographer and owner of Lensmake A Picture, got involved when he was asked to participate as a vendor.
Lensmake A Picture is a business that sells photographs to different retailers on P.E.I. and sells to tourism products ranging from postcards to calendars.
It is beneficial to his business because it helps people realize the aspects of photography that people aren’t aware of, he said.
“A lot of people come and say, ‘Do we have northern lights on P.E.I.?’ and then I get to point and say ‘Yes’.
“There is a large opportunity there for us to be able to show people exactly what they’re looking for right here.”
Some businesses, however, are struggling to get customers.
Gary Lippman of Mary’s Cornwall Bakery, helps out and sells the bakery’s gluten-free products at the mall.
The business is taking a huge loss, he said.
“This is a community service.”
“We’re gluten-free. And it costs way, way more to produce gluten-free products than it does to produce non-gluten-free product. So we’re really doing this as a community service, because there’s very little gluten-free available.”
The bakery provides all their baked products, but at the market in the mall, they just sell the gluten-free products, he said.
It goes the same for Gordon McMillan, a P.E.I. homemade soap maker.
Formerly from Scotland, he came here three years ago and now makes soaps, shampoos and cleansers from natural resources. Many of the products come from his cow’s milk, he said.
He was invited to get involved in the urban market, he said.
His business is slow, so it’s not benefiting him financially at the moment.
“But it’s getting the word out that this fantastic soap is available. And people who know it are my regular customers come out and support me here.”
It is beneficial that there are little markets that add necessary means to our city scene, he said.
“But financially, it’s not a great money-maker at this time.”