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Two Farmers Markets in Renton Opening in June

May 25, 2011

For more information contact:

Valria Lopez, Farmers Market Coordinator 425-430-7214
Suzanne Dale Estey, Economic Development Director 425-430-6591
Preeti Shridhar, Communications Director 425-430-6569

Farmers Market program expands to Valley Medical Center,
Downtown Renton Farmers Market Celebrates its 10th Season at the Piazza

RENTON, WA—Downtown Renton and the Valley Medical Center campus will come alive with the tastes of summer with fresh flowers, fruits and vegetables and a wide variety of other food vendors available this summer through two farmers markets in Renton.

Renton Mayor Denis Law will officially ring the opening bell at the Renton Farmers Market at the Piazza on Tuesday, June 7, at 2:45 p.m. to kick off the market season in Renton. A member of the Renton City Council will help kick off the inaugural year of the Farmers Market at Valley Medical Center on Sunday, June 12, at 11:45 a.m.

“The farmers markets are an important part of the city’s economic development strategies to increase traffic and create vibrancy in downtown Renton and to support Valley Medical Center, one of our region’s major employers,” said Renton Mayor Denis Law. “We are excited to celebrate the tenth season of the downtown market and start a new market at Valley Medical Center.”

As a proven economic driver for our city, Renton Farmers Market vendors’ gross sales average $19,000 each week. According to a survey conducted in 2008 and 2009, approximately 60% of the visitors to the Renton Farmers Market visit other downtown Renton businesses before or after their trips to the market.

“We’re really excited about the opportunities available for customers to get the ‘total market experience,’ from healthy food choices to family entertainment at the downtown market and wellness information at the Valley Medical Center market, “said Valria Lopez, the city’s new Farmers Market Coordinator.

Tuesday Market: “Meet Me at the Market!” – Renton Farmers Market at the Piazza celebrates its 10th Season

June 7 will mark the opening of the tenth season of the Renton Farmers Market at the Piazza, Renton’s beautiful urban park in the heart of downtown at South 3rd Street and Burnett Avenue South, adjacent to the Renton Transit Center. The downtown Renton market will be open every Tuesday from June 7 through September 27 from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m.

Products sold by over 55 vendors at the Renton Farmers Market at the Piazza will include grass-fed beef and pork, cheese, eggs, and honey, in addition to fresh cut flowers, baked goods, herbs and a bounty of farm fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables. Market visitors can buy “take and bake” pizzas made with all local ingredients, fresh steaks for their summer BBQ, or mountains of juicy berries and apples for a fresh fruit cobbler.

The Renton Farmers Market at the Piazza will also feature chef demonstrations, kids’ activities, live entertainment, tips from Master Gardeners, free parking (for up to two hours) and a unique pedestrian-friendly environment as it is one of the few Puget Sound markets in which vendors unload their trucks and set up their booths in a park. Renton’s market attendance is typically one of the strongest in the region, often surpassing 3,500 attendees.

The Renton Farmers Market at the Piazza is coordinated by the City of Renton with the generous support of Piazza Renton volunteers and additional community volunteers. Several local businesses also generously contribute financial support for the Market: Seattle Cancer Treatment & Wellness Center is the entertainment sponsor; Wizards of the Coast is the Kid’s Fun Patch sponsor; Merrill Gardens is the Master Gardener Clinic sponsor; and Renton Technical College is the Chef Demonstrations sponsor. Additionally, several businesses have made smaller contributions to the “Friends of the Renton Farmers Market” fund. All contributions are tax deductible and will be invested directly into the programming and promotion of the Renton Farmers Market.

“The Renton Farmers Market is the place where you can buy locally grown goods, promote healthy living and the environment and support local farmers, while also helping to energize our downtown,” said Linda Middlebrooks, President of Piazza Renton, whose volunteers help staff the market.

Sunday Market: “Remarkable Things Grow Here!” – New Farmers Market at Valley Medical Center Debuts June 12

A variety of produce vendors will offer a wide array of fresh fruits, vegetables and great values at the Farmers Market at Valley Medical Center, which will be held on Sundays from 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m. More than two dozen vendors will have for sale their specialties—including flowers, jams, produce, pasta, breads, baked goods and more. The market will also feature a focus on community health and wellness – each week there will be different focus at the Valley Medical Center Wellness Booth.

The Farmers Market at Valley Medical Center will be conveniently located off Talbot Road in the parking lot adjacent to the Talbot Professional Center at 4011 Talbot Road South. With plenty of free parking including the VMC parking garage, this new market will be open on Sundays for 15 weeks, June 12 through September 18.

“This endeavor is consistent with our commitment to a healthy community through the provision of world-class care and access to fresh, locally grown food,” said Paul Hayes, RN, Executive Vice President, Valley Medical Center. “Bringing a farmers market to the hospital campus will not only provide our residents and staff access to fresh, locally grown food, but also provides the broader community access to the health information and programs and services available at Valley. This partnership with the City of Renton further strengthens our collaboration and commitment to the community.”

About the Farmers Market Program in Renton:

The Renton Farmers Market and the Farmers Market at Valley Medical Center are coordinated by the City of Renton with the generous support of volunteers. The Renton Chamber of Commerce/Renton Visitors Connection provides marketing support.

The Renton Farmers Market and the Farmers Market at Valley Medical Center are members of the Washington State Farmers Market Association and Puget Sound Fresh. As members of the Washington Farmers Market Association, Renton’s farmers markets require that every product sold in the market be grown or made in Washington.

Those interested may sign up for weekly emails with recipes, shopping guides, and events at: http://www.rentonfarmersmarket.com

For more information about both markets, including sponsorship or volunteer opportunities, call 425-430-7214 or visit www.rentonwa.gov/farmersmarket/.