108 Avenue & 124 Street, Thursdays 4-8pm
Kirsta Franke, the organizer of 124 Grand Market, was kind enough to give us a behind-the-scenes perspective on putting together a farmers' market for our Market Monday series. 124 Grand Market is finishing up its second season as a Thursday night hot spot, and Kirsta has been nurturing her market baby since it was merely a thought. Here's what she had to say:
What inspired you to start 124 Grand Market?
I had been working on 124 Street for a few years. At the time I was a manager at a restaurant that sourced most of their ingredients locally and was able to build very strong relationships with the vendors. At the same time I was sitting on the marketing committee for the 124 Street Business Association. They wanted ways to bring people to the street after hours or during times when there wasn't a ton of foot traffic. I proposed a market and soon enough, I quit my job and ran with it!
What sets 124 Grand Market apart from other markets in the city?
The 124 Grand Market has the best community of vendors in the city. We really are a family. A market place is a delicate balance that has to be grown in the right way over time to avoid any politics or negativity. Our vendors foster a positive outlook on the market place, their fellow neighbours, and the quality goods they put out every market day. With 40 vendors at most, it's really about quality over quantity.
What do you do over the Winter to prepare for next year?
There is really only one month I fully take off from market work. I am always looking for ways to grow the market-searching local craft fairs, attending indoor markets, even travelling to other places around Canada to see how to do things better. There is a lot of preparation that happens starting January and we hit the ground running from there.
What's your favourite part about organizing the market?
Getting to work with my best friend Shannon Bowler, as well as all of the talented friends I have in this city. Interacting with the vendors each week is also really special. Not a lot of jobs allow you to do all of these things on a consistent basis and I just created a job where I can always go home happy. My favourite part is the people.
Do you have anything special you want everyone to know about the market?
If you haven't been to our market you should really check it out! We have a great event coming up for the Thanksgiving long weekend on October 10th from 4-8PM! Family fun, pumpkin carving, harvest goodies and a few surprises. Also, there are many ways to get in touch with us. If you are a vendor wanting to apply for the 124 Grand Market send us an email firstname.lastname@example.org follow us on Twitter & Facebook or visit our website