Feature Vendor Interview - ATB Downtown Market

Tuesday, June 30th 2015

Feature vendor of the week: Klein Farm
At last week’s market we caught up with Vicky from Klein Farm.

What do you sell?
Farm raised chicken. They are free range. They are raised out in grass paddocks. There are no antibiotics, hormones or growth stimulants fed to them. They are happy chickens outside.

How long have you been in business?
In the market business (selling at farmers markets) we have been in it probably 8 years, but we have been raising chickens for 35 years.

How did you start your business?
It just developed from a farm. We are farmers. We raise chickens and people are always wanting chickens so we raised more and more and now we raise them this way.

What is a “must know” or “must try”?
For a must try, we have four kinds of chicken sausage which are chicken and spices only. There is no additives, preservatives, gluten or any of that stuff. There is no water injected into them. They are straight chicken and spices. We have them in four flavors to suit everyone’s palate. They are a must try because a lot of people have never tried chicken sausage.

What makes you stand out?
We raise our chickens with no antibiotics, hormones or growth stimulants. Our chicken sausage, like I said, is just chicken and spices; there is nothing else added to it. You are getting a pure product. You are getting a farm-raised, grass-raised chicken that has good quality to it.

What is your favorite thing that you sell?
I have a lot of favorites depending on what I want to cook. Roast chickens are the easiest because you just take the plastic off and give them a rinse, stick them in the oven and cook them. That’s the easiest.
Preparing drums and thighs with a special sauce for a different type of flavor.
If I’m late or in a hurry, out comes the chicken sausage.
If I want something very health conscious I make a salad with cooked chicken breast.

Does anyone else sell your product?
The Green Pantry in Lacombe as well as Brown Eggs and Lamb near Bentley.

Do you attend a lot of markets?
No. We attend this one, Red Deer Saturday market about 3 times a month and the Lacombe market on Fridays.

Which is your favorite and why?
This one! I have been here the longest and we have our permanent spot here. We’ve got to know our customers here and that’s the fun part. Like I said, you get to know the customers, you get to know the people and other vendors.

Do you like being Downtown?
Yes, it’s a very good location. I like where it is and I like my location. More vendors would make it even more wonderful. Keep it here and keep it going. It’s a good market, people are getting to know it more and more. Lots of people in Red Deer say I’ve never been there I don’t even know about it. Keep advertising keep bringing people here. Get more vendors and more publicity. Vendors bring in people and people bring in vendors. So what comes first, the chicken or the egg?

You guys are here a lot, do you have a favorite business on the street or favorite other vendor?
We have done business in Red Deer for 45-47 years. I don’t have a favorite business, I have many. We do business and buy from almost everyone here.

What advice would you offer people just starting out?
Be consistent, don’t be here and then not here as a vendor. Be consistent and bring good quality. That’s what the market wants is good quality put your best foot forward. Don’t sit and play with your phone while you are trying to sell.

How do you define success?
Success is being happy with what you are doing. Having the same repeat customers is another thing. They know that they are getting a good product and you know you are giving a good product. That contributes to happiness. Success is liking what you are doing and if you don’t like it that is really too bad. We have way to much fun doing this. We had a customer buy us popsicles today!

Is there anything you feel people should be educated about when it comes to your products or farming?
I think we do some of that education, or at least we try to. We try to educate our customers, and customers are smart. Our customers know what they want. We do a little bit of education at the table when people haven’t had our stuff before. For example we give them ingredient cards so that they know they are getting quality products. If you look on a commercial sausage the second ingredient is water, expensive water. One-on-one is important - you want to talk to your people. Make friends with your customers because then they come back and most are pretty interesting people.

Find them online at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Klein-Farm/565688766885310?fref=ts

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Feature Vendor Interview - ATB Downtown Market

Tuesday, June 23rd 2015

Feature vendor of the week: Nixon Honey
At last week’s market we caught up with Bethany from Nixon Honey.

What is your business?
We sell local raw unpasteurized honey. It is good for allergies because it comes from local flowers. We also sell Beeswax, lozenges, honey combs, pollen, naturally flavored honey and honey sticks.

What is a “must know” or “must try” of Nixon Honey?
A “must know” is they do extraction tours in August. You can go see how everything is done and if you bring your own container they charge $3.00/pound. It’s really neat to see the process of how everything is done.
What is your favorite things you sell?
The Irish cream honey.
What makes you awesome? Why should people choose Nixon Honey?
The Nixon’s are beekeepers. They are selling their own products. They know where all the bees are located and how they are treated.

What do people need to be educated about when it comes to Honey?
Bee pollen is a super-multivitamin. Instead of going to a pharmacy and getting multivitamins you can take bee pollen which is all natural. You can get all of your health benefits from bee pollen. There is more on that in the pamphlet.

Can you buy Nixon Honey anywhere else?
Only the Nixon’s produce and distribute Nixon honey. It’s at many of the farmers markets all over central Alberta as well as in many stores.

How many markets do you attend?
I myself attend 4 markets but we do a lot more than that.

How did you first hear about the market and how long have you been here?
Through other vendors. We have been attending the Downtown Market for at least 5 years

What do you love about being downtown?
It’s a different atmosphere here. There are different people at every market so I get to socialize with a lot of different people. Downtown gets its own marketing because so many people drive by. It’s not as open or busy as other markets I attend. It’s a nice market.

What would you like to see change about the market or Downtown?
I would change my spot so I could get more sun. I would love to see more vendors and, vendors on each side of the street.

You are here a lot. Do you have a favorite market vendor or business on the street?
I like cutie pies. When I was in the hospital 4 years ago they were there as well. I ate their pies so it’s really good to see them again
The soap lady who drives a little blue car is amazing.
The shoe guy fixed my shoes once.

How do you define success?
Good marketing and a positive attitude. Definitely being honest with your customer, don’t bend the truth and don’t pressure people to buy.

What advice would you give to people just starting out?
Pick something lighter than honey because it’s a killer on gas.
Be a good neighbor to your other vendors. Getting along with them has a huge roll in whether or not you are successful or continue to come back.

Did you know that Nixon honey conducts all operations within their own facility? They package their own products and do not outsource. Be sure to go taste test some honey at this week’s ATB Downtown Market.
Find them online at http://nixonhoney.ca/

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Feature Vendor Interview - ATB Downtown Market

Tuesday, June 16th 2015

Feature vendor of the week: Markerville Berry and Vegetable Farm

At last week’s market we caught up with Beth Huising from Markerville Berry and Vegetable Farm. Here is a summary of our conversation:

How did you start your business?
It started as a hobby. I grew up on a farms so seems to be in the blood and the right thing to do. It also enables me to stay at home with the children, and family is important.

What is your “must try” product?
The spinach, it’s a highlight that people always rave about.

What makes you unique?
We are unique because we only sell what we have personally grown ourselves on our farm. We do not use pesticides. We use sustainable farming methods. All of our spinach, lettuce, onions etc. are picked the day of the market
The coolest thing about the ATB Downtown Market is the proximity to our farm. How close we are enables us to pick everything fresh the day of. This allows us to have the freshest, best green ingredients.
We grow everything ourselves and it comes direct freshly picked from the farm. All of our products are being delivered directly to the customers within a matter of hours of being picked.
“It doesn’t come from, or go to a warehouse anywhere; it is directly fresh from the farm right to the customer in a matter of hours. Only the best goes to the market.”

What is your favorite thing you sell?

I like the spinach but I also really love the carrots. When they come they are just so good.

Can you find your product anywhere else?

No, our product is exclusive to us. The ATB Downtown Market is our main market, we just started one other market last year.

What do people need to be educated about when it comes to farming?
The effects of weather on product and availability. For example we are currently in a drought. People don’t realize how weather dependent we are. Everything; wind, rain, hail, bugs, drought, and more directly impact the consumer the following week as far as quantity, quality and pricing. Learning about the effects of weather and other factors that are totally out of our control are important in building consumer awareness and understanding. Weather has a huge impact on what we are able to bring to the market. It is sometimes a deciding factor of whether or not we have anything to bring.

How did you first hear about the market?
I don’t remember! That was a long time ago. I have been here since day one of the market and my business. That started about six years ago. I think I heard about it from another producer.

What do you love about being downtown?
The familiar faces! It’s a little community. For the last six years now we have seen everybody here every week. To be among these historic buildings all the time and see all of the familiar faces you just start to feel like part of a little family. We have regulars that come every week and have faithfully for years. You look forward to seeing people and you feel at home here. It’s a great place.

What would you like to see change about the market or Downtown?
I would like Rosie come to my stall! That would be great! Other than that I wouldn’t change anything, why mess with a good thing? Unless you can you stop the wind tunnel. There are so many great shops, businesses and people around! I like it it’s a great location.

You are here a lot. Do you have a favorite market vendor or business on the street?

We love our jam guy! Brian from Jelly Barn is great. I like Souto Farms as well. We love our neighbours right next to us, they are awesome. Terry from Artistry in Gold is fantastic. We make faces at him in the window and he always comes out to see us. At the end of the day he often will totally buys out everything that is left. He is very supportive.

What advice would you give to people just starting out?

Start small, quality is so important over price. Provide and bring your best to town. Only the best goes to the market.
You have to smile! Friendliness and quality are so important. You have to smile and say ‘hi’ if you want people to come over and buy from you.

How do you define success?

Doing something that makes you happy. I am not a farmer by trade. I went to university to learn how to make dentures. I wasn’t happy and had to do something to make me happy. Even though I don’t make as much money as I would doing that I feel good. When people come by and give me thank you cards, which they really do, it makes you feel good inside. This is my full time job now.

What type of thank you cards have you received?

All kinds. People thank me for always being there, for showing up in the rain, for being consistent. Anything really.

Be sure to stop by Markerville Berry and Vegetable Farm at the next ATB Downtown Market.
Find them online at www.markervilleberryandvegetable.com

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Request for Quotes: Downtown Red Deer Promotional Photography - 2015

Thursday, May 14th 2015

We're seeking a photographer to help us capture events and activities in Downtown Red Deer throughout the year. If you or someone you know is interested, please review the following Request for Quotes.

Our Vision
: A pedestrian-friendly people place, our downtown is a thriving neighbourhood alive with culture and entertainment, unique shops and eateries. It is a clean, safe, attractive and engaging residential and commercial district that is the preferred location for retail, professional and service businesses. Our downtown is a source of civic pride and a desired destination for residents and visitors.

Project: The Red Deer Downtown Business Association is seeking a professional photographer or group of photographers to capture activities and landmarks throughout downtown Red Deer in 2015.
The final photographs will be used in DBA advertising and communication initiatives, including print, web and social media. These images must support the DBA’s mission for the downtown to be a vibrant and prosperous place that is ideal to live, work, play and do business.

Content: We’re open to ideas of specific image contents, as long as our mission and vision are supported, but some suggestions include: people engaging in activities, including shopping, dining, recreation & leisure activities, attending events, volunteering; food and drink; performers, including musicians, entertainers, , actors, buskers, visual artists; landmarks; special events (several are listed below); public art and street art.

Scope: A list of required items/events for documentation is included below. A total of 30 photographs is requested.

Events & Activities include:

  • Lunch & Learn series: Sep 29 | Nov 17
  • Art Alley: June/July/August 2015 – exact locations and schedule TBD
  • Late night shopping event (June)
  • Downtown Cruise: Summer (exact dates TBA)
  • Downtown Dash to Draft: Summer (exact date TBA)
  • ATB Downtown Market: Wednesdays | 4 – 7 p.m. | Jun 3 – Oct 7
  • Ross St. Patio entertainment: June - August
  • North Pole Stroll: Late November through December

A complete list of required events and dates will be provided to the successful photographer(s) once the contract has been awarded.


Interested photographers are asked to provide the following:

  • Introduction/description of business and/or approach to photography
  • 5 samples of similar work
  • Complete quote for the cost of this project

Send to:
2015 DBA Photography RFQ
Downtown Business Association
1, 5000 51 Avenue, Red Deer AB T4N 4H5

Submission Deadline: May 31 at 12:00 Midnight

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2015 Seal of Approval - Event Support

Tuesday, April 28th 2015

The Seal of Approval program was developed to assist downtown event organizers with value-in-kind and financial support from the Red Deer Downtown Business Association (DBA). The goal of the program is to encourage organizations other than the DBA to host events downtown so we can use our resources to support a greater number of events and programs than we would be able to as the sole organizer.

Applicants may apply anytime, however it is generally best to apply a year in advance if applying for funding due to budgeting timelines.

To receive a Seal of Approval, an event must meet the following criteria:
• Have a downtown location
• Abide by DBA bylaws
• Encourage people to come downtown
• Encourage local business engagement
• Have an emergency plan
• Provide event insurance
• Be non-political in nature
• Provide recognition to the DBA for the support
• Have a long term action plan to move away from DBA support
• A strong leader or committee that demonstrates the willingness and ability to execute a successful event
• Have a succession plan
• Enter into a Letter of Understanding with the DBA that outlines the roles of each party
• Complete a Post Event Report (The specifics required for this will be outlined in your Letter of Understanding)

Application Bonus Points
Events that meet the following criteria have a higher likelihood of receiving DBA support through the Seal of Approval program:
• Outdoor events
• Winter events
• Free events that the public can attend
• Events that show strong sponsor support

Benefits of the Program
Successful applicants are able to access the following types of support from the DBA:
• Brand name recognition –A Seal of Approval is a recognized symbol of support from the DBA, a recognized and respected organization within the community with a proven history of successful event hosting.
• Social media marketing
• Radio advertising
• DBA member advertising
• Assistance with permit applications
• Assistance with grant applications
• Assistance with City of Red Deer meetings
• Event experience – We’re happy to provide guidance and share our knowledge on best practices for event hosting
• Emergency plan writing
• Graphic design services
• Poster printing

Application Process
1. Application – Submit your completed application form to the DBA
2. Meeting – We will contact you to arrange a meeting to review your application with you
3. Letter of Understanding – This will be drafted by DBA staff to outline the roles of each party
4. Event execution
5. Post-Event Report – This must be submitted to the DBA within 30 days of event completion, according to the guidelines detailed in your Letter of Understanding

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We're Hiring!

Thursday, April 9th 2015

Summer Student Position

The Red Deer Downtown Business Association is seeking a post-secondary student with a wide variety of skills to assist with our summer event season in 2015. This position will provide the successful applicant the opportunity to develop skills in the following areas:

Event Planning
• Assist with the development and coordination of DBA and/or downtown events as required
• Book entertainment for weekly events in the Downtown
• During events, all DBA staff are required to participate with an ‘all hands on deck’ approach

Marketing and External Communications
• Distribution of monthly newsletter to DBA members. Includes content collection, compilation, and distribution.
• Creation and distribution of promotional material on an as-needed basis

Website Maintenance
• Updating content of the DBA website through a CMS interface
• Includes the updating of the web-based DBA database

Social Media Management
• Social media (including Facebook and Twitter) management as required to connect with DBA members, local partners, supporters, performing artists, etc. and to promote DBA programs and events.

Media Relations
• Developing media releases that are relevant and timely.
• Managing media and setting up interviews leading up to an event and on-site media relations.

Other duties as assigned.

Start Date: Tuesday, May 19
Contract length: 16 weeks, full-time (35 hours per week)

Application Process: Interested candidates are asked to provide a cover letter, resumé and 3 references.
• In person: Downtown Business Association 1, 5000 51 Ave Red Deer AB T4N 4H5
• By email: sandy@downtownreddeer.com

Application Closing Date: Friday, May 8, 2015 at 4:30 p.m.

Candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.

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Call to Artists - Art Alley 2015

Thursday, February 19th 2015

Art Alley returns to Red Deer for its second year in 2015 and needs some creative volunteers to join our team!

Are you …
• An artist with mural experience and a passion for street art?
• Available to help out from June to August, 2015?
• Looking to add community involvement to your resume?
• Able to work as part of a team?
• Interested in opportunities to mentor younger artists?
• Excited to be involved in a project that enhances your community?
If you answered yes, we want to hear from you!

About the project
Art Alley is a collaborative project between The City of Red Deer and the Downtown Business Association. Art alley is the first project of its kind in Red Deer to transform the walls of downtown into a vibrant, positive space for the community.

Research shows that beautifying an area that regularly attracts negative activity helps create more ownership and interest in a space, thereby reducing unsavoury activity. This is the Art Alley initiative.

Participating artists are eligible for an honorarium.

Submission Requirements
Please provide a statement describing why you’re interested in participating in this project, along with 2 samples of your previous work and complete contact information.

Please send your completed submission to:
Art Alley – Artist Application
C/O Downtown Business Association
1, 5000 51 Avenue, Red Deer AB T4N 4H5

Submission deadline: Sunday, March 15 at 12:00 Midnight.
Successful applicants will be contacted by March 31, 2015.

For more information
Contact the Downtown Business Association at 403.346.8696 or info@downtownreddeer.com

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It's a North Pole Stroll!

Tuesday, December 9th 2014

The North Pole Stroll is located downtown Red Deer, where the magic comes to life at Christmas time. Starting with the kick off of “lighting the largest tree” at the Festival Lights the Night to Winter Market, Late Night Shopping, Free photos with Santa Clause (bring your own camera), to roasting s’mores and singing Christmas carols. It’s all happening downtown Red Deer from November 22 to December 23. Your place to live, work, dine and play.

DEC. 6 – WINTER MARKET 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Gaetz United Church (4758 50 Street)

Dec. 11 – LATE NIGHT SHOPPING: For everything on your Christmas list, various stores will remain open until 8 p.m. for late night shopping

Dec. 13 – FREE SANTA PHOTOS: Bring your cameras, cell phones, iPods or Polaroid’s down to City Hall Park from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to take your free photos with Santa.

Dec. 20 – S’MORES & CAROLS: Come down to City Hall Park from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for fire roasted s’mores and singing Christmas Carols.

For a complete list of events, visit northpolestroll.ca.

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Apply Now: Recruiting for NEW Clean Team Member

Friday, April 18th 2014

The Downtown Business Association is looking for a NEW member for our Clean Team.

What is the Clean Team? 
The Downtown Business Association has the contract to clean and maintain the streets of our downtown core. This position is vital in contributing to keeping our downtown beautiful.
Job details include litter picking in the downtown core, cleaning street furniture and emptying the garbage bins.

Who you are?
You love your City, specifically the downtown and take pride in making it beautiful.
You love being outside, rain, snow or shine. 
You have a sense of pride in a job well done.
You are a people person, as an ambassador in the streets of downtown, you don't mind directing people to find certain areas or perhaps where to grab a cup of coffee.
We are an equal opportunity employer and welcome to all applicants. 

Hours: Full time position - early morning start at 7am. 6 hours per day. $16/hr

Please email your resume to sandy@downtownreddeer.com


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2014 Seal of Approval - Event Support

Tuesday, March 25th 2014

Think you want to organize an event in Downtown Red Deer? We'd love to help support you and have many ways that we can do this!

The Seal of Approval program was developed to assist event organizers in the downtown with gift in kind and finnancial support from the Red Deer Downtown Business Association. The idea behind the program is to encourage other organizations to host events so that the DBA could spread its resources over a greater number of events and programs. 

For more information on the Seal of Approval - click here! 


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