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This popular farmers market is all set to start up for the summer in June...with pandemic protocols observed

ELIZABETH USSHER GROFF - Lucinda Klicker (left), the new Market Manager for the Woodstock Farmers Market, and Karena Gruber - Market President - say they are excited about plans for the upcoming market season, which starts June 6th on the parking lot of the Woodstock Key Bank. The nonprofit Woodstock Farmers Market will begin its eleventh year when its new season gets underway on June 6th. "I want to say thank you to the Woodstock community for enthusiastically supporting the market over the last ten years," says outgoing Market Manager Emily Murnen.

Murnen was a founding member of the market. "The first year there were about eight of us on the Board that started the market – with my main role being to secure the vendors, and figure out all the day-to-day logistics.

"From our opening day in 2011 through the pandemic, the ongoing support of the community has been incredible – and it's what makes the market such a great place to be each week. I've loved being able to connect the farms and other small businesses to the consumers, and I've enjoyed watching my kids grow up and learn to love fresh fruits and veggies at the market."

After a full decade as Market Manager, Murnen is leaving to work full-time for her four-year old business, "Wild Elm Events" – which helps organizations plan high-quality and engaging virtual and in-person events.

The new Market Manager, Lucinda Klicker, comes to the job with a PSU degree in Marketing for the Outdoor and Athletic Industry. "I attended PSU because I deeply resonated with their focus on sustainability and emphasis on community building. I have been a long-time lover of farmers markets, and have benefitted from the markets all around Portland throughout my childhood and adult life!"

Last year, during the height of the pandemic, Klicker was hired as their Market Representative by Kenai-Red, a small community-supported fishery. "I dove headfirst into working at as many farmers markets as I could for them, and realized more and more just how special the farmers market 'community' is," says Klicker. "I am really looking forward to getting to know the community of shoppers that supports the Woodstock Farmers Market, and am excited to recognize faces [in spite of masks], and to get to know names, throughout the season."

COURTESY OF WOODSTOCK FARMERS MARKET - Emily Murnen, the outgoing Market Manager, is shown in a photo taken ten years ago on the very first day of the Woodstock Farmers Market, back in in June of 2011.Klicker will work closely with Karena Gruber, who has served as Woodstock Farmers Market's President since January of 2020. Previously, Gruber's fulltime day job was as HR Manager for New Seasons Market, for a total of three years at Hawthorne and then at Concordia. Her fulltime job now is working as the HR Supervisor for the Portland nonprofit "Home Forward".

Gruber tells THE BEE, "I am looking forward to some fun new vendors, some familiar faces, and being able to bring back some of the fun 'community vibe' we are known for."

This year, the market will have five new vendors:

· 503 Distilling  canned cocktails and spirits;

· 4 Hearts Kombucha  canned and on-tap Kombucha

· 29 Kettle Confectionery  candied nuts

· Cagnant Culinary  French baked goods

· Salvador Molly's  tamales.

The complete updated list of vendors will be posted on the market website by May 1st.

There will once again be a space for a community booth at each market to help neighborhood nonprofits connect with market shoppers. However, due to COVID-19, there are no immediate plans to bring back live music until it's absolutely safe to do so.

The pandemic protocols will look similar to last year, with masks required and mandatory space between booths. All entrances and exits will be open, and crowds will be gently monitored from within the market. The 2020 season saw a 53% increase in SNAP (formerly called Food Stamps) users at the market, when typically there is only a 5-10% increase year over year. Last season $11,000 in SNAP Matching funds went to SNAP shoppers to spend on fresh fruits and vegetables. In 2019 it was $6,500.

To help with the start-up in June of the nonprofit market and to ensure its success, as well as to help fund SNAP Matching funds, donations of any amount can be made to the "GoFundMe" for Woodstock Farmers Market, under the name of Karena Gruber. Or, simply type into your browser – gf.me/u/znytr5

And, to learn more about the market itself, visit – www.woodstockmarketpdx.com


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