The Fredericton Cultural Market has permanently closed after nearly a decade of offering international foods to the city.
The market aimed at providing a space for newcomers to share their culture through food and start businesses of their own.
Ishaque Noory, who managed the market on King Street, told CBC News in a brief interview Friday that among several issues that led to the closure was a decline in vendors at the once bustling market.
He declined to comment further.
The market first opened in 2015 and quickly grew to host more than 38 vendors.
Initially located in the Cultural Centre on Saunders Street, it was forced to move in late 2019 because of renovations.
Its reopening at 435 King St. was then delayed by the COVID-19 lockdown.
But it finally opened in May 2020, the space quickly saw heightened foot traffic, so it expanded the hours of operation from a Saturday-only market to six days a week.
A business incubator
Bruce McCormack, the general manager of Downtown Fredericton Inc., said the market acted as an "incubator" for small businesses.
"A couple of the businesses there had found long-term locations, which was a good thing," said McCormack.
"I feel bad," he said of the closure. "I thought it was a great addition to downtown."
McCormack said he doesn't know why the market closed for good.
Still optimistic about downtown
McCormack said the location on King Street is valuable, and he's optimistic it will be filled with new tenants soon.
"We're very fortunate, we don't have a lot of space downtown so we're not concerned, '' he said.
McCormack said he knows potential new tenants have already inquired about the space.