Last Farmers’ Market of Year this Friday

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Low turnout at MLT’s Farmers Market may threaten its future.

Story and photo by Doug Petrowski

The Mountlake Terrace Farmers’ Market ends its third year this Friday, Sept. 28, with as many questions as ever.

The market has been operating on Fridays, 1:30-6:30 p.m. at 23208-56th Ave. W. since June 1. It has been hampered by a low turnout of vendors and customers, a dilemma that Market Manager Erin Lane acknowledges. “The biggest question I get is, ‘why aren’t there more vendors’,” Lane said. “Well, the vendors will come if the customer base is there to support them.”

“The question is,’is this the kind of community that will support a farmers’ market’,” Lane added.

There have been Fridays this year when the market boasted a dozen or so vendors; last Friday the number of vendors was down to four.

The Snohomish Bakery has been on-site for the market each week and reports that being a market regular has been worthwhile. Vendor attendant Lea Anne Burke said the booth doesn’t make a lot of money, but it gives the bakery and associated café in Snohomish exposure to the general public in this part of the county.

“We will recover our costs this year,” Burke added.

The Mountlake Terrace Business Association sponsors the Farmers’ Market, covering the market’s $4,000 annual operating expenses. The City of Mountlake Terrace waived the $590 in permit fees this year that would otherwise required for the market to operate at its site on 56th Avenue.

A decision on whether the market will return next year won’t be made until early 2013.

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