Ralph and Elizabeth Merk regularly surveyed construction of the new building in the works in the 22700-block of Fraser Highway. (Ronda Payne/Langley Advance)

Ralph and Elizabeth Merk regularly surveyed construction of the new building in the works in the 22700-block of Fraser Highway. (Ronda Payne/Langley Advance)

VIDEOS: Ralph’s Farm Market ramping up new store in rural Langley

The little produce market that could reopened in its new digs today (Wednesday, Jan. 17).

by Ronda Payne/Special to the Langley Advance

UPDATE: Now re-opened. Ralph’s has undergone massive growth through the years, and today unveils its new 11,000-square-foot story to the public.

•••••••

The brand new country-styled building on Fraser Highway is going to make things a whole lot easier for the team at Ralph’s Farm Market and even better for customers.

This new location, talked about for around 10 years, is taking shape to deliver a better shopping experience for Langley.

Monday, Oct. 30 ended an era as friends, family, and onlookers watched the old buildings and structures come down making way for parking.

New store manager David Sella noted, it was quite a sight.

“It was great, Ralph got to climb in the excavator and take the first swings,” he said of the demolition. “It went as planned.”

Sella’s name is new (he’s been on board for just six weeks) yet he’s proud to be part of the team already.

Murray Redekop will continue his focus on fruits and vegetables as produce manager, while Murray’s wife Dianne will transition from store manager to grocery manager.

Ralph and Elizabeth Merk are the owners of this family-run business: Dianne and Ralph are siblings, bringing family together on a daily basis.

“We’ve hired a new store manager,” Murray Redekop said. “In moving to the new building, it’s a little bit more involved. We thought it would be nice to have someone take on a managerial position – something we haven’t had before.”

It’s going to be a considerable job for Sella.

With about the same amount of space for produce, a new mini-bistro area, and a small butcher shop being added to the offerings already seen at Ralph’s, there will be even more reasons for customers to come in and shop.

“Our focus still is produce, but we’re adding a bistro – a little sit-down area for people to have coffee and a muffin or soup,” Redekop noted.

“And we’ve also added a fresh meat counter with a full-time butcher. We’re going to have all kinds of cuts [of meat]. That’s something we’re really excited about.”

The addition of the bistro and meat counter gives Ralph’s more of a one-stop shopping experience, but it will be a few weeks before the new space is revealed to customers.

“To renovate would have almost resulted in a new building itself,” Redekop explained.

“It came a head when we just looked at the store that we [were] in and realized that either we renovate and do an extensive renovation, or we just build new. The positive for us has been that we were able to stay open [for a longer time than if renovating] and the disruption in business has just been in our parking lot.”

Redekop added that while the building is slightly larger than the space Ralph’s has previously occupied, the new building was more about efficiency than adding floor space. Offices, coolers, and storage will all be housed together for the first time.

“We have a whole bunch of little out-buildings outside whereas with our new building everything is under one roof,” he said.

“We probably have five man-hours a day without the doors even being open. Because of our tent situation we have to take everything out and bring everything in. With the new building… that won’t be an issue anymore.”

For those who’ve grown to love the laid-back country nature of Ralph’s, don’t worry, this too will find its way into the new building, he insisted.

“Our goal isn’t to change who we’ve been,” Redekop said. “We still want to be a lot about community and look forward to serving our customers the same way that we did in the past.”

Sella echoed this, “They’ve done it right. Ralph and Elizabeth are true to themselves and true to their beliefs. They’re as good as everybody thinks they are.”

Ralph’s is now closed to put on final touches in preparation for the move into the building.

“I believe Nov. 15th we’re getting power,” Sella said. “All the hardware is in, the refrigeration cases are in, paint and decor is in place and the floors getting finished.”

Redekop said to mark early December on the calendar as the date to watch for the new doors to open – if all goes as planned.

There is likely to be a grand opening a few weeks later.

“We’ll definitely have that,” he said of a grand opening celebration. “And will let our customers know when that’s happening.”

Redekop sees the new building opening as a celebration of community because customers have been watching the new building take form from the foundation to near finished stage. He has sensed the excitement among regulars as the building progressed.

“We’ve kind of taken the slogan, to our customers, ‘thanks for growing with us’,” he noted. “That’s kind of how we’ve grown into the structure that we have now and even into our new store.”

The country look of the new building pleases Redekop, in that it still has the look of a market. He said this is the beginning of making a visit to Ralph’s more of an experience for customers, as well as the nearly 40 local employees. All seem to be excited about the new space.

Ralph dreamed of the new building on the 22-acre site for a number of years.

Growing up from the simple start of selling produce from a hay wagon, Ralph’s Farm Market is a local success story.

WATCH Episode One: Ralph’s Beginnings

WATCH Episode Two: Your Okanagan Connection

WATCH Tour our market with Ralph’s daughter!

WATCH Episode Four: Our Loyal Customers

WATCH Episode Five: Farm To Table

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Ralph’s Farm Market during various stages of construction during the past six or so months. (Roxanne Hooper/Langley Advance)

Ralph’s Farm Market during various stages of construction during the past six or so months. (Roxanne Hooper/Langley Advance)

Murray Redekop and Ralph Merk on site of the new Ralph’s Farm Market in the 22700 block of Fraser Highway. The new produce store is expected to open mid-November. (Ronda Payne/Langley Advance)

Murray Redekop and Ralph Merk on site of the new Ralph’s Farm Market in the 22700 block of Fraser Highway. The new produce store is expected to open mid-November. (Ronda Payne/Langley Advance)

Ralph’s Farm Market during various stages of construction during the past six or so months. (Roxanne Hooper/Langley Advance)

Ralph’s Farm Market during various stages of construction during the past six or so months. (Roxanne Hooper/Langley Advance)

Ralph’s Farm Market during various stages of construction during the past six or so months. (Roxanne Hooper/Langley Advance)

Ralph’s Farm Market during various stages of construction during the past six or so months. (Roxanne Hooper/Langley Advance)

Ralph’s Farm Market during various stages of construction during the past six or so months. (Roxanne Hooper/Langley Advance)

Ralph’s Farm Market during various stages of construction during the past six or so months. (Roxanne Hooper/Langley Advance)

Ralph’s Farm Market during various stages of construction during the past six or so months. (Roxanne Hooper/Langley Advance)

Ralph’s Farm Market during various stages of construction during the past six or so months. (Roxanne Hooper/Langley Advance)

Ralph and Elizabeth Merk regularly surveyed construction of the new building in the works in the 22700-block of Fraser Highway. (Ronda Payne/Langley Advance)

Ralph and Elizabeth Merk regularly surveyed construction of the new building in the works in the 22700-block of Fraser Highway. (Ronda Payne/Langley Advance)

Ralph’s Farm Market during various stages of construction during the past six or so months. (Roxanne Hooper/Langley Advance)

Ralph’s Farm Market during various stages of construction during the past six or so months. (Roxanne Hooper/Langley Advance)

Just Posted

Free Reformed Church is seen as people attend service, in Chilliwack, B.C., on Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021. Lawyers for the British Columbia government and the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms are back in B.C. Supreme Court today, squaring off over the legality of COVID-19 rules that prohibit in-person religious services. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. top doctor has power to restrict access to a place during health hazard: lawyer

Under B.C.’s Public Health Act, Jacqueline Hughes says, Henry can restrict or prevent entry to a place

A memorial to Hudson Brooks grew quickly outside the South Surrey RCMP detachment following his July 2015 death at the hands of police. (File photo)
Inquest yields ‘sliver of justice’ for South Surrey’s Hudson Brooks: brother

Beau Brooks says he’s not optimistic call for increased RCMP training will bear fruit

Cloverdale robbery suspect. (Surrey RCMP photo)
Man charged in relation to four separate robberies in Cloverdale

Jake Eric Henderson allegedly committed four gas station robberies in January

Twilight Drive-In in Aldergrove (Aldergrove Star files)
Aldergrove Twilight Drive-In fires up big screen for special Retro Weekend

Movies like Peewee’s Big Adventure, The Muppets, Jaws, Grease, and The Wizard of Oz play March 5 to 7

The Langley School District has issued COVID-19 notifications for Langley Secondary School. (Langley Schools)
Latest COVID alerts marks 8 Langley schools on exposure list

Two schools were added to Fraser Health list on Friday

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C. on the COVID-19 situation. (B.C. government)
Dr. Bonnie Henry predicts a ‘post-pandemic world’ for B.C. this summer

‘Extending this second dose provides very high real-world protection to more people, sooner’

The Netflix logo on an iPhone. B.C. delayed imposing sales tax on digital services and sweetened carbonated beverages as part of its response to COVID-19. Those taxes take effect April 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Matt Rourke
B.C. applies 7% sales tax on streaming, vaping, sweet drinks April 1

Measures from 2020 budget were delayed due to COVID-19

Chief Don Tom of the Tsartlip First Nation was outraged after Green MLA Adam Olsen revealed on social media that the community had been experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak – a fact the First Nation had chosen to keep private to avoid racist backlash as experienced by the Cowichan Tribes when an outbreak was declared there in January. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. First Nation ‘outraged’ after Green MLA reveals COVID-19 outbreak

Tsartlip First Nation chief shares concerns about racist backlash, MLA apologizes

A lawyer wears a face mask and gloves to curb the spread of COVID-19 while waiting to enter B.C. Supreme Court, in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, Aug. 28, 2020. British Columbia’s highest court has sided with the land owner in a dispute over public access to public land. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. high court finds in favour of large landowner in fight over access to pair of lakes

The Nicola Valley Fish and Game Club launched legal action after the cattle company blocked road and trail access

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference in Ottawa Friday, March 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau holds firm on premiers’ health-care funding demands, COVID-19 aid comes first

Premiers argue that the current amount doesn’t keep pace with yearly cost increases of about five per cent

A vial of some of the first 500,000 of the two million Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada has secured through a deal with the Serum Institute of India in partnership with Verity Pharma at a facility in Milton, Ont., on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL
B.C. dentists and bus drivers want newly-approved Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine

BC Dental Association says dentists and their teams cannot treat patients remotely

Surrey Pretrial in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. transgender inmate to get human rights hearing after being held in mostly male jail

B.C. Human Rights Tribunal member Amber Prince on March 3 dismissed the pretrial’s application to have Makayla Sandve’s complaint dismissed

President of the BC Teacher’s Federation (BCTF) Teri Mooring is calling for teachers to be vaccinated for COVID-19 by summer. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Why it’s ‘urgent’ B.C. teachers get vaccinated from COVID-19 before summer

President Teri Mooring says not enough is being done to prevent virus transmission in schools

Most Read