August 29, 2017
Two fancy stands opened in the ByWard Market on Tuesday with hopes they will help dress-up the tourist area.
BeaverTails put up $100,000 to build the enclosed stands and chose the first vendors — Maple Country Sugar Bush and Maker House Company — to occupy the year-round mini stores.
“We wanted to see vending as part of the new plaza, as part of the gateway to the market,” BeaverTails founder Grant Hooker said during the official opening of the stands.
“I just thought, if there were some really nice stands on either side of the market building at the back of the plaza, like bookends, it would be beautiful.”
According to Hooker, the city was cool to the idea at first because of the cost. He offered to loan the money to the city.
Hooker said an exchange with Coun. Stephen Blais changed his thinking about financing the project.
“(Blais) said, ‘Are you going to ask for the loan to be paid back?’ And then I realized, we’ve been here 37 years. The market has been so good to us,” Hooker said.
“We built a franchise company that has 135 stores around the world, starting from that booth. We’re a corporation. We can be a corporate sponsor.”