Seattle WholeSale Market Press Release

“The wholesale market at Whole Foods Market Interbay store offers a great opportunity for local producers to make new direct market connections with a variety of institutional buyers, from restaurants to school districts and hospitals.” Mary Embleton, Cascade Harvest Coalition.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Lucy Norris; Puget Sound Food Network (PSFN), 360-336-3666

Calling all Buyers for Seattle WholeSale Market Pilot Beginning Wednesday, September 15

September 7, 2010 [Seattle, WA] – Local food producers are ready to sell their products to wholesale buyers in the parking lot of the Whole Foods Market Interbay store located at 2001 15th Avenue West in Seattle.  This pilot market will be held three weeks consecutively on Wednesday mornings from 8:30-10:30 a.m., starting September 15th and ending September 29th.

A wholesale farmer market-as-distribution hub is not a new idea. This year PSFN partnered with Skagit Valley Food Coop to launch the Skagit WholeSale Market. “The market attracts buyers from all over Skagit, Whatcom, Island, and even San Juan County but we know Seattle area buyers want to participate but can’t because of the distance,” says Lucy Norris, PSFN Project Manager, “Whole Foods Market Interbay store parking lot is perfectly situated minutes from Seattle’s great food neighborhoods. Buyers who want a quick and easy collection site for wholesale volumes of local food will like this market, even if it only lasts three weeks.” “Supporting farmers and other artisan food producers has been a cornerstone of our business for 30 years.  We are very pleased and excited to have the opportunity to partner with the Puget Sound Food Network to provide a new venue at our Interbay store for local farmers to connect with wholesale buyers in our community,” adds Denise Breyley, Whole Foods Market Pacific Northwest Local Forager.

PSFN gathered input from Cascade Harvest Coalition, Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance, Seattle Farmers Market Association and Seattle Chefs Collaborative. “Creating new market opportunities helps address farm viability issues as well as increasing the availability of local food.  Really a win-win for the community,” says Mary Embleton Executive Director, Cascade Harvest Coalition. Farmers Markets have long understood the important role their markets have in connecting Seattle chefs to local farmers. “We’re interested in this pilot as a way to better understand the local foods wholesale market and how we might continue to serve it,” says Chris Curtis, NFMA Executive Director.

Puget Sound Food Network members represent the bulk of nearly twenty vendors participating in the wholesale market pilot. This market will feature producers such as Willie Green’s Organic Farm, Full Circle Farm, Ninety Farms, Sherman’s Pioneer Farm Produce, Golden Glen Creamery, Hedlin Farm, Viva Farms, Lavender Wind Farm, Aldrich Farm, Twin Sisters Mushrooms, Hidden Meadow Ranch, and more!

Vendors will bring limited product volumes on the first week and then buyers are encouraged to preorder from weekly fresh sheets, and then pay and collect at the market site or request larger volumes for delivery. Vendors will manage invoicing and delivery options independently. Like the Skagit market, PSFN will distribute weekly fresh sheets that include contact information for each vendor, available products, wholesale prices where applicable, promotions and minimum quantities available. Buyers interested in participating in the Seattle Wholesale Market or the Skagit WholeSale Market are strongly encouraged to sign up for weekly product updates. All wholesale buyers are welcome. There is no fee to participate as a vendor or buyer.

Those interested in learning more or wish to participate as a Seattle WholeSale Market buyer or seller should contact Lucy Norris at info@agbizcenter.org. The Puget Sound Food Network is a project of the Northwest Agriculture Business Center. NABC is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to farmland preservation by helping to make farming in the region more profitable.  For more information about PSFN, visit www.agbizcenter.org. Map and directions to the Whole Foods Market Interbay store are posted at http://wholefoodsmarket.com/storesbeta/interbay.

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