Eighteen years ago the Farmers Market on Central Avenue in down-town Coos Bay was just one city block. It has come a long way since it first started. Today the Market runs three city blocks plus a little more on the side streets. With the ability to have a maximum capacity of 87 vendors, up by 18 from last year, the market is still growing.
Over sought by the Coos Bay Downtown Association, an independent organization with a mission to revitalize the down-town area, the market runs from the first Wednesday in May through the end of October. Within the season the market runs every Wednesday from 9am to 2pm, making it a big part of the community’s lifestyle.
“I think it is really important for customers, for community members to be able to directly consume fresh, wholesome produce that is grown in their region,” said Market Manager Karlee Cottrell.
Cottrell was born and raised in Coos Bay. After living out of town for a while, two and a half years ago she moved back and found a position she’s always wanted to get involved with. Starting as the Assistant Manager, she took over as the Market Manager in September and her favorite part about the market is the sense of community that it brings in.
“It connects a whole range of different individuals,” said Cottrell. “As far as the vendors who come form the Salem area, all the way down to the Roseburg area to come sell here and then all of our community members who come to shop here as well as the tourist that are traveling through. So it gives a really good opportunity to let people see what our region has to offer.”
According to Cottrell, the market sees around 2000 customers every Wednesday with a good portion of those being tourists visiting the area. The attraction brings in people from all over, representing a large amount of local businesses and artists.
“I think that is really important as an economic stimulus as well,” said Cottrell. “This money is coming from community members and going back into the community.”
Vendors that want to participate in the Farmers Market can do so by applying through the online application process and paying a $17 non-refundable application fee. Customer’s that are on Oregon Food Stamps can also shop at the market.
For more information about the Coos Bay Farmer’s Market please visit: https://coosbaydowntown.org/farmers-market/