By Stefania Seccia, Megaphone
For eight years, Victoria’s Craig Baron has established himself as a hardworking vendor who works each day to become a better person.
That’s why his peers in the capital voted him to be the 2017 Victoria Vendor of the Year.
Originally from Saskatchewan, Baron was a trained professional cook before he started selling street papers. “Before my illness of multiple sclerosis decided to end that career for me, I had to figure out what to do with my life,” he says.
Baron started selling the previous street paper, Victoria Street Newz until it shut down and asked Megaphone to move there in 2014 and continue to provide an economic opportunity for the vendors.
“Selling the Megaphone magazine has been so tremendous,” he says. “It gives me a financial opportunity to be a little bit more independent and be able to still afford things like food and all the necessities of life.”
Baron has been selling at his London Drugs spot on Yates Street for so long that he’s also been able to strike up friendships and long-lasting connections with many of his customers.
“I’ve been at this location for so many years,” he says. “People have gotten to know me through the years and they recognise me, and it’s such a thrill for me.
“A lot of the staff throughout the different stores all respond to me in a positive way.”
Baron said a lot of what makes his job worthwhile is the support he continues to receive from his community.
“I’ve woken up to bad moods and by the time I come home that night from selling the Megaphone paper, I’m such a changed person,” he says. “I’m in a good mood all because of the people— all because of the customers.”
Baron was nominated and voted for by his peers in Victoria, and he says it’s been an honour.
“Being the Megaphone vendor of the year is such a thrill for me that it’s beyond my wildest dreams, the opportunities this magazine has given to me,” he says.
“I’m struggling to be better and better every time I go out, all because of my customers. Thank you so much for that.”
You can read more about what’s going on during #VendorWeek 2018 here.