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Calgary’s Market on Macleod to close this fall

Patrons of the Market on Macleod have probably already heard that the collective will close its doors at the end of October, but a new type of market is hoping to snap up many of the vendors.

The popular farmer’s market has been home to 50 vendors and small businesses for almost a decade. The market’s acting manager, Margaret Nemeth, said there had been a for sale sign on the land for years.

“We knew for years that if the owner got a decent offer he would sell it,” she said.

According to Nemeth, the land has been sold to developers and will be used for condominiums.

Formerly a car dealership, the space had been repurposed to host vendors selling all sorts of goods including meats, fresh local produce and artwork.

Nemeth said luckily for many of the vendors, word of a new market just a bit further south on Macleod Trail means they’ll have somewhere to go after October.

She said her business – Primal Soup – is moving to the new space that will be called Avenida Food Hall and Fresh Market, located at 12445 Lake Fraser Drive SE Calgary.

The building owned by Strategic Group is being designed and managed by Ken Aylesworth, who previously owned Symons Valley Ranch market, which was destroyed by fire in 2017.

Aylesworth said the Avenida food market will be the next generation of farmer’s market in Calgary.

“Our focus is on superior quality food vendors and market products,” he said. “We’ve sourcing and have sourced a number of real top cut restaurants.”

He explained that the food hall will be a step up from a food court, with some world class chefs preparing dishes, which can then be taken back to booths. There will also be options for pick up, and for services like Skip the Dishes and Just Eat to deliver meals from the food hall.

Aylesworth said there will also be select vendors selling the usual market fare, but they’re pushing for “absolute transparency” on the food.

“We are being excruciating about being able to inform the public who has grown the food, where it’s grown, and how it’s grown. Those three things are key.”

He said even in the off season, they will be able to tell where citrus fruits have been grown.

“We have 20,000 square feet, we’re trying to put together the best of the best as well as a bunch of new product not seen before.”

He said they have not yet sat down to meet with all the vendors the the Macleod Market about who would like to relocate. He knows that some will be moving on to their own brick-and-mortar stores. Overall the timing is good for everyone involved.

Nemeth said the Market on Macleod was always run as a collective, where vendors could chose to become shareholders on the lease of the entire property. That won’t be the case for those who move to Avenida, but she said it’s not better or worse, it’s simply a change.

“There’s nothing great about owning it or having shares. The only difference is, you get a vote.”

In the meantime she wanted to stress that the market remains open every Thursday through Sunday until Oct. 31.

Avenida has a target opening date of November.