Winnipeggers tired of the cold and snow got a taste of summer at Manitoba Hydro Place on Thursday.
A one-day farmers' market opened at 10 a.m. Thursday and will go until 4 p.m. at the downtown office building's main level plaza.
The regular market will return June 5 and continue every Thursday at Manitoba Hydro Place until Oct. 9.
Spearheaded by the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ, the market opened for the first time ever in July 2013. It immediately became a popular place, drawing downtowners out of their office towers and apartments.
"With the absence of a full-line grocery store downtown, perhaps now is the time to think outside the box and into our local gardens, when it comes to food access in our city's core," said Stefano Grande, executive director of the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ.
"Farmers' markets not only help support the local economy, they reduce transportation costs and food waste. They help create a unique destination for downtown residents, office workers, students, and tourists — adding vibrancy to our streets and sidewalks and attracting business for downtown stores and restaurants nearby."
Grocery options downtown are scant, and Winnipegger Jeff Monk said the farmers’ market let him stay in the area to get food.
Last summer, he stopped at the market every week.
“The obvious thing is, it brings access to homemade and fresh food and more natural food as well as just the community. It’s awesome,” said Monk.
The market is good for vendors too, according to Angela Filbert, who owns Whipped Cosmetics.
Her wares were on sale Thursday morning at the market.
“I think it brings a ton of people from outside areas who wouldn’t normally be shopping downtown. It has a really nice sense of community as well,” she said.
Everyone there shared the same sentiment, though, they’re looking forward to when the market can move outdoors and into some warm sunshine.
“The trick was parking in the sun indoors to make it feel like summer,” said vendor Natalie Dueck. “This is awesome.”