Fredericton — Social media was aflame today after several patrons of the Fredericton FARMERS market discovered that the business was owned and operated by the Costco Wholesale Corporation.
Among the revelations was that all the market’s produce is transported by bus from Costco’s main Fredericton branch to their downtown location every Saturday, which accounts for the inflated prices of the foodstuffs.
“I always shopped at the market for the local organic produce, it just tasted bett–” said frequent shopper Jenna Cook, before catching herself. “I’m sorry, it’s a force of habit. I don’t know what to believe anymore.”
Costco does, however, produce soaps, jewelry and other trinkets exclusively for the market location to give it its own “unique flavour,” said Don Thomas, general manager of Costco’s Fredericton location.
“We’ve always had a blast doing it,” said Thomas. “For us, It’s like having a world fair every weekend.”
According to Thomas, Costco employees dress up in costumes so they can portray specially created characters to run the market’s vendors.
“We thought it would be fun add a little theatre to the whole thing,” he said. “So we came up with some characters to go with each little station — like Mark, the grumpy samosa guy, or Sandra, the flirty maple-syrup sales girl. I feel it makes our location stand out from the other Costco marketplaces.”
As it turns out, Costco has built several similarly maintained and operated markets throughout Canada in an effort to shed their “big business” image and to serve their customers in “a more personal and intimate fashion.”
In response to the controversy, Costco’s Canadian manager Andree Brien gave the following statement:
“We had thought that it was clear that ‘FARMERS’ in ‘The Fredericton FARMERS Market’ was an acronym for ‘Favourably Arranged and Regulated Maritime Edibles and Recreation Stop.’ Of course, we wanted a name that conveyed the rustic feeling that we were going for with this project, which is why we came up with that particular wording, but our ownership of the market was never intended to be a secret.”
“Frankly,” she said, “we’re shocked that people have found this misleading. We’ve always believed it was pretty self-evident.”
I love the part where they dress up in costumes – they make it look so real.
I thought “ALL” Farmers Markets were personality owned meaning that “ALL” farmers and persons who want to sell their goods got together and had a place to do so, for example- Saint John ‘s Farmer’s Market where people get together and sell their goods and I don’t think its run by Costco. It’s too bad that Costco “Had” to run the one in Fredericton.
It’s really difficult to tell the difference between a Costco run farmers market and a market run by farmers. I think the first step is to know if farmers is the word or the acronym. It’s almost has difficult as telling the difference between a real news site and a satirical news site.
Correction- *as not has*
The real outrage is that half the stalls won’t take my Costco credit card, in flagrant disregard of Costco’s advertising that it is good at all Costco locations!
I personally feel duped by this. I must be thick of brow and dull of wit. It was my understanding this was a REAL Farmers Market. Not a corporate money game where they charge more for their product because it is “organic” or produced for the Farmers market only by a Mom and Pop business struggling to survive but so in love with their product(s) they sell it at the market. I have a membership to Costco and when I feel like purchasing Costco I go to Costco. When I feel like going to the Fredericton Farmers market , I go there expecting it to be a real Farmers market, not some play put on by corporate agencies to further take my money. I will not return to the Farmers market because of this. If not all stalls have sold out, I am sorry but I cannot trust the big corporations to be “REAL”. I will miss the KURT’s Sausages, the samosa and the OJ etc…… Costco, get out of the local market place and do you business as you openly advertise it. There are other farmers markets around though and I will be frequenting them. I would urge all to do same unless you like and support the whole (what appears to be) not forthright tactics.