Spokane Public Market Says Goodbye, For Now

By Paige Browning

If you’d like to pick up some wild salmon or a fresh flower bouquet from Spokane’s indoor market, your last opportunity is this Saturday. The board of the Spokane Public Market has decided to end operations due to financial struggles.
Three years ago this May, the Spokane Public Market opened its doors, offering year round food, crafts, and community space. Board president Torie Foote says it was not an easy decision to close, but they needed more grant support in the beginning, and more foot traffic overall.
Foote: “We didn’t get as many vendors as we needed and so the traffic was less, and it was just this circular thing of chicken and egg. More vendors would have come in if more had been there and things like that. And unfortunately we didn’t meet our operating cost and we can’t keep going.”
She says the board is really thankful for the sponsors they had, including Avista, Charlies Produce, the Inlander, and the building owner Chris Batten, but they needed more to sustain the project. Batten and his investment group developed the marketplace out of a dilapidated building on second street. He’ll keep the business name for now.
Foote: “You know our community needs a public market like that. I think it needs all the markets frankly. There’s a lot of people that just don’t have access to fresh local produce, or even freshly made things, so that’s disappointing to me.”
Foote says the board has taken note of markets in the region, and in the future would want a commercial kitchen. To launch another market, she says they would need more financial support from the public. The Spokane Public Market has planned a big sale for Saturday, to give vendors one last boost.
Copyright 2014 Spokane Public Radio
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