Testing the Year-Round Market Waters
Farmers markets, winter, year-round, local food, economic development, business model
Mission and Vision of Organization
- To celebrate BC farmers, food and handmade items in vibrant, welcoming, community-connected markets.
- To connect consumers directly with local farmers, small food producers and artisanal makers in order to support the community’s financial, social and environmental objectives.
Guiding Principles + Values
To support local farmers and small business people who grow, make, bake, raise, or wild -harvest their product in BC by creating strong sales channels.
The Burnaby Farmers’ Market is currently open from the start of May to the end of October in the Burnaby City Hall Parking Lot on Saturdays. Busy days attract over 60 vendors, with the majority selling food, and over 2000 customers, with the majority buying food.
Three years ago, a year-round winter market was piloted on the North Shore, and is in regular operation today. This project will explore the feasibility of piloting a year-round Burnaby winter market at the North Burnaby Neighborhood House.
Students will contact farmers’ market vendors to determine their interest level for selling in Burnaby from October to May; summarize the potential customer base; evaluate the site and prepare a preliminary market map; and analyze the issue of competition related to opening a new winter market, given the nearby existing markets in New Westminster, Vancouver, and Port Moody.
- Contact all existing farmers’ market vendors to determine the percentage of vendors interested in trying a new winter market.
- Map out 10’X10’ outdoor spaces and propose indoor space layout. Confirm layout with stakeholders.
- Prepare a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) Analysis, focusing on potential customers and competition
- Summarize the feasibility of opening a winter market at the Burnaby North Neighborhood House
Student Assets and Skills (preferred or required)
- Strong verbal and written communication skills
- MS Word and MS Excel/Google Sheets proficiency, including Tables & Charts
Student Assets and Skills (to be developed)
- Eagerness to learn more about local economic, community and environmental impact of farmers’ markets – especially relating to farmers and small food processors.
Criminal record check required?
- Not required
Remote work will be done via email and on the phone, with at least one visit each to North Burnaby Neighborhood House at 4908 Hastings St, Burnaby and nearby farmers’ markets in New Westminster, Port Moody and Vancouver.
Preferred Days of Week and Hours
Meetings On Flexible Learning Dates @ UBC
Project/Partner Orientation Materials
Students are requested to be familiar with the businesses selling at farmers’ markets by the first community partner meeting in order to understand which vendors they prefer to interview. Vendor profiles can be accessed on our website, and students are encouraged to visit local farmers’ markets prior to the first meeting.
Related Community Service Opportunities for Students
Over 50 community non-profit and charity organizations connect with the public at Artisan Farmers’ Markets and students will have the chance to speak with these partners about their interest in a winter market. In detail, students will have the opportunity to speak with, meet and network with the Burnaby Neighborhood House Non-Profit Society staff.
- I hope students will learn about year-round farms and the challenges small food processors face.
- I think students will come to appreciate what local food is sold in Greater Vancouver in the middle of winter.
- Through this project, students will develop an in-Depth understanding of how farmers’ markets operate, how vendors choose where to sell, and the importance of customers by preparing a SWOT analysis.
- Students will document for Artisan Farmers’ Markets the vendors who are interested in opening in Burnaby from November to April.
- Students will prepare the draft market map for Artisan Farmers’ Markets.
- Students will evaluate the feasibility of a Burnaby Farmers’ Market in the winter.
More broadly, this project advances our organization’s goals by expanding both Artisan Farmers’ Markets Society’s revenue stream and vendors’ revenue streams by expanding to full-year in two locations.