A new farmers’ market opens this weekend in the foothills south of Calgary.
A few minutes off Highway 22X, a left and a right and another left down rural roads, past cows, farmhouses and rolling fields, Granary Road houses a public market with more than 30 vendors and fast-casual dining options.
It also boasts a 36-acre “active learning park” that consists of three kilometres of trails that lead kids (and parents) through a series of 11 play exhibits with animal, insect and agricultural themes.
There’s also a wetlands discovery area, bat cave, bee hives and chicken coop, as well as large greenhouses, where they are growing produce to sell in the market and supply the restaurants.
“Locals are so excited that there’s somewhere out here to go for dinner or just to buy wine, without having to drive into town,” said Geoff Last, a well-known Canadian wine writer and manager of Bin 905, which has just opened at Granary Road.
“It’s a cross-section of what we carry — since it’s a farmers’ market, generally bottles under $30, with a good representation from across Canada, a lot of organic and sustainable producers.”
There’s also a well curated selection of Alberta craft beers, including Tool Shed and Dandy from Calgary and Troubled Monk from Red Deer.
Like most farmers’ markets, the public market is open Thursday through Sunday, from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., while The Loft Kitchen is open 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and the active learning park from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Chef Thomas Neukom of the Lake House is overseeing the opening of The Loft at Granary Road, an eatery owned by Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts (CRMR).
There’s a bakery and coffee shop brewing custom beans roasted in Okotoks, and breads and pastries baked from scratch onsite every day.
On the other side, a takeout counter offers soups, salads and grilled sandwiches (think grilled cheese with gruyere and fontina with whisky bacon on sourdough) and a daily slow roasted meat carving to eat at tables overlooking rolling prairie. It’s a space they hope to also use for special events.
The Loft Lounge is scheduled to open on the Labour Day weekend. Final touches are being added to the space — 78 seats under a 40-foot, vaulted ceiling with a spectacular south view, where visitors can enjoy a local craft beer or cocktail.
You’ll find plenty of ultra-local game meat on the menu. Much of the meat on the menu is raised just three kilometres away.
“The CRMR ranch is just around the corner,” said chef Neukom of the company’s 540-acre game ranch, where they raise elk, bison and cattle. “You can see the animals roaming in the fields.”
Their farm store is now closed, but you can buy CRMR game meats at Urban Butcher, which is also owned by the group, and has a new location at Granary Road as well.
With a range of offerings including wood-fired pizza, cheese and charcuterie, pastries, chocolates, produce, baked goods, fresh and frozen take-out prepared meals, beer and wine and a few well curated crafts, Granary Road Farmers’ Market is sure to become a popular stop for south Calgary residents and those living in surrounding areas.