Jonny Taylor and Paola Gonzalez serve bags full of Rainier cherries from the Martin Family Orchards at this Pike Place Market stand. The warm colors of peaches and apricots contrast with a blanket of greens on the stall a few feet away, where Chai Cha, of the Shong Chao’s Farm, sells Swiss chard, parsley, cilantro and romain lettuce.
It’s a typical scene of smells and colors, but you may have noticed something odd about my picture. Are there trees at Pike Place? And where are the crowds of tourists?
The produce stalls aren’t where you may think. This newest “express” version of the market, which opened in June, sets up in Occidental Square every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The idea, explained Taylor, is to reach out to downtown residents and office workers who can’t go to Pike Place Market for their produce. Two other employment hubs, South Lake Union and City Hall, have hosted the market’s vendors every summer since 2009, but this is the first year the stands have come to Pioneer Square. Word is starting to spread, said Taylor, as customers start to bring their office mates.