A new farmers market is poised to open at the Farm Centre on University Ave. in Charlottetown Feb. 6, less than a kilometre from the existing Charlottetown Farmers Market on Belvedere Ave.
- Flea market moves in to Charlottetown
- Charlottetown Farmers' market launches local food club
- Local P.E.I. food companies booming
Farmers Market and Delights is the brainchild and business idea of Sherri Lannigan Stewart of Dazzle Me Trade Shows and Events. She's in the process of signing up vendors, and expects to have 40 to 50.
"What I am trying to incorporate in this is Island farmers, fishermen — every local business basically on P.E.I.," said Stewart.
'Little bit of everything'
"It's a little bit of everything. It has some opportunities for some business advertisement, some flea market vendors as well."
The new market will be open on the first and last Saturday of every month, with future plans to expand to every Saturday.
It's just a two-minute drive from the current Charlottetown Farmers Market, which has been in business for 32 years. It also runs Saturdays year-round.
"We are bursting at the seams at the market every week," said Charlottetown Farmers Market manager Bernie Plourde, adding they have a waiting list of 30 to 40 vendors seeking spots and each Saturday patrons are "elbow to elbow, it's very popular."
The Charlottetown market often talks about expanding, said Plourde, but the hurdle is coming up with the financial capital.
Room for both?
"Hopefully it won't be an either/or but a both," said Farm Centre manager Phil Ferraro.
"It's a great, continuing evolution of the Farm Centre," Ferraro said. "Our mandate has always been about being a business, cultural and entertainment centre that pulls together urban and rural people."
Farmers markets have become the fastest-growing sector of the retail landscape, Ferraro adds. He thinks the new market won't compete with the existing one, but rather complement it.
The new market will charge $1 admission. Ferraro doesn't think shoppers will balk at the fee, adding the Farm Centre needs to cover costs because they are a non-profit organization.
The market may expand outdoors in the summer to the 2014 Legacy Garden behind the centre.