To better the health and vibrancy of our community
To provide a fair and direct market venue for locally-produced goods and services in an environment that inspires and nourishes community.
About Wolfville Farmers' Market
Started in 1992 with three vendors in a parking lot, we are now a year-round market on Saturdays with over 65 farmers, chefs and artisan vendors and on Wednesdays with a Market Supper, community themes and live music. We transformed a turn of the century apple warehouse into our 9000 square foot Market home in 2010. Now our Market experiences bring over a thousand people together every week for nourishment, live music, and a sense of community.
History of the Wolfville Farmers' Market
1992 The Wolfville Farmers' Market began in the summer when 3 vendors sold produce, plants, and prepared food in the parking lot beside the Robie Tufts Park.
1994 The Market moved into the Robie Tufts Park, with vendors arranged under the Chimney Swifts Pavilion between Victoria Day and Thanksgiving.
1999 Functioning as a Not-for-Profit Organization, the Market hired a summer student from Acadia to co-ordinate Saturday mornings, collect fees from a dozen regular vendors, and attract buskers to offer entertainment.
2000 The first Vendors ventured back out from the shelter of the Robie Tufts Pavilion and set up canopies on the lawn.
2001 The Market Board was formed, a coordinator hired and musicians booked weekly
2004 A Strategic Planning Exercise was undertaken. The Market articulated its Vision, Goals, and Core Values. One of these goals was the development of a permanent, year- round space.
During the late fall the Market was hosted in a barn in Lower Wolfville in an effort to extend the season until Christmas.
2005 The Market found its new fall home at Acadia's Student Union Building and extended the season until Christmas.
2006 The Market Board became a Policy Board, and the Coordinator became a Manager. The first year-round season took place. The first Tastes of the Valley was a delicious success. Co-ordinating this huge task was shouldered by vendor volunteers. To compliment and continue the excitement of Tastes of the Valley in July the market launched Pumpkin Palooza in October, and Get Un-Scrooged in December.
2007 With an invitation from the Town of Kentville, the Wolfville Market and its vendors started a mid-week Kentville Market, which ran from early July through early October.
Monthly Events and Activities were held, in which vendors featured seasonal products,customers were offered samples, children of all ages made crafts, and lucky entrants won market goodies. The Market inaugerated a Seedy Saturday event in March to celebrate gardening.
2008 The Market Manager was joined by a staff team comprising a Website and Graphics Coordinator, an Events Coordinator, an Info Booth Coordinator, and a Videographer. The Market started an Info Booth and a Video Profile Series. By now an average of 50 vendors attended the market each Saturday, all year round.
2009 From the Info Booth, a Tasting Series, Preserving the Harvest Demonstration Series were delivered and the Market offered frequent Children's Crafts and Activities. With support from Select Nova Scotia, the Buy Local Challenge supported market goers who set commitments for themselves to overcome their barriers to buying local. A new event for wine lovers called VAlley Vineyards began. The Market grew to accommodate more than 60 vendors each Saturday.
2010 Market signed a 20 year no-cost lease with Acadia University for the DeWolfe building (Sincere thanks Acadia!) to become the Market's new home. The WFM managed a $850,000 renovation project to transform the gravity defying DeWolfe into its new Market home.
The Market started a $200,000 community fundraising campaign called Growing our Market which ended in January 2011 after raising 89% of their community fundraising goal. The Market also raised $525,000 from Government ($250, 000 from ACOA, $250,000 from the Dept of Agriculture, $25,000 from the Municipality of the County of Kings)
Pier 101 did the conceptual designs, ROSCOE construction managed the construction project and the renovation and expansion which began in November 2010 was ready on budget and on time in May 2011.
The WFM handed over responsibility for the Kentville Farmers' Market to the Town of Kentville given its own growth.
2011 The WFM opened in its new home on May 21, 2011 and in addition to the Saturday Market started a mid-day Market on June 1, 2011 and hired an Assistant Market Manager.
The Market also began renting out the Community Room for yoga, belly dancing, meetings, workshops, special events and more.
2014 The Market installed a Commercial Community Kitchen they call the Good Food Hub Kitchen which is used for Market Suppers, cooking classes, catering and for vendors to value add their products.
2015 The Market did some important work to the basement crawl space adding insulation and a vapour barrier to make the building more healthy. As well they had a sprinkler system installed making it possible for the whole building to be rented out for Weddings and Special Events. The Market worked with a Community Advisory Committee and a temporary Good Food Hub Coordinator to develop a plan for use of the kitchen including cooking classes with a pay what you can model. This program has been developed but not maintained.
2016 The Market worked on developing materials that would help it offer better service to vendors so their vendors could in turn grow their businesses and offer better service to their customers. The Market participated in a Food Bucks program that for a 6 week period offered Market Money to those in need to purchase groceries at the Market.
2017 In the year of its 25th Anniversary, the WFM initiated a Nourishing Community Food Bucks Endowment Program to support the annual program in its second year. Additionally, the Market added a new business in it’s efforts to grow more local, namely an online store and delivery service: WFM2Go. The Market also received support from ACOA, Dept of Ag, Community, Culture and Heritage and the Town of Wolfville for a number of infrastructure projects including the installation of heat pumps which were installed in time for the winter. Finally, the Market was able to extend its lease of the DeWolfe building with Acadia University until June 2035 (Thanks again Acadia!).
2018 The Market completed the supported infrastructure projects started in 2017, by having a new metal roof installed on the South side of the Market as well as a 20 kW array of solar panels. In this year, the Market’s operations has grown to over 70 vendors on Saturdays and 25 on Wednesdays as well as 25 Vendors participating in its WFM2Go operation which brings the WFM to people’s homes through 8 Hubs in the Valley and HRM. This work is supported by four full time employees and four contracted team members, all working passionately to grow local (a Manager, Assistant Manager, WFM2Go Manager and Communications Manager)
The average age of the WFM farmer is 42 compared to the national average of 54.
In all of our years of operation, we have only ever been in the red twice, and quite minimally!
When we started in 1992 we managed a $200 annual budget and now manage a $250,000 annual budget.
Our lease of the DeWolfe building with Acadia University goes until June 2035.
Board of Directors
President: Ann Huntley (Moon Tide Farm)
Past President: Richard Hennigar (Suprima Farm)
Treasurer: Frank Bezanson-Harris (Just Us Coffee Coop)
Secretary: Beth Thompson (Cosmic Tree Essentials)
Anna Weig (Grand Pre Winery)
Jayn Kenny (Jayn & T's Fine Food)
Warren Young (Slow Dough)
Courtney Madore (Olde Furrow Farm)
Joscelyn Durston (Seven Acres Farm)