The Cache Creek Market, after a successful outdoor season through the summer, held an indoor market on November 5 at the Cache Creek community hall, with 17 vendors—some of them new to the market—providing a wide range of crafts, food, and much more to attendees.
“It’s been a good year for the market,” says Wendy Coomber, the market manager. The market operates under the umbrella of the Cache Creek Beautification Society (CCBS), with funds raised from the sale of tables going to help the CCBS with projects.
An average of 13 vendors turned up each Saturday at the market’s site beside Chum’s restaurant, from the local area and from as far afield as Abbotsford, Williams Lake, Clinton, Lytton, and Kamloops. Coomber says that the number of vendors has been growing steadily each year, and is up from an average of eight vendors in 2012. The first market of 2016, in May, attracted a season high of 22 vendors.
Coomber notes that after this strong start it was a bad summer in terms of weather, with two Saturdays rained out completely, and rain on almost every Saturday from June onward. However, she adds that it was a good year for the market, which was established in 2011.
“We still had a good year financially. And it’s a great activity, so we kept it up.” She notes that the money raised from the sale of tables does not usually cover the yearly insurance rate of approximately $1,400, but adds that this year the Village of Cache Creek gave the market the opportunity of obtaining insurance through the Municipal Insurance Authority as of 2017, which will decrease the insurance cost to one-sixth of what the market has been paying. “Next year we’ll be able to give back to the CCBS and its activities.”
While the market has its regular local customers—“It’s a ritual for them every week”—Coomber says that the majority of customers are travellers passing through the area. “They’re looking for souvenirs, or something to enhance their camping trip, and they love things that identify that they have been to Cache Creek.
“They’re looking for a chance to get out and stretch their legs. And food is a big draw.”
Looking ahead to 2017, Coomber says that the market would like to make it easier for vendors by adding storage to the site, and would like to add more signage to make the market more visible for travellers.
Because of the flea market component, the market is not eligible to be part of the B.C. Association of Farmers’ Markets, but Coomber says that was a conscious decision. “When we got the idea in 2011, we didn’t think a pure farmers’ market would work. We wanted more tables to draw more people. The flea market aspect brings more people out to look and to buy.
“From antiques to crafters to farm produce, it’s just a great variety of people,” says Coomber. While the market has a number of regular vendors who are there every weekend, some come to just two or three markets a year, ensuring that each week is different.
Coomber says she would like to see more crafters come out to the market, but adds that the number of vendors at the market has grown every year. “We’re concerned about the day when we can’t accommodate every vendor, so we need to build capacity, perhaps by being more efficient with space. We’re heading in the right direction, and we want to keep it going that way”
Another indoor market will be held at the Cache Creek community hall on Saturday, December 3 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.