New Kwantlen St. Winter Market Puts Students First

The organizer of KPU’s second seasonal market wanted to showcase local talent

Kwantlen St. Winter Market Vendor Jam Table. (Kristine Hui)

The Kwantlen St. Winter Market has been many years in the making.

The notion of a mid-week market for the university was first proposed in 2015, when the Kwantlen Student Association approached Anne Janzen, the founder of Farm Fresh Events. At the time, Farm Fresh Events produced the North Delta Farmers Market and the Tsawwassen Farmers Market.

A year later, the first annual Kwantlen St. Farmers Market was held in Richmond. The location was chosen because it could accommodate more shoppers than the Surrey campus, and Tuesday was set as the day of the market, which runs from early spring to mid fall every year.

Before long, vendors began remarking about the need for a winter market. This time, Janzen approached KPU with the idea for a market that would start in January and run every Saturday on the Surrey campus.

What makes this market unique, however, is that it showcases the products of KPU students and programs.

“We decided to make it not just about bringing in our vendors to sell local produce, but to make it a special project where we tried to work with the students,” says Janzen. “My job is to create a venue where the students create a sense of ownership, and a sense of pride, and feel welcome, and feel safe if they want to try out small businesses or have a demonstration.”

Since the 2016 start of the Kwantlen St. Farmers Market, there has been a student vendor program to encourage student participation in the market. The program gives students a 30 per cent discount on the $40 table fee, and is open to KPU alumni as well. Alumni can be part of the program for up to one year—something Marissa Bergeron, a 2011 KPU alumna, is taking advantage of.

While travelling, Bergeron noticed the huge amount of waste left behind at street food stalls. This sparked the idea behind her business, Eat the Dishes, which makes zero-waste street cuisine.

Bergeron debuted Eat the Dishes at the Kwantlen St. Winter Market on Jan. 12. She offers a selection of soups—which can be made sweet, salty, or savoury by adding different spices—served in edible cups. Bergeron is grateful for KPU’s support in her venture, saying that “they have always been supportive” of her career.

Two student vendors have joined since the market launched two weeks ago, with more set to come in the following weeks. Janzen is eager to include more KPU students and programs in the market and plans to introduce herself to the various faculties and departments to achieve this goal.

“I am happy to develop some fun projects with faculty,” she says. “I’m planning to make myself available to that. If I am doing my job right, I am bringing people in here every week to come and see what is going on and taste what is going on.”

Vendor space is also being reserved for program representatives and faculty. Vendors must “make, bake, or grow the product that they intend to sell, so it is something that they have to create,” she explains.

Janzen envisions the Kwantlen St. Winter Market as a space where students feel welcome to pursue whichever interests or ideas take hold of them. Students can plan events, lead workshops, start businesses, or provide entertainment with her support.

The Kwantlen St. Winter Market runs every Saturday until June 29, from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm in the Main Plaza of the Kwantlen Surrey Campus.

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