Farmers’ Market celebrates huge year

CARP – The Carp Farmers’ Market always wraps up the regular season with a party – a Hallowe’en party.

Hallowe’en aside, there was a good reason for the vendors to celebrate this year as the 29th year of the Carp Farmers’ Market was the biggest yet.

“I don’t have all the numbers crunched yet (the market season wasn’t even officially finished when we spoke) but it’s probably going to go down as the best year we’ve ever had,” market manager Ennio Marcantonio told West Carleton Online just inside the front gates of the market on a sunny Oct. 26. “The weather has really helped. I think it only rained two Saturdays and that was in the morning.”

The market runs on the Carp fairgrounds every Saturday from May to October not including the Christmas and Easter markets.

The market has grown in popularity every year since debuting in 1990 and is now the second biggest farmers’ market in the Ottawa area right up there with the Lansdowne farmers’ market.

Marcantonio didn’t want us to take his word for it though and asked Kathy Cassinto of Cassinto’s Home Baking what she thought of the 29th season.

“Exceptional,” said Cassinto, who has been a vendor for 19 years.

All the vendors West Carleton Online spoke to that beautiful closing Saturday said it had been a great year.

Simply Fruit Rice Puddings’ Melanie Walker was wrapping up her fifth season as a vendor in Carp.

“This is where I stated,” she told West Carleton Online.

Walker, who is an Ottawa resident, also sells at the Lansdown market.

“These are the two biggest markets,” Walker said. “We really lucked out on the weather. Saturdays for the most part were nice this season.”

She says the market’s ability to host a number of events throughout the season such as the garlic festival, llama day and bee day, and having something for kids to do, really helps as well.

“Every weekend we do an event,” Walker said. “The Kids Club is very popular.”

Carp’s Bahareh Tabrizi is a second-year vendor. Her Saucy B Sauces hot sauces are the perfect compliment to a lot of other products available at the market. Tabrizi noticed the difference between this year and last.

Saucy B Sauce's Bahareh Tabrizi gives out Hallowe'en treats at the Carp Farmers' Market Hallowe'en party. Photo by Jake Davies
Saucy B Sauce’s Bahareh Tabrizi gives out Hallowe’en treats at the Carp Farmers’ Market Hallowe’en party. Photo by Jake Davies

“Pretty good,” Tabrizi told West Carleton Online. “It’s been busy. A little busier than last year.”

Tabrizi says the market is a great place to sell, but also build brand awareness.

“People see the sign and stop and ask about us,” she said. “Then we start seeing them week after week. Then they see us at a store and recognize us. So, it’s been great, and we also get customers coming back here each week and we’re getting to know them.”

While the regular season is over for 2019, the Carp Farmers’ Market popular Christmas Market is coming up. The event that features more than 130 vendors is scheduled for Dec. 6 and 7 at the Carp fairgrounds. For more information, click here.