2019 Farmers Market Season Approaching

March 5, 2019
By Downtown Yakima Farmers Market

(Yakima, WA) – The Downtown Association of Yakima (DAY) is gearing up for the Downtown Yakima Farmers Market (DYFM) 2019 season with the announcement that the Market will start on Mother’s Day weekend, May 12th, and go through October 27th; the market taking place Sunday’s 9am to 1pm in Downtown Yakima on S. 3rd Street in front of the Capitol Theatre.

Yvette Lippert, DYFM Manager, has scads to say about last year’s market. “I thoroughly enjoyed managing the Market last year and, although we had nothing to compare it to, being new, the DAY Board and I were exceptionally pleased with the 2018 overall results.  The Market saw approximately $281k in vendor sales, 25k+ people in attendance and 60 vendors within a 6-month period.  That’s a great accomplishment considering we had only six weeks to get the Farmers Market started from scratch.   On the marketing side, Executive Director of DAY, Andrew Holt, and I also worked with Malissa Gatton from Yakima Valley Studio to create a new Market logo that will be used throughout our marketing materials and social media this year.  We’re anticipating that the new branding will separate us from other local markets in the Yakima Valley.”

If you attended last year, you would likely know that the DYFM accepts various forms of market currency, including but not limited to, SNAP/EBT paired with Fresh Bucks and the WIC/Senior Nutrition Program.  The Market has been warranted a free EBT wireless machine through the state that will allow the Market to service a higher number of people.  “Last year the Market was approved to take EBT, but each card had to be called in to confirm funds,” says Lippert. “It was tedious, but the Market still averaged $161/month in EBT sales and $64/month in Fresh Bucks, all within a 5-month period with little marketing.”  Lippert expects to double EBT sales this year through the active partnership with Catholic Charities of Spokane, which should yield more posters and rack cards in both English & Spanish at various medical/health and community facilities around the Yakima Valley. “This program should not only increase the use of EBT at DYFM, “says Lippert,” but likely the Kittitas, Granger and Prosser Farmers’ Markets as well, who are also part of the Fresh Bucks program.”

In addition, DYFM received a $2,000 grant from Pacific Power in October 2018 to obtain a utility trailer.  “This trailer,” says Lippert,” will increase efficiencies in not only event day workload but also for storage, assisting us greatly in our efforts to grow the market.”

As of February 26th, the DYFM sent out applications to existing and prospective vendors for the 2019 Market season.  Lippert has been actively seeking new farmers and an assortment of other vendors for the upcoming season, while also attending particular statewide events and talking with other Washington State market managers.  “DAY received some positive feedback from local restaurants and consumers; however, the need for a larger variety of farmers was mentioned more than once.  I’m searching to find that variety without going in the direction of resale.  We should not have to rely on resale vendors considering the Yakima Valley is the most prominent agriculture area in the region.”  With Spring right around the corner, Lippert is excited about the prospects for the 2019 Downtown Yakima Farmers Market.

If you are interest in becoming a vendor at the 2019 DYFM, visit the DYFM website at https://downtownyakimafarmersmarket.com and click on “Become a Vendor.”  The DYFM Manager, Yvette Lippert, can also be contacted through email at farmersmarket@downtownyakima.com and by phone at 509-961-2055.