Market Fresh Ideas
The Cowichan Valley is an agricultural hub producing wonderful wines, lavender, tea, fruits and vegetables of all kinds. Luckily, the Valley also offers a range of exciting farmers markets where we can buy local produce year-round. Some highlights include the Duncan Farmers Market, the Chemainus Public Market, and the Honeymoon Bay Outdoor Market.
The Duncan Farmers Market is open every Saturday from 9am to 2pm. Although operating at a limited capacity to enforce physical distancing, the largest farmers market in British Columbia is now free to sell more than essential food items only. From Ozay Fine Jewellery to Honeypot Wraps made of beeswax, the Duncan Farmers Market has some stellar retail available now. On the food front, you can now enjoy take out from Depot Dawgs after stocking up on kitchen staples like Black Cream tea from Westholme Tea Farm or delicious kimchi crafted by Zed Squared.
Over in downtown Chemainus, across from Waterwheel Park, is the Chemainus Public Market. Boasting a meeting space, a retro arcade, a 50’s style ice cream parlour, a “Coffee Row”, and a soon to be open fish & chips shop, the Chemainus Public Market is open year round and invites you to come play a tune in the jukebox and enjoy an old fashioned milkshake, complete with real whip cream and a cherry! Keep your eye out for buskers too. Local vendors, note the affordable table fee of just $21 per day as well.
In Lake Cowichan, the Honeymoon Bay Outdoor Market will be open from July 4th until September 5th from 10am to 1pm. Organizers are providing hand sanitizer, and will be limiting the number of people in the area to 50 at a time. Stop by for a chair massage and browse the products available while taking in the scenic lake views.
Honeymoon Bay is not the only farmers market to take extra precautions for the safety of visitors. The Duncan Farmers Market is also working extra hard these days to ensure a safe and enjoyable shopping experience for consumers. The layout of the market has been reconfigured to ensure proper physical distancing, and staff as well as a bylaw enforcement officer are on site to direct customers to respect the rules. Remember to treat market staff with respect and kindness.
If you are not yet ready to return to the Duncan Farmers Market in person, visit their website and find vendors who are available online. Order up some baguette from Well Bred Bakery from the comfort of your own home!
If you do venture downtown for fresh greens from Lockwood Farm, or a bottle of bubbly by Unsworth Vineyard, take a moment to enjoy the rest of the shopping experience afforded to us in downtown Duncan. Book a hair appointment at Alley Cat Hair Design, swing by The Garment District for a funky summer dress, or drop into Tulip Delicatessen for a range of cheese and meats. Take the kids to Caprice Theatre for a nostalgic viewing of the Jungle Book, and on your way, pick up some ice cream from the Big Scoop or caramels from Chocolate Pearl!
Whether you are buying produce from a farmers market or treating yourself to a movie, enjoy the experience of buying local. Your community is working hard to keep our economy strong.
Downtown Duncan BIA