The latest addition to the constantly emerging & dynamically changing Christchurch CBD scene is the Riverside Market…and wow, what an addition! Mr. Peebles & his team have pulled out all the stops & not spared a dime or an insightful thought with this stunning creation. As reported in the Press / Stuff, the first week has seen a tsunami of folks coming in for a look & hopefully a shop. The fit out is tastefully done with a wide range of excellent character features (e.g., the timber beams, old clock, lighting) – it is a building all Cantabrians should be proud of (like our new library).
I have always dreamed of starting a food hall as it combines the best of both worlds for – a convenient one stop shop (like the supermarket) but with independent, quality producers (not like the supermarket). Very few folks these days have the luxury of time or the desire to run around town to all the far corners of the city to round up their food supplies. And the Riverside Market pretty much nails it out of the gate…
The folks who appear to really be hitting their stride are all the food service joints, which at lunchtime had throngs of people queued up out the door…with some decently sized corporate offices in combination with the government sector (Justice & Emergency Services Precinct, the Police HQ and City Council) the lunch time demands should remain healthy for some time.
But I have my fingers crossed for the real food folks – I think they may have a few more hurdles to get over to make it hum like the food court guys. There are several challenges here:
(1) how many CBD folks are going to actually shop for veggies, fish, meat, etc & take them back to the office?
(2) it is an in between time of year for the veggie guys so stalls like Cultivate are a wee bit sparse on their offerings.
(3) Although one of the veggie stands was pretty fully stocked, I am not sure where all that produce came from – not a very ‘locally grown’ display or offering.
(4) Pricing – I am all for supporting locally grown vegetables but the yams were $20 a kg while I can buy them @ my Lyttelton Farmers Market for $10.
So if you have not been, please go & support this stupendous effort & keep it humming along for years to come…and take a posse of friends too & spread the wealth ;-)….