Wilsonville Farmers Market brings community together
For attendees of the Wilsonville Farmers Market in Villebois this summer, opportunities abound.
You can groove to classic and soft rock jams under the portico, bask in the sweltering sun on turquoise lounge chairs next to the pond, test your wine and beer palette, buy fresh berries, jewelry or flowers and, of course, scarf down an array of food options.
Attendees and vendors alike recently expressed satisfaction with their experience at the Wilsonville Farmers Market, which runs every Thursday until Sept. 28.
Willamette Valley Vineyards vendor Tracy Powelson lives in Wilsonville and enjoys conversing with neighbors and friends in the community while serving wine. She says business is typically slow during the first hour but then steadily picks up into the latter portion of the evening.
"I love it. It's really nice to bring our wines from Oregon to a local market like this and spread the word. I'm a resident here in Wilsonville so it's quite enjoyable," she said. "Every night I see at least six or eight people here that are friends and neighbors and our kids grew up together. It's pretty cool."
Serving up hot pizza fresh out of the oven, Big O's Wood Fired Pizza was one of the more popular vendors at the farmers market.
Owner Owen Morehart has been selling pizzas at the market for about five years and has learned the preferences of repeat customers.
"We've been here so long we have regulars and people look forward to seeing us. We look forward to them. We know some of our regulars' orders by heart. They show up. We already know what they are going to get," Morehart said.
Morehart and Powelson say the location of the farmers market, which is in the heart of the Villebois neighborhood, is one of its most appealing attributes.
"I think the location more than anything, We have this beautiful pond. We're surrounded by a beautiful neighborhood and a park, so I think it's very inviting for everyone. It's easy to set up as vendors and it's very accessible," Powelson said.
Attendee Dorene Houser particularly appreciates the flower stand, the fresh berries and the adult beverage options.
"I like that there are so many options for us to come down here, walk through, sit down, enjoy the music, have a beer or a glass of wine, get something to eat and enjoy the fresh fruit and the fresh vegetables," she said.
Attendee Derek Williams moved out of Wilsonville last year but still returned to the farmers market this year.
"We lived here last year so we would meet our neighbors and would all plan on coming here. We have family from out of town and we brought them here," he said.
He added: "I like the fact that it's all local, small businesses. I like the fact that it's a community focused and all of the vendors are really good."
Greg and Tawnhee Northcutt don't have kids in the Wilsonville school system so they find the farmers market a nice way to meet new people in the community.
"We don't have that connection with people through the school so coming down here, we've met people," Tawnhee said.
Greg Northcutt and Williams lauded Getta Gyro's as their favorite vendor.
"You really can't get them anywhere else in Wilsonville that I know of so it's something different," Greg said.
Albeke Farms vendor Barbie Payzant said that due to rainfall 2017 has been a challenging year for produce production. But now in the heart of the summer, those problems have long subsided. And at the Albeke Farms stand, Payzant sold a variety of berries and corn while a few other produce stands dotted the farmers market.
Payzant, who works at produce stands across the Portland-Metro area throughout the summer, says the farm prepares for farmers market season from the start of the year onward.
"The farmers market is great. You get a diverse group of people; they're wonderful and it's great to sell for them. It's a nice community to come in and do this because it's all
local and you don't have a lot
of vehicle traffic," Payzant said.
Williams considers the Villebois Farmers Market more significant than a typical summer event.
"It also creates a sense of being a part of something bigger than you that you can partake in. It's not just a one-time event. 'Hey, I want to go to Villebois and be at the Villebois Farmers Market.' It's a big draw," he said.