In 2019, the Spokane Valley Farmers’ Market came to fruition and set roots at Centerplace Regional Event Center. In the past four years, they’ve witnessed an abundance of family, friends, and neighbors come together to support local farms, artisan crafters, food trucks, musicians, and an array of small businesses that just keeps growing. But they have never had a year-round, permanent location.
On April 21, 2023, however, the Washington State Legislature approved $750,000 of local community project funding in the capital budget for a permanent-structure farmers’ market and commercial kitchen to support farm and food businesses, food system resiliency and security, and community vibrance year-round. Thankfully, the Spokane Conservation District purchased 50 acres of strategic property back in 2017, where Spokane meets the Spokane Valley, to headquarter their operations and develop the site’s important watershed, habitat, recreational, and educational uses. The next phase in campus development is to rehabilitate the site into a year-round farmers’ market and educational commercial kitchen.
Preliminary studies suggest the Scale House Market and Kitchen could host 249,000 visitors annually, including 18,000 who qualify for food assistance programs such as SNAP, Market Match, and Senior Farmers Market. This initial $750,000 will launch the project and will require two additional phases of funding, with a total of $2.3 million. SCD is looking to raise $1.5 million in matching funds, supported by an upcoming capital campaign and other fundraising efforts. The Scale House Market and Kitchen project truly paves the way for economic growth and opportunity through community engagement, sustainable small business viability, and food system resiliency in the greater Spokane Area.