Who We Are


Island Roots Market Co-operative is a registered Community Services (Not-for-Profit) Co-operative.

 Anyone can become a member by purchasing one or more shares.  


The members of the current board of directors are as follows:


Larry Whaley - President

Bill Yarbrough - Treasurer

Wayne Osborne

Erin Murphy

Jon Born

Ben Glassen

Carol Breitenbach




Nanaimo's only year round market.


October  - April inside the Centennial Building at Beban Park.


May - Nov outside at Beban Park.


Purposes of The Co-operative Association

  • to provide a place for farmers, artisans and other local producers, who are members of the Co-op, to display and sell their products;
  • to acquire, on behalf of its members, the supplies, materials, equipment and facilities that are required;
  • to encourage local food production (including urban agriculture), and in so doing strengthen the economy and increase food security;
  • to provide a place for consumers to obtain locally grown and produced products;
  • to create jobs that pay a living wage, and in so doing, to support the local economy;
  • to assist in the creation of new, or development of existing, co-operatives that have purposes similar or complementary to those of the association;
  • to ensure that the workers, suppliers and consumers who are members of the association control it;
  • to limit the spread between the wages paid to the lowest and the highest paid employee of the co-­op.


A Brief History

After listening to Occupy Nanaimo participants in late 2011 Gordon Fuller commented that a surprisingly large number of them wanted to farm. That comment brought about an interesting question: How do you earn a living from farming if there is no market for your product? The search for the answer resulted in a series of community meetings that lead to the registration of the Island Roots Market Co-operative on July 17, 2012.


MORE ... Progress Report


Looking Ahead

Our current project is A Year Round Market at Beban Park. We will offer local produce and products, offices, workshops, classes, presentations, films, and social events. The Cooperative will engage and involve people of all ages as volunteers and employees. We plan to have an assistant to work with start ups. The development will include a cafe and food preparation area.