SLIDE SHOW | New Port Orchard Market draws a crowd

With great anticipation, more than 400 people packed into the new Port Orchard Public Market on Feb. 28 to get their first glimpse at the transformation of the 100-year-old building — a project that has been in the work for two years.

Some people stood in line for more than an hour after the start of the preview and fundraiser event to tour one of downtown’s newest venues that features vendor stalls, a large open ceiling with plenty of windows and a large stainless steel propellor.

Don Ryan, market manager, was amazed at the turnout.

“Public turnout was amazing, almost doubling our expectation,” he said.

“Our spirits were lifted by the community support and excitement surrounding this great project.”

Throughout the event, patrons walked throughout the market sampling meats, cheeses, homemade chocolate candy and beverages from some of the anchor vendors or “marketeers”  at the market, while harpist Amanda Grzadzielewski and Acoustic Mindfield provided live music throughout the gala.

People also placed their bids during the silent and live auctions.

Mayor Tim Matthes is excited about the market.

“It was very exciting,” said Matthes. “We’re getting some storefronts filled. It kind of an overwriting excitement with spring coming and lots of things happening around town.”

Councilwoman Bek Ashby feels the community is ready to embrace the new market.

“It will be a great compliment to the other successful businesses downtown,” Ashby said.

Councilman Fred Chang said the market could draw more people to downtown.

“It was great seeing the place. So much has happened since the last time I looked inside,” Chang said.  “The market may be the draw that brings more people to downtown.

Patty Graf-Hoke, executive director for VisitKitsap, said the new indoor farmer's market is a beautiful and welcome addition to Port Orchard's growing waterfront district.

“There’s no doubt it will become a popular destination and meeting place for locals and tourists visiting Port Orchard and the Kitsap Peninsula region,” said Graf-Hoke. “Congratulations to Don Ryan and team for turing this vision into a reality.”

Christine Daniel, Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce executive director, feels the market will revitalized the city.

“It was an amazing turnout and it was wonderful to see the community pulling together to launch what appears to be the catalyst of change and the beginning of a fresh start to a revitalized Port Orchard,” said Daniel.

Susan Keller, public market spokesperson, said proceeds from a silent and a live auction will go toward finishing touches for the building.

Ryan said Tuesday they are still tallying funds generated at the event and will be used to cover the cost of art and decor, including the 3,000-pound stainless steel propeller already installed.

“We will use the remainder of the money to cover our big sign on the outside of the building,” Ryan said. “We have three other things on our list, but it all depends on the final count raised.”

The market, located at 715 Bay St., is scheduled to open in April, but no date has been determined.


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