Red Deer’s first indoor and year-round farmers’ market will open its doors in Gasoline Alley this month.
More than 40 businesses are expected to be selling their wares when the Gasoline Alley Farmers’ Market opens at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 21.
The market will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends.
The market bills itself as the first purpose-built indoor farmers’ market in Alberta, rather than retrofitting an existing building.
General manager Shauna Fisher said there was interest in the project from the beginning. An information session in February drew 150 people interested in what was planned.
Not even the pandemic dimmed that enthusiasm or slowed the project down, she said.
“Even though COVID came, we pressed on and we’ve been working with AHS (Alberta Health Services) all along,” said Fisher.
“Small business in Alberta: these people in central Alberta have just been really looking forward to this whole market.
“I think Red Deer has been looking at something like this for years, and now we’ve got it.”
Gasoline Alley Farmers’ Market Society’s Andrew Wiebe also expressed enthusiasm for the venture.
”It’s exciting to see so many local producers and vendors coming together to create a year-round destination where central Albertans can shop for Alberta-grown foods and Alberta-made goods, even during the winter,” said Wiebe.
Visitors to the 25,000-square-foot market at 558 Laura Ave. will be able to buy locally grown fruit, vegetables, meat, poultry, baked goods and freshly roasted coffee, among other items.
As an Alberta-approved farmers’ market, 80 per cent of all products for sale at the market are made, baked and grown in Alberta.
Red Deer County Mayor Jim Wood welcomed the new shopping attraction.
“This is another way for local producers to share their products with those who live and work here,” said Wood. “I hope this market becomes a fixture in Gasoline Alley for many, many years.”
Market operators have plans to offer more than a typical farmers’ market.
“We’re really focused on family and community,” said Fisher, adding people can expect to see Sunday afternoon tours, art classes and workshops, or opportunities to learn about how the foods we eat are grown or are raised.
The north end of the building will feature The Market Kitchen, a space for small restaurants, private functions and Red Deer’s newest brewery and taproom, Craft Beer Commonwealth.
The brewery, which will offer a rotating selection of its own beers and those of other central Alberta breweries, is expected to be ready by the end of the year.
For more information see: www.gasolinealleyfarmers market