Am I crazy? Once upon a time Granville Island used to be a terrific food market and, in my opinion, especially after seeing Borough Market in London (now we’re talking), a re-think is long overdue. Where’s the vibe, where’s the buzz?
These days, with the buzz about buying locally grown, of which I am a big supporter, it seems that the message has been falling mostly on deaf ears in the management offices of G. I.
As a retired chef and long-time shopper, G.I. was a go to place for hard to find ingredients and there were day tables selling local, in season produce, like fall veggies and wonderful, freshly picked Chilliwack corn. There are still a small number of them inside the market but it is pretty limited. Now we are treated to all imported, all the time, or at least most of the time! How about those pyramids of cherries in December? Try and find locally grown field tomatoes inside the market itself, in the summer…no such luck, sure the sign says local but look closely and you’ll find they are hothouse tomatoes! What’s with that?
What is available is a weekly Truck Market for a few short months in the summer and thank God for that, even though the number of vendors has been shrinking. Yesterday, at Trout Lake Market I was told that the farmers who want to participate are expected to pay to be there and to pay for parking! Really! In my mind the Granville Island management should be thrilled to have them there and pay them to be there to boot!
Normally in the winter months, we haven’t much choice but the Saturday Farmer’s Market at Nat Bailey Stadium has proven that we can have access to locally grown, seasonal veggies all year so why, why, why, doesn’t Granville Island jump on the bandwagon? Just asking!
Most of the year the place is crawling with tourists looking at and taking pictures of imported produce, but what about us locals who would love to find wonderful, seasonal produce, throughout the week and throughout the year? Thank god for places like Oyama, Benton Bros. and a few others, otherwise it hardly seems worthwhile to shop there!
At one time, there were three stands selling Okanagan produce and fruit. It’s now down to one and for most of the year the produce is imported. Unfortunately, this past fall, the organic produce vendor closed up shop and moved elsewhere. Guess what we have now? Yup, more seating for people to eat stuff bought from the “food court” which leaves a lot to be desired, in my opinion.
Mamma mia….what’s to be done?
It’s a great tourist destination and we thank them for keeping the shops alive. But, ask any permanent food vendor, if all the tourists milling about and taking photos help their bottom line, you can probably guess the answer.
Granville Island is a fabulous location and it should showcase everything local, to all who visit and shop there. It seems like such a wasted opportunity! Where’s the vision G. I. management? Get with the programme, keep up with the times! Hey, maybe they should take a trip to London and check out Borough Market for themselves! The atmosphere that has been created there is totally amazing! Just saying!