New north-side market set to reopen at Picaroons Roundhouse in Fredericton
The market will open Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
A new market is coming to Fredericton's north side after the previous one closed almost five months ago because of the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving dozens of vendors without a space to sell their products.
The North Side Creators Market will be opening at the Picaroons Roundhouse on Union Street this weekend.
"It was something that was missing from the north side and something that was very near and dear to northsiders' hearts, and to Fredericton as a whole," said Jim Middleton, who is in charge of vendor relations for the new north side market.
Middleton is also an artist who used to do live paintings at the old NorthSide Market. He was there for about two years before it closed.
At first, the local artist said he didn't sell anything. Then, once people started to learn more about him, he eventually made more money in six months at the market than he did at his regular nine-to-five job.
"As people got to see my work … it would grow."
A focus on 'growers and creators'
So Middleton, who also has about 25 years in sales and marketing, wanted to offer a similar opportunity for others.
"It's a very low-cost option for people who have an idea, who want to take a step out and show Fredericton what they have to offer."
To start, Middleton expects between 18 and 20 vendors at the new market, about 30 fewer than the former Northside Market. Some vendors will be familiar from the old market, while other vendors will be brand new.
But he said it's important different vendors are still represented. There will be food, coffee, soap products, knitting and ceramics at the new market.
"We're really focusing on growers and creators."
And that's where the market got its new name.
"Our vendors are growing and making something themselves, so you have a unique item and product at the market."
The market will be open on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be vendors both inside and out.
Sean Dunbar, owner of Picaroons Traditional Ales, said a north-side market needs to come back as a community space.
"The sense of community is really important to bring back … in the face of isolation," he said. " So anything we can do to bring people safely together is a good thing."
Picaroons is only a temporary location until vendors can find something more permanent. The market could be there a few weeks or months.
"You can throw these things together and not have grand plans and see how it goes and evolve with it," Dunbar said.
Middleton said customers are required to wear a mask.
There will also be people monitoring the entrance and exit to make sure there aren't too many customers inside. There will be sanitary spray and customers are asked to avoid touching items. Instead, they should point to what they like and the vendor will package the item.
Although there are many regulations in place, Middleton said he's just glad there will be a "community meeting centre" on the city's north side.
"The market is important to us."
With files from Information Morning Fredericton