Booze to be added to summer market menu
Beer and wine will join the long list of ingredients available at the Royal City Farmers Market this year.
The market will open its seventh summer season in Tipperary Park next to City Hall on Thursday under new management. New Westminster resident Melissa Maltais takes over as operations manager from Jodi Appleton who ran it for the last two years.
Maltais is excited about the province's new liquor guidelines expected to be rolled out later this month. She said the new rules will make sales and samplings of beer and wine possible in July. Pacific Breeze Winery and Steel&Oak craft beer brewery are looking to become market vendors this summer.
"I'm just waiting on all of the regulations to be finalized," said Maltais. "It's always a nice surprise to see a local beer or wine vendor at these places."
Maltais has worked for the Surrey Urban Farmers Market and the River Market in New West. Even while working for them she helped set up kids activities at the Royal City market.
"I was really happy when the opportunity came because it was a market I love, and it was a community I love," said Maltais.
A survey over the off-season showed many market goers wanted places to relax, soak in the atmosphere, and, of course, eat. So the vendors have agreed to supply more chairs and tables, Maltais said.
She promises they'll be more gluten free, vegan and vegetarian food truck options this year to go along with the fun ones like pizza and perogies.
New features include a mini-farmers market in the kids area so the little ones can pretend their vendors or market goers. "They can actually play farmers market inside the farmers market."
Another is a senior shuttle service. It will be run by the Seniors Service Society thanks to a $2,000 ONE Prize grant from Donald's Market and River Market.
The market will run every Thursday from 3 to 7 p.m. until Oct. 9. For more information including a list of vendors go to www.rcfm.ca.