The old Belconnen market hall is currently being demolished and construction of the new Capital Food Market will begin shortly.
Capital Food Market director Christopher Young said he was excited to take the Canberra food scene to another level, with the market expected to open mid-2023.
“Obviously, the period of COVID had been an interruption, but a lot of food service operators are now back on their feet and well supported by Canberrans,” he said.
“Canberrans love regional produce and it’s a great thing they’ve got that willingness to support smaller traders.
“The first stage will be to excavate the basement carpark and the traders’ storage and cool room areas that sit beneath the food market.
“We completed the large retail strip in Ibbott Lane in early 2022 that is now home to Chemist Warehouse, Pet Barn, Andersons Flooring, BBQs Galore, Elements 4 Life and a medical practice.”
The next stage is building the market itself.
Christopher said tenants were moved out of the market hall several months ago and were all currently trading in a temporary location, the Belco Market Shed.
“The new market is inspired by European-style markets like those in Barcelona, with a mix of fresh food providores and casual dining options all under the one roof,” he said.
“We are now looking for a number of food specialists to join us – especially those who can add theatre and atmosphere to the market experience.”
Specialists to join the new market could include a food pub operator, a fresh pasta maker, artisan chocolatier, and organic and Asian fruit and vegetable traders, as well as food and beverage professionals such as yum cha, yakitori, wood fired pizza and Vietnamese.
The Capital Food Market aims to create a vibrant atmosphere for its guests and traders.
“The plan is designed with a large seating and activation space in the centre of the market,” Christopher said.
“We plan to use this space for a number of pop-up events, seasonal festivals, to teach kids how to cook, for different promotions of regional produce, seafood and local wines.”
The market will also feature a large garden area with external seating and a children’s playground where visitors can enjoy their takeaway food.
He said the Capital Food Market would be unlike any other in Canberra.
“Our interest is to find the absolute best tenants we can find – for that use, for our market, that fits our mix – because we know the success of the market basically comes down to the individual tenants and the way they interact within the market.
“We want to know about their experience, their food dream and their specialty.”
The market has appointed Anthony Huckstep, who runs Australia’s largest food podcast, ‘Deep in the Weeds’.
“Anthony was an ex-food critic and has written a great seafood cookbook,” Christopher said. “He will be joining us because of his relationship and knowledge of the Australian food scene and those special food providores and restaurant operators.
“He is assisting us to meet these people we consider would be great additions to join our mix.”
He said the Capital Food Market aimed to achieve net-zero emissions.
“Our plan is to recycle all the main waste streams and to minimise general waste going into landfill.”
The sustainability plan includes separating and compacting all cardboard, using a food digester machine to separate all green waste scraps, and thermally designing the building so the temperature stays around the low 20s all year round.
“We think this marketplace will be an absolute godsend for Canberra, and will be the best food attraction in the whole of Canberra because everything will be under one roof,” Christopher said.
If you’re interested in becoming a tenant visit Capital Food Market.