The Hay River Commons to present Real Food Cafe


Franziska Ulbricht prepares for the first Real Food Cafe lunch taking place Oct. 14.
— Angele Cano NNSL photo

Those who are dismayed by the closing of Fisherman’s Wharf for the season can look to a new event to get their fix of local food, art, crafts and even music.

On Oct. 14, members of the Hay River Commons, a community collective looking to promote local food, products and arts, will hold its first of many events to be held throughout the winter.

The first Real Food Café – a community lunch based on locally grown and harvested foods – will take place at the Hay River Metis Council Building on Industrial Drive.

So far on the menu are foods like beets, wild mushrooms, berries, fish and teas.

The event will also offer space for artists, craftspeople and food producers to sell their products.

The inaugural event is just one step along the way for the Hay River Commons project. Its ultimate vision is to create a community-run, energy-efficient building as a hub for the community. The idea grew from discussions held by Hay Riverites hoping to promote and grow the local market and economy.

It’s awesome to see how this idea has progressed,” said collective member Andrew Cassidy. “There’s such a big market and there’s a huge demand for local food. With making the market a collective, it creates that responsibility for everyone to pitch in and make it work.”

Organizers are hoping to offer a gathering place for people to come and peruse local wares and enjoy food, music, and good company.

It will be great to have a variety of people offering different items,” said collective member Franziska Ulbricht.

In order to encourage people to branch out, the collective is going to challenge potential producers to offer a different product.

When you do that, everyone feels you have something unique,” said Commons member Jackie Milne. “The goal is to have as much variety there as possible.”

The event coincides with the Territorial Farmers’ Association annual general meeting.

The Real Food Café, along with a winter market, will be held every week.

This coming weekend’s market will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Oct. 14.

Vendor application forms are available at NWT Centennial Library.

— Angele Cano