Palouse-area residents can purchase products from vendors out of their car trunks at the first-ever Pullman Winter Trunk Market.
Typically, the Pullman Winter Market is held inside the Brelsford WSU Visitor Center but because of COVID-19, items will be sold out of the vendors’ car trunks. The idea for a trunk market came from Halloween trunk-or-treat approach this year, said market manager Amanda Argona.
“I saw a lot of trunk-or-treats, and I just thought that might be a good concept to adapt the winter market to,” Argona said.
The first trunk market will be held from 3-5 p.m. Nov. 18 in the Brelsford WSU Visitor Center parking lot, she said.
Argona said the winter market is a good opportunity to support local vendors in a safe and quick way. COVID-19 safety measures for the winter market include hand sanitizer, masks and social distancing requirements.
Vendors are also encouraging customers to pre-order products, said Margaret Parsley, owner of Omache Farm, and regular winter market vendor.
“I’m trying to push pre-ordering for markets so people can just come in and grab their stuff,” Parsley said. “It is important to reduce the number of people that you’re coming into contact with.”
For the first winter market, Omache Farm will sell potatoes, winter squashes and pie pumpkins. Parsley said she is excited to have a place to sell the produce although she will miss the indoor venue.
“It’s a bummer that we can’t have the whole festive atmosphere,” Parsley said, “but still being able to have that sales venue and being able to provide our customers with the best pumpkins for their pies for Thanksgiving are all really good things still.”
Shannon Ward is a first-time vendor in the winter market and owner of Two If By SeaFoods, a family fishery that sells their catches at farmer’s markets and through deliveries nationwide. There will be a variety of fish available for purchase.
“It is a wonderful opportunity,” she said. “It’s been a difficult year for everyone, for various reasons, but especially for small businesses that really depend on seasonal sales.”
Ward said she is excited about the trunk market approach.
“I think it’s wonderful to find a way … to show up and sell and provide a safe way for people to still come and buy from local producers without having to be indoors,” Ward said.
Because of COVID-19, Two If By SeaFoods missed the spring market season so earnings from the winter market will help the fishery’s bottom line, Ward said.
Argona said market coordinators believe attendance for the winter market will be lower than in previous years. This is a trend the market also experienced in the summer because of the pandemic.
To encourage greater vendor participation, the market was moved from Saturday to Wednesday with limited hours, she said.
The second winter market is Dec. 16. Argona said they will add more dates depending on COVID-19, and vendor availability.