SACKVILLE, N.B. – For Cattail Ridge Family Market owner Kim Ripley, supporting local entrepreneurs, artisans and farmers is an important part of her day-to-day operation.
Taking a tour of the local market with Ripley, who purchased the popular local business in August of last year, quickly reveals many of the products she carries are made right here in the Memramcook-Tantramar region, including teas, beeswax, honey, juices, meats, in-season produce, bakery items, ready-to-go meals, and a variety of products from local artisans, to name just a few.
In cases where she is unable to source something from this region, she turns to New Brunswick businesses for items like chocolate bars, chips, flour and more.
And if something can’t be sourced in New Brunswick, Ripley looks to Maritime businesses to supply her market.
“I’m not saying I get everything from Sackville . . . I try to stay Maritime. I believe that is a local feel,” she explains. “To me, we’re three small provinces who need to work together better.”
And she says the region has a great deal to offer.
“It’s amazing when you start getting out there and you look around and you find all the products that are coming out of the local area.
“I think it’s natural for us to forget how talented we are in our own area. We sometimes think that we have to go afar to get quality but it’s sort of the opposite.”
Ripley says using her market to support local businesses, artisans and producers has a significant impact on the region, putting money in local hands, which has a trickle-down effect when it comes to boosting the local economy.
“It’s nice to support your neighbours,” she adds. “You know where it (products) comes from and it’s so wonderful to work with these people.
“I consider myself the vehicle that can help bring the amazing local flavours and talents to the consumer six to seven days a week.”
Ripley is especially supportive of local farmers and meat producers, selling free-range chickens, 100 per cent grass fed beef that is free of hormones and steroids, and locally-sourced produce, when in season, which she says are all exceptional in quality.
“People don’t realize what corporate farming and processing does to our meats,” she explains. “When you taste our local meat, you can actually taste the meat. It’s so different.”
As for the local produce she carries, she says freshness is what keeps customers coming back.“At 7 a.m. in the summertime, I arrive at the farm. I pick up my produce three times a week . . . and it’s dripping wet because they picked it at 6 a.m., washed it at 6:30 and I pick it up at 7. And you will taste the difference.”
Area residents will have an opportunity to taste a variety of these local flavours when Cattail Ridge hosts a fundraising barbecue this Friday, May 4, from noon to 5 p.m. as part of Sackville’s annual Bordetown Festival, with all proceeds in support of the Atlantic Wildlife Institute.
The fundraiser will feature donated local foods, including Wood Chef buns, Boudreau’s beef patties, Memramcook Valley grass-fed pulled beef, Degenhardt’s sausage and Belliveau Orchard’s cider.
As part of the event, a representative from Halifax Seed will be on hand to answer questions on soil, fertilizers and seeds, beginning at 10 a.m. At 2 p.m., a workshop will be held on building fairy gardens. Cattail Ridge will also have special sales on throughout the day, and a yard sale will be hosted.
For more on Cattail Ridge Family Market, visit their Facebook page.