On Saturday, February 21st, Red Deer County invited local producers and artisans to the Hamlets of Red Deer to experience the year-round Gasoline Alley Indoor Farmers Market open house. The event was organized to give those attending a feel for how the space of the new facility will be used and operated in the future. 

“Our intention is to provide applications, rules, and regulations. We got a large number of vendors already interested. I’m 99% sure that we will probably get our quota over the next few days.  So, it’s just basically an information session for vendors to ask us questions,” explained Sherry White, Director of Development, Construction and Leasing at Gasoline Alley Developments.

The facility is set to be constructed just south of Red Deer’s Trail Appliances on 557 Lantern Street. The facility will house approximately 48 booths and six kitchen spaces though the interior is expected to change to accommodate and meet the needs of interested vendors. The build is expected to have a bit of a rustic feel to the design, and the exterior is ready for construction.

“The building is specifically designed to look like an older building fit right into the county and it’s created and designed for the market. It’s not a retrofit so vendors can the insides can be shifted slightly. The outside is written in stone,” added White. 

Shelley Bradshaw of Becks Farms and part of the Innisfail Growers group attended the open house to answer questions from fellow vendors about the project. Already, she has customers who are interested in the new facility. 

“We have our own tiny little farmers market during the winter and the customers that we talked to so far this winter are really excited about there being a year-round farmers market in this area.”

For Bradshaw, farmers' markets are more than just a shopping space but also an entertainment venue. 

“It’s a place for families to come and enjoy and year-round functions. It’s a destination. It’s family-oriented and it’s something that I think Red Deer is ready for,” said Bradshaw. 

She anticipates that there will be many fun activities and events at the facility the families will have to look forward to. 

With an overwhelming response to the open house, it does not seem likely the market will be short on vendors for the space that's waiting to be built.