If you build it, they will come

Jamie Heap
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First market held in Dayle's Department Store's newly renovated community market space

AMHERST- The smell of freshly brewed Laughing Whale coffee from Lunenburg and typical German baked breads/goods permeated Dayle's department store Saturday as vendors sold wares ranging from steampunk metal work to wood art.

Inside the newly renovated community market space is Coffee and Company, a quasi-coffee shop that allows patrons to sit down and enjoy a fresh, hot beverage.

“This space is open whenever we are,” said Matt Cormier of Dayle’s Department store. We also will be playing some music. Stephanie Moreau will be running it. We’ll be holding these markets every Saturday. As it grows, it will move outside.”

Lining the aisles at Dayle’s first floor were some 10 vendors. One of them was Ben Lockhart (Ben’s Wood Crafts) from Springhill who has been cutting out designs using a scroll saw for the past 25 years. Such designs included Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Bob Marley, Elvis Presley, Willie Nelson and John Wayne.

Lockhart wasn’t the only wood artist in attendance. Maccan’s Patti St. Peter  (Patti’s Wood Creations)was on hand selling such wood art creations as Johnny Reid. In February, 2013, Patti St. Peter began making wood art, donating a portion of her proceeds to worthy local causes such the LA Animal Shelter and Darcy Bogdanova, a six-year-old diagnosed with cancer, in memory of her late brother Mike St. Peter. Mike was a husband, father and minor hockey coach who was killed in a car accident on March 18, 2010. Patti creates the wood art while Mike’s three boys Chris, Dylan and Zach help make the donation presentations.

“I think that this is the perfect place to have a market,” said St. Peter on Saturday.

Switching from wood to metal art, for the past 12 years, Keith Distasio of Amherst, a goldsmith by trade, has been making and selling steampunk, a neo-Victorian design that seeks to strike a balance between the art’s form and function.

Steampunk originated in England about 30 years ago,” said Distasio. “It’s something that I really enjoy doing. Even my displays are all home made.”

Distasio only uses materials from broken, non-repairable vintage pocket watches.

In addition, such food products as those sold by Uwe and Linda Brodbeck’s The Country Home Bakery in Little Shemogue, New Brunswick, which sells typical German baking goods, and  Roger and Nadine LeBlanc’s Seaside Honey Farm.

“We’ve been going to markets for the past four years,” said Roger LeBlanc. “This will be our seventh year in bee removal, pollination, honey and beeswax products.”

Such honey-based products include beeswax candles, lip balm and skin cream, which LeBlanc claims works well on such skin diseases as psoriasis and eczema.

Country Home Bakery can be reached at bakerman@myself.com while Seaside Honey Farm (Tidnish) can be reached at njleblance@seasidehighspeed.com

The next weekly community market at Dayle's Department Store is March 22.

Organizations: Coffee and Company

Geographic location: AMHERST

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