Beresford looks at virtual market plan for local products
Website would sell all local food and craft products
In a bid to boost local commerce in Beresford, the town is looking at a plan for a one-stop, online shopping site featuring local food producers and artisans.
People would be able to purchase local products through a website, and then pick up their orders in Beresford.
It's part of the town's economic action plan, which looks at supporting local, existing businesses.
"We don't expect to have a Costco coming here," said Beresford Mayor Paul Losier. "We don't put any money or energy trying to bring those national companies and attract them. Maybe someday somebody could come and we would be glad, but we don't expect it."
That sounds just great to local business owner Nathalie Doiron, who has been selling her handmade soaps for a decade.
"You can bring other business, big business or whatever, but working with what you have here, things that will be eventually, maybe, growing and growing, you don't know," she said. "We have all the resources here."
Doiron has a full-time job and a family, and doesn't have time to run a market stall. It's a similar story for many small business owners and craftspeople.
So the idea of joining a virtual marketplace appeals to her.
"I find it's a great idea. It helps promote all local business in the area and we need that resource to grow," said Doiron. "That would be the best way to promote our product and to know it's all handmade in Beresford."
A special website would be created, and people from northeastern New Brunswick would have Beresford-made products at their fingertips.
The only catch would be the pick-up site.
The town already has a local market, but it's seasonal.
"In summertime, there's lots of places to sell their products," said Mayor Losier. "But there's a room just aside (the market) that could be used or anywhere else in the town that could be used for selling products in the wintertime and packaging because of the website."
The next step for the town is a focus group that will meet in April to talk about the idea.
"It's a concept at this time," said Losier. "That kind of project costs many thousands of dollars and it takes time to do it."
If they can find "community champions," it could be done within two years, Losier predicts.