Looking for a way to get out of the house, support local farmers and crafters and grab a bite to eat while enjoying beautiful scenery? Take a short drive to historic Steilacoom, nestled within the hillside overlooking the beautiful Puget Sound for the weekly farmers market as it celebrates its 11th year this summer.
Although there are some changes this year to follow regulations set forth by the state, as well as the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department concerning COVID-19, the Steilacoom Farmers Market still offers locally sourced fruit, produce, and the many craft and specialty merchants they have in the past, along with some new ones.
According to Allison Leevers, Steilacoom Farmers Market Coordinator for her third season, “Our staff, interns, and volunteers will be taking extra precautions by wearing face masks, having temperatures taken before shifts, and filling out health questionnaires.” Plexiglass shields have been installed for the information booth, and a sanitation station will be provided for guests’ hand cleansing needs. Vendors will be following many of the same regulations.
As safety will continue to remain integral, and at the forefront of the town’s focus, the Steilacoom Summer Concert series, and other events have been canceled this season when it was decided that certain precautions could not be met.
To provide space for social distancing, the market has spread out and expanded to an additional street this year, allowing ten feet in between each vendor. It not only takes up Lafayette Street, from Main to Wilkes Streets, but the usual Wilkes to Commerce Streets, and multi-purpose court area. A public parking lot is available behind the Port Steilacoom Building and there’s plenty of free street parking.
The Steilacoom Farmers Market prides itself on a diverse selection of offerings. Some returning vendors this year include: Stump Root fresh local produce, deliciously ripe berries from Sidhu Farms, as well as Spooner Farms tempting berries, honey, and jams. The most exquisite floral bouquets can be found at both Thong’s and Chueneng Cha’s Gardens.
The truth is, local farmers and merchants need support now more than ever. “We have a really vibrant and lovely community,” says Leevers, “We’re happy to provide a place for people to shop and support Washington farmers and specialty merchants.”
Additionally, a variety of wares are available by such vendors as Natural Trace’s handmade soaps and pottery, truly one-of-a-kind necklaces, charms, pendants, and crystal and rock pieces by Forest Fancies, as well as scented candles, scrubs, soaps, and bath salts created by Bath House Co. Check out SGT Hart’s BBQ sauce, or Wild Heart Sipping Vinegars.
Several food vendors are serving up delicious food items that also use locally sourced ingredients. One such returning favorite is Griddler’s Gourmet Grilled Cheeses, made with delicious homemade bread, and the enticing pizzas of the Europa Bistro Pizzarium. Another market pleaser, Lumpia Love offers an array of enticing choices.
New food vendors this season include Just Call Susan’s delightful cheesecakes, fruit pies, brownies, and strawberry shortcakes, as well as Starvin Marvins, and GypsyDoggs hot dog stands.
There’s something here for everyone, including friends of the four-legged variety. Be sure and stop by Crossed Paws Bakery stand for homemade, all-natural dog treats.
Summer will be gone before we know it. Spend an afternoon or evening taking in all that the market has to offer. Enjoy dinner or a snack overlooking the waterfront. Support local farmers and merchants. No matter what, things like fresh produce, delicious foods, and artsy merchandise, along with the breathtaking views of the South Sound right from the market site, haven’t changed a bit.
The entire market route, along with adjacent Pioneer Orchard Park overlooks expansive views of the water. You can even see the comings and goings of the ferries as they cross between Steilacoom, Anderson Island, and Ketron Island.
“We’re really grateful to serve our community and the surrounding areas,” says Leevers. “We invite everybody to come and experience it for themselves.”
Come for the market, stay for the views. Visit Steilacoom Farmers Market at 1700 Lafayette Street on Wednesdays from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. through August 26.