The Ksan House Society is looking at creating a new kind of marketplace in town.
The idea is to convert Ksan’s fresh produce production and free store into a business venture that will turn profit and help out community members in need at the same time.
Marianne Weston has been hired as Ksan’s community program coordinator for this social enterprise called Ksan Marketplace.
She said now that Ksan’s northern fresh food program has merged with Terrace Anti-Poverty’s community gardens, production will be expanding quite a bit. Some of this extra produce will go to clients and community members in need, but Weston thinks Ksan will be able to sell about half of its fresh locally grown organic food.
Ksan and Anti-Poverty’s amalgamation also means that the free stores both ran before will result in one larger enterprise able to handle bigger items such as furniture.
“Neither of the thrift stores deal with items like that, yet they’re really needed,” said Weston.
And some of these donated items could be remanufactured, she said; for example, clothes could be made into gardening aprons, carriers, or recycle bags.
“We kind of want that kind of a marketplace,” Weston continued. “It’s low cost, we’re recycling, it’s good for the environment, it’s local eating, it’s providing stuff for people in need at low cost or no cost, depending.”
People could come in and work at the store, gain some skills and work experience and use their work as a bartering system for goods.
She said Ksan would still like to provide this service for free to clients and people in community who are in need, and having this be part of the new marketplace would help bring in some profit and make it more accessible to people.
Currently, Ksan’s free store is in the basement of its emergency shelter on Hall St.
There is no location for this potential Ksan marketplace yet, and Weston said there won’t be until some money is found.
“It would be real nice to be up and running this year,” she said, adding that she’s getting started on a business plan and she’s hoping to work with enterprising non-profits.
“There’s got to be something we can do in this economy here…where everyone’s in need, but we’re still able to help them,” she said.