New mid-week market comes to Kitchener

Downtown Kitchener is piloting a mid-week farmers’ market throughout the month of June.

The pop-up market is running for five Wednesdays, until the end of June, from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. The market will feature a variety of vendors, activities and entertainment each week.

“Back in 2012, we were doing some public consultation around Downtown Kitchener and overwhelmingly heard that people wanted to have a midweek farmers market option,” explained Hilary Abel, Kitchener’s downtown marketing and program coordinator.

In contrast to having the mid-week market at the farmer’s market, which was tested a few years back, the pop-up style farmers’ market will be located in Kitchener City Hall. The central location makes it more accessible for those attending on their lunch hour.

“Hopefully, we’ll build up some habits for people to really like a mid-week market and to build the appetite for getting groceries mid-week in this kind of setting. Then, maybe in future years, we can even move it back to the Kitchener market,” Abel said

The first mid-week market, which took place on Wednesday June 1, showed to be a success. According to Abel, approximately 500 individuals came through the market to enjoy the live music and support the vendors.

Each week, the market will feature at least five local producers selling fresh produce, flowers, baked goods, cold-pressed juice and roasted coffee beans, among many other products. Several food trucks, such as Breadheads Pizza Oven, can be found at the market, as well.

Velofix Mobile Bike Repairs will be at the mid-week market each week providing the opportunity for market attenders to get their bikes checked and repaired right on site.

“We also have community access bike share joining us some weeks to tell the community a bit more about how bike share works,” said Abel

BikeKitchener will also be present at the market and will be hosting free bike checks.

In addition, any individual who makes a purchase from a vendor, checks their bikes, or gets a bike repair, will receive a ballot with which they can enter to win one of ten bike baskets being given away throughout the duration of the month.

“I have been going to the farmers’ market since I was a kid. It’s always been a great way to be involved with the community and to support local,” said Kitchener-Waterloo resident, Shannon Pringle.

Kitchener has reached out to various businesses in downtown Kitchener in order to promote the weekly event.

In particular, Kitchener has been advertising and targeting many of the technology companies and offices that are located nearby, in order to attract more individuals to the market.

“I think a mid-week market really brings a positive sense of community to downtown Kitchener. It’s a great opportunity to allow people to experience something new during their lunch hour in a healthy and sustainable way,” explained Emily Wildfang, resident of Kitchener-Waterloo.

“It’s really a trial for the summer and, at the end of June,” Abel said, “our staff will reach out to the community and the vendors that participated and gage how to plan for next year.”

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