Tasting and selling, but not drinking comes to farmer’s market

New liquor rules notwithstanding, don’t expect the Haney Farmers Market to look more like an Oktoberfest celebration.

New liquor rules notwithstanding, don’t expect the Haney Farmers Market to look more like an Oktoberfest celebration.

The B.C. government is loosening controls on liquor distribution in B.C., which will now see the potential for craft beer, wine and spirits to be sampled and sold at venues like festivals and farmers’ markets.

The new rules were announced last week, and they have generally been warmly received.

Colleen Williams, the coordinator of the local market, immediately sees an opportunity for vendors like honey producer Enrico Bovero, who makes mead, but has not been able to sell the honey wine at markets.

She said there are also great opportunities to pair wines with food sold at the event.

“What could be better than going home with a crusty loaf of bread, a chunk of cheese and  a bottle of mead?”

But don’t expect to sit down at the market and consume it, Williams said.

“I don’t see that happening, because you have to have a specific liquor licence. And our focus is on families.”

She said the market operators will discuss how best to make use of the new regulations in the coming year.

Williams said the 30-week market at Memorial Peace Park has been a great success, continually growing over the past decade.

“Even on a rainy, horrible, despicable day, we still get 500 people.”

People still come every Saturday, even at the end of the season, shopping for fresh carrots, garlic and winter squash.

This year the market season was extended by four weeks, and has been held at a greenhouse at the Grow and Gather Nursery, located at Dewdney Trunk Road and 245th Street.

A shuttle brings people from the bandstand at the park to the greenhouse every half hour. That event has drawn 800 customers.

The District of Maple Ridge reports that the farmer’s market attracts 60,000 customers a year, generating $1.6 million in spending each year, as well as another $1.1 million at surrounding local businesses.

Haney market manager Eileen Dwillies would like to see local vintners such as Blue Heron be able to offer a taste of their wine at the Haney Farmers Market, and be able to sell bottles there.

“I think it would make us a little diversified, and might bring in a different crowd,” Dwillies said.

“We would never have a beer garden.”

At the Haney market, the policy has always been “locals get first dibs.”

The provincial association also lauded the changes.

“Offering out-of-town visitors as well as regular market shoppers the option to taste-test and purchase locally made wines, ciders and craft

beer, while they shop for local fruits and vegetables will ensure support for a vibrant farming sector in B.C.,” said Jon Bell, president of the B.C. Association of Farmers’ Markets. “It’s also a great way for small local businesses that use B.C. grown farm products in alcoholic beverages to reach new customers, while providing increased selection and convenience.”

Just Posted

Silent auction for Community Services in Maple Ridge

One of the largest in the community

Vice pres of Pitt Meadows Plumbing honoured at awards of excellence

Vancouver Regional Construction Association awarded Matthew Robinson Best Under 40

Traffic bylaw change gets final OK

Maple Ridge follows rest of B.C., not allowing biking on sidewalks

Non-profit Showcase at the ACT in Maple Ridge

A chance to see what work local non-profits do in the community

City buys land for park next to school

Maple Ridge acquires five acres on 108th Avenue

Cold, stormy winter forecast across much of Canada, The Weather Network predicts

In British Columbia temperatures will be slightly above normal and precipitation will be just below normal

UPDATED: Vancouver Island’s Joe gets suspended sentence in Teddy the dog cruelty case

Melissa Tooshley expected in court on Thursday in same case

Nineteen boats carrying invasive mussels stopped at B.C. borders

Waters of Columbia-Shuswap still test mussel-free

Woman ‘horrified’ after being told to trek 200 kilometres home from Kamloops hospital

‘I can’t get from Kamloops back to 100 Mile House injured, confused… no shoes, no clothes whatsoever’

Canadian universities encourage exchange students in Hong Kong to head home

UBC said 11 of its 32 students completing programs in Hong Kong have already left

Midget no more: Sweeping division name changes coming to minor hockey in Canada

Alpha-numeric division names will be used for the 2020-2021 season and beyond

Duncan man gets suspended sentence in Teddy the dog cruelty trial

Joe also gets lifetime ban on owning animals

B.C. pushes for greater industry ‘transparency’ in gasoline pricing

Legislation responds to fuel price gap of up to 13 cents

B.C. woman ordered to return dog to ex-boyfriend for $2,000

After the two broke up, documents state, they agree to share custody of the dog, named Harlen

Most Read