Pepper Johansen is already selling fresh produce at the Saturday Market at KVCC in Kenai.
Kenai’s Saturday Market, next to the Kenai Chamber Log Cabin and across from the Kenai Visitors & Cultural Center (KVCC), opened two years ago with 12 dedicated vendors. This year that number has nearly tripled with 33 full-time vendors registered to participate throughout the 2007 season that runs through September 15th, as well as many more part time vendors. The fee for participating in the Market is on a sliding scale according to Mya Renken, executive director for the Kenai Convention & Visitors Bureau, “It’s works out to be less expensive the more Saturdays the vendor is in attendance,” says Renken. “The program wouldn’t have been possible without a federally supported program of the Alaska State Department of Labor, Mature Alaskans Seeking Skills Training or MASST for short. We brought on Jan Stiers to work on creating the foundation of the Saturday Market. When she moved on to another job, we transferred Harold Piland into the position of Kenai’s Saturday Market Coordinator, which he has held since.”
Paula of Arctic Creations sells Kay Vernon's unique planters at Saturday Market at KVCC in Kenai.
The Market was a project envisioned in the Kenai Economic Development Strategic Plan, with the Kenai Convention and Visitors Bureau as the designated champion for the project. It has grown each year and has become another popular place for visitors, to catch up with your friends or to make new ones. The grant KCVB received from the State of Alaska Division of Agriculture helps underwrite vendor space for Alaska Grown vendors and provides for some advertising of the program. The Market is registered so its Alaska Grown vendors can accept WIC and Senior Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program vouchers for Alaskan produce, drawing from throughout the central Kenai Peninsula.
The market is conveniently located for both visitors on their way to and from Captain Cook Park as well as for community residents always interested in supporting local craftsman and growers. “You never know what you might find on any given Saturday afternoon,” adds Renken. The Market offers everything from Alaska Grown items to arts and crafts and has received accolades from numerous visitors about the friendliness and bargains offered by the vendors. There is even a special program for young entrepreneurs who are interested in having a booth at the Market. For further information about the Kenai Saturday Market contact Harold Piland at Harold@visitkenai.com or call 907.283.1991.
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