Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Almonte spring market highlights Ottawa Valley’s entrepreneurship

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The Almonte community centre was packed with 106 local vendors Saturday for the 14th annual Cheerfully Made spring market.

The market has become known as a showcase for small businesses in the National Capital Region, with about 2,000 people expected to flock to the small town event.

“It’s a great chance for us to introduce some new people to Almonte because we really are so accessible to the city,” said Emily Arbour, owner of Cheerfully Made located in downtown Almonte, and organizer of the spring market.

The range of locally made products includes bath and beauty, fashion, food, home decor, kids toys, artwork, and more.

Arbour says businesses from as far as Montreal and Toronto make the journey to Almonte to set up a table at the market, which offers exposure to thousands of new customers.

“Actually, I haven’t had anyone so far yet today that has known me,” said Meghan Patterson, owner of Blazing Bombs, a bath and body products company.

“So this is great to see a bunch of new people discovering me and hearing all the positive feedback.”

Almonte’s Cheerfully Made Spring Market offers the range of locally made products that includes bath and beauty, fashion, food, home décor, kids toys, artwork, and more. (Dylan Dyson/CTV News Ottawa)Carissa McCaig is the owner of Copious, an upcycled clothing company located in Kemptville. She says she has been setting up at the market for the past six years now.

“It opens [customers’] eyes to see what can be made in Canada. Lots of people maybe haven’t thought about shopping that way before,” McCaig says.

“I think nowadays, so many of us are flooded with advertisements or different shops that we see. There are big brands and a day like this really shows that there is local entrepreneurs out there every day making a living with Made in Canada options.”

Market goer Katrina Cotten made the trip from Ottawa to seek out local vendors.

“It’s really nice to be able to talk to the actual makers themselves versus just buying it from a store where you maybe don’t get to meet them and hear about what they do, and how they came to create their business,” she said.

Arbour says the turnout and variety of businesses points to the fact that the eastern Ontario region is full of creative entrepreneurs.

“Ottawa has this reputation for being a government town; kind of a drier, maybe less creative. And that’s not my experience at all,” Arbour said.

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