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Prairie Horizon Fresh Market shifts to online delivery

Following a year of preparation, Prairie Horizon Fresh Market was set to hold its soft opening March 14, in a 23,000-square-foot space in New Horizon Mall. Instead, the spread of COVID-19 threw a wrench into those plans.

“It all just erupted – that’s as good a word as you’re going to find, unfortunately,” said co-owner Ken Aylesworth. “We’d spent the last nine months visiting with potential vendors, doing all the designs and getting our permitting in place.”

Rather than throwing in the towel or postponing the opening date, the market is now offering an online food delivery service for residents of Airdrie and Calgary.

“You can go online and order up and we’ll deliver,” Aylesworth said. “We’re also doing curb-side service, so you can order and come pick it up, if you wish.”

Those interested living outside Calgary or Airdrie are asked to send an email to TheCleanPantry@shaw.ca before placing an order.

The delivery service will include products from four Alberta vendors. Just Ripe will sell fresh vegetables, including cucumbers, tomatoes, eggplants, lettuce and peppers; Moo Cow and Dutchman Dairy will supply milk, cheese, butter and ice cream; RFG Meats and Seafood will stock locally raised beef, chicken and fresh frozen Canadian seafood; and The Clean Pantry will offer pantry staples.

The food will be delivered within 24 hours of ordering, according to Aylesworth, who added the service provides high-quality food options for people who may want to avoid grocery stores during the pandemic.

“I think there’s been an overreaction in general in the hoarding of products,” he said. “But people come to markets because they want to know where their products are coming from, how they’re produced, grown, how many hands have touched it, et cetera.”

The vendors have all collaborated to make the delivery service possible, according to Aylesworth. One business-owner supplied the refrigerated van that will be used to transport food, while another provided access to her business’ Shopify account, which allows the various products to be listed and sold easily online.

“I referred to it this morning as an old-fashioned barn-raising,” Aylesworth said. “All the vendors are coming together, and we’re all being impeded by the exact same problem – COVID.”

A $10 delivery fee, of which half will go to the Calgary and Airdrie food banks, will be charge for orders between $75 and $149. Delivery for orders of $150 or more will not be charged a delivery fee. Prairie Horizon Fresh Market’s online delivery service can be found at bit.ly/3biWERD, and a minimum purchase of $75  is required.

“The vendors are not really worried about the cost at this point,” Aylesworth said. “It’s all about being a community, working together and helping out.”

While the pandemic continues to require social distancing, the market will be open to in-person shoppers from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays with the first hour for seniors only.

COVID-19 UPDATE: Follow our COVID-19 special section for the latest local and national news on the coronavirus pandemic, as well as resources, FAQs and more.

Scott Strasser, AirdrieToday.com
Follow me on Twitter @scottstrasser19

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