Tag Archives: Flower Business

Petition To Bring Non-Food Vendors Back to BC’s Farmer Markets

23 Feb

One of our favourite vendors at the Vancouver Farmers Market is East Van based The Front Yard Flower. Co. As the name depicts, it initially started with growing flowers in the front yard of Rose Dykstra’s childhood home. Her business has grown substantially over the years and has evolved to include growing flowers on a farm in Richmond.   There is a large financial investment in doing this, along with time.  Rose Dykstra along with other small businesses sell their items at the many farmer markets around Vancouver.   In March of 2020 when the COVID restrictions hit, many non-food vendors were shut out of the farmer markets which caused angst and hardship for many of the vendors.  The ban lasted from early April 2020 to June 2020. Rose’s flower business had to suddenly pivot to e-commerce and with a perishable item this was no easy feat.

The ban for non-vendors had been lifted over the summer and fall. In mid-December the ban on on-food vendors went up again. This was at a time when many of the non-food vendors rely on sales from the Christmas period to support their families. As of today’s writing, the current ban continues with no sign it of being lifted.

Vancouver Farmers Market has done a great job of adhering to COVID protocols in an outdoor environment.  Rose Dykstra doesn’t see why she and other non-food vendors have been shut out the markets.   On this point, we do agree.  We are big supporters of local business. As we think about this issue, we know people are still having birthdays, anniversaries and celebrating new babies. What does this mean? People are still buying or sending gifts, often in lieu of in person celebrations. We see it regularly on our walks. Gifts are being delivered in person with masks, dropped at the door, then a brief interchange before saying a few words and leaving the gift behind.

In our view, by including non-food vendors you are including them in the BC economy by allowing them to work and to continue to sustain themselves, their families and any employees they may have.  If you can’t get it locally, where will people turn? For many items, our guess is Amazon. We’d much prefer people support local vs. Amazon. As it comes to flowers and Rose’s business, really could we not all use some flowers to brighten up the spaces we are all stuck in during this pandemic that just seems to go on and on?

If you are in support of bringing back non-food vendors to Vancouver Farmer Markets, feel free to add your support to the Petition at Change.org.

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