Christmas descended early upon the first floor of Ryerson’s Student Learning Centre. A holiday market is taking place there for the first time. Students and faculty can buy food, clothing and handcraft items from more than 40 Ryerson community vendors.
Each day of the market has had different vendors and products: Monday featured food merchants; Tuesday, featured fashion entrepreneurs; Wednesday featured student groups selling their merchandise; and Thursday will feature Ryerson entrepreneurs selling hand crafted items.
“I have always been a fan of craft markets, the kind of Etsy-style, one-of-a-kind show marketplace,” said Jessica Russell, an SLC assistant and the event organizer. “I felt like Ryerson has many untapped creative minds and I wanted to give them an opportunity to have a marketplace experience.”
Russell said she especially wanted to give students with a hobby — who aren’t a part of a zone or group — the chance to sell their products at the market.
One of those student entrepreneurs is Husain Mulla, the founder of Golden Crumb Biscuit which sells homemade cookies and treats. He said when he was a child, his favourite cookie type was Peek Freans chocolate chip. “Eventually I started making my own and it hit me ‘If I can create a great product, — might as well get it out there,’” Mulla said. Mulla said once he finds the money, he plans to open his own cookie shop.
Some of the other vendors at the market are the same ones who come to the Gould St. farmers’ market during the summer, such as David O’Connor, owner of Genuine Tea. He sells direct trade premium tea. He started the business after four years travelling through Taiwan, where premium tea is popular. “We are really trying to improve the quality of tea in the industry because most of it is artificially flavoured,” he said.
The event encourages students to drop off non-perishable food items in a donation box near the centre’s entrance to support the Good Food Room, which supports Ryerson community members.
The market is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.