It has been talked about for years, in the serious planning stages for a couple of seasons and now it’s here – the Enumclaw Plateau Farmers Market is ready for launch.
With more than 30 vendors on board, the market will make its debut Thursday afternoon and then continue, with one exception, every Thursday through the end of September. The market will skip the Fourth of July holiday.
Opening day gets rolling with a public ceremony at 2:30 p.m. and sales kick off at 3. Hours for the Thursday market will always be 3 to 7 p.m.
Liz Clark, the driving force behind the effort, reported last week that all loose ends had been tied up. The city of Enumclaw had approved an event permit and helped with signage; the state’s Liquor and Cannabis Board had OK’d a permit for alcohol vendors (there will be no cannabis products); and Public Health – Seattle and King County was on the verge of giving its final blessing.
The market will be found on First Street (Kasey Kahne Drive), with vendors lining up just north of Griffin Avenue. Vendors fall into three categories: farmers and ranchers; value-added and prepared-food vendors; and artisans, services and musicians.
Most of the farmer-rancher booths will be from the Enumclaw area, Clark said, although a Mount Vernon berry producer has signed on. Among the prepared foods, market visitors will find everything from balsamic vinegar to kettle corn, from sweet treats to a hot dog wagon; the final category has vendors who sell pottery, garden art, cutlery and more.
Many of the vendors are regulars at other markets in the region. Clark said Thursday was chosen for Enumclaw to avoid conflicts with the closest, neighboring markets.
Clark has been on the farmers market bandwagon for some time, having first examined the possibility of an Enumclaw market in 2014. So, she said, “the idea has been around for awhile.”
She spent a couple of years on the city’s Food, Tourism and Ag Committee, did her research and learned a couple of things. One, it takes seed money to get a market off the ground and, second, there’s an immense amount of detail behind the project.
“It’s a lot more work than it seems,” she said.
Finally ready to make the plunge, Clark rounded up friends willing to help form the nonprofit entity. The Enumclaw Chamber of Commerce has been supportive throughout the process, Clark said, adding that “the city has been really good to work with.”
Finally, some financial help came in the form of a $1,500 grant from King County. The money, channeled through the Community Service Area Grant Program, was provided to help boost awareness outside the city. That cash came on top of $2,000 provided by the city.