We know that when you buy local you keep more dollars circulating within our community. This concept is especially helpful to small businesses. The vendors at the Olympia Farmers Market take this concept to heart in more ways that one. For example, when you buy Blissful Wunders Confectionery Chocolates’, your dollar goes even deeper. Specializing in scrumptious truffles, ingredients for the specialty chocolate comes from local sources.

Olympia Farmers Market James Johnson owner of Johnson Berry Farm
A visit to the booth of James Johnson, owner of Johnson Berry Farm, will treat you to amazing, fresh local berries at the Olympia Farmers Market. Photo courtesy: Olympia Farmers Market

“I make all my own purees,” explained owner “Brother Bliss” who gets ingredients such as strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries from Johnson Berry Farm and cream from Tunawerth Creamery. He also uses small batch incorporations of wine from Stottle Winery and liquor from Salish Sea Organic Liqueurs. The subtle notes of lavender present in some chocolate truffle varieties are also locally sourced.

You’ll also find macadamia nuts and passion fruit in a few of his delights. While those ingredients are not grown here, Brother Bliss sources these tropical ingredients from connections in Hawaii and in this way he knows the exact source of the raw materials. Further, our local climate is also not conducive to growing cocoa beans, so Brother Bliss created a relationship with a certified fair-trade plantation in Columbia that grows organically. In his desire to become even more local, Brother Bliss is imagining a heated green house to experimentally cultivate his own cocoa beans. “Why not try it?” he muses.

I wondered which truffle his favorite is. “All of them,” he smiles, “I make all of them one at a time.” He believes in the power of keeping spending dollars within the community and sets an example in the ways he does business. “It’s a small world, but it’s a large family,” he added.

Olympia Farmers Market Crossed Paws
Crossed Paws Bakery animal treats look tempting to humans. They are packed with local meats, fruits and vegetables. Photo credit: Mary Ellen Psaltis

Incorporation of local ingredients is also important to Lenore Cuskelly, the energetic owner of Crossed Paws Bakery. Her gourmet pet treat recipes include carrots, apples, parsley, blueberries, pumpkins, strawberries, catnip and even bacon drippings from Market restaurant Bavarian Wurst. The food is locally sourced. It’s all human-grade, but I think you wouldn’t appreciate the taste. “I love to put money back into the community,” said Lenore, who revels in the atmosphere of the Olympia Farmers Market. She worked on her family’s farm stand years ago and thrives on the interactions with market-goers as well her innovations in the kitchen.

Feel welcome to talk with vendors at the Market. They are enthusiastic and informative. For more information, visit the Olympia Farmers Market website.

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