girl with peppers - 2000

Local Market is Bountiful

by Paul Dolphin ~

Could you use a mini vacation right about now? Do you miss the joy in discovering different world cuisines and cultures?  Then say hello to Bountiful Farmers’ Market – right here in Edmonton!

umbrellas-and-shops

Located just off 34 Avenue on 97 Street, Bountiful Farmers’ Markets offers a multi-day premium market experience every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, all year round (with tons of free parking). With over 100 vendors and seven local restaurants, Bountiful boasts an unparalleled bounty of superior/exceptional products representing more than 20 countries. You’re sure to discover an array of treasures ranging from around the world to just around the corner. 

Open since June 2019 (we’re about to celebrate our second birthday), our market offers an enhanced shopping experience reminiscent of the fabulous markets of Europe.  Let us be your guide as you travel through the forest of fond memories to the comfort of your grandmother’s kitchen. Here, you can still taste her fresh soups, warm bread, homemade perogies and classic cabbage rolls. After a generous portion of her famous pies, you can play a board game, work on a puzzle or travel to distant lands through the pages of a novel.  Do you fancy some fine pastries, cakes and cookies later in the afternoon? Watch as a real French chef shows you his artful expertise making fresh crepes paired with gelato. We’ve got it all down to a tea… or freshly roasted coffee.

Some of the market’s best treasures are our locally grown/produced products. A product picked green and shipped across the continent simply cannot compare to the quality of our locally grown produce, picked the previous day. It has been scientifically proven that your local cucumber or tomato has more nutrition/minerals for your family than products grown thousands of miles away in different soils/conditions.  It’s healthier for the environment when we eat local produce (less carbon footprint), as well as being infinitely more delicious. 

Here are some of things you can expect when you visit Bountiful Farmers’ Market: 

  • Bountiful has the best selection in town for everything organic – whether it’s a bountiful garden of every kind of veggie you could ever want, to an array of meat vendors offering a variety of poultry, seafood and wild game.
  • Discover local artisans that craft everything from wind chimes to bird feeders, cribbage boards to candles.
  • Take a trip through South America, sampling the finest the continent has to offer. Trek through the Andes in your alpaca poncho.
    Enjoy a lunch of empanadas with traditional handmade Argentinean sausages.
  • Sample the great civilizations of Asia!  Satay from Malaysia, spices from India, saffron from the hills of Afghanistan.  Or try the Thai food. You might die, it’s so good. 
  • Enjoy spicy cuisines including jerk chicken and “insanely hot” hot sauce that will have you sweating like you’re melting under the Caribbean sun.
  • Relish a finely crafted wood charcuterie board topped with award winning cheese, a baguette, buffalo sausage and pickles.
  • Speaking of pickled, pair it with a glass of wine, mead, cider, craft beer or any of the other spirits that abound.
  • Quench your thirst with a lemonade or cool off with an ice pop that will blow your hair back like the ocean breeze.
  • Treat yourself to a fresh bouquet of flowers or a sparkly piece of original jewelry that is sure to make your inner goddess swoon.
  • Throw your dog a bone with any number of great pet treats, comfy pet beds, combs and brushes and reward your pup for putting up with you hanging around the house so much lately. 
  • You can plan a day of crafting your own treasures with our sewing, knitting and beading supplies.
  • Perhaps there’s someone in your bubble that would enjoy a soothing bath? Don’t damper yourself. Instead, pamper yourself! Bountiful has handmade soaps, shampoos, skin lotions, essential oils, hemp products, candles, beard oil, bath bombs and salts.
  • Many of our vendors carry products that are free from: antibiotics, pesticides, fertilizers, gluten, dairy, eggs, sugar, etc. 
  • Bountiful is, well, just bountiful. But don’t take our word for it. Discover it for yourself!

Bountiful is the dream child of Natalia Igumnova, Bountiful’s General Manager. Natalia emigrated from Russia where producer-direct markets run seven days a week. Upon arriving in Canada, she noticed that the small farms and businesses she worked with struggled to make a profit and recognized the need for a better alternative to the North American grocery store style business model. Natalia envisioned a place in which Albertans partake in a fulfilling shopping experience, interact with the makers, bakers and artisans and learn about the passion that sparks their drive to provide quality products.  With hard work, her goal to build a community where vendors sell directly to customers and receive a fair price for their efforts is now a reality at Bountiful.

By supporting local markets, you are helping build food security, reduce waste and transportation, shorten the food chain and reduce the number of people handling the products on their way to your plate. Small businesses (like those that comprise Bountiful Farmers’ Market) account for more than 98% of jobs in Canada. Farms, breweries, distilleries, bakeries, restaurants and roasteries all provide solid year-round employment that bolsters the economy of our neighbors and friends. It’s so important (especially in these difficult times) to help in supporting local businesses.

curbside pickup

During the pandemic many challenges have arisen. A year ago there was so much uncertainty, but Natalia reflects proudly on the efforts of the Bountiful community. “We would like to acknowledge the tremendous efforts of our vendors, the clear direction of Alberta Health Services and staff who work tirelessly to make adjustments to protocols, as well as the dedicated support of our amazing customers, who understood that we would not have survived without a commitment to shop local.”

And we want to give back locally too! Stop by the market to enter our contests where we giveaway hundreds of dollars in free products every week.

tacos

It’s time to turn off the streaming and get back to living! Visit Bountiful Farmers’ Market’s clean, safe venue under the colorful umbrellas (think San Juan) where the atmosphere’s pleasant and there’s always something interesting to experience. Plan your Bountiful getaway this weekend and experience the mini vacation you’ve been dreaming of!

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