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St. Jacobs Farmer’s Market sold to Schegel family

St. Jacobs Farmers Market and Market district businesses are set to change hands from Mercades Corp. to Schlegel Urban Developments Corp.  in early 2018 – contingent on obtaining the necessary corporate and regulatory approvals.

The sale will include the land and operations of the St Jacobs Outlets, the St Jacobs Farmer’s Market, Market Road Antiques and the TSC property. The businesses, and approximate 45 acres of land which they sit on, is currently owned by the Ross and Milo Shantz families and 40 Independent shareholders.

Since 1975 the Farmers’ Market land has been home to the Ontario Livestock Exchange (OLEX), and the St Jacobs Farmers’ Market with more than 350 year round vendors. Today the second generation of Shantz entrepreneurs operate and partner in the farmers’ market, restaurants, furniture stores, hotels andother business enterprises. The Farmers’ Market and Village of St. Jacobs are now an international destination attracting over one million visitors to the area each year.

Owned and operated by the Ronald Schlegel family, the Schlegel family group of companies are actively involved in a wide variety of businesses, including mental health and addiction services across Canada, seniors care across Ontario, as well as urban development and agri-business more locally. One of the portfolio entities, Schlegel Urban Developments, is a Kitchener based real estate company recognized for its master-planned residential subdivision projects and unique commercial developments, the most prominent being the mixed-use Williamsburg Town Centre on Fischer-Hallman Road in southwest Kitchener.

“We are truly excited to welcome the St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market District businesses into the Schlegel family and look forward to continuing to improve and grow this unique community asset. We believe the tradition of excellence in offering high quality, locally produced food, unique artisans and crafts and a meaningful rural Ontario experience to both local Waterloo Region customers and visitors from through-out the province of Ontario provides a significant economic benefit across the Region of Waterloo ” said Dr. Ron Schlegel, Chairman of Schlegel Urban Developments. “We respect the national reputation developed by the Shantz family as well as the proven Shantz family dedication to local producers, small business entrepreneurs and giving back to the local community. ”

The Mercedes Board considered a variety of strategic alternatives and determined the Schlegel Urban Developments offer was the most attractive and best alternative for all stakeholders to see the Farmers’ Market District into the future. “We are very pleased to announce this transition and to provide an ongoing opportunity for our many valued vendors, tenants, OLEX and partners to deliver high quality goods and one of a kind products. We are thankful for the support of all our employees over the years. Their hard work has contributed to the success of all these properties.” said Mercedes co-founder and President Ross Shantz. “The future of the Farmers’ Market District is exciting and strong” added longtime Director of Market Operations, Sheila Shantz, who is staying on to lead the market team as they, along with other Mercedes employees join Schlegel Urban Developments. “We have many long-term vendors who have been with us every step of the way, and we look forward to continuing our tradition of delivering a unique experience to all market visitors and customers” she added. ”The Schlegel and Shantz families have known each other since the 1960’s and share not only local farming roots but also values of hard work, honesty, integrity and fairness in our business dealings” added James Schlegel, President and CEO of Schlegel Urban Developments. “We look forward to building upon the rich legacy of excellence and innovation established by the Shantz family and creating an even stronger more dynamic farmers market district into the future — a place where families can learn about rural Ontario, find locally produced foods and hand-crafted products and where everyone experiences community in a uniquely ‘Waterloo County’ way.”

More information to follow. Read all about it in tomorrow’s Observer.

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