Vic West Market Garden: Boutique Market and Urban Farm

By Athena McKenzie // Photos by Belle White

The Market Garden in Vic West is something of a throwback, reminiscent of an old-time general store — but one with a heightened design esthetic.

“It’s a boutique market and urban farm in the middle of the city,” says owner Ryan Townsend. “We really want it to be an experience — for people to recognize that there really isn’t anything else like it.”

Originally run from the back garden as a seed company, the store’s offerings have grown to include local produce, a dazzling array of spices, gourmet European goods and unique natural clothing and décor.

A current focus is transitioning to zero-waste, and along with the returnable spice jars and refillable soaps, Townsend hopes to expand into cleaning products.

“There’s a constant flow of new products, and the store is in constant evolution,” Townsend says.

One thing that will never change? The ivory grand piano in the centre of the store, where locals can plunk out a tune and which is played by hired musicians during the holiday season.

“It’s quite an experience to walk into a corner store and hear live piano music,” Townsend says. “It really takes it to another level.”

This article is from the July/August 2019 issue of YAM.