Opening a new business of any kind in any market is a risky proposition. Opening a small business in a small town is taking the risk to an entirely new level. But that isn’t stopping Sandra Karges who is opening the Bright Country Market this fall.
Sandra decided to make the move for two reasons. She says the town of Bright is growing and changing. “I have two small kids so sometimes it’s hard to get out shopping. The community has gotten younger and I think people will appreciate having this option.” She and her husband Lance have lived in the town for about 15 years. The pair also own an auto shop which they recently moved to Bright from near New Dundee. “Moving the shop was also a risky move but the new location had extra space so I asked myself what could I do with it? It could just be worth it,” she said. As she was in the planning stages she noticed there aren’t many markets in the area but there were a tremendous amount of people looking for a place to see their wares.
The market will consist of a wide variety of vendors including artisans, crafts, knitting, hand cream, and décor. Food is a big part of any market today so shoppers will be able to purchase items from local businesses such as granola, summer sausage, honey, maple syrup, and meats from a Tavistock butcher. Sandra is still searching for a few more vendors to create a full house but she recently reached out to the Ayr Small Business page on Facebook and received an overwhelming response.
Like so many businesses in Oxford County, Bright Country Market received support from the Rural Oxford Economic Development Corporation. “Ronda and Crystal have been tremendous supports for me. I have had so many uphill battles getting to this point and its actually been a year in the making. Trying to navigate all the rules has not been easy and but they helped me navigate through all of the red tape.” Sandra has also been approved for a $1000 Rural Oxford E-Business Grant.
Bright Country Market’s doors are open and a grand opening is scheduled for November. Sandra hopes to have a website launched in the near future but for now, she is implementing a Point of Sale system, allowing her to sell items from her Facebook page. Curbside pickup is also available. She admits to a serious case of the nerves about the opening day but at the same time, she is excited. “I am hoping I can meet everyone’s expectations and fill a need for the community. I welcome customers to give me feedback and to let me know what else they would like to have available.”
The market accepts cash, debit and credit cards and is open Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday from 8 am to 4 pm. Social distancing rules will be in place.