People in Vanier are still able to pick up farm-fresh produce in the community even though the local farmers market shut down, thanks to a local business owner who has a vendor set up outside her shop on Saturdays.


Susan Jacobsons, who owns 'Jacobsons,' a specialty food shop in Beechwood, offered the space in front of her store to Rock 'n' Root. (CBC)

The sudden cancellation of the Vanier Market over a week ago, meant Ralph Schipper, of Rock 'n' Root, would be left without a place to sell his goods in the community.

"It was very touching that she offered this space to us, knowing that we've got stuff planted in the ground, ready to harvest," said Ralph Schipper.

Susan Jacobsons, who owns Jacobsons, a specialty food shop on Beechwood Avenue, offered the space in front of her store to Schipper.

"I thought 'we love produce' and we don't have any in our shop, so I phoned the farmer and said 'if you need space, I've got a little space outside my shop,'" said Jacobsons.

The idea to have Schipper sell his goods outside her shop came together on Thursday. Saturday was the first day and Schipper said reception was good. He hopes to be there every week from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for the rest of the summer.

The Vanier Market was run by the Vanier Business Improvement Area and was going to move into a new location this year, after running for five years at the corner of Hanna Street and Montreal Road.

The Vanier B.I.A. said the market is run at a break-even cost and not enough vendors came forward this year to make it financially viable.


Ralph Schipper, of Rock 'n' Root, speaks with some of the people who shopped at his new location on Beechwood Avenue. (CBC)

It said some farmers who normally sell at the market had flooded fields this summer and did not have as many goods to sell.

"We were really disappointed it wasn't coming back because we've gone by there for years," said Marilyn Faigan, who bought garlic scapes and red currents at Rock 'n' Root on Saturday.

Hope to bring back market

Schipper is going to start a petition to bring back the market for next summer.

We'd like to see the Vanier Market start up again. We think there's an opportunity for it, there's a need for it in this community," said Schipper.

If the market does not return Jacobsons, whose business is in the Vanier B.I.A., is hoping more local businesses follow her lead in lending space to vendors.

"People are looking for a place to go, and I think this is a wonderful place to start," she said.