Cooking up business
Nearly 100 vendors gathered at the Morrisburg Arena on Fri., April 20 and Sat., April 21, for the annual South Dundas Spring Home and Tradeshow. Among the vendors was the Cook’s Corner.     Courtesy photo

All types of businesses from South Dundas and surrounding areas showed their goods to visitors of the Spring Home and Tradeshow over the weekend. Long-time vendor and Chamber of Commerce member Gareth Cochrane was one of the many local businesses on hand to speak to visitors. Courtesy photo

Kalynn Sawyer Helmer
Record Staff
MORRISBURG – The South Dundas Chamber of Commerce welcomed nearly 100 vendors to the Morrisburg Arena on Fri., April 20 and Sat., April 21 for the Spring Home and Tradeshow. The annual event featured free admission, a lot of samples from vendors, a pancake breakfast and barbecue lunch.

Geraldine Fitzsimmons, Chamber general manager said such an event takes a lot of time to do well. “It’s easy because this community understands that it’s all about the business community. With the Chamber doing the event, it raises our profile as well,” she said.

Every year, promoting the event and raising the bar comes with new challenges, but many of the vendors are Chamber members and contribute to the success of the event. Planning starts in January or February with this year’s event happening just in time for visitors not to be on their fields or in their yards yet.

The free admission means the Chamber can never say exactly how many people attend the event, yet vendors were happy with the turnout and the people they had been able to speak with.

First-time vendor Steve Gingras, owner of LandEx Earthworks, got involved after making connections with long-time vendors. “It’s great. I really like it,” he said. Gingras is in his second year of business and does excavating, grading and landscaping projects.

While Fitzsimmons said she knows the event can be a big financial and time commitment for the businesses, the benefits of making those connections can pay off. The vendors this year came from South and North Dundas, and even Cornwall and Prescott areas. “Maybe you don’t sell anything today, but it gets the word out,” she said. Especially, Fitzsimmons said, as changes like the minimum wage increase make it harder on small community businesses to compete in larger markets.

The event wrapped up on Saturday night and Fitzsimmons thanked the effort from the vendors, Chamber members and Lion’s Club, which donated the food for the barbecue.