The main street in Markdale seemed quiet at first glance, but once we got chatting, stories started seeping out! We started our search with the very friendly Eric Robertson, a real estate agent who grew up in Markdale. And as we walked with Eric down the main street, we ran into almost everyone in town going in or coming out of the post office to pick up their mail. And that's when we discovered the post office is where we should always park our storymobile downtown... and slowly but surely, the people came. We spoke to former mayor Stan Baker,
Rotarian Jerry Bartley,
former school principal Willard Foster... among others.
In between storymobiling, we stopped into some stores on the strip. We hit up the Bargain Store, where whoppie cusions have been selling for a dollar as long as anyone can remember;
we popped into Jeans Jeans and More Jeans where the band the Constantines got their swag;
we waltzed into Quilter’s Line to find out about the this gathering place that threads together the stories of rural women;
And we ducked into a café where every customer has their own mug to talk to a local teen; and we pranced into a toy store for a little play on words.
Finally, we headed to the Chapman’s newly built factory, which replaces the old creamery that burned down only a few years ago. I’m sure the old Chapman’s had a nostalgia that can never be duplicated, however, this new ice cream machine is sleek and sexy and sensational. We interviewed Ashley Chapman, the vice president of Champan’s Ice Cream. He's the grown up version of that little boy whose face is on the Chapman’s logo! He's the kind of guy you just can't help but hug. (well, I couldn't help it, I'm a hugger...)
After a great chat with Ashley, we met his magnificent mother, Penny Chapman, who co-founded this fabulous company along with her husband David. It was a real treat to talk to Penny in person and hear the story how this booming business began, firsthand from the one who built it up.
Markdale is full of memories. A farming town that became an important industrial town which became once again the small town that it is today. In the heart of grey county – a beautiful, beautiful part of this province.
Take a listen to some to hear more of the memories we gathered in the land of ice cream dreams! Tales of the street frolic, the cake wheel, the house of refuge await you...
A Walk Down Main Street - Markdale Edition!