Coupeville Farmers Market blooms in 2008

One business bucking the lagging economy is the Coupeville Farmers Market.

2008 turned out to be a banner year for the farmers and vendors selling at the Saturday market.

More and more people are looking to the local markets to buy fresh and healthy foods. That trend meant that revenue soared by approximately 30 percent from last year.

“Thirty percent growth is just massive,” Coupeville Farmers’ Market President Dorothy Mueller said during a Tuesday evening Town Council meeting where she gave a progress report on the local market.

The market brought in a total of $236,000 throughout 2008 while bringing in $178,000 in 2007.

Mueller said the increase in business stems from more people buying fresh produce from participating farmers.

“The produce took a fantastic jump,” Mueller said, adding that more people want to buy locally-produced food and talk to the farmer growing crops to learn about how their food is produced.

The Coupeville Farmers Market saw a $33,100 increase in the amount of produce sold throughout the year.

The booming farmers market came in a year in which vendors faced several weather-related challenges and farmers endured a shorter growing season.

“It includes a year where we had a snowball fight in April,” market manager Peg Tennant said. The cold weather that took place last spring also delayed the produce sold at the market.

But that didn’t stop people from buying produce.

Tennant said the market also benefited from a partnership with Paratransit.

Councilman Bob Clay asked how the market in Oak Harbor performed. Tennant said Oak Harbor didn’t have the dramatic jump Coupeville did this year.

Oak Harbor had a big jump in sales several years ago when it started participating in a nutrition program.

Mueller said that the market offers produce throughout the season, which, in Coupeville, goes from the first Saturday in April to Harvest Fest, which takes place the second Saturday in October.

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