Carol LeHeup picks out peppers at a 2011 White Rock Farmers' Market.

Carol LeHeup picks out peppers at a 2011 White Rock Farmers' Market.

2013 White Rock Farmers’ Market ‘a success’

$1.16 million spent at area businesses during last summer's White Rock Farmers' Market, council hears.

The impact of the White Rock Farmers’ Market on the city’s economy reached a record $1.95 million last year.

Market officials shared the milestone – determined through an economic and social benefits assessment – at last week’s council meeting.

Describing the impact as “profound,” market president Sandy VanDeKinder noted the figure is $650,000 higher than that seen in 2012, and more than double the $880,000 realized in 2006.

Similarly, the ‘spillover’ effect – the amount of money spent at neighbouring businesses on market days –climbed to $1.16 million last year, from $430,000 in 2012.

“Keep in mind that’s 84 hours of summer market,” VanDeKinder said.

The number of market visitors also increased, she said. In 2013, there were more than 56,300 visits, compared to 35,273 in 2006 and 46,398 in 2012.

The market was founded in 1998, and runs for 21 Sundays from May through October. An additional nine winter markets are held October through December.

VanDeKinder credited market manager Helen Fathers – a White Rock councillor – with moving the market “into its extremely successful path.”