Regulars who visit the Puyallup Farmers Market don’t have to wait until the weekend to stock up on locally grown produce. The Puyallup Main Street Association introduced the Sunset Market late last May.
The newest addition, a smaller version of the usual weekend extravaganza, is operating on a weekday evening instead of a weekend morning in downtown Puyallup.
Situated at the Pioneer Park Pavilion, the smaller market hosts a little more than 12 businesses each Wednesday. Market-goers will find a variety of local businesses represented, including Spooner Farms, Wanna Cupcake? and Jeri’s Fudge.
It’s Andrea Whitfeldt’s first year of farming and selling her produce in downtown Puyallup. Her business, Simple City Farm, operates just minutes away and is participating in the Sunset Market all summer.
Even though she has seen pretty consistent business, she feels many people don’t shop at the Sunset Market simply because they don’t know about it.
“It’s cute and little, and people can come buy their groceries here,” Whitfeldt said.
Brandi Pillard, owner of Soap Cabin, has noticed a similar trend. During the first month of the season, the Sunset Market dealt with bad weather on Wednesdays, but it’s turned around recently, she said.
Pillard said it’s a little slow on Wednesdays, but “she would love more” people to come and check out what the market has to offer. Pillard offers soaps that are made specifically for people who have easily irritated skin. She began to make the soaps to cater to family allergies, and that developed into the business she has today.
Elephant ears, homemade crepes, handmade soaps, and locally grown veggies are just a few of the products available.
The location offers a unique opportunity for families with young children who are visiting Pioneer Park or the Puyallup Public Library. While parents may not want to splurge on buying sweets, there often are vendors who blow balloon animals for children.
The weekday event brings the same caliber of energy its weekend relative offers. The cheery conversations that the business owners have in between their open tents extend warmth into the atmosphere. It’s not uncommon to see customers and business owners engage in avid conversation, and there often is live music at the park for market visitors.
The Sunset Market takes place from 3 to 7:30 p.m. and will continue through Aug. 28. The original Puyallup Farmers’ Market, a 32-year downtown tradition, will continue on the weekends from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Elsy Pawelak is a freelance reporter for the Herald.