Michelle Bennett of Crooked Fence Farm did a brisk business at the very first farmers market in downtown Langley City last year. But business steadily decreased after that, with a result there won’t be a second year. Black Press Media file photo

Saturday farmers market in Langley City fails

Lack of customers leads to declining numbers of vendors and cancellation of 2019 market

After the first day of a new Saturday farmers market in Langley City last year, attendance by vendors and customers steadily declined over the weeks and months that followed.

As a result, there won’t be a market outside the Timms Community centre this year, said market manager Cherise McGee.

“It’s just the way the cookie crumbles,” McGee said.

“It’s unfortunate.”

Between opening day in June and the last day in October, the number of vendors fell from almost 30 to six due to a lack of customers walking through the Saturday “Farmers Market in the City” being held in the parking lot of the Timms Community centre at 20399 Douglas Crescent.

The ones who left went to other, busier public markets, McGee said.

“There’s a lot of competition for [vendors among] weekend markets, McGee said.

Location appeared to be the problem, with shoppers either unaware of the market, or unwilling to make the trip over from the one-way where many community events are held.

“The Arts Alive [show on the one-way] was busy, but our section was quiet,” McGee said.

When the City approached the Langley Community Farmers Market about launching a second Saturday market to complement the Wednesday market the non-profit has been operating in the courtyard of the Kwantlen Polytechnic University Langley campus, “we were very keen to do it,” McGee said.

READ MORE: Finally, a weekend farmers market in Langley City

A farmers market could return to downtown Langley City some time in future, likely at a different site, once the market directors have had a chance to do some due diligence, McGee said.

“Maybe in a year or two.”

McGee said the non-profit lost money on the venture, but declined to say how much.

She praised the City of Langley for helping out with a grant for table and chairs and other necessary equipment, and paying to replace some of it when was stolen shortly before opening day.

“[that was] pretty stand-up,” McGee said.

Security video footage captured two people stealing four large white 10’ x 10’ tents, black and white flags, and table coverings from storage in the parking lot under the Timms Community Centre.

The supplies were brand new. The tents were still in the cardboard boxes.

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