A pair of Valley residents behind a proposed market last year returned to Comox council for a second time to pitch the idea of a weekly summer evening market in 2023.
Cleo Tetrault and Holly Brotherston, both representing Love Local Food Co., appeared as a delegation at the Dec. 7 council meeting with their idea for a weekly Thursday evening market in Comox beginning June 2023.
The duo suggested the idea of a hybrid-style market with artisans, small business owners and growers every week in Marina Park from 4 to 7 p.m. until September 2023.
“We’re trying to create more vibrancy and culture in downtown Comox,” explained Tetrault.
Love Local Food Co. started in the middle of the pandemic to provide doorstep delivery from local farms and suppliers in the Comox Valley, she noted.
Last year, the pair told council they partnered with the Comox Business in Action and secured a space in the Comox Mall parking lot that would be closed to traffic, and were hoping to host every Thursday from 3 to 7 p.m. Due to bus route logistics and upcoming construction projects, the town and the organization could not find a suitable location for the evening market.
“The marina would be a great place to bring people together,” said Brotherston, who added the late afternoon and early evening would be a good time frame for people finishing their workday to visit.
With backgrounds in marketing and event planning and an established relationship with vendors, they hope their skills will assist in filling the market and making it a successful summer event.
They asked council to partner with them for a financial and/or in-kind infrastructure donation.
The in-kind ask includes insurance, licencing and permits; assistance with management for foot traffic, parking and power service; washroom access, garbage and communication.
They also asked for $10,000 to help the start-up of the market.
Coun. Jenn Meilleur noted her support for the market but inquired about conversations with the Comox Valley Farmers’ Market.
Tetrault said she spoke with the market and they are in support of their proposal.
“We have no plans to be the competition – we’re big supporters of them. We would have support around artisans and I don’t feel like there would be a huge amount of crossover.”
Coun. Jonathan Kerr inquired about next steps and Mayor Nicole Minions explained the item could be put on a future council agenda for further discussion.