North Bay Farmer's Market welcomes local breweries
NORTH BAY -- The North Bay Farmer’s Market is back for another year in the city’s downtown. It’s once again filled with local vendors, and fresh fruits and vegetables.
But this year, two local breweries have set up shop and are selling a variety of craft beers.
“We’re big fans of farmers markets, and supporting local,” said Sully Sullivan, from Gateway City Brewery.
"I think farmers markets allow for a lot of that. There’s a lot of artisanal shops and a lot of the local farmers out here selling their greens so we’re just excited to be a part of it."
Jacob Ricci, from New Ontario Brewing Company, told CTV News the market is a good opportunity for businesses, but it’s more about being out in the community again.
“Being profitable is always the answer, and is always the goal," Ricci said.
"But above all else, it’s just about getting out there, getting our name out and being in the community is a huge part -- which is what it should be at the farmers market. The profit is there, but being a part of the community is a huge part of it.”
For the better portion of the last 15 months, both breweries have only been able to operate through their storefront due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Hoping to create more business
Now being at the market twice a week, Sullivan said he’s hopeful it will create more business.
“There are people passing by our booth that have never heard of us, so it’s been great for that, because we open at 11 or 12 o’clock at the storefront,” he said.
“It’s nice to catch people early before they head home to do whatever for the rest of the day.”
Both breweries said it was an easy decision to be a vendor at this year's market and wish they would have been set up in years past.
“It’s been a long time, and I like the idea that breweries are a part of it because, it may not seem like it, but we really are part and parcel with the process,” said Ricci.
“Our industry has been pushing for this for quite a while,” said Sullivan.
“This is the first year legally we’re allowed to do it, so we wanted to take full advantage of that and we’re glad the government came to that decision.”
With no exact date on when patios and restaurants will reopen, both Gateway City Brewery and New Ontario Brewing Company are planning on being at the market for the entire season.