When Danny Keyes was looking for a new place to market his distillery products, he found it — in a market.
For the second time this month he was at the St. Catharines farmers market on Saturday morning, selling vodka and cocktail kits beside a cheese vendor on one side and a tamale seller on the other.
“It was really good actually,” said Keyes, who owns Limited Distilling in Niagara-on-the-Lake with his wife, Jennifer Miles.
“We plan to do a couple more (markets in addition to St. Catharines). We’re only a three-person business right now, so it’s hard to produce product and be at a market, but the plan is to do as many locally as we can.”
As of Jan. 1 they’ve been allowed to, as one of the changes the provincial government introduced to help businesses recover during the COVID-19 pandemic. The changes allow “additional” Ontario wines, and now distilleries with Ontario content, to sell in the markets.
Producers of 100 per cent Ontario wines, and of spirits where at least half the product in the container is produced in Ontario, can apply for authorization for “an occasional extension of its store,” in the government’s words.
Under the government’s emergency orders, only essential items are sold at markets now. Alcohol, like food, has been designated as essential.