Cobden’s Taste of the Valley wraps up market season

The population of Cobden nearly quadrupled on Saturday as people from across the region attended the final Taste of the Valley farmers market.

The event was the sixth Taste of the Valley event in 2022 after being postponed during the pandemic.

“Cobden was the originator for Taste of the Valley, and it’s always the largest,” says David Wybou, a business development officer with the County of Renfrew.

One hundred and three local vendors brought their goods to sell, with nearly 3,000 people attending the market.

“Everything from traditional items like maple syrup and honey. You’ll find alpaca products, various produce vendors, Jamaican jerk chicken sandwiches, soap, perfumes, various body products, clothing. You’ll find a lot of wood carvings, special items made out of wood barrels, you name it.”

Selling at Taste of the Valley for the first time was Rebecca Carriere, whose business Bread + Berries sells baked goods.

“Whatever we make on a typical Saturday Cobden farmers market, we were told to make ten times as much,” the gourmet baker told CTV News Ottawa. “So that’s what we did.”

Carriere said she made 900 scones in the lead up to Taste of the Valley and had sold more than half of them by midday. She says the large market provides an opportunity for her business to make an imprint on the valley.

“It’s been huge getting people just to come up and look at it, and by that we’re getting our products sold and into peoples’ hands,” she said.

“At Taste of The Valley, typically we’ll have four times the number of visitors going to check it out,” says Wybou, “and four times the sales you would make at a normal market.”

The event draws customers from across the county and beyond. Round Lake resident Dan Sullivan says he and his family come to Taste of the Valley to pick up old favourites and discover new ones.

“We got some great preserves from Beth’s Kitchen over there. Some mustard, onions, beans, and pickles, and all sorts of things,” Sullivan said.

“We like to support the local area and it’s better than buying from the big corporate box chains,” he added.

The Cobden Taste of the Valley market is the final market of its kind of the year, and will return again with a full schedule in 2023.

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