Vancouver Farmers Market’s Jordan Boldt: Episode 142

Show Notes

Vancouver Farmers Market

Vancouver Farmers Market Logo
Our guest for this episode is Jordan Boldt the Executive Director of the Vancouver Farmers Market. Jordan has been the Executive Director of the market since 2010. The Vancouver Farmers Market has been in operation since 1990. During our conversation Jordan shares stories about the day to day job duties of the Executive Director of the market.  As is typical of many non-profits employees wear many different hats on a daily basis. Let's just say many of the things Jordan does regularly would not be items you would find on the traditional resume of a job applicant.The Vancouver Farmers Market may have up to 250 member vendors at any one time.Not all vendors sell every day some are seasonal, some split time between other markets etc. Due to COVID the market has reduced the number of stalls on any given weekend. In 2020 the market averaged 103 vendors each weekend.  Interestingly visitors to the market decreased due to COVID but revenues did not. The Vancouver Farmers Market has 3 locations.  The Downtown Market, The East Vancouver Market and the Fall Market.

Farmers Market A Day in The Life

On a typical Saturday morning the Vancouver Farmers Market staff begin showing up at 5am. Since the downtown market is located on 8th and S. Ester St. staff has to begin blocking off the streets so that the vendors can begin to setup their booths. Everything has to be ready for the 9am start time. Some of the larger and more elaborate booths can take up to 4 hours for the vendor to setup! Once the market opens to the public the staff are kept busy making sure that everything runs smoothly for both the vendors and the public.  When the market closes at 3pm  the vendors and the staff begin the process of getting the booths ready to be shut down. Since the market is open again at 10am on Sunday the market has security keep an eye on the booths overnight. Saving the vendors having to completely tear down and setup again. Sunday morning the farmers market staff is back getting things ready before opening. Once the market closes at 3pm. The vendors and staff tear down and return the streets to public. Some of the staff may work 24 hours in just 2 days!

Vancouver Farmers Market Mission

The focus of the Vancouver Farmers Market is to be a business incubator to help local farmers and crafters succeed as market vendors.  The market also provides services to the at-need population of Vancouver. Another focus is to bring an open safe community space to the people who attend the market.

Some of the programs provided.

  • Market Tours 1 hour tours to show SNAP/EBT customers how to use their benefits and receive matching dollars to use at the market. Tours are available in English, Spanish, and Russian.
  • Market Box subscription. Enjoy fresh and seasonal items that have been selected for you and provided via easy curbside pick-up.
  • Gleaning Volunteers collect produce and other food items from market vendors and donate to local Vancouver food pantries.
  • Snap Market Match Snap/EBT customers can receive up to $40.00 match to buy fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs etc.
  • VFM Vendor Scholarship Program.

 

Throughout the conversation Jordan shares other stories about the market and the Vancouver area.  One of the interesting things we hear is how the City embraced the market and ultimately built around it as a way to keep downtown Vancouver vibrant during the weekend and not just Monday through Friday.  Find out how the Vancouver Market selects vendors to be in the market. There is an application process and Jordan shares the details. Hear some of his favorite places to grab a bite to eat when he is at the market.

Jordan was very generous with his time and his knowledge of the Vancouver Farmers Market. We are looking forward to following up with Jordan in the future and checking on the progress the market is making in Vancouver.

 

Some of the People and Places Mentioned in this Episode

What is the best thing about working at a Farmers Market?
You get to grocery shop while you are at work.
-Jordan Boldt

 

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