Feature Vendor Interview – Cozy Stitch

Feature Vendor of the week: Cozy Stitch 
At last week’s market we caught up with Chantalle Stretch from Cozy Stitch.

What do you sell?
Handmade goods. In the summertime, baked goods with produce that is in season; Pies, tarts, jams, jellies. As the fall comes I introduce crocheted stuff. We do towels and booties like baby booties, scarves and things like that.

How did you start your business? 
I started with crocheting at home, making little baby booties, headbands, toques and then I expanded a little bit into blankets and towels. When my maternity leave ran out my mom suggested I try some baking and sell it at the market with your crocheting.

Is this your full time job?
Full time is mommy but on the side I do this. I am actually a respiratory therapist, that is what I am trained to do but while on maternity leave I decided to do this.

What is something we “must try”?
My pie, my pastry – you have got to try the pastry, it’s my great grandmas recipe!

What makes you awesome? Why should people choose you?
It’s homemade, it’s a passed down recipe and I try to use local produce. I try to use BC peaches and apples from around town, we pick saskatoons from around Red Deer. We try to pick from what is around here. It tastes great!

What is your favorite thing that you sell? 
Mine? Pumpkin cookies. They aren’t really in season right now but they are so good!

Is there anything that people need to be educated about when it comes to your product or line of work?
No, if you like good tasty pastry that’s all you need.

Does anyone else sell your products?
No but there are a couple other vendors that sell pies and baked goods for sure.

How many markets do you attend?
Only this one but I will attend a weekend market if I see one. I’ve attended Fort Normandeau Days and I applied for the mall market in October. Other than that this is the only market that I do.

How long have you been with the ATB Downtown Market? 
About a month and a half.

How did you first hear about the ATB Downtown Market?
Word of mouth. My friends were trying some of my baking and said “you should do the market on Wednesdays!” So explored, I came down on a Wednesday and saw it, got in contact with Tyler [Market Manager for the ATB Downtown Market] and thought it was perfect.

What is your favorite thing about this market?
It’s small, the community and that everything is home grown or homemade. It’s more of a true farmers market.

Do you like being Downtown? 
Yes!

What is your favorite thing about being Downtown?
I like the feel that you’re Downtown Red Deer – you’ve got the old buildings, you’ve got the sense of community. You get the true sense of Red Deer by being Downtown.

Do you have a favorite business on this street or a favorite other vendor in this market?
Dose Coffee, I really like The Lamb Lady and Vietnamese Subs and Rolls.

What advice would you give to people just starting out?
Just hang on and keep coming back week to week. Just enjoy it, enjoy visiting with people and doing what you love to do.

How do you define success?
Being happy with what you do. This is success. I get to stay at home and bake with my kids and then I get to come down to the market and work with my kids and visit with people. Success is doing what you love.

To learn more about Cozy Stitch, be sure to stop by their booth at this week’s ATB Downtown Market from 4 – 7 p.m. on Wednesday.

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