Snohomish Farmers Market: a place for everyone.
Posted On: August 30, 2017
Snohomish Farmers Market is a beloved fixture in its local Washington scene. Currently in their 26th season, the market is nestled in the town’s historic district near older institutions such as the Carnegie Library, the town’s oldest remaining public building. With a vibrant Pop Club program, collaborations with local artists, and fun events like an annual Flash Mob, it seems everyone is pulled into the market mix.
“We are local. We are in the heart of an amazing community and have many folks that have attended for years,” says Sarah Dylan Jensen, Snohomish Market Manager. “The amount of people that visit every week during the summer is incredible and we love being that for our customers.”
Join the Snohomish community and follow along as the takeover our Instagram for the next two weeks.
Farmers Market Coalition: Give us a little bit of history about your market.
Sarah Dylan Jensen: The Snohomish Farmers Market is celebrating its 26th year in Historic Downtown Snohomish. We are a vendor-owned market run by a Board of Directors and paid Market Manager, Sarah. We love to utilize local honor society students for the remaining tasks including set up, tear down, Kids Club and more.
We average about 55 vendors throughout our 5 month season which begins in May and runs through the last Thursday in September. We have a wide variety of Washington and Snohomish farmers, local bakers, incredible artists and a combination of food tents and trucks. Our vendors are incredible and often have lived & worked in Snohomish their entire lives. We abide by WSFMA rules and limit products to only those made or grown in Washington, Idaho and Oregon.
FMC: Describe your market.
SDJ: We are in the heart of the Historic Downtown Snohomish district- one filled with history and heart. It was once named the Antique Capital of the Northwest and was recently named one of America’s “Coolest Small Towns” There is a great sense of pride in our community and we are set against the backdrop of the historic Carnegie Library which was founded in the early 1900’s.
FMC: How do you generate neighborhood excitement for your market?
SDJ: Our market manager also doubles as our Social Media and Graphics extraordinaire and manages all of our marketing.
One special thing we like to do is utilize our local artists for our yearly market poster design and have had great success working with a local shop called “Arts of Snohomish.” Our posters are coveted items and have been for years. We just started the local artist program 2 years ago and plan to stick with it for the foreseeable future.
Our market does accept WIC/SNAP/EBT and we’re working with the WSFMA team and Food From Farms to create a matching program. We also host a Power of Produce Kids Club which encourages local kids to try new fruits & vegetables and get to know their farmer. This community-sponsored event provides children with $2 market tokens each week for an 8-week period each season.
FMC: How do you promote your market?
SDJ: Primarily we use Facebook and Instagram. Our manager provides a bi-weekly newsletter to both vendors and customers trying to generate excitement for things to come.
We are also very open to working with other local community groups as we find that positive relationships are the best ones and provide a lot of support and shout outs. Last night, we had our annual Flash Mob featuring the local Senior Center’s jazz dance club. They did an awesome job at the market with their dancing!
Best advice – be social and be doing it often. We try to post every day and often during the market as a reminder for folks to hit us up on their way home from work (our hours are 3-7p)
FMC: What are some of your market’s challenges and successes?
SDJ: In today’s technological world, many people don’t pay attention to things for longer than a few seconds. One of our biggest challenges is educating people as to why shopping at our market is SO good for them, us and the community.
We often hear “it’s cheaper at Safeway” and “why don’t you have xyz” not realizing that raspberries aren’t ready yet when a local grocer has them. We try to kindly redirect focus to relationships and how good their dollars are for the community they live in.
FMC: Anything else you’d like to add?
SDJ: Our market manager also tries to wear a new outfit every week (she studied Fashion Design and worked in the industry for 12 years) so that’s a fun social media campaign that keeps people interested.