'It’s a wonderful feeling': Saskatoon Farmers' Market revamps with additional booths in time for spring
SASKATOON -- The Saskatoon Farmers’ Market is ready for business after the construction of additional booths for more vendors.
Three weeks into opening its new location at Koyle Avenue, the market had to shut down because of COVID-19.
“That was a bit of a conundrum because we didn’t know what we were going to do, we still had vendors that had lots of produce,” said Hania Nahachewsky, president of the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market.
Within 36 hours it opened a virtual store and prepared up to 400 packages of groceries every Saturday.
Looking for plans to continue staying open in the fall, as some vendors needed to come inside, Nahachewsky says the space became an issue.
“We built four prototype booths and we went out to local businesses and asked them to sponsor our booths.”
Nahachewsky says the sponsorships allowed the market to have the seed money to continue building more booths.
Construction started in September and ended on Wednesday.
The indoor market can now hold 60 to 75 booths at once while maintaining social distancing with plastic between each of them.
“The customers have this feeling of safety when they come to the market and it also gives the vendors a chance to make their booth like their little store,” Nahachewsky said.
Gail Cutts is the owner of Soap Cutts and has been a vendor at the market for 10 years.
She’s a big fan of the location and upgrades.
“This particular location was like a match made in heaven, it’s brighter, it’s cleaner, it’s much more open,” Gail told CTV News.
She adds that since the location isn’t downtown anymore, people come with a purpose as they’re not just walking by.
Cutts says meeting customers in person at the market is a big plus as opposed to online as she can advise customers on suggestions for her soap products.
The Saskatoon Farmers’ Market has been open for 45 years and Nahachewsky says it’s been a good project to keep it going for more years to come.
“It’s a wonderful feeling, we’re gonna get that feeling back for everyone that we had downtown and we’re looking forward to just continuing.”
The farmers market will be expanding outside on April 24 to make room for fruit and vegetable vendors.