MLT Farmers Market opens this Friday with ribbon-cutting ceremony

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The Mountlake Terrace Farmers Market opens for its third season on Friday, June 1, with a special ribbon cutting ceremony at 1:30 p.m. City officials, members of the Mountlake Terrace Business Association and the student choir from Mountlake Terrace Elementary School are scheduled to be on hand.

The farmers market is set for a four-month run at the same site as last year, 23208-56th Ave. W. The market will run from 1:30-6:30 p.m. each Friday, June through September.

The market is trying to be responsive to the comments and interests expressed by previous years’ customers, according to Erin Lane, market manager. She points to the change of operating hours as an example of the market’s flexibility. “The vendors noticed people were waiting for us to open up,” she said, “so we changed our hours for this year.” The market had opened later in the afternoon in 2010 and 2011.

As for the desire of customers to have a bigger selection of vendors, Lane has the same interest. “I would love to see the parking lot full,” she said. There is room for 48 vendor booths at the site, but Lane admits they won’t come close to that any week this season.

“It takes three to five years to really be established as a market and to see a following,” Lane said. She feels the market is on the right path to growth, with a few vendors returning from previous years, berry vendors coming later in June, and the addition of arts and crafts booths later in the season.

“Snohomish Bakery has been a big supporter over the years, and our floral vendor (Chue Ge Garden) has been there since the very beginning,” Lane added.

It costs the Mountlake Terrace Business Association $4,000 per year to sponsor the market, but according to MLTBA President Don Andrews, it’s worth the price. “The farmers market encourages the residents of Mountlake Terrace to buy locally,” he said. “We think it provides a gathering place for citizens and visitors in the town center.

Many city officials are also supporters of the farmers market. “I look forward to the farmers market coming back this summer. I’ve always supported it,” said Mountlake Terrace City Councilmember Rick Ryan. “I do think it’s a public benefit. I think it’s really beneficial to the community.”

“I wholeheartedly support the farmers market,” Councilmember Doug McCardle said.

The city is again waiving permit fees totaling $590 that the market would otherwise be responsible for in exchange for market access and space.

Despite such strong support from public and private leaders in town, the Mountlake Terrace market still faces obstacles. Officials agree that the graveled site is a mobility issue for some, and the market faces competition from other farmers markets in the Puget Sound area. Bothell’s Country Village, Snohomish’s Willis Tucker Park and Seattle neighborhoods Madrona and Phinney Ridge all host farmer markets on Fridays.

But Lane doesn’t let obstacles dampen her enthusiasm for the Mountlake Terrace Farmers Market. “We’re so excited to serve the community,” she said.

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