Fredericton Cultural Market triples its vendors in 9 months
In less than a year of operation the Fredericton Cultural Market has continued to see exceptional growth
You can criss-cross the globe by crossing the room – and visit a lot more countries along the way now.
The Fredericton Cultural Market in the city's downtown has tripled the numbers of vendors it originally started with since opening last August.
"It's unbelievable," said Dan Taylor, one of the market's managers. "We knew there was going to be interest but not to the extent that there has been. It's really nice to see the Fredericton area has been supporting the cultural market."
Since it opened, the market has been adding new vendors selling food and goods from their ancestral countries on an almost a weekly basis.
"I think it's amazing," said Fredy Mojica, originally from Colombia, "because people like us have the ability to show people what they don't know about our country and our culture, about our food. People don't know many things about us, and not only us but other countries. So it's very interesting to be able to not only share our culture but to meet other people."
Mojica is one of the market's newer vendors, now in his third week of selling his homemade Colombian dishes alongside his daughter Camila.
Four more vendors are scheduled to setup shop in the weeks to come, including the market's first Syrian business operated by former refugees.
A large portion of the market's clientele comes from international students looking for a taste from home. "I'm studying, but I'm also selling," said Mohammed Yaquob of Afghanistan. "It's very busy."
Yaquob, a student at Memorial University in Newfoundland, who is completing a work placement in Fredericton, says he was up until 2 a.m. cooking for the market.
"It's really good, and keeps me pretty busy," laughed Yaquob.
Hosted at the Fredericton Multicultural Association building, the market runs within a former YMCA space. Organizers have suggested that if it needs to expand further, many possibilities could be considered, including housing vendors on the floor of an emptied swimming pool.
"You never know," said Taylor. "That could be the next spot we move into. You never know what this will bring."