Lakewood to open farmers market in July
The first-ever farmers market will open this summer in Lakewood, currently the largest city in Pierce County without a farmers market.
Vendors will sell arts and crafts, food and locally grown produce one day a week at the City Hall plaza.
The city will spend $5,000 in lodging tax revenue to start up and promote the market with a goal of fostering a sense of community, providing fresh food choices to residents, and attracting visitors to Lakewood Towne Center, the city’s retail core.
Parks, Recreation and Community Services director Mary Dodsworth said about a dozen vendors have signed up, with the goal of attracting 30. The city is looking for vendors that sell produce and other farm products to balance out those who already have applied to sell crafts and food.
“The word is out,” she said. “We’re hearing from a lot of folks who have heard about us.”
The market will be the first chance for the public to purchase flowers and plants growing at Lakewold Gardens outside of the historic garden estate on Gravelly Lake Drive.
Stephanie Walsh, executive director at Lakewold Gardens, said the organization sees the new market as a great promotion opportunity. In addition to flowers and plants, Lakewold Gardens will sell its coffee table-style book published last year and memberships.
“We saw this as a great opportunity to bring the gardens to the public outside of the gardens,” said Walsh, who serves on the market’s steering committee.
Residents have mentioned the need for a farmers market in Lakewood over the years, but no individual or group had come forward. After a recent inquiry, Dodsworth and city staff scheduled a meeting in February to gauge community support, and the resulting committee helped grow the idea.
Many Pierce County communities large and small – from Tacoma to Puyallup, Gig Harbor to Steilacoom – have farmers markets. Lakewood selected Tuesdays because there’s virtually no competition from neighboring venues that day.
Dodsworth said the market’s first year is intended as a trial run; officials will seek feedback from vendors to make adjustments and hopefully expand next season.
“We hope this isn’t a one-time project,” Dodsworth said.
IF YOU GO
Lakewood Farmers Market
Days: Every Tuesday from July 10–Aug. 28.
Hours: 11 a.m.–3 p.m.
Where: City Hall plaza, 6000 Main St. S.W.
More information: Go online to www.cityoflakewood.us/farmersmarket