FarmCity Fresh Cart to debut on downtown Vancouver streets

Re-Up BBQ and FarmCity Co-Op are teaming up this summer to introduce consumers and restaurants in Vancouver and beyond to the bounty of local, sustainably farmed fruit and produce through a groundbreaking new urban grocery concept called FarmCity Fresh Cart.An open-air retail showcase for farm-fresh fruits and vegetables as well as products and snacks prepared by local small businesses, FarmCity Fresh Cart will primarily be located in the downtown hotspot of Robson Square, as part of the City of Vancouver’s Street Vending Program. The Cart will also roam city streets, popping up around River Market in New Westminster and at various summer festivals and events.Among the FarmCity Fresh Cart cornucopia will be pre-packed portions of fresh fruits and produce; locally made preserves, pickles and canned items; take-home portions of bacon and cured meat products prepared by Re-Up BBQ; pre-packed salads; ice cream and sodas made from locally farmed fruit; and Bittered Sling cocktail and culinary extracts made from local ingredients. The team of urban farmers-for-hire at Victory Gardens will also use the Cart to sell seeds and plant starts, and to host one-off, pop-up gardening seminars.

For Lindsay Kaisaris, co-partner of Re-Up BBQ, the seed for the urban grocery cart idea was first planted after she viewed a documentary that focused on a government-sponsored initiative to introduce grocery and fresh produce carts in the heart of Manhattan’s urban jungle. More than just a throwback to the days when vendors would market their wares on city streets, Kaisaris saw it as an innovative way to link urban farms with local restaurants and shoppers while helping to generate profits for urban farmers and small businesses.

“It’s a selection of the very best fresh produce you would find at the farmers’ market, but available on a regular basis in familiar places so people can make shopping at the Cart part of their regular routine, whether on their lunch break or during the commute home from work. By giving urban farmers a platform to pool their resources and minimize overhead, they can stay in the field and do what they do best — farm,” says Kaisaris, who is interested in securing partner sites for the FarmCity Fresh Cart in other municipalities as well as encouraging small-business vendors that use locally farmed products to sell their wares on the Cart.

FarmCity Fresh Cart is expected to roll out on city streets this June.

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