Saturday, February 20, 2010

Portland Winter Market off to a busy start

The new indoor Portland Winter Market opened this morning to huge crowds. I heard from one of the vendors that shoppers started trickling in at least a half an hour ahead of opening time. You'll find a number of familiar faces from the Portland Farmers Market - including Freedom Farm, Thirty Acre Farm, Fishbowl Farm (above), Lalibela Farm and Sumner Valley Farm - plus a number of vendors new to the city.

The organizers of this market - who also organize the indoor winter market in Brunswick - have had a rough go trying to meet all of Portland's regulations and licensing requirements. Four vendors, including organizer Mother Oven Bakery, who intended to be part of the market couldn't get approval to be there today. Their exclusion happened after the city gave the organizers 24 hours notice that certain vendors would have to set up in the space yesterday for a health inspection. A coffee roaster that couldn't get city approval is there, but instead of selling coffee, the vendor is handing out free samples.

I'm hoping things can be worked out so everyone can be there next Saturday. Judging by the crowds, it seems clear that Portlanders want year-round access to local food.

The market runs every Saturday until the end of April from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 85 Free St.

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