Wanolitto’s 2013 Des Moines Farmers Market wrap-up


The traditional season’s last day Chili Cook-Off of the Des Moines Waterfront Market was a huge success, thanks in part to the wonderful volunteer groups, who all will share in the proceeds:

  • The Market Foundation
  • Des Moines Dollars for Scholars
  • Southwest Seattle Business & Professional Women’s Foundation

This year all the prizes were voted on by the tasters:

  • First Place Team 12: 10th Avenue Chili Dogs (Dave Markwell)
  • Second Place Team 3: Chili Out Dudes (Wesley Homes)
  • Third Place Team 4: Law Offices of Gehrke, Wegener & Droull
  • Best Team Theme: Wesley Homes

Here are some photos of the final day, courtesy Carmen Scott (click images to see larger versions/slideshow):

Chili Cook Off 2013 Nutting Booths (1000x667)

Chili Cook Off 2013 Rotary Women (666x1000)

Chili Cook Off 2013 South KIing Fire Booth (1000x666)

Chili Cook Off Crowd Scene 2 (1000x666)

Chili Cook Off Winners Wesley Homes (1000x702)

Chili Cook off from above (1000x666)

Chili Cook Off Halloween Display & Nutting girls (1000x716)

Chili Cook Off Winners Crossfit.10th Ave Chili Dogs (1000x712)

Chili Cook Off Winners Gehrke Law Office (1000x671)

This being the market’s second season at the North end of the Marina, it continues to grow and improve. Both shoppers and vendors comment that it is THE place to be on a Saturday. Market manager Rikki Marhol said “this year was devoted to improving vendor selections for our customer’s shopping experience.” Indeed, the numbers are still being tabulated but, preliminary figures show the market sales and shoppers were up 20% over last year. People surveys show visitors coming from a wide area of South King County. One of the successful events was the SeattleFoodTruck.com’s first Truck-In in September, drawing 5,000 shoppers. Look for more Truck-Ins next season, including opening day.

This season also saw the Des Moines Legacy Foundation, the Des Moines Area Food Bank and the Market team up to support low income seniors who visit the food bank with $20 vouchers for shopping at the farmer’s booths. They received $20 in tokens with one month to use them. Vouchers worth $1,800 were distributed by the Food Bank staff and the Legacy Foundation reimbursed the food bank/farmers market for tokens used.

Something new will be going on this winter at the marina. If you need some fresh produce and whatnot during the off season watch for our e-newsletters, Facebook statuses, and Twitter updates about a “Rogue Market” where a few of our vendors will set up shop in the back of their vehicles. So sign up and watch for our updates on what vendors are participating on a given Saturday.

This winter will also see the market staff working on enhancements to the 2014 season and of course, sampling new market wines. Wine tastings and microbrew sampling will be in full swing next year once small wineries and brewers get permission from the WSLCB.

The Farmers Market Board would like to thank all the volunteers, sponsors, vendors, patrons and the ever present Marina staff for helping to make this the most successful season ever. Board President, Wayne Corey said “people have approached asking about having a market year round. For right now, I think we all look forward to some time off.” Hope everyone enjoys the holidays and check for this column starting again in the spring.


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