We love markets in Seattle. We’re justifiably proud of the Pike Street Market, Washington’s biggest tourist draw. But who goes to the Pike Street Market in the summer? No one I know unless you’ve got out-of-town guests.
We’re intrigued by the unabashed success of the Melrose Market. Less than a mile from THE Market, it’s the type of place we’d love to live near.
So we say this: Jackson Street is an ideal crossroads for a neighborhood-sized PERMANENT market.
As the CD continues to gentrify, a market could offer an ideal way to maintain and showcase the cultural diversity of our neighborhood. Imagine with us an airy space for thirty vendors: a halal butcher, an East African spice store, a tamale stand. Imagine being able to walk up and get a banh mi from a Ba Bar stand, some bread from Columbia City Bakery, or a cup of coffee from Vivace’s all under one roof.
A permanent Jackson Market could be the type of small-business incubator we so desperately need in the CD. Imagine with us that three or five spaces were rented for one year only to residents of the CD to try out a business idea at a low-entry cost. That lovely print-shop on Cherry selling cards, the knitter next door to you selling hats, someone who loves to bake cakes or make candy: you get the idea. Our neighbors being able to try their ideas and grow a business at market right here at home.
While we’re thinking about this, what if at this market there were a few restaurants? What if Northwest Tofu had new digs to serve up their delicious dim sum? Or if the fine folks at Coastal Kitchen were trying their hand at seasonal soul food? What if it also became a hub with small micro-offices for the many food justice groups that call the CD home: Alley Cat Acres, Green Plate Special, Clean Greens, City Fruit, Colman Fruit Harvest. We believe that if you can get impassioned people together, more awesome stuff happens.
We think a market that represents the best of our community, would not only be an incredible thing that you’d want to walk up to, but that would draw folks from around the city to our neighborhood.
We need your help to figure out how to build it.