Now that we have that behind us, let's move on to the good part. The feature, and a special one at that, which is close to my heart.
I'm a market junkie. I've always loved them. I love wandering around, perusing the vast line of vendors with all their colourful, eye-catching wares, sampling food, listening to music, making new acquaintances - which then grow to friendships, and learning about new products. Recently I've make a lot of new friends because of my market traversing and thus featuring many of them on here!
I'd have to say my market addiction began when I was a teen. My mom used to be a part of the Sylvan Lake Farmers Market, baking delicious breads, cookies and buns. I would go and help her and would often head down the lane to get a rum ball each week. Those were my favourite, and I've not found them since. Whenever I travel anywhere, if I hear there is a local market in town, I always try to head out and take in the revelry of it. My husband and I have been a part of several different markets, some summer, some Christmas, some both, some in the Hat, some abroad. There's something about the air, the kindred camaraderie between vendors, the contagious joy, and really, it's just a lot of fun.
Recently a new market has commenced in Medicine Hat called The Market @ Medalta. This market is an independent market, and a bridge between a Farmers Market and a store front. A place where small businesses can take a step forward with a chance to get their name and product out there. As I mentioned before, this market has a special place in my heart, as I've had the privilege and opportunity to be a part of this market from it's infancy, in the role of market manager. A more perfect position for me could not exist me thinks. :) It's been a HUGE learning curve, but a fun one to embark on. I feel so blessed to be a part of this market in such a vital way.
This market first began last October under the name of the Winter Market. It was located at the Stampede Grounds in the Grandstand Banquet Room. For 3 months the market strived to bring some wonderful, local products to the city of Medicine Hat, but as the location proved difficult to find, a new venue needed to be found, and quickly, before this wonderful idea sputtered and breathed its last.
It was at the start of the New Year when Lynn and Alastair Olsen, of TLC Farms, the brilliant minds behind this new venture, approached Medalta Potteries with the idea of moving the market to their venue and the idea was received with open arms. Thus the new name The Market @ Medalta was created and, after a 2 month hiatus, the market relaunched at it's new location and has not looked back since!
It's been 7 weeks now in the new location and the market continues to grow, expand and become more fun and exciting with each week. The atmosphere is artsy, rustic, and truly fits The Market in every way. New, small businesses are popping out of the woodwork to join in this wonderful collaborative and participate in the electrifying environment. 300 - 400 people walk through the doors each week, enjoying live music, a variety of hot supper options, drinks, and of course, the ability and privilege to buy local products, grown, made, raised and prepared by the very person selling you the product. What a novel idea to actually be able to talk to the individual who's item your about to purchase, attaching a face to the product and building a relationship while you do it.
This is what community is about. This is what supporting local is about. This is how we make our own, strong, self-sustaining, local economy! Why look to the South of the boarder, or any other Country, when we need look no further then our neighbour.
There's also something to be said for quality. All the vendors at The Market adhere to the highest of standards, to ensure you're getting the best. With more vendors joining each week, The Market bursts at the seams with delight. As the weather warms up, The Market will expand into the courtyard and will become an indoor/outdoor market for the summer, allowing even more vendors the opportunity to be a part of this fast growing endeavour.
A few of our regular vendors I've had the pleasure of featuring on Growing Green. TLC Farms, Sweet Pure Honey, and Knightly Krafts are all vendors you can find each week at the market, with quality products you can be thrilled to have. Be sure to check them out, along with all our other wonderful vendors.
The response from fellow Hatters has been amazing, refreshing and most encouraging. The smiles on faces of those that walk about: contagious. The heavenly aroma of fresh, hot food wafting throughout the room causes one to salivate uncontrollably (at least it does me :) ). Friendly vendors await, longing to draw you into their individual, enchanting worlds.
The Market @ Medalta is fast becoming a one-stop shopping experience for everyone. A family friendly environment makes it a fabulous place for an evening out together. If you haven't yet, come on out and enjoy Medicine Hat's newest Market! You're sure to be captivated.
The Market @ Medalta runs every Thursday evening from 4:30pm - 8:30pm and is located at Medalta Potteries at 713 Medalta Ave SE, Medicine Hat. The plan is to continue running year round, so your favourite vendors will be there for you, no matter when!
The Market @ Medalta is on Facebook, so check it out here and "like" them! Then you can stay up-to-date on new vendors, who's playing, special events, and all Market news! You won't want to miss out!
The Market is also on twitter, so be sure to follow them.
If you have any questions regarding The Market, becoming a vendor, wanting information, etc, you can message The Market either on Facebook or by email at email@example.com.
Hope to see you there on Thursday!
till next time…