EVERETT — Hundreds of people popped in for the first Everett Farmers Market monthly popup Sunday.
The smell of kettle corn, lumpia and meat pies greeted visitors outside of the sunshine dappled Everett Performing Arts Center. Inside the building, the constant thrum of conversations echoed the space’s energy during a play’s intermission. Instead of talk about a show, it was about the 30-plus vendors’ bacon, brownies, candles, dog treats, jams and jellies, jewelry, root vegetables, wind chimes, winter greens and other goods and wares.
After seemingly endless days of rain, an afternoon of sunshine got people out to the Wetmore Plaza for an early look at the upcoming full summer market season.
“I love that people are choosing to come here instead of doing yard work,” PupCakes owner Sandra Rindero said.
Around noon, people had steadily sifted through the booths on the main floor and upstairs, which had a wine bar. Foot traffic is always a sign of a good market day, several vendors said, and the first hour of the inaugural Everett popup was in step with that.
Similar to the first day the regular summer market relocated to downtown Everett last summer, on-street parking was sparse, a mark of good numbers for the vendors.
Rabbits Pantry, a cafe and wellness center in Everett, had a table stocked with jars of loose-leaf tea blends. They had names such as “Boy Stuff,” “Contagious,” “Girl Stuff” and “Smokey Bear.” The business, in its third year with the Everett Farmers Market, was glad to join the first popup market.
“We love being within our community and seeing the people we serve,” Candice Macdonald said.
By 12:40 p.m., a tally counter clicked 650 people through the doors. In the regular summer season, the Sunday market averages between 3,000 and 5,000 people, with weather a top factor in the fluctuation.
With clouds and sunshine, and not a drop of rain in sight, the three-booth outdoor food court attracted lines for kettle corn, Filipino food and hand-made meat pies. 88 Cues churned through lumpia, similar to egg rolls, and pork belly adobo. An employee said business was busier than he expected on the first popup market.
A Washington State University study found that farmers markets have grown in the state and become economic drivers in some areas.
Everett spokesman Julio Cortes said having the market in downtown Everett last season was a benefit for the city.
“The farmers market was a big success last year and our community really embraced it in the downtown area,” he said in an email. “We hope to find opportunities to pepper it in during the fall and winter months.”
There are two more popup markets set for March and April.
The regular weekly Everett Farmers Market is set to open Mother’s Day, May 10. The Wednesday market at Everett Station is scheduled to begin June 10.
Nothing was set beyond the conclusion of the summer season in October.