First Thursday farmers market debuts at JUMP in Downtown Boise

Matt Williams on the new First Thursday farmers market

The Capital City Public Market debuts a First Thursday market at Jack's Urban Meeting Place.
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The Capital City Public Market debuts a First Thursday market at Jack's Urban Meeting Place.

Matt Williams grabbed a bunch of golf ball-sized radishes, placed them into a plastic bag and handed them to a customer.

No, it wasn’t a Saturday for the longtime vendor at the Capital City Public Market. Williams, one of the owners of Waterwheel Gardens in Emmett, set up his vegetable stand during the initial First Thursday mini-market pop-up outside Jack’s Urban Meeting Place.

“This is a great space here at JUMP, and they’ve given us a lot of room to work with,” said Williams, president of the Capital City market’s board of directors.

Waterwheel Gardens and 16 other vendors, including Lime and a Coconut, Potter Wines, Treeworks, Stoneworks and Tony’s Tamales, sold raw and prepared foods and crafts during Thursday’s event, which ran from 5 to 9 p.m. Williams said he saw several Saturday market vendors checking out what was going on at JUMP, 1000 W. Myrtle St. He hopes to have 30 to 35 sellers’ booths at May’s First Thursday.

“I’m really, really happy with the turnout tonight and I imagine the vendors are, too,” Williams said.

Both of Boise’s farmers markets —, the Capital City Public Market, which opens Saturday, April 13, and the Boise Farmers Market, which debuts Saturday, April 6, at its new location at 1400 Shoreline Drive — operate on Saturdays from April through October. Williams said his board thought there was an opportunity for a midweek market too.

Matt Williams, president of the board of the Capital City Public Market, said he was pleased by the turnout at the market’s First Thursday pop-up market at the plaza outside Jack’s Urban Meeting Place. Seventeen vendors sold goods as part of the regular monthly event held Downtown. Matthews hopes up to 35 booth operators will take part next month. John Sowell

Capital City tried that earlier this decade but it wasn’t successful. He said he believes the area’s growth since — Boise’s population rose from 208,579 in 2010 to 226,570 in 2017, while Ada County added 63,403 people — will bring more people out as the First Thursday event gets better known.

“We want to provide a taste of the market for people who can’t come down on a Saturday,” he said. “It’s a way to promote our Saturday market,” which has about 150 vendors.

Boise resident Tara Motyer and her daughter, Georgia, 15, said they were impressed.

“We’re seeing a lot of the vendors we see on Saturday,” Georgia said.

Her mother said they typically come to the Saturday market a couple of times a month but miss it at other times because of other activities. She said she liked the idea of a midweek market.

“The only thing we haven’t found is a water vendor or the lemonade guy,” Tara Motyer said.

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Reporter John Sowell has worked for the Statesman since 2013. He covers business and growth issues. He grew up in Emmett and graduated from the University of Oregon.If you like seeing stories like this, please consider supporting our work with a digital subscription to the Idaho Statesman.