Market moves into winter mode
After saying so long to the summer season the Royal City Farmers Market is moving ahead to beefing up its winter fare.
The market recently completed its fifth year of selling celery, strawberries and squash—and much, much more—every Thursday afternoon for the last four months. The past two years, RCFM has also offered a winter market the first Saturday (11 a.m.) of every month. But this year, it will be doubling that by holding markets on the first and third Saturday of every month starting Nov. 3.
While the best thing about the summer market was it being outdoors in the sunshine, the best thing about the winter market is it will be inside, away from the rain, snow and cold at the River Market.
RCFM operations manager Jodi Appleton said last year's winter market, the first to be held at the Quay location, created a demand to increase the offerings.
"It's more of a regular shopping trip for those at the market rather than a special trip once a month," said Appleton.
RCFM food vendors will be downstairs at the River Market while the upstairs will be more of an artisan market. The winter session will go until May 4 with the 2013 summer season starting on June 6.
She spent the summer learning the ropes from her predecessor Jen Arbo. Appleton said the market had new vendors come on board and the coupon program in conjunction with the province allowed new mothers, families and seniors to get fresh produce.
"It was awesome. I loved it. It's very community oriented, and very dedicated and loyal group of shoppers that come each week, so it was very friendly. And the vendors have their own community which is great to be part of," said Appleton. "We just created a really good vibe. It was just a great place to work each week."
Space in Tipperary Park next to city hall is limited so she doesn't expect to be able to increase the amount of vendors beyond the 35 to 40 that show up each week.
She is, however, looking to make some changes for next year including finding a way to incorporate food education with the kids activities and crafts. Appleton, who rode her bicycle from Kitsilano to the market, also wants to provide a place for cyclists to lock up their bikes instead of just leaving them at the information booth.