Seaforth market expands to include indoor space
BY DENNY SCOTT
The Seaforth Community Market has recently expanded to include an indoor space at the Seaforth and District Community Centre. This change is the latest in a number of steps to keep the market running.
Organizer Natalie Slaght explained that, due to COVID-19, the market was shut down earlier this year for the safety of not only those at the market but the host community as well. When they were allowed to open, however, she said they hit the ground running.
“As soon as we were able to open safely, we started working towards making the market a success again,” she said. “Everyone has really good spacing and each vendor is in its own designated area.”
She said the market utilizes one-way traffic through the market, which not only keeps people spaced out, but also provides more exposure for each vendor, as customers don’t just make a beeline for their favourite stalls.
Other than those changes, as well as contact tracing, offering sanitization and encouraging mask use, there haven’t been any other changes, she said.
“It’s been really good,” she said. “We opened the doors to the indoor section once Ontario hit [Step] 3.”
Slaght said that working with Huron Perth Public Health and Huron East to get the market running has been great, and coming up with a “game plan” has been a great way to look at what needed to be done to make the market successful.
The market has continued to grow since it was founded several years ago, and, after starting with 10 vendors, it now averages 35 to 45, Slaght said.
“We have seasoned veterans who have been here since we started two years ago and usually have a dozen that bounce in and out,” she said. “Some do every other week, others come when they can. We pride ourselves on being as flexible and accommodating as possible.”
She said that steady growth is likely tied to that flexibility and the fact that the market continues to draw crowds.
The last market of the season will be the week before Christmas, she said, pointing to the indoor space as making that possible. After that, the market will be closed for January and early February due to weather and to allow vendors to restock after the holidays. She said the market will then reopen indoors at the end of February or beginning of March.
For more information, look for the Seaforth Community Market on Facebook.