Were you not able to make to our award ceremony this year? You can watch it here:
We were utterly overwhelmed with the amount of nominations for both vendors and market managers this year. We received more nominations than ever before!
Outstanding Perennial Vendor Award
This award recognizes the diversity of the talents of AFMA’s long term Make it, Bake it, Grow it vendors. Products have to be local and unique. Characteristics of excellence and uniqueness include: packaging, labeling, marketing, popularity and customer impact for the market. These vendors have products that have stood the test of time, have a loyal customer base, and attract customers to the market.
This year’s winner is Colina Clark of Cian’s Mustard. Colina and her family have been selling mustard for many years. They are considered vendor role models. They are the first to help the new vendors, volunteer for market activities that are taking place, or helping with random items within the market facility. Colina also sits on the Millarville Market Committee and is always there to offer help in any way even as a busy mom and entrepreneur. If there is a need, she will step in and help with market manager duties too! The other vendors look to them for advice and insight during market days, at other markets and outside of market days.
They have a fantastic product that is very popular with our visitors, as well as other vendors. The best part…they are sourcing their ingredients from local, Alberta vendors! The mustard, the spices, the beer, and the yogurt! They have really stepped things up the last couple of years in securing their own production facility as well.
Cian’s Mustard knows what it means to be local, shop local and support local!
Congratulations Colina and family!
Outstanding New Vendor Award
This award also recognizes the diversity of the talents of AFMA’s new Make it, Bake it, Grow it vendors. This time for vendors who have been selling three years or less. The products have to be local and unique. Characteristics of excellence and uniqueness include: packaging, labeling, marketing, popularity and customer impact for the market.
This year’s winner is Katie Kingdon of Tamarack Jack’s Honey and Meadery. If you have been to any of the over 30 markets across Alberta where they sell their products you will have seen the wonderful, eye catching plaid display at the booth of Tamarack Jack’s. Along with the amazing display they have friendly, helpful staff. The staff can tell you all about their fantastic products, including the history of mead and the health benefits of honey. Most importantly their loyal customers rave about the wonderful product!
Outstanding Market Manager of the Year
This award recognizes market managers who have shown innovation in administration techniques, events, community involvement and promotions to improve their market. Candidates have strong communication skills including the ability to communicate with vendors, board members, customers, media, surrounding businesses, and potential partners. They have proven ability to stay on top of social media and spread the word about the market but also to quickly and effectively deal with complaints before they become a problem.
Candidates strive for continuous improvement. They are teachers, visionaries, and big picture thinkers. They are in tune with what customers want and with what vendors need. They show creative thinking, creative problem solving, and integrity.
We are very proud of the wonderful market managers we have in our province and would like to acknowledge all of our nominees;
Elaine Doucette, Ottewell Artisan Farmers’ Market,
Shauna Bartholow & Karen Campbell, Sundre Farmers’ Market
Melonie McKee, Millarville Farmers’ Market,
Darice Rach, Grande Prairie Farmers’ Market,
Cheryl Shea, Crossfield Farmers’ Market
And the winner is a very special member of our AFMA board, Melonie McKee, Millarville Farmers’ Market.
Melonie was nominated by MANY of her vendors, customers and board members. Melonie is accommodating, efficient, personable, organized, cheerful, punctual and passionate about what she does. She has excelled in developing the market into an event to attend. She manages staff, volunteers and discontent vendors very professionally. She solves problems from storms leveling booths to collapsed arenas and IT connections not functioning. She applies for and gets grants in order to upgrade the facilities at the Millarville Farmers Market. She also comes up with new ideas for events to keep the market exciting for the clients.
Melonie’s motto is “remember, there’s a solution to every problem” and encourages her vendors to always come to her with their concerns. She’s calm, listens, makes herself available, answers emails very promptly and she has a strong backbone. She stands up to problems and issues when they arise. And she has a great sense of humour. She does it all in a kind manner, without losing her cool. She is always pleasant and kind. She is a true professional and a great market manager.
Congratulations to all our award winners and nominees!