Final market packed with people

If it had seams, they would have been bursting.
The Clover Valley Farmers’ Market closed for the season in a big way Saturday, with manager Andra Stacpoole-Arnold saying it was packed with vendors and customers alike.
“It was busy,” she noted. “There were some new vendors who hadn’t been there all year [and] lots of people. I would say it was the busiest day of the year people-wise.”
“People were making comments that the market needed more space so I guess that means there was a good crowd,” noted Deb Cornell, president of the local farmers’ market association.
“Lots of people were out and things really seemed to end on an upbeat note,” echoed treasurer Trish Neilson, who also was a full-time vendor at the market this year.
“It was busy our way,” she said. “I didn’t have too much time to take a look around.”
Neilson also said the vendors seemed very happy with the season overall–even with the mill strike looming over the local economy.
“I don’t think food sales were down at all,” Cornell said. “And I didn’t hear any complaining about craft sales.
“I think the market did very well,” she added.
This also marked Stacpoole-Arnold’s first year as market manager, moving to the area just a few days before it opened for the season at the end of April.
“I’d say it was a little hectic but totally enjoyable,” she enthused. “I enjoyed all the vendors. They’re a pretty fun bunch to be around.”
“Andra was enthusiastic and she really stayed on top of issues,” Cornell remarked. “We certainly appreciated her good bookkeeping skills and she’s really outgoing–and that’s really appropriate in that market.”
Stacpoole-Arnold has agreed to stay on as manager next year despite the fact she is expecting to have a baby around the same time it opens in the spring.
“I’ll be managing it but I don’t know if I’ll be able to make it every week,” she said. “The baby might not agree that 5:30 [a.m.] is the best time for me to get up and go to work.
“But I’ll have things ready before the baby comes,” she added.
“We’re quite pleased with Andra,” Neilson said. “We’re looking forward to another year with her and give her an opportunity to do some pre-planning of her events.”
Although next year is some six months away, people can hardly seem to wait to jump on the 1999 market bandwagon.
“From what I understand, we’ll have some new vendors for next year,” Neilson said. “People are asking for space already.”
“I think we can continue to have a slight change in vendors,” agreed Cornell. “I think people would like to see more farm products and I know of at least one new farm vendor that’s coming on track.”
One thing that has to be taken care of right away is replacing the roof on the market’s building, which Cornell said got hammered in the hail storm that hit town this summer.
But she believes that’s all the construction the market will be involved with this year.
“There’s no expansion in the near future,” she said. “I think that we would encourage better use of our outdoor space–perhaps canopies outside.”
Neilson said she wants the market to concentrate on having more special activities for both kids and adults. “It is a social event as well as a marketing event,” she noted.