Winter farmers market vendors excited about year-round possibility

Winter farmers market
The Winter Farmer’s Market in Salt Lake City sells local products indoors. (Photo courtesy of Katelin Rodgerson)

Salt Lake City — Local vendors now have a place to sell their products even in the middle of winter.

The Downtown Winter Farmers Market is held indoors at the Rio Grande Depot every other Saturday from 10 AM to 2 PM, and runs from Nov. 9 to April 19.

Many vendors have experience participating in the Saturday Farmers Market held during the summer months in Pioneer Park.

Chase England, from Biocentric Bros, said vendors are excited to have a more consistent place to set up during the winter.

In 2013, there were a series of pop-up markets, but England said the pop-up markets were too random and sporadic, and a consistent weekly market is his goal.

John Francis, of Armour Spreads, said he enjoys the stable location.

“[The Rio Grande Depot] feels like the right building and the right place to have a farmers market,” Francis said.

Some vendors, such as Rico’s Brand, said they only have the opportunity to market their goods at a farmers market. An employee of Rico’s Brand said his boss started pushing for a year-round market because they only sell every other week.

Other vendors, like Amour Spreads and Snowy Mountain Creamery also sell in specialty stores, such as Whole Foods Market and Harmon’s.

Stig Hansen, an employee at Snowy Mountain Creamery, said, “I like to sell directly to the customer, because they have questions and if they go to the grocery store, no one has the answers. I have the answers.”

There has been more talk among vendors looking into buying greenhouses since they will have somewhere to consistently sell during the winter months, said Dianna Diehl of Adam’s Heirlooms LLC.

A year-round market would improve not only the amount of local produce, but the quality, said Julie Clifford from Clifford Family Farms.

“The Winter Market is another step in the direction towards a year-round public market in downtown Salt Lake,” said Alison Einerson, a Winter Market Manager in a press release from the Downtown Alliance.

Einerson also said, in a separate interview, that everything that is happening with the winter farmers market is working towards a year round market, but there is still much to be done.

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