Stevenson Farmers Market
A PROGRAM OF THE STEVENSON DOWNTOWN ASSOCIATION
Pharaoh Skinner announces her departure from the Stevenson Farmers Market after managing it for nine years.
“I'm at a point in my life where I cannot give the market the attention it deserves anymore, and the market possesses its own momentum now. It is time for me to let it go and let the enthusiasm of our volunteers and SDA drive it,” says Pharaoh Skinner, who became its leader nearly a decade ago. . “For the first time in the nine years of managing, I know without a doubt our little Farmers Market is going to make it. But not just continue.. it's going to thrive. I'm so proud of what Stevenson has done to support our local community of backyard gardeners, farmers, crafters and bakers. I am quite fond of my time spent here. Thank you all!”
Stevenson Downtown Association and Stevenson Farmers Market Join Forces in 2022
On December 29, 2021, the Stevenson Downtown Association publicly announced the plans to absorb the Stevenson Farmers Market beginning in 2022. Each organization’s volunteer Board of Directors voted unanimously in favor of the move.
“We have similar goals of a vibrant downtown, visitor experiences, community activation, entrepreneurial support and connection to the waterfront,” shared Kelly O’Malley-McKee, Executive Director of the Stevenson Downtown Association. “Both entities agreed it is a natural fit to combine assets and resources to benefit the community.”
Boards unanimously vote on merger to benefit the community
One of the market’s most valuable assets is the 7-years of experience that Pharaoh Skinner brings to the table as Market Manager, who will now become an employee of the Stevenson Downtown Association, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. “We’ve been under the umbrella of Community Enrichment of Klickitat County since I’ve been involved in the Stevenson Farmers Market,” said Skinner. “I’m excited to bring our non-profit status closer to home and partner with the Stevenson Downtown Association. I believe this will open doors to strengthening the community we love.”
The Stevenson Downtown Association is a Washington Main Street community, one of 36 downtown districts in the state utilizing the Main Street Approach to revitalization. At least seven of these Washington Main Street organizations also manage their local farmers market: Prosser, Walla Walla, Downtown Yakima, Downtown Kennewick, Downtown Pasco, Puyallup and Gig Harbor.
As part of the merge, volunteers serving on the Farmers Market Board will become a committee of the Stevenson Downtown Association and will continue to support Skinner in planning, advice, strategies and market coordination.
“Sponsors, vendors, market customers and the public won’t likely notice this big change from the outside,” adds O’Malley-McKee. “It’s still the small waterfront market we all know and love. It will become a Stevenson Downtown Association program – with mostly behind-the-scenes and marketing-focused efforts to enhance the market and provide stability for years to come.”
The Stevenson Farmers Market recently experienced its best two years in market history after moving to the Stevenson Waterfront location on Port of Skamania property. Annual sales increased 93% and customer visitation increased 116% since the move to the waterfront. The trend is expected to continue as we come out of the pandemic. The Stevenson Farmers Market operates from mid-June to the beginning of October.
The mission of the Stevenson Farmers Market is to enhance the quality of life in Skamania County by providing access to fresh, locally grown produce for all income levels, provide alternative marketing opportunities to local agricultural and cottage industries, foster food education, and social gathering/interaction within our community. The market’s services function to attract and retain visitors, promote exploration of our city, and foster a sense of community friendliness. More information at stevensonfarmersmarket.com.