Elizabeth McFaul
CONTRIBUTOR

A farmers’ market is an amazing place; people and produce are everywhere in the colourful, loud and sometimes chaotic space. From scenic St. Jacobs, the busy Kitchener Farmers’ Market or the local fare in uptown Waterloo on Thursdays, Kitchener-Waterloo has a lot to offer in terms of top-quality farm-fresh products, fresh produce and local goods.

But there’s a new local food market on the scene starting in mid-June.

Nestled in the heart of Belmont Village, the Belmont Local Food Market located at the corner of Belmont Ave. and Claremont Ave., will be open on Tuesdays from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. throughout the summer.

A market in Belmont Village has been a major interest for its residents and business owners.

“I have long wanted an open door market in Belmont Village. We have a good mix of residential and business; it just makes sense,” said Susan Broughton, owner-operator of All Things Tea on Belmont Ave.

“I brought the idea to our BIA, and at that same time a resident who lives in the area also expressed interest. We have sort of joined efforts to make this a reality this year.”

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Over the past few months, Broughton and neighbours have been planning, selecting suppliers, and recruiting volunteers to launch this open-air, volunteer-run market.

Support from the community has been plentiful, including the group of much-needed volunteers.

“The support has, from the get-go, been amazing. There is clearly a want and need for this in Belmont,” said Broughton. “The movement toward eating locally just continues to grow.”

The market has been actively recruiting volunteers to staff the market over the past few months. The Belmont BIA has also been a significant supporter of the project, viewing the project as a community-builder, and providing some of the financial support needed to get the market running.

The main supplier of the Belmont market will be the Sustainable Market, a local group that works with a number of farmers in the area.

“[They offer] everything from ensuring farmers are paid a living wage, providing us with fresh, clean, locally grown produce to providing delivery services,” said Broughton in describing their selection.

The produce will arrive at the market on Tuesday at noon, having been picked Monday evening and Tuesday morning.

“We are also in a village setting and there are definitely other businesses within Belmont Village itself that will be supplying the market: think fresh baked bread, preserves, local honey, etc. We’re very excited about that,” said Broughton,

“Not only will we have the market open, but there will be businesses participating along Belmont Ave., too – a true village feel!”

The Belmont Market starts its season with a soft opening on Tuesday, June 16. The market’s grand opening will take place on Tuesday, June 23 with remarks from Zyg Janecki, Ward 8 councillor and demonstrations from local beekeepers. After that, the market will provide a place to meet, work, and shop Tuesdays from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. throughout the summer.