Vendors say move next year will be good for Everett Farmers Market

EVERETT — Hundreds turned out Sunday morning for the final Everett Farmers Market of the season.

When the market resumes in May it will have a new home at the Port of Everett’s nearby Boxcar Park at the end of the Port Gardner Wharf.

The move could bring more people to the already popular market, said one vendor.

At its current home, “you’re either here or leave, because there’s nothing else to do,” Stuart Ballard said. He works at Skipley Farm in Snohomish.

The market now is shoehorned between busy West Marine Drive and the port’s marina. The market is moving to make way for new construction, including a walkway connecting the waterfront with North Everett, which sits on a bluff beyond the five-lane street and railroad.

At the end of Port Gardner Wharf, Boxcar Park will give the market more room. It is a key piece of the Port of Everett’s $373 million Waterfront Place Central redevelopment project to build green space, upscale apartments and condos, and boutique stores and restaurants.

The Everett Farmers Market is “one of the better ones” in the region, said Craig Rhodes, who works at Breadfarm north of Mount Vernon.

The artisan bakery’s revenues at the Everett market have gone up about 15 percent compared to last year, he said.

“I’ve seen the development of loyal customers” here over the past couple years, he said.

Several shoppers asked how they can get Breadfarm’s goods during the winter.

“The only time you see sales dive here is the start of Seahawks season,” Rhodes said.

Several vendors agreed.

“No doubt about it,” said Tim Ewing, co-owner of Happy Fish Co. “Our sales drop 50 percent.”

He and his business partner, Brian Hays, sell fresh salads and other seafood dishes. It’s a hobby for the two. Both men spent years in the food industry.

It’s almost “a way of life,” Hays said.

“It’s such a great feeling when someone has one of your salads, and comes back and says ‘That was awesome!’?” he said.

With its waterfront home, there is no other farmer’s market quite like the one in Everett, Ewing said.

“We get a lot of people off their boats,” he said, pointing at the hundreds of motorboats and sailboats docked in the port’s marina.

It has taken the pair a couple years to build up a steady clientele. Ewing said he is not worried about having to start over after the move.

“There’s been a lot of buzz about the move,” he said.

Everett Farmers Market organizers did not officially announce the move until last week. They declined to be interviewed for the story.

The market will be at its new home for at least two years, by which time the Port of Everett expects to be well under way with work on its mixed-use redevelopment project.

The Port wants to “take good care” of the market and support its continued success, said Terrie Battuello, the Port of Everett’s head of business development. “It’s been an important part of our planning.”

Dan Catchpole: 425-339-3454; dcatchpole@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @dcatchpole.

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