Guelph Farmers’ Market: Year in Review 2022 – 2023
With 110 vendors offering a high level of quality, farm-fresh food, artisanal products, and homemade goods, the Guelph Farmers’ Market now regularly attracts 2500+ people per week, ranging from local residents to tourists visiting the area.
As we wrap up 2023 and look forward to 2024, entering 10C’s third year leading the operations and activation of the Guelph Farmers’ Market, here are some exciting highlights from the last couple of years!
Saturday market attendance now averages 2500+ people.
- Consistent Saturday market attendee growth from weekly average of 800 during February to April 2023 to 2577 through June to September 2023.
- Peak attendance of 3230 on August 5, 2023.
Saturday market booths are fully activated each week.
- All spaces are consistently filled and we have a growing waiting list for interested vendors. (Be in touch if you’d like to sell at the market!)
“Take Home the Holidays” December night markets add seasonal shopping days.
- In 2022, this seasonal market ran 4 times and featured 60+ vendors each night, including regular market vendors and seasonal gift vendors.
- In 2023, this market will run December 7, 14 and 21 and will include many regular vendors alongside unique seasonal offerings and lots of holiday magic!
We welcomed new community events and programming.
- In 2022-2023 the Sunday Special Antique Market, Awesome Baby Show, Queen of Craft 10th Anniversary, Vocamus Book Bash, Take Time Night Market and other, smaller community events brought new attendees to the Market.
Capital renovations and market vendor upgrades are in progress.
- In 2022, 10C attracted $803,076 in new external funding from federal and provincial governments for capital improvements and upgrades, supported by $279,500 in City of Guelph funds.
- To date, 10C has leveraged the initial $500,000 operating investment 1.85 times.
In 2023, the Saturday market vendors were made up of 28 Farmer or Primary Producers, 24 Prepared Foods, 14 Food Resellers, 26 Arts & Crafts, 7 Alcohol & Specialty Beverages and 11 Community Groups.
The 10C market team has been working toward new weekly events, with a goal to be active and welcoming hosts to many special events, including community suppers, teaching events, and local festivals centered around food, creativity and connection.
Launched in 2022, seasonal Thursdays at the Market (4-7pm) are anchored by Community Shared Agriculture (CSA) member pick-ups, existing and new market vendors and 10C Nourish members with the goal to grow both the audience and customer base. By 2023, there were 31 total Thursday Market Vendors with 4 Farmer or Primary Producers, 8 Prepared Foods, 4 Food Resellers, 9 Arts & Crafts, 2 Alcohol & Specialty Beverages and 4 Community Groups.
In 2022-2023, 10C also secured new funding and is managing a challenging construction project, with changes to both the facility itself to increase building capacity and vendor infrastructure to improve both the vendor and the visitor experience. New vendor booths help to create a true ‘market feel’ and improve visibility of fresh and prepared local food, and arts and crafts displays.
As we move forward, 10C’s focus will be on completing the shared commercial kitchen, increasing audiences for all activities, enhancing vendor diversity, improving customer experience, and bringing forward new program ideas and special events to ensure the longevity and continued success of the market.
10C has effectively leveraged its resources and local partnerships to strengthen this cornerstone community marketplace with new activities and is leading the way to the market becoming a vibrant community hub. We look forward to what’s next!