Last two days for marketPublished 9:36am Thursday, October 1, 2009
By JESSICA SIEFF
Niles Daily Star
In downtown Niles, a change of the season means the end of this year’s run of the Bensidoun French Market.
According to Main Street’s Lisa Croteau, “it was a very good year.”
This is the last week for the market, which has been taking up residence every Thursday and Saturday at the corner of Main and Front streets from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The market, which features everything from fresh fruit and vegetables to unique art and even the opportunity for a massage, drew in new and returning vendors and customers to downtown Niles.
Overall the operation has met the expectation that it would grow in size and scope and Croteau expects to see its offerings continue to grow even more in the future.
The canopies haven’t been put away just yet – but Croteau said that those who play a part in bringing the market to downtown Niles each season are already thinking of next year.
The search is on for new vendors, primarily those who would “let us provide more of a variety” of food to customers.
Farmer’s markets have been growing in popularity, but the customers aren’t the only ones that have praised Niles’ own market. Vendors have been showing their support as well.
“Most, if not all, of the vendors that we had this year will be back next year,” Croteau said. To pull off the French Market each year, takes a “tremendous amount of work.”
But that work doesn’t rest on a just one pair of shoulders.
Over the winter months while officials are busy looking for vendors interested in bringing their unique products to Niles, so are other vendors.
“Everyone that’s at market takes ownership,” said Croteau.
When those canopies actually do come down after Saturday, the work will keep on going for officials and vendors.
“We actually start just after it ends with a wrap up meeting,” Croteau said. Officials start booking spots as early as March.
Though this year’s run may be coming to an end, those fans of vendors can take the opportunity to pick up a business card or get more information from their favorites this week – and keep shopping throughout the year.
In fact, the idea of shopping locally is being promoted by the state, which wants to see it continue throughout the year.
“Having people understand the importance of supporting local businesses – it can’t be understated,” Croteau said.