Did you know every $1 spent at your local farmers' market generates twice as much economic activity within the region, whereas the equivalent purchases in a traditional grocery store yield only one-third of those benefits to the region’s economy?
Acknowledging those economic contributions to the local economy, in 2008 the Tualatin Soil and Water Conservation District approached the Beaverton Farmers Market with an offer of $5,000 to support a market program. The market decided to pay it forward, adding additional funds from the market to form a Vendor Development Grant Program aimed at helping vendors grow and develop their businesses. These are some of this year's recipients.
Mountainside Lavender: Mountainside Lavender produces fragrant bouquets, essential oils and other lavender-based products and will begin their first season at the market in June. Their grant award helped them with the initial set-up costs for their booth which will help them with their first foray into farmers' markets.
Kalo Kitchen: This popular Hawaiian food vendor needed to increase production and way to keep their food fresh and warm. They applied for the grant to purchase a generator.
Barro: San Pedro Limon, Mexico, is where the long roots of Barro originate. Owner Yoli Barragan Rabadan takes inspiration from her grandmother, cherishing the recipes that have been in the family for four generations. This grant will help purchase a dough sheeter for next-level product capabilities.
Hapa Pizza: This Asian fusion Neapolitan-style pizzeria works hard between its new store-front in Beaverton and serving marketgoers every Saturday. This grant will help expand production capabilities at the market.
Helvetia Creamery: Home to beautiful brown-eyed Swiss cows, this local creamery has developed quite a reputation for its delicious Swiss cheese. This grant will help develop a new smoked, raclette-style cheese.
Le Petite Jardin: Growing microgreens, sprouts, greens and summer vegetables is a lot of work, and as a family farm that is constantly looking for improvement of its process, they applied for the grant to add another growing rack to their operation.
El Cuadrilatero: Pambazo sandwiches are unique and delicious. This grant will help them purchase a generator to improve production in their booth.
HYCH (Heat You Can Handle): High-quality hot sauces based in Salem that will tingle your taste buds. They are a great vendor to check out just in time for the grilling season. Their grant dollars went to rebranding costs when a copyright issue came up with their previous business name, Hoss Sauce.
Food for Thought: Ajay and Guatami make Indian desserts and snacks with a philanthropic goal. They are going to use the grant funds for advertising, legal fees for 501c3 filing, and packaging development.
Decadent Creations: Hand-made, small-batch artisan cakes, cookies, pastries and French macarons have made quite an impression on market customers. A master of her craft, Mindy Simmons needed help with new labels for her products.
Ocean Green Healing: Handcrafted and locally made CBD bath and body products are this vendor's specialty. Increased demand for their CBD bath bombs created a need for a bigger mixer in their production facility and this grant will help make that possible.
Ona Yogurt: Owner Clare McLeod’s Greek-style vegan yogurt, made from silken tofu that is high in protein and low in sugar, began with her search for a vegan product that was also environmentally friendly. Clare’s grant award will help her increase production capabilities.
Binary Brewing: Created by a couple of techies, Binary Brewing's founders have translated their love for coding into carefully brewed, refreshing beverages. Their grant funds will be used to purchase coolers that will keep their beers icy cold while at the market.
Lindsay's Sourdough: Lindsay is a busy mother of six but she makes sure everyone has access to a delicious breakfast made from her sourdough pancake and waffle batter, from the original sourdough to specialty flavors like chocolate, mango, and lemon and poppyseed. She was able to purchase a new tent with her grant funds.
Queen's Kitchen: Owner Lanisha Brown crafts body sugar scrubs that she describes as a “spa in a jar." Her grant will be used to develop a new hair product.
Rice Thief: With her Korean comfort food updated for the modern palate, Anna Lee has created recipes based on her cultural background. Her food was so popular with marketgoers that she needed to purchase a larger grill, and this grant will help her do just that.
All photos courtesy Beaverton Farmers Market.