St. Jacob’s Market announces sale to new local family

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Photo by Qiao Liu

 

On Nov. 29, St. Jacob’s Market announced the sale to new owners, the Schlegel family, owners of Schlegel Urban Development in Waterloo.

The announcement took place last Wednesday and the transaction is expected to be finalized by the early new year.

The properties purchased include the St. Jacob’s Market, St. Jacob’s Outlets, Market Road Antiques and the TSC Store, making up 45 acres of land in total. A purchase price was not disclosed.

“We are very excited and, in fact, honoured to carry the farmers market tradition forward into the future,” James Schlegel, president of Schlegel Urban Development, said.

The Shantz family, current shareholders of Mercedes Corp., and the Schlegel family have had a long history of respect and admiration from their community in Waterloo.

“In so many ways it is fairly natural to pass the torch from the Shantz [family] to the Schlegel [family] given that we’ve known each other for so long, and share local agricultural and Mennonite routes,” Schlegel said.

The Schlegel family does not have plans to make any changes immediately, as the market is currently running successfully. Although hopes that in the long term, to have an opportunity to envision creatively and boldly regarding the future of the farmers’ market district.

“There is a very strong leadership team there in place who will be continuing in place,” said Schlegel.

The market is running so well it has become a tourist attraction for many people across Ontario and Canada. The Schlegel family does not see a need to make any changes immediately and business will continue as usual.

“We are proud members of the local community and we’re excited about keeping the farmers’ market in local hands and making sure it continues to be a part of the social fabric of our community,” Schlegel said. “Hopefully it can grow stronger and more vibrant in the future.”

Long-term plans are to be discussed and will include planning and envisioning the market property and market district more comprehensively. Focus will be put on the strong core remaining in the market, and thinking of ways to make the surrounding areas stronger and more vibrant over time.

“Having the core being the farmers’ market but also being able to think about how these other properties link to it in a way that is hopefully reinforcing,” Schlegel said.

More properties in the St. Jacobs village core owned by the Schantz family are also working towards a change in ownership, which the Schlegel family is aware of. “We are going to focus on the St. Jacob’s farmers’ market primarily, we want to make sure we focus and do it right,” Schlegel said.

The Schlegel family views the farmers’ market as a gem of the local community.

“We’re excited about keeping the farmers’ market in local hands,” Schlegel said.  “Making sure it continues to be part of the social fabric of our community and hopefully it can grow stronger and more vibrant in the future.”

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