The first farmer’s market at Queen’s was held five years ago outside Stauffer Library with eight vendors. This year, the market has 20. Sodexo Catering Manager John McKegney has been running the market for the past two seasons. He’s overseen the market move from outside Stauffer Library to outside the JDUC this year, thanks to a new partnership with the AMS.
“The location changed due to Meghan McDonald, [Facilities Manager] from the AMS. She saw the potential for this market,” he said.
McKegney also said the new location has resulted in more customers for market vendors.
“Last week, all our vendors’ food sold out by [1 p.m.]; while across the street it would take us until [3 or 4 p.m.]”
The market will move into the Upper and Lower Ceilidhs of the JDUC for the winter months.
McKegney said Sodexo brought the farmer’s market to Queen’s to bring students fresh, local products.
“We wanted to give students something different from sitting in a cafeteria every day,” he said.
One change McKegney plans to bring to the market this week is to add live music, putting some chairs and tables out for the fall and having local buskers perform.
“It’s for entertainment, something for the students while they’re shopping.”
Matthew Reynolds is one of the vendors from the Taste of Russia stand, the only vendor that comes from Peterborough.
He said he’s travelled to the Queen’s market for two years and Taste of Russia also has a stand at the downtown farmer’s market.
“It’s the only place that we do business,” he said. “The entire business is set up on the model of using farmer’s markets to do business.”
Reynolds said the student market is steadier since students return each week.
“Once they know we’re here, they keep coming back over and over again,” he said.
Jeanne Brown, who runs the Blossom’s Home Goodies stand, is a farmer’s market veteran, though this is her first year selling on campus.
“[It’s] the most personal way to get your food from someone who made it,” she said.
Brown said students are ideal clientele.
“The students are like my grandchildren, it’s really cute. I like young people,” she said. At her stand, Brown will always bring a lunch item and a sweet snack for the students. She said she tries to fashion herself after a grandmother figure.
“These kids really want some kind of touch of home,” she said.
The farmer’s market runs on Wednesdays in the fall from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
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