Living in Alberta, how many times do you think you have driven the QE2 between Calgary and Edmonton? Probably a lot, especially if you live in either one of those major cities. More often than not, you’ve probably also stopped at Gasoline Alley when in need of a fuel top up. What started as a private rest area with some gas stations just south of the Red Deer city limits has turned into a bustling commercial hub full of restaurants, retail shops and even a movie theatre.
Now they’ve got the best stop for foodies – the Gasoline Alley Farmers’ Market. A brand-new farmers’ market with over 50 local vendors, there is sure to be something for everyone in the car. From coffee to gelato to artistic blacksmithing to an onsite brewery, a whole day could easily slip away while you’re lost in the incredible bounty of local products. There’s so much to see (and taste!), you should probably start out at the Market Kitchen to grab some gourmet tacos from Taco Monster, or some pastries from Dovganyuk Organic Bakery to make sure you don’t get hungry while you explore.
A walk about the market will find Central Alberta staples like the Innisfail Growers collective, Irvings Farm Fresh pork products, and Shirley’s Greenhouse. Don’t feel like making dinner tonight? There are plenty of oven-ready items to choose from, like Baba Jody’s Homemade Perogies and Soup Time’s handmade artisan soups. They’ve even got dessert ready to go from Babycakes Cupcakery, Reborn Baking and Nuts About Chocolate by Shelley. And don’t forget the drinks! Not only do they have an onsite brewery in Craft Beer Commonwealth, but they also have local favourites like Troubled Monk, D&A Gardens and Tamarack Jack’s Meadery.
Opening up at the start of winter (and in the middle of a pandemic), was sure to throw up some challenges, but with the right group of vendors and unparalleled community spirit, the Gasoline Alley Farmers’ Market has been a bright spot for locals and visitors alike. Collaboration is really at the heart of their business – they are a “big market family” with vendors finding ways to combining other vendor products with their own to create unique market collaborations, like the butcher Kolbs Fine Meats using Nixon Honey to create a honey pepperoni, or I Love Microgreens using pepperoni, cheeses and olives from Luc’s European Meats to add an extra burst of flavour to their salads.
Once the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, the market will finally be able to make use of their event and workshop space, created to host all types of events, from cooking demos to art classes and anything else that can help to connect the community back to where their food comes from. Construction is now complete on their brand new patio space – the perfect spot to indulge in all your market finds.
The Gasoline Alley Farmers’ Market is open every Friday to Sunday from 9am to 5pm. Laura Avenue #558, Red Deer County, AB. GasolineAlleyIndoorFarmersMarket.ca