What’s all this HGA Fuss About?

Posted on November 20th, 2009 by cwellman

The smell of coffee brewing from Village Cafe’s kitchen area sets the pace for the dawning of the annual Home-Grown Alternatives, started in 1995 by two local educators, Mary Tatem and Christine Wellman. HGA organized by artists for artists, is Bermuda’s only one of a kind annual Christmas shopping event with a focus on providing quality Bermuda home-grown items to the buying public for gift-giving during the Season. The hall is decorated in alternatively artistic Christmas trim and the tree is dressed in handmade HGA original wrapping paper decorations that you won’t see in any commercial store. Each artist/craftsperson has been as busy as Santa’s helpers crafting, refining and creating special work in preparation for the one day (10am - 4pm) annual event held at St. Paul’s Christian Education Centre in Paget.

The repeat shopper, new shoppers and the curious start streaming into the lobby forming a crowd eagerly waiting for the annual10am start. This group of people, made up of staunch HGA shoppers, have learned that things hand-made don’t come in large quantities and their early arrival denotes that they are serious about getting first choice of the products so attractively displayed at each “station”. A few opening words of greeting are spoken, the tree lights come to life, the music begins and the customers swarm into St. Paul’s Church Hall in a heated shopping frenzy that generally lasts for three hours or more topped by a slice of the custom made HGA birthday cake (compliments of The Bermuda Rum Cake Company). Home-Grown Alternatives continues to be one of Bermuda’s best organized consecutive happenings marking a period of fifteen years now. Mary, Christine and the Organizing Committee - made up of Terry Chapman and David Wellman - work tirelessly paying close attention to lubricating the mechanical cogs that keep this event rolling smoothly from one year to the next.

No two years are ever alike as we see some vendors go and others take their place. Are you looking for that special gift for the discerning person on your list?
HGA is your one-stop shopping solution. Thanks to “Shine” Wendell Hayward’s serenades on saxaphone and flute, we bask in the magnetic ambiance of live music. Local CD’s are available for purchase from “Shine”. Be sure to get your CDs and books signed to add that extra personalized touch to your gift-giving. So what are you waiting for? Circle December 4th in your diaries, calenders, programme your planners and BB’s - we, the HGA founders, organizers and artists alike, look forward to welcoming you to our 15th Annual Home-Grown Alternatives pre-Christmas Shopping Extravaganza beginning at 10 am - 4pm at St. Paul’s in Paget.