Taste a little wine, sip a little beer, and all of a sudden a Saturday morning trip to the Haney Farmers Market is more than about picking out the choicest broccoli or homemade jam.
Now shoppers can sample some local wine, even vodka and soon some locally brewed beer.
Maan estate winery, Damali Lavender and Winery, Township 7 Vineyard and Dragon Mist Vodka are all showing their products at the downtown market, as well as providing tasty samples. For something sweeter, Campbell’s Gold Honey and Meadery is offering samples of honey wine.
Farmers Market executive-director Eileen Dwillies said a local brewery is also interested, but has to work out staffing issues before offering some Maple Ridge brewed beer.
New liquour rules introduced in June 2014, allows beverages to be sold at the market, providing the companies are licensed to sell at farmers’ markets.
The regulations also allow shoppers to sample 10 millilitres of hard liquor, 20 ml of wine or 30 ml of beer. It’s up to the vendors and shoppers to ensure those limits are followed.
The market has been around for a decade when it opened in downtown Maple Ridge with 12 vendors. Now, there are 65 vendors with 21 farmers hawking their products at Memorial Peace Park every Saturday morning from May to October.
Attendance has also climbed. “We’re up to close to 2,000 a week now.”