9 February 2023

Come for the tacos, stay for the community at the Canberra Food Co-op Night Market

| Lucy Ridge
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person serving tacos

Weekly Taco Thursdays are a great way to socialise and meet new people within the Co-op community. Photo: Supplied.

The Canberra Food Coop is starting the year off right with a night market event. The evening is billed as a night of ‘Tacos, tunes, tinnies and trinkets’.

Co-op events manager Yani x told Region that the team is hoping this will be a way to introduce new members to the Co-op and attract more people to use the space.

“We haven’t been getting as much foot traffic as the uni has pivoted to more online classes,” she said, “so we’re really looking to boost the sense of community with more community events.”


The lunches at the Food Co-op are popular among students and office workers in the area. Photo: supplied.

The night market will feature several stalls by local artisans and makers and entertainment from local musicians like Mirror Mirror string duo and Jonah Myers. Regular Co-op favourites Alex Pachenko and Yona Su will also be performing.

The night market coincides with ANU O-Week and the Co-op has a range of activities planned, including tours of their rooftop garden, yoga classes and live music.

READ ALSO First Looks: Raise a glass to good food and good company at Wine Room

It also marks the first of their popular Taco Thursdays for the year, which Yani describes as a ‘mainstay’ of the Co-op’s events calendar. The weekly dinner event serves up soft shell tacos made from ethically sourced ingredients.

The menu for night market event will also include vegan donuts, mulled wine, chai and tinnies from Capital Brewing Co.

The Co-op’s vegan donuts will be on sale at the night market. Photo: Supplied.

The Canberra Food Co-op has been operating since 1976 and is a not-for-profit that relies on member participation. It’s a radically inclusive space where everyone is welcome.

“It’s a place where you don’t have to spend money to be there, to hang out or to access our wifi. And if you need a place to go for whatever reason, we want to be that place,” said Yani.

“We’ve been a part of the Canberra community for a really long time and we’d like to stay that way and keep giving back to the community.”

The night market will also feature local musicians and makers. Photo: Supplied.

The Co-op is a favourite of students and workers alike, who come to enjoy the affordable and generously portioned vegan lunches cooked by a rotating cast of cooks. The shop offers a wide range of plastic-free groceries with a focus on organic, locally sourced products.

three women in front of a shop counter

Co-op Members Yona Su, Yani x and Monique Purton have been busy getting the Co-op ready for the Night Market. Photo: Supplied.

A small core team of staff work with volunteers who receive a discount on their shopping, and some roles also offer store credit. It’s a system that allows members to form relationships within the Co-op community and feel more connected to where their food comes from. Yani says they are always looking for more members and the night market is a great introduction to the fun, creativity and ethos of the Co-op.

“The co-op model works best when more people are involved … so we’re always looking for more people to join and hang out!”

The Canberra Food Co-op is located at 3 Kingsley Street, Canberra. The shop is open from 10 am to 7 pm on weekdays and from 10 am to 4 pm on weekends. The cafe serves lunch from 12 pm to 2 pm (or until sold out) from Monday to Saturday.

The night market will be held on February 16 from 6 pm to 9.30 pm: see the Facebook event for more details. Follow the Co-op on Instagram or Facebook, or sign up for their weekly newsletter. Or just drop in and chat with a member to find out more!

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