2011 Wholesale Market Season Announced – Now Seeking Buyers!

The details for the second season of PSFN Wholesale Markets are officially released! These business-to-business local food aggregation sites (in Seattle and Mount Vernon) will be open for business beginning the third week in July, and PSFN is now actively seeking business and institutional buyers

Seattle Wholesale Market

Wednesday Mornings 8:45 AM – 10:00 AM

July 20 – August 31

Mt. Zion Baptist Church overflow parking lot, 1634 19th Ave (and Madison), Seattle

(Eastern-facing grass lot across from church)

More info: http://www.agbizcenter.org/seattle-market/

Skagit Wholesale Market

Thursday Mornings 8:30 – 10:00 AM

July 21 – September 8

Skagit Valley Co-op parking lot, 202 South First St, downtown Mount Vernon

More info: http://www.agbizcenter.org/skagitmarket

PSFN’s Wholesale Markets aim to make locally grown and produced goods easily available to institutions and businesses in Seattle, Skagit County and surrounding areas. The Markets are a great way for restaurant and foodservice buyers to get their produce, grains, beans, meat (lamb, chicken, beef, pork and seafood), and pasta in the same place at the same time, at wholesale quantities and prices! The Wholesale Markets are not traditional farmers markets but rather “pick up and pay” sites for wholesale buyers.  Institutions and business that may benefit from this wholesale market include schools, daycare centers, retirement communities, country clubs, hospitals, restaurants, bakeries, grocery stores, distributors, and caterers, among others. Because of the business relationship focus, we discourage non-business entities from using the site. (Keep reading to find out how individual shoppers and eaters can play a role!)

Each week, the markets will each feature a diverse selection of fresh, seasonal and value-added foods all produced in the Puget Sound region.  Each market will host around 15 unique vendors. While Wholesale Market vendors are all PSFN members, any commercial or institutional buyer can shop – member or not!  Interested buyers can visit the markets to shop on-the-spot, to help plan seasonal menus, to sign up for the weekly fresh sheet, and to place orders with producers ahead of time for the next week!  While featured vendors will bring a limited selection of product to display and sell, most orders should be placed in advance from the weekly fresh sheet.

Chef Chris Johnson of UNited General Hospital with purchases at the 2010 Skagit Wholesale Market

On Monday, July 18, PSFN will begin distributing the weekly fresh sheet for both markets. The fresh sheet will include vendor contact information, available products, and quantities available for wholesale.  To receive the weekly market Fresh Sheet for either the Skagit or Seattle Wholesale Markets, contact Ellen Manderfield (ellen@agbizcenter.org) with your contact information: name, email, phone number, and business name. There is no fee (for vendors or buyers!) to participate in the Wholesale Markets.

While the Wholesale Markets aren’t accessible by every shopper, locavores can help spread the word! If you have a wedding or special event planned  for this summer, tell your caterer that you’d like local food on the event menu. Have a favorite restaurant? Ask them for local Thursday or Friday specials inspired by their Wholesale Market purchases!  Have family living in a retirement community or receiving senior meals? Suggest a fresh, local lunch to the agency for more nutrition bang for their buck!

PSFN is especially excited to bring this year’s Seattle Wholesale Market to Mt. Zion Baptist Church. Mt. Zion and five other Seattle churches are part of a groundbreaking project with the University of Washington School of Nursing called Moving Together in Faith and Health. They are working to stem the tide of chronic diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes in their surrounding community. Bringing local farms, businesses and institutions together at Mt. Zion will be an excellent way for our food community to work together to benefit all.  Mt. Zion’s Senior Pastor, Rev. Aaron Williams, says this partnership comes at a crucial time. “As we move together to implement policies that promote healthy eating and active living in our churches, our partnership with PSFN and its Seattle Wholesale Market will make fresh, locally grown produce affordable and accessible. We are empowering our churches and our community by giving them healthy options.”  For more details on the public health impacts of the Wholesale markets and other PSFN projects, check out this blog post by Johns Hopkins’ School of Public Health’s Center for a Livable Future!

Check out these stories written about last years’ markets:
PSFN Member Goes Extra Mile To Source Local for Sedro-Woolley Hospital
New Skagit WholeSale Market Brings Local Suppliers, Buyers Together (Grown Northwest)
WholeSale Market Brings Together Farmers and Chefs (Go Skagit.com)
WholeSale Market Aims to Connect Local Producers to Retail Buyers
Farmers cater to wholesale buyers’ needs (Capitol Press)
An interview with Chef Chris Johnson of United General Hospital (Grown Northwest)
Skagit WholeSale Market takes inventory of its first season (Skagit Valley Herald)

We’re so excited for another successful Wholesale Market season! Wholesale buyers, we hope to see you there!

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