Moscow Farmers Market attracts thousands of customers weekly with over 100 vendors

Hot sauce, wine vendors have been at market for multiple years as businesses grow



Vendors at the Moscow Farmers Market, June 3.


The Moscow Farmers Market, which was initially located in a parking lot, attracts thousands of weekly customers with hundreds of vendors competing to hold a spot every year.

The Farmers Market started in 1976 in the Jackson Street parking lot with no plan to move locations, said Amanda Argona, Moscow community events manager.

But, when the parking lot needed construction, the market made a move to Main Street that was supposed to be temporary, but ended up being permanent, Argona said.

While there were some growing pains with this transition and parking being used for both the market and neighboring businesses, it is now one of the most successful farmers markets in the country, she said.

Argona said the market has consistently been rated one of the Top 25 Farmers Markets through the America’s Farmers Market Celebrations and almost made it to the Top 10 one year.

By moving to Main Street, the market has been able to accommodate more vendors and has seen as many as 10,000 customers on one Saturday, she said.


The market has vendors between Third and Sixth Street, as well as half of Fifth Street, she said. On Saturday, customers attending saw a completely full market.

“All of our spaces are more or less occupied, which is really unusual for this time of year,” Argona said. “We typically do not see that many vendors until later in the season.”

It is still early in the produce season, but strawberries made their debut at the market Saturday, which is usually a hot ticket item, she said. Cherries will follow strawberries shortly, with their season coming in within the next couple of weeks. 

Along with produce, the market has an abundance of food vendors as well as artisan and craft vendors, Argona said.

“It’s a good mix, but we are an agricultural forward market first, so we do prioritize space for agricultural vendors,” she said. “That includes ranchers, meat, livestock … it’s got a wide variety, a good mix of folks.”

Argona said a lot of people are unaware of how competitive it is to get in with the market. There are 100 spaces available, and the market can accommodate 80–90 vendors at its peak.

People do not always realize the vendor roster exceeds that number every year, and this year, the roster hit over 150 vendors, which is the highest it has ever been, she said.

“Just this last year, we received over 120 inquiries about people wanting to be a part of our market,” she said. “It’s a highly competitive market and we have a pretty rigorous process for folks to get into it.”


One of the vendors, Irish Spikes, sells hot sauces and has been with the Moscow Farmers Market since 2019. Owner Spike Connelly designs the hot sauces himself.

Irish Spikes employee Annie Crutcher was Irish Spikes’ first official employee because the business was initially run just by Connelly and his family at the Breakfast Club.

The business gained a lot of traction, and they had a smaller booth when they first came to the market but ended up expanding to a larger booth, Crutcher said.

The most popular sauce is Unicorn Blood, which is a mix of blood orange and chipotle sauce, Connelly said. For Pride Month, he has rebranded the sauce to Unicorn Pride, with an extra $5 charge to donate to LGBTQ+ organizations.

This is the second year he has rebranded the sauce for Pride, he said. Last year, the extra $5 was donated to the Trevor Project, but this year, it is being split between the Trevor Project and Inland Oasis; both are organizations dedicated to LGBTQ+ inclusiveness.

Connelly said he also hosts hot sauce games on the Irish Spikes Instagram, where people compete in games involving hot sauce.

These games do not involve eating the hot sauce but are physical challenges, such as seeing how far a person can throw a bottle across a table, he said.

The winner gets a trophy of Connelly’s head and gets to design their own hot sauce with him and will receive six bottles of that hot sauce to themselves, he said.


Just down the path from Irish Spikes was Camas Prairie Winery. The winery has held a spot at the Moscow Farmers Market for just over a decade, said owner Jeremy Ritter.

The winery was established in 1983, Ritter said. It is the second oldest winery in the state and is the oldest independently owned winery in the state.

Camas Prairie had free samples of the bottles they had at their booth, including a Riesling, Merlot, elderberry, raspberry, strawberry and huckleberry wine.

Smoke Ring, a business selling smoked barbeque sauce, had free samples in their booth as well as a sign advertising 20% refills if someone brings back the jar they bought from them.

Other vendors at the market sold items such as jewelry, kombucha and crêpes. Belly dancers were performing live, and there were even children selling knickknacks like bracelets and toys.

The Moscow Farmers Market is open 8 a.m.1 p.m. every Saturday until the end of October.