On a rainy Tuesday in June, Lauri Williams of Lauri’s Lair was the sole tent for the first day of the new Ponderosa Open Market at 4120 S. Bowdish Road.
“It was pouring,” said Williams, who sells a variety of plants she grew herself. “But I was bound and determined having a presence there so anyone driving by would see me.”
William’s determination marked the first step in making Darcee Terhaar’s dream of having an outdoor market a reality. Terhaar, 47, is part owner of The Trellis, in whose parking lot the market is staged.
“Having neighborhood families come over, bring their kids, and enjoy an afternoon,” Spokane Valley resident Terhaar said. “That’s the dream right there.”
Terhaar first had the idea three years ago. She wanted to give people an opportunity to showcase their products, similar to the experience she had at the Hurd Mercantile in Rockford. Terhaar began her business there selling refurbished furniture and items.
“We were all somewhere else at one time then landed here,” Terhaar said of herself and her three business partners at The Trellis. “Maybe (the vendors) could start doing something and have it blossom into something else.”
Her dream came to fruition this May, when Jennifer Calhoun, 36, purchased The Bean Shack, a drive-through espresso shop located in The Trellis parking lot. Terhaar shared her idea with Calhoun, and the idea began to become a reality.
“If you give me something, I’ll take it and run with it,” South Hill resident Calhoun said laughing. “I thought it would be a really good fit here.”
“She’s the detail person and I’m the land, basically,” Terhaar said. “It works out really good.”
Calhoun’s efforts to secure vendors through online marketing and word-of-mouth advertising helped grow the market to nine vendors last Tuesday. Marketgoers were also treated to live music by Stefan Roland. Calhoun said she is getting inquiries daily about the market.
As the market increases in vendors, Calhoun is trying to get the word out for people to attend. She currently posts signage around the area, passes fliers out to her espresso customers, and advertises on Craigslist as well as other free online listings.
“Biggest challenge is getting people to come,” Terhaar said. “It’s summer, people have stuff going on all the time.”
The market allows commercial vendors, which typically isn’t found in a farmers market.
“We aren’t requiring everybody to have hand-made stuff,” Calhoun said. “It’s open to anybody who needs to get their product out there.”
Open Tuesdays from 3 to 7 p.m. through Sept. 6, the market offers items such as unique clothing for women, nutrition products, gourmet take-and-bake lasagna, and specialty purses and jewelry. Calhoun has discount drinks during the market, as well as hot dogs and lemonade.
“I think once everybody finds out about it, it will be good,” Joyce Robb said. Robb is a fashion consultant of kikaPaprika, and sells an “eco chic” clothing line for women offering custom color garments. “I hope to come back as many times as I can.”
Terhaar and Calhoun hope to repeat the success of the Liberty Lake and Millwood markets. Terhaar believes her parking lot can easily accommodate 15 to 20 vendors.
“I think there is a lot of potential here,” Williams said. “People are nice, even in a rain storm.”