SPOTLIGHT FEATURE SALE: This Sunday at the Poirier Street Farmers Market Grand Opening, KICS Lemonade will be offering a special deal! Stop by her tent on Friday as ask for the SPOTLIGHT DEAL and you will get $1 off a single bottle of lemonade!
Karen Curtis from KICS Lemonade has been with the farmers market for almost 15 years and her lemonade has become a market must have for many families. Karen previously sat on the Coquitlam Farmers Market Society Board and writes a monthly column for the Tri Cities News – Market Fresh!
Q. You have been doing farmers markets for a long time, how did it all start?
15 years ago I suggested to my mum that we try selling my granny’s lemonade syrup at the Coquitlam Farmer’s Market. I remember the first sunny day we had in July and we sold 77 bottles! We were so excited. I bought a portable dishwasher with the profits that year. I am still using the dishwasher! Mum passed away in 2007, and the business is now her legacy.
Q. First it was lemonade, and then came marmalade and salad dressing/marinade – what’s next?
Don’t forget the lemon curd! Those products were created out of a desire to work this business all year round. Lemonade isn’t the biggest seller in the winter after all. I am thrilled with the response to the salad dressings (which use the lemonade syrup as a base instead of vinegar) and hope to continue to create new flavours in that line.
Q. You are known for using your products in creative recipes, what is your all-time favourite way to use your lemonade syrup?
I don’t really have a favourite recipe, but I am always looking for ways to add the syrup to an existing recipe. Honestly, I just love to drink it!
Q. What is the best thing about being the lemonade lady at the market?
The sense of community. I have met the most amazing people at market, and forged some very meaningful relationships over the years. While I am at lots of other markets now, Coquitlam is my heart market. It is where it all began.
Q. Why do you think farmers markets are important in the community?
Farmers markets are the lifeblood of the community. They are so much more than a place to buy food. In this world where we can get whatever we want, whenever we want, we have lost sight of how our food and other products are made. A vibrant market educates people about the importance of a sustainable food system. A dollar spent at market provides a direct economic benefit to artisans and farmers that in turn benefits the economy with far greater impact than a dollar spent at Walmart. Your dollars are not being sent offshore. They stay in the community to help build the place we call home.
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