This week ...
Thing: Community Produce
Co-owners: Jason Barker and Deanna Riley
Location: Doyle's and King's Books shared parking lot
Been open for business: Five weeks
Distributor: Snow Valley (Seattle)
Shelter provided by: 10-by-10 tent
Layers of warm clothing worn by Barker: Five
Did I feel like tailgating under the tent?: Yes
Did Jason Barker allow me to tailgate under his tent?: No
Did I go home afterwards and make a tent out of furniture and bedsheets?: But of course
In the freezing rain, which seemed to be coming down sideways, Jason Barker and his friend, Kevin, stood outside Doyle's Public House and chatted. Part of me felt like a dumbass for not saying "screw this" and running inside Doyle's for a hot toddy, but the curious part of me stayed strong enough to stop and ask questions.
In front of me, and squeezed under the tailgate tent, were plastic bins of sundry produce such as jalapeños, potatoes (of the red, gold and russet varieties), avocados, apples, oranges, carrots, bell peppers and onions. Damn, these were all the basic ingredients to cook just about any dinnertime meal! I suddenly craved jambalaya and my stomach began to rumble. Ugh, how embarrassing.
Barker politely ignored my gastro-intestinal issues and quickly got back to business. He informed me that his intentions were to lower the infrastructure and cut down on produce costs sometimes found in grocery stores - and his endeavor (the tent filled with produce) is called Community Produce. While currently relegated to the parking lot next to Doyle's, Barker also told me he'd like to provide convenience for families by opening more of these tent-locations in the urban community, thus making it easier to stop daily to grab fresh produce.
Although he does not yet carry organic goods, he looks to add some to his inventory, while he also mentions that he hopes to teaming up with local CSA gardens for distribution. Competing with other local home delivery options, Barker also provides weekly delivery that feeds three to five people, for a $10 fee.
Barker and Riley's intentions are inventive, gutsy, passionate and show their extreme loyalty to bringing food into our community at fair market value. If anyone feels as though they share the same mindset, has a willingness to learn, is punctual, has great customer service and (obviously) is not afraid of extreme weather - Barker can hook you up and help make you some extra scratch.
Hell, I won't even charge you my usual 30 percent finder's fee. You're welcome.
[Community Produce - Doyle's and King's Books shared parking lot, 253.301.0838]
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