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Coquitlam Farmers Market opens Sunday with more than 20 new vendors

“It makes a big difference to your plate when you taste real food,” said Denise Nembhard, the board chair of the Grow Local Society that runs the Coquitlam Farmers Market.
Grow Local Society’s Tabitha McLoughlin, Denise Nembhard and Kristen Chilvers get ready for the launch of the annual Coquitlam Farmers Market on Sunday, May 5, 2024. The market runs on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. until Oct. 27 in the parking lot of the Dogwood Pavilion (1655 Winslow Ave., Coquitlam).

As the home economics teacher at Dr. Charles Best Secondary, Denise Nembhard would talk a lot with students at the Coquitlam high school about the foods they put into their bodies.

She was also interested in teaching them the conditions in which plants grow and exposing them to products they might not know: from buffalo milk to sunchokes and freshly ground ginger.

Six years ago, Nembhard, who is now the vice principal at Port Moody Secondary, joined a Tri-City nonprofit that promotes food security and supports Metro Vancouver farmers and vendors.

Now the chairperson of the Grow Local Society, Nembhard and her fellow board members will open the group’s biggest project for the year on Sunday, May 5: the Coquitlam Farmers Market.

Managed by Kristen Chilvers, who also oversaw the Winter Farmers Market in Port Moody, the 2024 Coquitlam Farmers Market is expected to be the best yet with more than 20 new vendors.

“We’ve got the same ones that everybody knows and loves — and more,” the society's executive director Tabitha McLoughlin told the Tri-City News on Wednesday, May 1.

“There will be many vendors that our long-standing customers have seen for years, but also new farmers with their products.”

Chilvers said some fare is so fresh, you can taste the flavour as soon as you bite in.

“It makes a big difference to your plate when you taste real food,” added Nembhard.

Last year, the Coquitlam Farmers Market counted more than 50,000 visits to the Sunday event, which runs in the parking lot at Dogwood Pavilion (1655 Winslow Ave.) from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Chilvers said the market is a good way to connect with Metro producers and sellers so “you can learn about their foods and farming practices or how they prepared their foods for sale.”

The longest running suburban farmers market in the Lower Mainland, the Coquitlam market will also continue to host workshops, the POP Club for kids ages five to 12 and the long table dinner.

As for Sunday, May 12, moms will get a flower and treat to mark Mother’s Day.

For more details about the Coquitlam Farmers Market, visit the society’s website.

Some new vendors

  • Precious Forest Farms
  • Cassandra Cake Co
  • MAMAintheKitchen
  • Little Spoon Ice Cream
  • Cachito Mio
  • Blind Owl Flavour Co
  • Keeper Bee Hives
  • Tarragon Eats
  • WOW Food
  • Franklin Food Lab
  • Higher Mountain Soup
  • East Van Jam