North

Whitehorse local market going out of business

Farmer Robert's is closing permanently at the end of April, but owner Robert Ryan said he thinks his business helped bring more local goods to Whitehorse grocery stores.

Farmer Robert's closes permanently April 28th

Farmer Robert's is closing permanently on April 28. (Max Leighton/CBC)

Local Whitehorse market Farmer Robert's is going out of business. 

The store, which opened in 2015, specializes in locally and regionally-produced meats and other products. 

It suffered a flood in February after a city watermain burst nearby

Owner Robert Ryan said that was "the last nail in the coffin," but it's not the only reason his business is closing its doors. 

Others included: hesitancy by local producers to sell their products wholesale and challenges convincing customers to pay more for the local products, even if the quality is often higher. 

"I don't think people quite fully understand the difference between the quality of the products in the Yukon and what they're buying from these big box stores," he said.

"If I failed anywhere, and I failed in a lot of places, it's been in my inability to educate people on the difference."

Ryan said he's optimistic his business has helped raise the standard at community grocery stores.  

"If you see these big stores, and especially Independent, they're now carrying local foods," he said. "They didn't before we opened, because we opened up the competition to that." 

Farmer Robert's will close its doors permanently on April 28.  

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