Picture yourself biting into crispy vegetables, picked fresh that morning at a nearby farm. Or of tasting fruits so perfectly ripe, one bite sends juice streaming down your hands.

These are the joys of the spring and summer seasons, all spread out in a bountiful display at Coquitlam’s Poirier Street Farmers Market. But before you race over to its usual outdoor setting on Poirier, there are some important things to know.

We spoke with Tabitha McLoughlin, executive director for the Grow Local Society, which hosts the market, to get the lowdown on what to expect this year.

New Location: When & Where to Go

When: Starting May 2 (opening day), the Coquitlam Farmers Market will be held each Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. until October.

Where: It’s important to note that this year’s location is moving across the street from its usual spot at Poirier and Winslow, in order to make way for The Fraser Health vaccination clinic. Simply drive to the same area and you’ll see the market set up at its new location between the Poirier Sport & Leisure Centre and the Coquitlam Public Library. You’ll also see plenty of signage pointing you in the right direction – with parking available throughout the Poirier precinct.

We encourage you to walk or bike to the market if you are able to and don’t forget about the newly opened King Albert Greenway that provides an easy East-West connection right to the new location.

What You Can Buy

You’ll find between 50-60 vendors on site each week, selling everything from locally grown produce to baked goods and treats, artisanal foods and even craft beer. It’s also a great spot to pick up one-of-a-kind gifts including hand-crafted jewelry, pottery, clothing and body care products.

“We have a wide range of produce as well as a selection of prepared foods,” said McLoughlin. “We have a number of new vendors as well as those who have been with us since the beginning.”

Now in its 24th year, the Poirier Street Farmers Market is the longest running suburban farmers market in the Lower Mainland. Products are made, baked, grown or raised in B.C.

Trends for 2021 include an increase in plant-based products and artisanal food products. You’ll also discover some new varieties of vegetables and wild mushrooms. Other vendors in rotation include wineries, distilleries, a cidery and breweries.

Be Safe and Have Fun

Extra safety measures are being taken throughout the market to ensure a safe and comfortable experience. Signs will lead the way, with vendors spread at a safe distance. All shoppers are encouraged to keep moving along the marked walkway to keep traffic flowing the one direction.

“We’ll have a dedicated entrance and exit, so people will go in one way, out another. We’re designing it so the traffic will naturally flow. We’ll also have plenty of signage to help direct people,” said McLoughlin.

You’ll also see hand sanitizer stations throughout the market, as well as volunteers helping with traffic flow managing numbers visiting vendor booths. Market customers are asked to:

  • Visit alone or in groups of no more than two;
  • Shop efficiently and leave one all your purchases have been made;
  • Leave pets at home; and
  • Wear a mask.

“’Shop, don’t stop,’ is the message we’re sharing,” explained McLoughlin. “We can only have so many people in the market area and we want people to visit and keep moving through.”

Though food trucks and live music will be on site, all visitors to the market are encouraged to enjoy their food truck finds and the entertainment as they move through the market with no stopping along the way.”

Eat Local, Shop Local

Although a major factor of shopping at a farmers’ market is about buying fresh, local food, shopping local also supports our farmers, food producers, creators and other entrepreneurs.

“We are grateful that we can support our local farmers and food producers, and support people in our community in a very safe, controlled way,” said McLoughlin. “People are understanding more the importance of supporting your local community and really getting the concept that a dollar spent here has a multiplier effect within the community. You’re supporting a local business, and that money is recirculated in your community, making it stronger.”

Find Out More

If you haven’t been to the Poirier Street Farmer’s Market before, you can find out more by:

  • Visiting their information tent at the entrance of the market
  • Subscribing to receive the Grow Local Society’s newsletter
  • Visit the website

What to Do After the Market

While you’re in the neighbourhood, this is a great opportunity to check out the shops, boutiques, restaurants and cafés throughout Austin Heights and Central Coquitlam.

Photography by Michele Mateus Photography.

Still looking for more things to see and do in Coquitlam? Go to visitcoquitlam.ca and follow us on social @visitcoquitlam!

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