Tourism Talk Tuesdays with the Gasoline Alley Farmers’ Market

Fresh, local and now in Red Deer’s Backyard, the Gasoline Alley Farmers’ Market opened its doors to the public just this past November. They are the first indoor, year-round farmers’ market in the Red Deer area and are a family-friendly destination located just to the south of the city, in Gasoline Alley. With approximately 50 small Central Alberta businesses (and growing) under one roof, you can purchase a variety of quality products any time of the year at one convenient location. So grab a pen and paper, you’ll want to get a head start on your grocery list as we take a deeper look into this Tourism Red Deer member’s story.

What makes you different, unique or stand out?

“We are an Alberta Agriculture approved farmers’ market,” says Paige Ashton – Marketing and Events Manager of the Gasoline Alley Farmers’ Market. “Which means 80% of our products are made, baked, sewn and grown in Alberta, by your fellow Albertans, allowing you the opportunity to know where your food comes from.”

Not only does this indoor farmers’ market provide such staples as fresh vegetables and handmade gifts 12 months of the year, but you will also find their “Market Kitchen” which will be made up of several restaurant kitchens in this modern food court setting. There are currently three small restaurants serving, with one more opening very soon.

They also have a family-friendly brewery and taproom on-site, which offers up fresh whole milk on tap! Next, follow the aroma of freshly-roasted coffee to one of their on-site coffee roasters for a quick break and perk up before exploring further. “Picture this,” pauses Ashton “a beer for mum, coffee for dad and milk for the kids, everyone has something to enjoy!”

       

Why do you do what you do?

“We are passionate about supporting small, local businesses,” says Ashton “the entrepreneurs behind the businesses in our market are your friends and neighbours in Central Alberta. Supporting local feels good, and we are thrilled to offer the Red Deer community and our friends in Central Alberta the opportunity to choose local options for food and gifts.”

Some of the businesses are completely brand new and have made a big leap and joined the market as their first storefront. You will also find local favourites which have expanded to the Gasoline Alley Farmer’s Market as an additional location. “It is amazing to see our vendors thriving, growing, meeting new people, taking on new opportunities and networking with each other.”

What can guests (local or visiting) expect to experience?

“People will receive a friendly greeting on arrival, and will find a safe and welcoming environment with a great atmosphere!” Ashton says. “Business owners are at the market frequently and enjoy the opportunity to chat with their customers and take the time to get to know them.”

With spacious and comfortable facilities and a large roster of storefronts to discover it would be especially easy to dedicate a few hours to your visit. With plenty of areas to take a break and recharge, a trip to the store could be transformed into a shopping experience; an activity for the family and one day again (hopefully soon) a place to gather with friends.

What is new or upcoming?

“When we can, we plan to run a regular event schedule.” says Ashton “We have space in the market to host workshops, tours and classes, like candle making with Nixon Honey beeswax and coffee roasting demos.”

As the Gasoline Alley Farmers’ Market evolves and more businesses open, there will be more variety and more places to frequent as this indoor community continues to grow. With plans of asking their vendors to share their areas of expertise through event programs, you will want to keep an eye out for these offerings and other scheduled events to happen in this space. Until then, be sure to bring your shopping bags, maybe a wagon and some extra arms to help carry all of your market finds home.

 

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