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Snohomish Farmers Market to relocate in downtown

SNOHOMISH — The Snohomish Farmers Market is relocating this year to be along Union and Glen avenues.
The City Council last week authorized a city permit to let the market operate there. Its usual site near Cedar and First, for its full footprint, was not made available by the city for this year.
“We’re optimistic about the spot but there’s quite a lot of work ahead of us” for this year, market manager Sarah Dylan Jensen said. One will be to cement the new location in shopper’s minds. 
The market is losing some of its capacity. This footprint can hold an estimated 100 vendors, compared to upwards of 125 vendors along Cedar Avenue.
The seasonal market opens Thursday, May 5.
Business owners along Union and Glen expressed hesitation to the City Council on the disruptions to their storefronts. The disruptions are not just because parking is being taken away, either.
Appointment-based businesses said this will inhibit being able to serve their clients.
Pizza Brava’s owners said the market’s location will severely harm take-out business.
Some businessowners described their fear of “a wall of tents” obstructing people from getting to their storefronts.
Officially, the permit is “curb to curb” within the roadway and not on the sidewalk. The market will have gaps between every so many vendor spaces so people can hop from the street to the sidewalk, Dylan Jensen said.
The city is clipping the market’s footprint away from Pizza Brava and away from the exit driveway for Bank of America. Access to the Snohomish Laundry Company would only be off of Pearl Street, a secondary entryway, versus its main storefront along Glen Avenue.
Retired businessman John Hager, whose Collector’s Choice Restaurant used to be located where Pizza Brava is now, told the City Council that the market is a boon for business because they’d capitalize on marketing to visiting shoppers.
Last year, the space on Cedar Avenue impacted the Carnegie Building at 105 Cedar Ave., which the city generates rental revenue from. Last year, the Carnegie became operational in April but was not rented out on Thursday market days.
The city informed the market last year that it wouldn’t provide a permit again there for this year. The new market had operated at Cedar and First for about 15 years.
In addition to Union and Glen, the city offered an alternative market space on the unpaved grass at Averill Field. Muddy grass, upcoming construction plans and inaccessibility for people in wheelchairs all were noted as reasons not to site the market there during last week’s council meeting.
A third alternative was to give the market a much smaller footprint along Cedar Avenue. Dylan Jensen said this was thrown in at the last minute.
The 2020 market happened in Stocker Farms’ parking lot, but was only a one-year special arrangement.
Council gadfly Morgan Davis pitched that the market could locate along First Street west of Avenue D in the open paved area by the city shop, which is where the market ran during the mid to late 1990s. 
Dylan Jensen said “my interest is absolutely piqued” on that location, but said she wouldn’t want to be moving the market around each year.
The market wanted the City Council to make a decision on its location by March 1 to be able to finalize ads in regional tourism directories and to get in the Washington food and farm guide directory, Dylan Jensen said. It also needed to meet deadlines with the government to be able to offer a system for shoppers who use SNAP benefit programs (EBT  cards, formerly referred to as food stamps) at the market.




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