Featured Vendors: West Country Kettle Corn and Markerville Berry & Vegetable Farm

Featured Vendors

Last week we had a chance to catch up with two of our seasonal vendors, Patsy from West Country Kettle Corn and Beth from Markerville Berry & Vegetable Farm. Here is a summary of their interviews.  

West Country Kettle Corn

How did you start your business?

Patsy: I started my business 10 years ago. I have a niece and a nephew that do it in Edmonton and I thought that sounds like a good business, so why not? And its been very good. It’s a great social life, you meet lots of people and I enjoy it!

What kind of products do you sell?

Patsy: We sell kettle popcorn and this is our first year of adding flavors, which is: cheddar, jalapeno cheddar, caramel, Chicago mix, blue raspberry & cherry, and theatre popcorn.

What is your “must try” product?

Patsy: Must try product would have to be the Chicago mix, Jalapeno cheddar too if you like spice.

What makes you unique?

Patsy: Just us, our personalities! I guess popcorn, first of all, is a fun thing, we try to match up everything like our table cloths and we made signs, so everyone knows what’s happening. Also what makes us unique is that my kids work with me. We get to spend our time together, which is pretty cool.

What is your favorite thing to sell?

Patsy: Popcorn!

Can you find your product anywhere else?

Patsy: Yes! We are doing 7 markets a week! Our last market starts tomorrow night (Thursday Night) in Rocky for 10 weeks.

Do you attend any other markets?

Patsy: Yup! We go to Rocky, was in Ponoka this morning (Wednesday morning), Lacombe and Lakedale on Fridays and Saturday mornings we’re in Rimbey.

How did you hear about the Downtown Red Deer Market?

Patsy: I think I went on all sites and found out where all the Central Alberta Farmers Markets were to see if they had kettle corn in it. Since this one started right from the get go, I’ve been with this one (The Downtown Red Deer Market) since the very beginning when it was up at the corner.

What is your favourite thing about being in Downtown Red Deer?

Patsy: One thing that we do have is, we have the street people. We have three regular ones that we give popcorn to each week and each year I wonder if they’re still alive. Because you worry. It’s a different atmosphere down here, you see all walks of life, people are friendly, and what’s unique about this market is that its mainly food. You find a lot of the seniors that can’t walk the larger markets come to this one because its easier for them to get to the food at this market, considering the other one is so big, so its handy for them.

Markerville Berry & Vegetable Farm

How did you start your business?

Beth: We started it in the year 2007.

What kind of products do you sell?

Beth: We sell all fresh field grown seasonal vegetables. So that includes things like all the greens, root vegetables, some specialty items and we also sell strawberries and saskatoons. Sometimes raspberries if they make it to market. Those are U-Pick on our farm, but we will definitely bring them to the market here, if we have extra.

What is your “must try” product?

Beth: Definitely our boxed salad mix or our spinach. Those are our most popular item; they fly off the table.

What makes you unique?

Beth: The fact is every Wednesday morning we start super, super early, and we start cutting our greens, so they are fresh market day! People constantly come back and tell us over and over again, “I cannot believe the taste difference” or “I cannot believe how long these lasted in my fridge” or “I can’t believe how amazing your vegetables look”, and it is because they are fresh. They are grown in dirt, they are grown outdoors, obviously. And they just taste the difference

What is your favourite thing to sell?

Beth: Because it is so popular, the spinach and lettuce, the greens. It makes a big impact its fun, I mean it just keeps people coming back and its easy. Its easy to sell when the product is so good.

Can you find your product anywhere else?

Beth: This year no. This year we are exclusive to the Downtown Market. Previous years we have gone to multiple markets in Central Alberta, but this year we slowed down a bit and sell only at this market and this market alone. We do sell off the farm so people can come to our U-Pick and buy veggies at our veggie store, we are west of Penhold about a 10-minute drive, so not too far from Red Deer about 30 minutes.

Do you attend any other markets?

Beth: No, not this year.

How did you hear about the Downtown Red Deer Market?

Beth: I’ve been coming here for over 10 years. I was here actually for the very first Market when it first opened. I heard about it from another vendor, who thought I would be a good fit because of my fresh greens. Its been a long time, and I feel like I’m among old friends here all the time. That’s what’s special about this market, we all look out for each other. It’s even the customers, it’s the other vendors, it’s the Downtown Business Association Staff, it is the other business owners here, we all kind of know each other and its fun to say hi! You come here and you feel like you’re among friends. It's great!

What is your favourite thing about being in Downtown Red Deer?

Beth: What I just said. The family atmosphere, the feeling of being among friends. Our customers have come back year after year for ten plus years for our product. What’s been great about this market is that they really support local and they’re certified Farmers Market that is make it, bake it, grow it and that’s what we are and we really appreciate that and that it is a big thing here. 

Be sure to stop by West Country Kettle Corn and Markerville Berry & Vegetable Farm at this Wednesday's market from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m! 

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