Snohomish County residents looking for a place to purchase healthy local foods year round are a step closer to having a farmers’ market to call their own.
Construction of a 60,000 square-feet, year-round Farmers’ Market and Food Hub got under way Tuesday with an official groundbreaking attended by local farmers, residents, project developers and Snohomish County and Everett officials. The market is expected to open in July 2014.
The unique Grand Avenue project, between Hewitt Avenue and Wall Street in downtown Everett, will offer shoppers high-quality local fruit, vegetables, meat and dairy products as well value-added foods produced onsite with local ingredients.
Making that all possible is the inclusion of a large commercial kitchen and processing facility where farmers can make products to sell at the market or deliver across the nation. The center makes good on Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon’s goal to keep farming economically viable for years.
“People want to know where their food comes from, and when they shop at this farmers’ market, there will be no question that what they’re getting is fresh and local,” said Reardon, whose agricultural ties helped make the project possible. “We’ve worked with farmers for years on ways to keep agriculture in this county economically viable. This is another step toward that promise.”
With development led by Dargey Enterprises and permitting approved by the city of Everett, the market will anchor a 220-unit housing project, offering additional opportunities to a part of Everett experiencing new economic growth.
The entire project is being led by Lobsang Dargey and his Dargey Enterprises, which already has successfully built Potala Village, another multi-use project featuring 100 high-end apartments in downtown Everett. Dargey is working collectively with Everett and Snohomish County.
“This will be another high-quality project and is one more example of the good work Mr. Dargey does in our community,” Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson said. “We know it is destined for success, and we look forward not only to seeing this project come to fruition, but to hearing about his next great project in Everett.”
In addition to the housing project, the marketplace is expected to offer 90 retail spaces of varying sizes to farm producers in Snohomish County and the Puget Sound. Agreements with farmers are being finalized. Plans also include space for café-style and full-service restaurants so patrons can make a day of shopping at the market.
Products at the market are likely to include fruits and vegetables such as strawberries, apples, pears, peas, beans, arugula; locally butchered beef, lamb and pork; dairy products such as milk, cheese, yogurt and ice cream; as well as more specialized products including fresh-cut and dried flowers, local honey, soaps, beer and wine.
For more information on the project including space at the market, contact Linda Neunzig, the county’s agriculture coordinator, at 425-388-7170.