NAIT opens new artisanal food market on campus

Meat, meals to go, baked goods and more on offer

When we look for groceries, we’re usually looking for freshness, quality and value. A new market at NAIT’s Main Campus brings all three to one convenient location.

The Artisanal Food Market opened on Oct. 24 as an evolution of the polytechnic’s successful Retail Meat Store, which the new space replaces.

For years, that concept was focused on the Professional Meatcutting and Merchandising program, providing students hands-on education in the trade, along with developing valuable communication skills and reinforcing product knowledge before they join the industry.

Now, it’s a literal one-stop shop featuring not only the output of the meatcutting program but also that of Baking and Pastry Arts, Culinary Arts and apprenticeship Cook. Displayed in coolers alongside various meat products and cuts are prepared meals, soups and cakes. Nearby, shelves are stacked with additional baked goods and jars of colourful preserves.

There will also be new products coming from instructional labs, and products from alumni who have gone on to start their own successful businesses.

A cornucopia of benefits

meat in cooler at NAIT's artisanal market

While students from all programs, staff and the public will benefit from the high quality and reasonable prices of items sold at the market, students from NAIT’s culinary programs will gain more from the market than the knowledge required to ply their trades.

There is great value in learners seeing their work make its way into the hands of consumers, says Perry Michetti (Cooking '90), academic operations manager and culinary arts and professional food studies department head.

“For a student to know how to receive feedback, those goods need to reach customers,” he says. “And, in turn, our students learn how to meet customer needs.”

With the new space being more centrally located and spacious than the previous (now dedicated exclusively to teaching), Michetti doesn’t rule out its potential to enrich the local food and hospitality community by producing new grads who were enticed to enter the field by what they might have seen on the shelves.

“The new retail outlet also allows the department to showcase learning outcomes in a tangible form,” says Michetti.

“There is no better avenue for potential students to understand what they will learn hands-on and produce [during] their time at NAIT than the retailing of their learning outcomes daily.”

Everyone is welcome

rows of preserves on a shelf at NAIT's artisanal market

The NAIT Artisanal Food Market is open to students, staff and the public and is located on Main Campus at O102.

It’s open

  • Mondays to Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m
  • Friday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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