Where country meets town
How We Got Started
David Weber, organic meat producer from Paisley, started the Paisley Farmer’s Market in 2003 at the ice cream/take out spot at the north end of town. In 2006, he asked Sandra Blodgett to take over the management, which she did until 2018 on the lot around the Paisley arena. In the meantime, Micheline Mann, helped the Chamber of Commerce create Paisley’s Late Night Social in November 2012. Paisley Farmer’s Market vendors went indoors for that special night, in an empty store front. Eventually, that November event took on a new shape and it turned into a 6 week event and called itself THE PAISLEY CHRISTMAS MARKET and went into a different empty storefront every year.
Meanwhile, outdoors, the summer Paisley Farmer’s Market began to struggle because of other new local markets opportunities were spreading the farmers too thin and the Paisley Farmer’s Market faded away in 2018. Sandra did not forget the farmers or the needs of the village and each January for six years, after every successful Christmas Market, she dreamed again that the Farmer’s Market would return, this time indoors with a cashier, to reduce the strain on the farmers. Farmers need to farm.
In late April 2022, Daniel and Madison Liu bought the Midtown Variety at 496 Queen South which had a vacant space in the south side of the building. Municipal Counsellor, Melissa KanMacher quickly texted Sandra because she knew of this longtime dream. Within a matter of weeks. This new phenomenon unfolded before our eyes. It is hard to know what to expect. Creations like this involve many creative minds.
Our builder is John Whitaker (Mr. Honey Do) from Port Elgin. Our electrician is the Nolan Brothers from Walkerton. Our plumber is Greg Coon from Paisley.
To start, we opened with a “focus on food” venture on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, beginning June 23, 2022. The products were just like a regular market, only indoors. Because there are no farmers present, we cannot legally call this a Farmer’s Market . . . so we will choose a new name in 2023. We need a name that lets the customers understand that all the food comes from farms as close to Paisley as is physically possible. Some food even comes from the village of Paisley. It is an opportunity for everyone to grow and sell food as they can. In 2022, Allyson Nagle was our primary cashier/everything else and put up with many growing pains. We would be amiss not to mention Sherine Boville from Southampton who voluntarily helped set up our till, Annette Smiley from Lovat (whom we hadn’t even met before) who voluntarily helped prepare the vegetables for the produce stand, Amanda Juliana from Southampton who is helping with advertising and his website and Mark Jahed all the way from Bangladesh has been our right hand tech guy for 8 years now. This is a team effort.
Many events have already been held in the space called Orchard’s Landing and it will house many more ideas and projects in the years to come. I can’t wait to find out what you would like to create here. An event for children and teens? A writer’s club?
It is the permanent home for the Paisley Christmas Market and the developing Summer Market in a new and creative way.
Outside that? The sky is the limit.
Do you have an idea you would like to see happen? Check our event schedule and see where we can fit you in. See you soon!
January through April
Opportunity for cooking classes, woodworking classes, writing classes, recording music, painting and other art classes, Toastmasters Leadership Classes, Youth Council Meetings, Maple Syrup Festival, bike fixing sessions – the sky is the limit
Rent Space for just $60/day or $20/hour for your community event.
If your event involves food at all, a person holding a Safe Food Handler’s Certificate is a must.
May through September
Home of the Market, focused on Food May have space for a continuance of classes
October 8 – Grand Feast Finale (A Community Potluck) pending health inspecors approval.
Nov 12 – Dec 23