Enterprise Final: Lane County Farmers’ Market

A Lane County Farmer’ Market Business Profile

By: Taylor Gelbrich

The Lane County Farmers’ Market is full of vibrant people and delicious local grown food. One of those bright faces one might run into is the owner of PremRose Edibles, Linda Shumate. Shumate is always talking to costumers and sharing her products with anyone that walks by her station.

Shumate is personally shy, but she loves the direct sales with the customers. The Farmers’ Market just brings it out of Shumate. She loves being apart of the Lane County Farmers’ Market.“It is a wonderful way to get feed back instantly on ones product.  The who scene is warm and friendly, even on cold days and the camaraderie with the other farmer’s, vendors and staff is very much like a family.  There is something about markets that have a very old world feel to them and I just love it,” says Shumate.

Shumate has traveled around her whole life. She was born in Eastern Iowa, but grew up in Wyoming and now has called Eugene her home for the last 32 years. She loves Eugene because of the diversity of the community, but there are changes that need to happen.

“The most important change that needs to happen is for people everywhere and not just Eugene is to make kindness a priority to everyone. You know that old song, “what the world needs now is love,” Shumate says. “Prem in PremRose Edibles means love.  So I am passing it around with every bite of our food.”

Shumate’s business is PremRose Edibles and in the beginning she did a lot of chocolate, but now everything but a couple of things has rose in it. She has been making rose jam for over 30 years and chocolate truffles for just as long.

The business started out from just sharing her treats with family and loved ones. For years she made hundreds of Kalua chocolate ganache dipped truffles for her friends and family. They loved them so she kept making more.

She also made jam just for family and when she wanted to start her own business she just expanded what she had been doing. Her raspberry rose ganache truffle won “Best of Show” and “Best Ganache Truffle” at the Oregon Chocolate Festival in 2010.

The things that keep Shumate going are her customers. The response she gets back from them helps her to keep going. It is one of the reasons why she loves the Lane County Farmers’ Market because it allows her that face-to-face interaction.

“The customers are wonderful. Without the people who give me feedback on our products I could never keep going.  A woman the other day said the Ruby Rose is like a smile in a jar. When people love it then it is all worth it,” Shumate says.

Shumate loves the Lane County Farmers’ Market and it obvious. It is a place where everyone in Eugene to be grateful for the quality of produce that is available here and the pride the farmers’ take in their products.

“It is a good compliment for the Eugene Saturday Market and gives both locals and people visiting from out of town a family friendly destination where they can not only eat and find fresh local organic produce, but unique Oregon Made Gifting Items.  People tell me it is one of the most beautiful markets in the country,” Shumate says.

When asked if there was anyone who got her into her line of work she simply answered, “Lots of people, but maybe destiny.”

A Little Background Information On The Farmers’ Market

By: Taylor Gelbrich

When people talk about downtown Eugene or just the city of Eugene, more than likely they will bring up the Lane County Farmers’ Market. It is historic, tradition, and as much apart of what makes the city flow then the University of Oregon. It is the product of the city. The people of Eugene and the surround cities come together to sell what was created here locally. It fuels Eugene on a larger scale then just economically.

The Lane County Farmers’ Market is the first public market in the Eugene and surrounding areas. The market dates back to 1915 and was originally called the Eugene Producers Market. It began small and has grown vastly over the last almost 100 years.

Today, the Lane County Farmers’ Market accounts for 160 growers and producers. Eugene City Bakery, Fern’s Edge Diary, PremRose Edibles, and West Coast Seafoods are a couple of the local businesses that make up the 160 businesses. The businesses range from all over Oregon to come to the Lane County Farmers’ Market. They come from Creswell, to Eugene, to Lowell, to name a few.

Anyone can come to the market to sell their goods, but there are some restrictions. In order to sell goods, the owner of the business must be an Oregon resident and comply with the rules of the market. Also, the business must grow and produce anything they bring to the market.

The Farmers’ Market goes on regardless of the weather. It is open in the rain, snow, or sunshine. The Farmers’ Market combines with artists to create the Saturday Market every Saturday at 8th and Oak in downtown Eugene.

A Shopper’s Perspective

By: Taylor Gelbrich

The Lane County Farmers’ Market is a stable of the downtown Eugene lifestyle. Every Tuesday local farmer’s from all walks of life come to sell the goods they have worked hard to produce at 8th and Oak in downtown. The Farmers’ Market also joins with the Saturday Market on Saturday’s obviously and that turns in the Holiday Market when the weather turns to cold to be outdoors. The Holiday Market takes place at the Lane County Fairgrounds and the Farmers’ Market is also available on Thursdays in the spring.

The Farmers’ Market can be a tradition for some people who make it routine to make it out every Saturday. Some people create that bond with certain businesses. It is an environment that embodies the Eugene lifestyle and how the people embrace their neighborhood and local businesses. For others it could be their first time and an attempt to engulf themselves into the city.

20-year-old Neko Francisco falls into this category. Francisco moved to Eugene from Michigan a year ago and has only been to the Farmers’ Market once. The Saturday’s Market lured him in with the music.

“I love the fact that you get to listen to the music that’s played. I’m a huge fan of music, so when I went, the music kind of drew me in,” Francisco said.

Though Francisco has only been once, he does plan on going more. The market in his own words is a bunch of different people doing their own thing. The market is home to all walks of life from bakeries, farmers, and fisherman.

21-year-old Portland Native, Paul Witzig, echoes Francisco’s thoughts. Witzig has been going to the Farmers’ Market on and off for about six years. He echoes the thought of the market being a place for not just all walks of life to sell their good, but a melting pot for different people to come and enjoy what Eugene has to offer.

“The Farmers’ Market would be a lot of local farmers selling what they grow. It’s always interesting to see what other people go there and shop for,” Witzig said. “Another interesting point is you’ll have people from all different walks of life. You’ll have your doctors mixing in together with all kinds of different people. It’s not just hippies.”

The Farmers’ Market is simply a place where people come together. It can be for a variety of reasons. Whether someone comes for a walk outside, the music, the food, or to pick up some local produce, the market provides a place of community for the city of Eugene.

“To me, I’d say the Farmers’ Market is special because I enjoy the quality of food I get there. It’s always nice to buy local. To Eugene, the Farmers’ Market has been around for so long and the fact that is has been makes it really unique,” Witzig said.

For Witzig, he says he goes for the food. It is something he feels everyone should go experience at least once.

“I go to the market whenever I get a chance,” Witzig said.

Experience the Farmers’ Market, A Photo Essay

By: Taylor Gelbrich

About taylorg34

Senior journalist at the University of Oregon. Former college baseball player who now is a writer for the PAC 12 and was a writer for Madfriars.com
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