By: Michelle Poirier
The fifth anniversary of the Georgina Farmers’ Market has had a delayed start, but Natalia Zammitti, the market’s founder and president, is excited to open for this partial season.
The market will open at the LINK in Sutton on Sunday, August 2, three months after the original opening date, which was postponed due to COVID-19.
“It’s our fifth year, and we are super excited and grateful that we can open,” said Ms. Zammitti, who’s expecting 20 to 25 vendors this year, with new and returning vendors.
Ms. Zammitti and her mother, Donna Callfas, the market manager, have been working with the Town of Georgina and York Region Public Health to reopen the market in a way that will keep patrons and vendors safe.
The market will have a welcoming booth with masks available, and a handwashing and sanitizing station. Vendors will be spread apart to allow physical distancing, and patrons will enter one way and leave another.
“I think the market will still be good. I think the market will be different this year for sure, everything is different right now, but I still think it’s going to be good,” Ms. Zammitti said.
Vendors are also excited to reconnect with their customers.
Andon Arguirov, co-owner of Back to Basics Farms, is returning to the market after a rough start to the season with farmers’ markets being closed.
Mr. Arguirov said this year had been the worst for sales. He believes farmers’ markets should have been allowed to open like grocery stores were, but he is excited to return to the market.
“Back to Basics will be there, we have a lot of good vegetables and fruits, and we are happy to participate in the market,” he said.
Rick Nadeau, the owner of Everything Maple, is also returning to the Georgina Farmers’ Market this year.
“I’m very excited about going back and seeing my clientele,” said Mr. Nadeau, who lost 90 per cent of his income due to the closure of the markets and festivals, where he would sell the majority of his product.
“It’s been a tough haul, but everyone’s in the same boat,” he said.
Mr. Nadeau said more people are shopping local now, and pent up demand should help small businesses like his recoup some of their losses.
“They’re there to support local. What’s better than getting it from the people who make the product,” he said.
The market will be open on Sundays from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the LINK in Sutton, 20849 Dalton Rd.
“We’re really excited to be back and see the community again,” Ms. Zammitti said.