Evening farmers market launches in Old South to reach more people

The newly launched Old South Farmers Market runs from 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursdays. Its debut last week drew in large crowds to host venue Storm Stayed Brewing Company.

The market operates out of the Storm Stayed Brewing Company

Paige Postma is the founder of the Old South Farmers' Market. (Hala Ghonaim/CBC)

It's to accommodate more people — especially those who are working, in school or others tied up in the daytime.

The newly launched Old South Farmers Market runs from 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursdays. Its debut last week drew in large crowds to host venue Storm Stayed Brewing Company.

"We really wanted to tap into the next generation's kind of life style [and] an after-work market is the way to do that," said founder Paige Postma, who's also the co-owner of Sungold Organics a vegetable and herb farm south of London.

The market operating out of the company's parking lot at 169 Wharncliffe Rd S features nine local food vendors and one additional rotating artisan booth.

"It's just really to celebrate local ... producers," she said.

What does it take to start up a market?

Well, for starters, Postma said the community was "craving something like that in the area."

And the Old South community, where her partner grew up, was close to home — and close to the heart.

"It's just such a strong community. Everybody is really tight-knit there so we thought it would be the perfect spot to add another scene to the local food movement," she said.

"The desire is there and people do want to shop local and eat local," she added.

Postma is deeply rooted in the farming community. She's a part of other London markets like the Covent Garden farmers market, which made it easier to round up interested vendors, she said.

The idea came to mind over the summer, and it didn't take long to make it a reality.

Buzz for beer

In just one week, the market garnered about 600 Instagram followers and more than 1,000 interested customers on Facebook.

"The response has been amazing so far. The first market was so fun," said Postma.

Last Thursday, the market's offerings included pastured meat, fresh produce, honey, bread — and beer from the venue.

"We had a friend stop by our booth and she said she saw people walking up and down Wharncliffe road with a six pack of beer in one hand and vegetables in the other. I was like 'yes!' That's what I want the market to be. I love that," she said.

Postma said there will also be non-alcoholic beverages on offer to enjoy while on the patio, overlooking the new market.

The market will see eight more Thursdays before it wraps on September 27.