I took some video of the opening on Saturday of the new Public Market at the Hudson. I am very glad to see the space in the Hudson has been given over to this project, was not sure what to expect and somehow in my head it was not going to be this much space.
This project makes for a very interesting and unique space in this city. I am not sure how it is going to play out over time because it will be defined by how the vendors do, which ones succeed in the space and which do not.
We really only did a walk through, with the crowds there for the opening most of the vendors had long line ups, though we did buy some fresh ravioli from Cowichan. Here is my video of a bit or our walk through.
There are still many spaces not yet occupied, some are not rented and others were simply not ready to open this last weekend.
Some of the vendors in the space are
The French Oven Bakery
Island Spice Trade
Olive the Senses - it has been open already for some time and I think rent directly from Townline
Salt Spring Island Cheese Company
Silk Road Tea
Victoria Pie Company
Vij's Sutra - I have to come check out their food
Many of the vendors were not yet open such as
Cowichan Bay Seafood
Il Dolce Gelato
LaCocina de Mama Oli
There is supposed to be a green grocer coming soon. If I have any concern, it is that the Victoria Public Market will become an upscale food fair more than anything. I would like to see something more about selling food the public would cook, but the nature of who will pay for the space and can make it work may dictate how it turns out. Whatever it evolves into, it is a good space for the city.
Overall I have nothing but praise for Philippe Lucas and his vision to see this happen. Here is his speech at the opening - he gave many, many people credit for the success.
I do hope the farmer's market aspect continues at the site. I think it is a degree of vibrancy the public market will need while at the same time the public market will ensure people shopping at the farmer's market will be able to find what they need.