The Tilton Winter Farmers’ Market has satisfied the local food needs of thousands of area residents for the past four years and is currently seeking a new home to expand its operation. Market Manager Joan O’Connor is actively looking for a creative, community-spirited partner who can provide a site and site-related services for the coming winter season, December 2016 through April 2017.
She also hopes to expand this winter market into a year-round market.
“I’ve been so grateful for the four years of support from the Autoserv Dealerships of Tilton,” said Joan O’Connor. “They stepped up and did a really good thing, not only for the Tilton community, but for communities far and wide.” Autoserv offered O’Connor a reasonable lease for the market’s former location on Route 3 in Tilton, but now has a year-round tenant in that space.
The ideal indoor market location will have great road access and visibility, be 12-15,000 square feet indoors, with at least 100-150 parking spaces, and be minimally heated. Although the market has had great success in the Lakes Region, O’Connor is expanding her view to include other parts of the state. “I can take this anywhere,” she said.
The market was named Editor’s Pick for the Best of New Hampshire 2013 awards in New Hampshire Magazine. “We had 50 vendors in the Tilton space, but I have a waiting list of 100 vendors wishing they could participate. The market also had a steady stream of more than 1,200 customers coming through every weekend. For a business interested in doing something great for their community and for local economic development, as well as assuming a high-profile leadership role, this is a win-win.” O’Connor also seeks donations and financial support for the expansion and relocation initiative.
Joan O’Connor, a resident of Henniker, has long been active on both agriculture and farmers’ markets initiatives in New Hampshire. She founded the successful Concord Winter Farmers’ Market before creating the Tilton Winter Farmers’ Market in 2011. She has been active as a volunteer on a variety of issues affecting small farms and producers in the state. She currently serves as a board member for the Northeast Organic Farming Association of NH (NOFA-NH). Most recently, she strategized with her State Representative and Senator to bring forward Senate Bill 306. This law now allows beer and wine tasting at farmers’ markets. To permit the sampling of beer and wine at farmers’ markets, NH joins several other states which also offer this marketing opportunity to local wineries and microbreweries.
Interested citizens or business owners who have ideas about a perfect location for a thriving indoor farmers’ market (or businesses and individuals interested in providing financial support) should contact Joan O’Connor by phone at 603.496.1718 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.