Saint John City Market lose major, long-time tenant
SAINT JOHN -- A Maritime tourism landmark is facing an uncertain future.
The Saint John City Market has just lost one of its major tenants.
The empty shelves at the top of the market signal the end of an era -- the closure of Baleman's Produce.
"It's a sad thing to see, because the people in the market are always so friendly and they're the first people that you meet every day coming through the door," said restaurant employee Buffy Abric.
The stall officially shut down last weekend after being in business for more than 50 years.
"So many local people here, it's like their grocery store," Abric said. "Because we do not have a grocery store uptown, so everybody comes to the market."
Now, the question is, what's next for this space?
"My office is right above this stall, so I'm looking down at a really big empty piece of real estate in the market," said Andrew MacDonald, the assistant market manager.
MacDonald says because it's one of their larger vendors, it will have a noticeable financial impact.
"We're going to notice it on a monthly basis for sure, and that is an important factor, but we could probably fill this place quite quickly just to ensure that income comes in," MacDonald said. "But that's not necessarily in the best interests of the market to just fill the space."
MacDonald says they want to make sure they find a good fit for the market.
The market currently has about 25 full-time vendors and between 12 and 15 part-time vendors --- one of those is stepping in to help fill the grocery gap uptown.
"I'm not taking all his grocery on, but if there's things that he sold you can't get in the market right now, I'll be taking them on," said stall owner Darren Lavigne.
Work will be done on this space to get ready for whatever is in store next for the Saint John City Market.