Community Market Handover to Operator St.John’s Farmers’ Market

Friday, June 15, 2018 - 1:15 PM
community market handover event

Today the City of St. John’s and the St. John’s Farmers’ Market Cooperative signed a lease agreement for the St. John’s Community Market at 245 Freshwater Road. This event culminates several years of work by the City and partners in bringing together the vision of a community market. Identified as an important initiative in Economic Roadmap 2021, the City-owned former bus depot was repurposed and reconstructed by the City, and the St. John’s Farmers’ Market Cooperative will operate it on behalf of the community.

The project was financed through government and community funding agencies. The City of St. John’s contributed $2 million through its capital budget, close to $1.17 million came from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, and $490,000 from the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Department of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation. The St. John’s Farmers’ Market Cooperative contributed $100,000 through fundraisers and funding agencies including the Aviva Community Fund, the Community Fund of NL, and VOCM Cares.

“I thank the provincial and federal governments for partnering with us to make this new facility a reality. The St. John’s Community Market demonstrates what we can achieve by working together,” says Mayor Danny Breen. “Community markets support local food and products, celebrate multiculturalism and contribute to the vibrancy of a city and I have full confidence the St. John’s Farmers’ Market will operate this space for the betterment of the community. I look forward to attending the market and other community events that will be hosted in our new facility for many years to come.”

“Investing in communities helps strengthen the middle class, creates opportunities for economic diversification, and leads to a stronger, more prosperous Canada,” said Nick Whalen, Member of Parliament for St. John’s East. “That is why the Government of Canada is pleased to have invested in the establishment of the St. John’s Community Market and now looks forward to its continued growth and success.”

“Co-operatives contribute to the cultural, social and economic fabric of their communities – and help deliver key services, create opportunities and stimulate economic activity in all regions of the province,” said the Honourable Christopher Mitchelmore, Minister of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation. “Congratulations to the City of St. John’s and the St. John's Farmers' Market Cooperative on this new space. Now, more than ever, the Market will offer the perfect opportunity to sample and purchase the various varieties of fresh, locally-grown produce available in Newfoundland and Labrador, while also allowing craft producers to sell directly to customers.”

“After many years of hard work from our staff, our volunteers, and our government partners, this moment and this facility are a dream come true,” says Joshua Smee, Chair of the SJFM Cooperative’s Board, “We are so excited for all the many ways this facility will strengthen local food and craft production, provide opportunities for new businesses, and create an inclusive space for our community to gather.”
Media Contacts:
Kelly Maguire
Media Relations
City of St. John's
Paul McGrath
Director, Public Affairs

Tansy Mundon
Director of Communications
Department of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation
Joshua Smee
Chair, Board of Directors
St. John's Farmers' Market Cooperative