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Renton Farmers Market Opens June 1 – “Meet Me at the Market!”

May 25, 2010

For more information contact:

Stefeny Anderson, Farmers Market Coordinator 425-430-7214
Suzanne Dale Estey, Economic Development Director 425-430-6591
Preeti Shridhar, Communications Director 425-430-6569

Sponsors double contributions, new Friends of the Market fund started to help the Market continue to thrive

RENTON, WA—Downtown Renton will come alive with the tastes of summer with fresh flowers, fruits and vegetables and a wide variety of other food vendors available at the Renton Farmers Market.  Renton Mayor Denis Law will officially ring the bell on June 1 at 2:45 p.m. to kick off the ninth season of the Renton Farmers Market.

Farmers Market “The Farmers Market is an important part of the City’s economic development strategy to increase traffic and create vibrancy in downtown Renton,” said Mayor Law. “We are thrilled to be kicking off another market season and extremely grateful for the private contributors, volunteers and vendors who make the Renton Farmers Market so special.”

The market will be open every Tuesday from June 1 through September 28 from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Piazza, Renton’s beautiful urban park in the heart of downtown at South 3rd Street & Burnett Avenue South and adjacent to the Renton Transit Center.   The Renton market season was extended by two weeks by popular demand from customers, for a total of an 18-week season.

Products sold by over 50 vendors will include grass-fed beef and lamb, cheese, eggs, bacon, seafood and honey, in addition to fresh flowers, baked goods, and a bounty of farm fresh locally grown fruits and vegetables.  Market visitors can buy “take and bake” pizzas made with all local ingredients, fresh steaks for their summer BBQ, or mountains of juicy berries and apples for a fresh fruit cobbler.  As a member of the Washington Farmers Market Association, Renton’s Farmers Market requires that every product sold in the market be grown or made in Washington.

The Renton Farmers Market will also feature chef demonstrations, kids’ activities, live entertainment, tips from Master Gardeners, free parking for up to two hours.  Renton’s market attendance is typically one of the strongest in the region, often surpassing 3,000 attendees.

The Renton Farmers Market is sponsored by Piazza Renton with funding from the City of Renton.  Piazza Renton and the City of Renton are in their third year of a successful formal partnership to manage the market.  A significant new development this year is the increased financial support for the market from the private sector and the community.  Seattle Cancer Treatment & Wellness Center is the entertainment sponsor; Wizards of the Coast is the Kids’ Fun Patch sponsor; Lowe’s is the master gardener clinic sponsor; and Renton Technical College is the chef demonstrations sponsor.  All of these sponsors have returned from previous years and agreed to double their contributions to the market, despite the current economic recession.  Additionally, McLendon Hardware has agreed to be the first contributor to the new “Friends of the Renton Farmers Market” fund.  All contributions are tax deductible and will be invested directly into the programming and promotion of the Renton Farmers Market.

As an economic driver for downtown Renton, Renton Farmers Market vendors’ gross sales average $19,000 each week.  According to a survey conducted in 2008 and 2009, approximately 60% of the visitors to the Renton Farmers Market visit other downtown Renton businesses before or after their trips to the market.

“The Renton market is the place where you can buy locally grown goods, promote healthy living and the environment and support local farmers, while also helping to energize our downtown,” said Linda Middlebrooks, volunteer market manager with Piazza Renton, whose volunteers help staff the market.  

 “We’re really excited about the opportunities available for customers to get the ‘total market experience,’ from healthy food choices to family entertainment.  It’s going to be a great market season!” said Stefeny Anderson, Farmers Market coordinator.

About the Renton Farmers Market: 
The Renton Farmers Market is coordinated by the City of Renton with the generous support of Piazza Renton volunteers.  The Renton Farmers Market is a member of the Washington State Farmers Market Alliance, Puget Sound Fresh and the Farmers Market Coalition. For more information about the market, including sponsorship or volunteer opportunities, call 425-430-7214 or visit www.rentonfarmersmarket.com.  Those interested may sign up for weekly emails with recipes, shopping guides, and events at: http://www.rentonfarmersmarket.com