For the past 9 years, Peggy and Dick Bakker, with the help of their children, Case and Anneka, have brought the Third World Bazaar to Ottawa. Open 6 weeks of the year, the Bazaar features items from across the world. This year they made trips to Bali, Java, Bangkok, Chaing Mai, Hanoi, Kerala and Delhi to replenish inventory.
Selling everything from home goods, to paintings, to musical instruments, the Bazaar is known for its intricate items and variety; this year proved to be no different. After visiting the Bazaar opening weekend, I was impressed by their massive selection. Some highlights from my visit include hand-made Kenyan jewelry, a bronze and nickel fish from Bali, and a chimpanzee painting.
I found daughter, Anneka, hard at work behind the jewelry counter, where she talked to me about this season and opening weekend, which proved to be one of the busiest yet. "People caught on to the fact that if they see something they like, it might not be here when they get back," Anneka said. That, combined with a rainy PD day, made for a great start to the season. Kids can have fun with items like cars and trucks made from soda cans, and refuel with warm cider and a snack to keep up the shopping momentum.
The Bakkers follow a fair trade business model at the Bazaar; it is a straight purchase and direct retailing model. A majority of their products are bought directly from local artisans in the countries they visit, and they have built lasting relationships with people they visit every year for new items.
For more information on this years trips, hours and directions to the Third World Bazaar www.thirdworldbazaar.ca