The first All Abaco Farmers and Bahamian Arts & Crafts Market was held in Treasure Cay under the theme of ‘Family Heritage Fun Day.’ The event united vendors and shoppers from all parts of the island.
Held at Yankee Clipper Park on January 17, the event attracted many residents of Treasure Cay as well as people from Central and North Abaco. The large venue allowed vendors to display their goods with enough space for many customers to gather around their tables. A large food tent was manned by volunteers who also took care of the pork barbecue, which was the special fare of the day.
Health products, locally grown vegetables, ornamental plants (such as bromeliads and orchids), jams and sauces, fresh juices and lemonade, jewelry, photos, ceramic items, craft items, homemade cakes, conch salad and barbecue were all on exhibit and for sale that day. There was a choice to satisfy everyone present.
Near the entrance, Daphne de Gregory-Miaoulise presented her Abaco Neem products. She was explaining to a crowd of interested buyers the many benefits of the tree. Across from her table, Lainie Snow was also entertaining a large group of people wanting to buy bromeliads and orchids. She was nearly sold out as the market opened, she said.
Flowering bromeliads were also sold by Nadeen Benneby, who shared a table with Lauren Riviere. Ms. Riviere offered freshly made local tropical fruit juices and sauces.
One particularly eye-catching stand was that of Charmaine Albury who specializes in printing photos on canvas. A brightly coloured humming bird shared the space with a sunset, a starfish and a turtle. A large canvas photo of conchs was displayed under her tent.
Homemade jams of guava, pinapple and other tropical fruits sat on Abaco Delight’s table manned by Cleopatra Burrows and her son. Further on, one could find craft items made of coconut shell as well as straw bags at the stand of Federika Rolle.
People walked away from Ganette Pinder’s Abaco Green Frams table with cups of delicious sour orange lemonade sweetened with organic cane sugar. She also had flavoured butters, freshly picked avocadoes and limes for sale and a supply of sprouted sunflower seeds, peas, buckwheat, lettuce and radish sprouts. Pinder was an organizer of the event.
A short distance away, Kim Roberts, the other organizer of the event and advocate for fresh vegetables and organic products, is also an accomplished artist. She had a medley of items including freshly made humus dips in various flavors, tipsy cherries, quilted articles and pottery items.
Further along, Julie Roberts offered a nice display of creative jewelry made of seaglass, beads and shells. Sharing her space was Lounette Albury, distributing her business cards and making appointments for therapeutic massages.
Closing the circle was a table offering homemade cakes by Mr. &Mrs. Pinder.
Finally, back towards the entrance, was the stand for Garden of Life, a health food store run by Florinda Thompson. People lined up to buy shakes made with fresh fruits and vitamins.
Kirk’s Da Best Conch Salad Stand also catered to a good crowd throughout the day.
By noon, the fire truck had arrived, bright red with shiny chrome, an attraction for the kids who were allowed to climb on it while the operator, Nixon Joseph, showed them how it worked. Children were not the only ones interested in the fire truck, Betsy Bracey, Head of the Fire & Rescue Committee, was also briefed by Mr. Joseph, while her husband, Dr. Elwood Bracey, took photos.
There was also, of course, the barbecue station where Treasure Cay Resort and Marina’s manager, Stephen Kappeler, stopped to check on volunteer “Storm” who was in charge of the grill where a pork butt was cooking.
People queued along the table to order a meal of typical Bahamian food including barbecued pork with peas and rice.
There are plans to hold another market on the first Saturday in March, the same date as the annual Treasure Cay Flea Market, but because of the success of this first market there is a possibility that the Flea Market will be held in February, date to be announced.
As they explained their goals, the two organizers said that they were aiming at creating a travelling market that would be held in a different settlement of Abaco each time.