Twenty years on, and the sun still knows how to make an appearance at the Federal Way Farmers Market.
The first Saturday of the city’s seasonal marketplace this year brought balmy temperatures in the high 70s and plenty of families out to the south parking lot of The Commons mall, where dozens of vendors sold produce, bouquets, crafts and other goods. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the market in Federal Way.
It was Mother’s Day weekend, and the flowers were going fast.
Vendor Angel Vue started selling flowers at the first farmers market 20 years ago and has been here ever since, raising her four kids along the way.
“The reason it kept me going … is because I’m always passionate about my flowers,” Vue said. “I love making people happy, and I don’t care about making a lot of money.”
Her dream is to run a bigger farm that’s open to the public, and could serve for events like birthday parties.
Other vendors are new, like Roy Ornelas and Anna Everson at Galactic Druid Treats LLC.
It’s a spacey, futuristic name to fit the far-out freeze dried treats he sells, Ornelas said. He takes candies like Skittles, taffy, caramels and Airheads and removes the moisture from them through freezing. The result is a puffy, crunchy version of those candies with the same flavor — the most popular kind being Skittles, Ornelas said.
Family friend Anna Everson, who shared the Galactic Druid booth, sells organic soy wax candles that look like mochas and cakes. To make her creations, Everson whips the wax like batter, mixing and cooling it until it’s ready to be shaped into the right texture for her creations.
“I’m trying to start my own business because I homeschool my son, and this is how I fund his homeschooling,” she said.
The market runs 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Saturday through the end of October behind The Commons mall along South 324th Street in Federal Way. This year, the market is found behind the former Macy’s entrance, just east of its previous location in 2022, due to construction in the mall’s parking lot.
The Federal Way Farmers Market got some of its start through funding from the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee, council member Jack Dovey said, joined by other city leaders at the opening ceremonies May 13.
And it’s “the only organization I know that has paid the $13,000 back to the city,” Dovey said. “We gave them money, they used it well … and the city got paid back the initial investment.”
“We’re so grateful that Rose and her family have been here for 20 years,” Deputy Mayor Susan Honda said about market co-founder Rose Ehl.
Honda also thanked the Federal Way High School Key Club for volunteering at the event.
“This is really one of the great traditions in our community,” Mayor Jim Ferrell said.
On Saturday, May 20, Ciscoe Morris, a Seattle-based gardening expert, TV and radio personality and author will share advice on taking care of plants at 11:30 a.m. On May 27, the market will host a Memorial Day observance.
Parking is free, and vendors accept various forms of payment, including cash, card, SNAP, WIC and SFMNP. For more information on vendors and upcoming events, visit www.federalwayfarmersmarket.com.