We promised a followup when we published a short item yesterday about the sign John S spotted at one of the former Huling/Gee lots on Fauntleroy Way. Tonight – the details!
Story and photo by Keri DeTore
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
Pike Place Produce Company — co-owned by West Seattle residents Mike Cairns and Bruce McPherson along with Bob Klein, owner of Corner Produce by Pike Place Market — has leased the former auto-sales lot (4755 Fauntleroy Way) to open a year-round farmers-market-type business – not just fruit and vegetables.
The market will be open seven days a week, with weekday hours catering to commuters. Mike Cairns says: “We’ll be open early enough that someone can stop in and grab some fruit on their way to work, and late enough that they can get something for dinner on the way home.” Right now, they’re considering 7 am-7 pm for those commuter hours.
As much as possible, the emphasis will be on featuring fresh, local produce, though they do import out-of-season produce when necessary. About 30% of the produce will be organic as well as the eggs and milk from Smith Brothers Farms.
They plan to go beyond the typical farm-fare at this market, however; they’ll also be featuring specialty items such as olive oils, pastas and cheeses, including Beecher’s Handmade Cheese from Pike Place Market. “Things that work well with produce,” notes Mike. To adorn the table laden with fresh produce, they will sell flower bouquets made by the vendors at Pike Place Market.
Especially important: they’ll be offering samples of all the products!
Co-owner Bruce McPherson also owns “The Cove,” a bed-and-breakfast near the Fauntleroy ferry terminal. Right now, he is busy transforming the shack that sits in the middle of the ex-Huling/Gee lot into a display and shop area, using recycled and re-purposed materials, including tables made from the floor of a basketball court: “You can still see the free-throw line!” His emphasis is on reducing waste during the construction phase.
(Site photo taken Wednesday)
The front deck will be extended 20 feet, and roll-up doors on the front of the building will create an open-air market feel — but with protection from the drizzle. Mike Cairns says they’re going for a “funky” look, but with an “early 1900s feel.” Products will be displayed in an old wooden boat, a produce trailer from the 1940’s, fish carts and fittingly, an old pickup truck. They note that the shop area will be fully accessible to strollers and wheelchairs.
The lot itself will be transformed into seasonal displays with space for local artisans and craftspeople, and the owners hope to host seasonal events and provide activities (petting zoo, anyone?) Mike says, “We want people to have something to look forward to (and) someplace to take the kids.”
He adds that the perimeter of the parking lot will be secured, and they’re adding planter pots to soften the edges and improve it aesthetically. The current neon Huling Brothers sign will retain the yellow arrow, but the neon lettering will be replaced with the Pike Place Produce Company’s logo.
The owners plan a “soft opening” during the end of April, and the grand opening on May 1. Though both Mike and Bruce note that anything can happen with construction. Mike Cairns adds a note of thanks: “Steve Huling and John Wonder at Associates West really helped to make this happen.”
The owners are emphatic about being a part of, and supporting the West Seattle community. They hope to supply local restaurants with farm-fresh produce and look forward to getting involved with local events. Says Mike: “Supporting local business helps to preserve the character of the community,” and he promises: “We’re going to have fun!”