Jul 27

Stephen Ave Green Market: One Man’s Quest For An Apple.

by Wil Knoll · 1 comment

While PlanIT was being discussed in the Municipal Chambers, I said more than once “Why can I not, on any given day, walk down Stephen Avenue, grab a pint, hit an antique shop, and then purchase a single individual apple to enjoy on my walk?”

Stephen Ave Walk Green Market by Wil Knoll

Stephen Ave Walk Green Market by Wil Knoll

There are not many antique shops on Stephen Ave, but today, I had that single apple. The Stephen Ave Walk Green Market is open every Thursday from 10am to 3pm, on Stephen Avenue between Center and 1st ST SE. There’s a good selection available, from oven baked pizza and fresh squeezed citrus drinks. But with PlanIT still in my head, there were two specific vendors I wanted to check out.

Three things stand out about Sandi and her company, My Bread. The first is her ever present smile that did not leave her face while I was watching her interact with her customers. The second is that all of the breads are made with no Egg, no Nuts, and no Dairy. I didn’t know you could do that. Third, most of the people shopping at her market have HID cards swinging from their belts and are all dressed for the office.

Sandi remarks that in previous years, her repeat downtown customer would have to find the time to sync up with her on the weekend at another market, but now that she is downtown on Thursday’s they take advantage of it. My Bread offers a wide selection of items, including homemade sauces, hummus, and Tzatziki sauce. There is also a 4 item for $20 dollar deal. That’s not bad for fresh-from-the-oven-that-morning to your hands.

Souto Farms, based out of Olive BC, provides a selection of fruits and vegetables grown on Souto family farms in Alberta and BC. The produce looks great, much fresher than anything I have ever seen in a Safeway. Chris, representing the Souto family in Calgary area while other family members take care of Edmonton and elsewhere, says that most people seem very surprised to find cherries and peaches so fresh downtown.

I was surprised to find crisp green beans, and sweet or hot banana peppers almost the length of my forearm. Onions, dill, radishes, potatoes, raspberries, several types of apples and others brightly color the stall. They may not have every item that you need to outfit your provisions for the week, but all of the items looked lush and ripe. The apple that I sampled was probably in the top five apples of all time for me. I’ll remember that one. It definitely had not been shipped in from overseas. Sweet, crisp, juicy, perfect.

It’s too bad that this does not happen more frequently if not all week. The walk in traffic looks strong, and there are many other various vendors along the street making it a bit of a lunch break destination. Another patron was filling up a mix and match basket of apples, cherries, peaches and plums at Chris’s stall (never tried that at Safeway). He turned with a bright smile to the cashier and said “I’ve been waiting for you all week!”

I’ll be waiting as well. There is something about eating a single apple in public spaces, like the elevator at work. It’s disruptive, a little bit cheeky, and everyone wants one after they see you enjoying it.

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