Where did this idea come from?
If you have been around downtown Vancouver for very long, you may remember that C-Tran used to have a much more significant presence in the area than they currently do. So much so, in fact, that they built a park where ticketing took place and people waited for their buses. When C-Tran left, the park was closed to the public and though a variety of businesses cycled through the space, none engaged the community the way that was initially intended.
Noticing the empty space, Alex created Columbia Food Park with a focus on bringing passion, vision, and identity to the space.
"I’ve lived in downtown Vancouver since 2008 and recently built a home in the Arnada neighborhood. When my wife and I were looking at places to raise our two young boys there wasn’t anywhere that ranked higher than downtown Vancouver. I work downtown at a tech company called DiscoverOrg, and have a strong feeling that the community is on the verge of expanding rapidly as similar businesses clamor to fill the space. Ultimately I believe that if we encourage this growth in a community-focused way, downtown Vancouver will become a closer approximation of what we want it to be. I believe that the best thing we can do for the community is provide the tools necessary for anyone with a passion to have a realistic shot at success, which Columbia Food Park will do."
When working through the specifics of what our project should be, we landed on a model that merged the idea of creatively serving food and building up the community. Here is our plan:
We are embracing local food vendors to begin their first business, or simply expand upon a dream they have to grow.
We are offering branding, custom websites, online ordering, and community partnerships to all vendors that rent space from us.
We are designing a bar that will always be dedicated to local craft beers, wine, and ciders.
We will have a stage for local bands and a projection screen system designed for regular community movie nights.
We will offer food/drink/community from sunup to sundown Monday through Sunday.
We want to create the support and opportunity for others to start something big and to do so without losing everything they have built.