Farmers Market Welcomes Brett Warwick

For years, the Olympia Farmers Market has been a yearly staple of community life for both local residents and seasonal tourists. Putting the Market together, though, can be a daunting task without the right person for the job. This week, the Olympia Farmers Market Board of Directors is pleased to announce they have selected Brett Warwick as the Market’s new Operations Manager! Brett was previously employed with the Queen Anne Farmers Market as Market Coordinator. He also served as Production Manager for the Seattle Marathon Association. 

Brett studied Operations Management at Western Washington University and has acquired over 15 years of experience working with farmers markets as a career. Brett has recently relocated to the Olympia area and is eager to share his love for the development of local businesses. “I look forward to offering new energy to the community and to further the success of this iconic market,” he says. 

The board is extremely grateful for John Nason’s dedication to the Market and his willingness to step up as the interim Operations Manager to keep the organization running smoothly throughout the hiring process.

Currently, the Market operates its Winter schedule through March and is open every Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. For more information about the Market, visit the The Olympia Farmers Market website.

I’m Dreaming of a Wine Winter

Thinking outside the familiar confines of the box to find ways of entertainment and exciting experiences has been a necessity with this unusual year. And while some winter practices will always remain the same—curling up under a warm blanket as you watch your favorite holiday film or catching snowflakes on the tip of your tongue—there is opportunity to try new things. So as the frosty flurries roll in and the crisp chill clings to the air, let your palette explore these unique and highly rated wines to cozy up with this season.

CasaSmith Cinghiale Sangiovese 2018 (92 points)

Wahluke Slope & Rosebud Vineyards

Pleasant, coating mouthfeel, flavors of savory herbs, ripe red current, dark raspberry and juicy Bing cherry. Aromas include subtle spice and leather. A delectable red that would fit perfectly in Grandfather’s study.

Lemberger 2018 (93 points)

Kiona Vineyards
Red Mountain AVA

The Lemberger is special to Kiona Vineyards as they were the first winery to commercialize the wine in 1980. Smooth and silky with a buttery texture and flavor. Medium body of lush blackberry and fig.

Woodland Goddess Reserve Red 2016 (Double Gold)

Silvara Cellars
Leavenworth, WA

A favorite for those snowy cabin evenings while enjoying a roaring fireplace. Deep aromas of dark fruit, chocolate and an array of spices. Bold, present tannins, velvety notes of black licorice and vanilla, paired with a dash of viognier, complement the fresh floral finish.

Gewurztraminer and Pinot Gris “Spicy Pig” Blend (limited release)

Chateau Ste. Michelle
Columbia Valley

An atypical mix, but one that works beautifully. Supple texture and musky aromas from classic barrel fermentation. Season appropriate with flavors of spice, fresh apple and pear.


Owens Meats Brings Sizzle to the Market

The Candy Store For The Carnivore, this is a one-of-akind, family-owned business that has flourished through five generations. Owens Meats is a specialty meat market with a huge line of fresh choice and prime meats that are aged to perfection.

For over 125 years, Owens Meats has been serving meat to the tables of families in the Northwest and across the country. Owens Meats is the oldest continuously-operated family business in Kittitas County and one of the oldest in the state of Washington.

Owens Meats opened its doors in 1887, two years before Washington became a state. Today, Owens Meats is known as “The Candy Store for the Carnivore” and after over a century of consistent excellence, they have solidified their legacy into the hearts and bellies of people all over the Northwest who have come to cherish this fine establishment.

When they began offering meat from a machine, it was a totally new concept for our region. The ability to buy Owens Meats’ famous meat snacks and treats via vending machines is now available in 12 locations in the Northwest including Point Ruston’s waterfront.

For several months, they have had a vending machine for their premier meats located next to Purpose Boutique. With the success of that location, Owens has now joined the Public Market at Point Ruston with a beautiful 2,300 square foot premier butcher shop at the Point Ruston Market. “We love the area and it reminds me of an old fashioned village on the water and our family is thrilled to be able to now offer our products at the new location” says Don Owens. Bring the finest quality specialty smoked and marinated meats to your family this holiday season and experience for yourself why generations of customers have been shopping Owens Meats. When you visit you will likely meet one of the Owens family members that will be working behind the counter.


For Additional Information

Holiday Market Season in Olympia

The change of season at The Olympia Farmers Market means beautiful fall and winter produce and wonderful handcrafted items from some of your favorite local artisans.

Shop local first and grab a handmade centerpiece, holiday-inspired table runner, hand-blown glasses and wood serving tray to present the perfect farm-to-table meal. The Olympia Farmers Market features plenty of baked goods, cheeses, jams, sauces, seafood, fresh and cured meats and more to create memorable holiday meals! Customers can also shop online– be sure to place your order by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday for pickup at the Market on Saturdays between 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.

Holiday Market hours at The Olympia Farmers Market began Saturday and Sunday, November 7 and 8. November through December 20, the Market is open every Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m.– 3:00 p.m. To help you prepare for the holidays, the market will also be open December 22– 24 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Visiting the Market is a fun holiday activity for everyone. Visitor can find fresh produce, artisan foods, inspired art and jewelry, practical and whimsical gifts. There’s sure to be something for everyone on your holiday list.

The Market will be closed December 26 and 27 and will reopen Saturday, January 2, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. During January, February, and March, the Market will be open every Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Enjoy shopping locally over the holidays, and into 2021!

Support Local Cuisine with Restaurant Rally

We all have a go-to restaurant or local dining location that we’ve been missing these last few months, whether or not the option of delivery is available. There’s something about the ambiance of a well-loved restaurant, the signature dishes that you’ve always enjoyed, or even the excitement of trying something new, that brings us together as a community. This November, join the Pierce County Restaurant Rally program to support our local restaurants by growing incoming business and camaraderie. 

The Pierce County Restaurant Rally is a movement sponsored by funding from Pierce County’s CARES act that enables Pierce County to reimburse participating restaurants anywhere from $5,000 to $90,000 for their gross sales of dine-in meals. 

If you’re a diner, Sue Kidd from Dine Pierce County says that “all you have to do is spend your cash at a participating full-service restaurant and you’ll get 30 percent off your tab.” From November 8-12 and 15-19, 2020, dine-in meals (excluding alcohol) will be 30 percent off for all customers, so you can enjoy the food you love while helping support our local businesses.

Whether it be in a group, for a spontaneous date night, or even as some restful time to yourself, take advantage of the 30 percent discount at participating locations and support our restaurants with the Restaurant Rally this November!

To learn more, and to see a list of participating restaurants (available October 29), visit the Pierce County website.


Cynara: Elegant and Unique Local Cuisine

No longer just a diamond in the rough, Olympia’s Market District & Waterfront offers a brilliance that can be seen in its thought-provoking public art, swanky living, retail, and dining establishments. Allow us to introduce one of the favorite new local hang-outs: Cynara. Located in the new Harbor Heights luxury apartments building on Columbia, Cynara brings forth a cuisine that Olympia has been hungry for.

While invoking a Mediterranean vibe, ‘Cynara,’ the Greek word for artichoke, offers diners a taste of Pacific Rim cuisine. Always eager to discover new flavors, owner Christian Skillings and his culinary team have created a phenomenal menu that consistently delivers. Cynara provides cuisine that is elegant and unique, while maintaining an approachability for all to enjoy. “After fifteen years of success with the Iron Rabbit in West Olympia, we were ready to be a part of the exciting downtown Olympia Marketplace community,” Skillings says.

The dining experience at Cynara is much like eating a fresh artichoke. Petal by petal, diners peruse the menu. Foods on the menu are locally sourced whenever possible and offer delight for the herbivore and carnivore alike. The signature grilled artichoke hearts are served with pink peppercorn aioli, hazelnuts, and mint. A feast for the eyes as well as the tastebuds, customer favorites include the Chicken Veronique, Lamb Stew, Bone-in New York steak, and the Cauliflower entrée served with hazelnuts, apricots, and honey, then finished with a pomegranate balsamic.

Guests will discover a fabulous selection of local and international whiskies, unique aperitif and cocktail creations, plus rotating wine and beer offerings. Be sure to try Cynara favorite, the Dosewallips cocktail. Take-away orders and curbside pick-up are offered as well, so you may take your Cynara delights home for enjoyment.  To find hours, seating information, and a menu, visit the Cynara website.

Willamette Valley Wine Escape

Oregon’s Willamette Valley winemaking presence grows larger each year. Located in the heart of Oregon, this valley showcases nearly 600 wineries. 

We decided to focus our trip on the Eola Hills Wine Cellars, Legacy Estate Vineyard, and this 162-acre scenic vista draws us in. We are instantly drawn to the Estate’s “Wiking” wine-hiking trail as we enjoyed a light stroll through the vineyard vines while savoring heavenly sips of Eola’s own Muller-Thurgau  sparkling wine.  Named after the Greek god of the winds, Aeolus, the rolling emerald-hued hills of ‘Eola-Amity’, revealed to us a special destination, providing a reason to stay for the day. 

Our Legacy Estate adventure continues as we enjoy plates of locally-sourced charcuterie while tasting some of the finest top-tier reserve wines that Oregon has to offer.  Katie Bass, Wine Club Manager shares, “Wine making is our passion, but creating a  destination and unique experience for our guests is what we’d like to achieve here at the Legacy Estate.”  Guests won’t be looking far for adventure. The Legacy Estate boasts a beautiful and sought-after outdoor wedding and special occasion venue.

Then we head to The Independence Hotel. This new gem is located just outside of Salem in the quaint town of Independence.  Situated along the scenic  Willamette River Water Trail, the Independence Hotel has made itself a bit of a cyclist’s mecca. Bike amenities include indoor and outdoor maintenance spaces complete with rinse-off station, tools and a bench. Rooms are designed elegantly and beautifully, all with designated spaces to store two bikes. Each room features local artistry that can be seen in the live-edge wood tables, cedar headboards, wall art and even handmade soaps.  

Independence Hotel general manager Matt Smith shares, “Since opening day in late 2019, we’ve continued to be a favorite amongst locals and travelers to the area. We pride ourselves on building lasting relationships with our guests.” 

As if the year wasn’t challenging enough, this hotel filled its 75+ rooms (at a steep discount) to house displaced families during the September wildfires that burned hundreds of acres in the region, forcing hundreds to evacuate their homes.

Our day was complete after a visit to dine at the Hotel’s Territory Restaurant. It’s impressive menu boasts locally-sourced fresh food, wines, microbrews, cider and distilled spirits. Be sure to consider a take-away order and growler fill or wine bottle purchase and head up to hotel’s rooftop deck. Morning, afternoon or evening, guests discover beautiful views, elegant lounge-style seating, and fire tables to warm you on a cool evening. Looking for more peace and quiet? Consider reserving the custom-designed indoor hot tub/spa before retiring to your cozy room and private deck overlooking the great Willamette River.

The options for adventure are endless in this region. Whether you are looking for an outdoor adventure, shopping, or wine tasting, visit the beautiful Willamette Valley for a treasured experience with elevated offerings. by Dana Pethia

Independence Hotel

201 Osprey Lane, Independence, OR 503.837.0200

Eola Hills Wine Cellars, Legacy Estate Vineyard

1600 Oak Grove Road, Salem, OR 503.362.1546

Traditional Pork Chops with an Asian Twist

So many of us have been cooking more meals at home and are looking for new and interesting ways to jazz up our menu rotation. Adding an international flair to your typical meal can create just the buzz from your family that you are looking for. Here’s a family favorite from Sam Dahn … delicious, juicy Cambodian Pork Chops and yummy Mango Salad … presented recently as part of the Taste of Asia cooking series from the Asia Pacific Cultural Center in Tacoma.

Samuel Danh is of Khmer Krom decent, born in Bac Lieu, Vietnam. In the late ‘80s he was sponsored as a refugee to immigrate to America. Learning to speak English in Arkansas and Louisiana his life has been filled with various adventures … from owning his own restaurant in Shreveport, Louisiana comically named “Someplace Else” to becoming an ordained minister for the Asian community in Tacoma. Danh also teaches Okinawa karate at The Asia Pacific Cultural Center and is a union carpenter.

Cambodian Pork Chops

4-6 large pork chops

1/4 cup hoisin sauce (can substitute soy sauce)

1/8 cup+ minced garlic

3 tablespoons crushed lemon grass

dash of garlic salt

• Buy pork with the bone in

• Wash and cool your meat prior to adding the seasonings

• For best flavor, season your pork with the ingredients and place in the fridge for 1+ hours

• Fry the pork chops in olive or coconut oil for 5-6 minutes on each side

• Watch meat as it cooks and make sure it is golden to dark brown

• Keep a lid over the meat as it cooks to retain moisture & flavor of the seasonings

• Best served with sticky rice for its texture and sweetness

Mango Salad

3 diced tomatoes

1 cup diced green beans

1 cup purple onion

2 tablespoons fish sauce diluted in 1/2 cup warm water

2 diced Thai peppers

A handful of minced cilantros

3 diced sweet mangos

1 cup romaine lettuce

1/2 cup sliced cucumbers

• Always use fresh vegetables, never frozen or canned

• If you don’t like your beans raw, then microwave them for a minute prior to cutting

• Check out the video for easy cutting of mangos that avoids peeling them

• Place romaine lettuce leaves and sliced cucumbers as your base for salad on the plate

For more tips and to watch Sam demonstrate making this meal on Facebook use this address:

For several years the Asia Pacific Cultural Center has hosted a monthly cooking event at their center on South Tacoma Way in Tacoma on the first Saturday called A Taste of Asia. Each month features a recipe from one of the various 47 countries represented by the organization. Because of recent events, APCC began presenting their monthly demonstrations virtually with Facebook Live events. The recipe and presentation featured in the link within this article is one of these virtual events.


Pearl of a Dining Experience: Chelsea Oyster

Chelsea Farms Oyster Bar in Olympia offers its dining patrons a truly special experience — fresh local seafood sustainably farmed at its namesake Chelsea Farms. Owners Shina Wysocki and Kyle Lentz offer their dining patrons an experience that reflects the heart and soul of the family’s shellfish farming legacy.

Upon your visit, expect an authentic casual-chic Pacific Northwest dining experience. This lovely space, with a recently expanded dining room, allows guests a place to celebrate a unique occasion or meet a friend or two for one of the best happy hours and ‘bites’ in the South Sound. General Manager Amilia Forsberg and her team are known for going the extra mile to make guests feel special. “We love that our customers have made us their destination to celebrate their wedding anniversaries, birthdays, and marriage proposals; we love helping to make the occasion memorable.” says Amilia.

 A menu to satisfy the landlubber or the most adventuresome diner, ‘Chelsea’ offers a delectable assortment   of fresh food from the sea, as well as a few superbly done mainstays. Discover what many Olympians believe to be the best clam chowder, fish and chips, and burgers in town. Be sure to try the delicate and sweet geoduck tartare. Though geoduck is farmed locally and shipped all over the world, it is a delicacy all too difficult to discover on menus in the South Sound.

Be sure to explore Chelsea Farms Oyster Bar and check out the takeout menu which includes dinners and cocktail kits to go!


For Additional Information
Chelsea Oyster Farms

Indochine’s Creativity In Crisis

What do you do in a community crisis? If you’re Russel Brunton at Indochine in downtown Tacoma, you figure out how to prepare tasty meals for hungry local heroes and keep your staff on the job.

From the early days of the coronavirus challenge, Brunton joined several other restaurant owners to provide nutritious meals for medical personnel at local hospitals. They worked in collaboration with Hero Meals. Donors provided funds, and Downtown Tacoma Partnership ordered and delivered meals. Indochine has prepared some 30 delicious meals a week.

“It’s great to work with Downtown Tacoma Partnership,” Brunton said. J.D. Elquist is a fantastic coordinator. They promote online. He communicates daily, and people cooperate. Consistency is really important.”

“The shutdown has been an exercise in creativity,” Brunton explained. “We reduced our prices by 25 percent. The challenge has been to keep the food fresh and to keep the boxed orders straight.” Brunton found that fried rice, noodles and curry dishes travel especially well, but he tries to add something different to the menu every week.

During difficult weeks it hasn’t been just about the food or about community service. It’s been about individuals who need to work. Brunton says Indochine has been aggressive about keeping people employed. “It’s important to keep our group together, to keep everyone active, to keep their skills sharp,” he said. “Our business is skill-based and team-oriented.”

“I think the most exciting thing to me is when we are able to bring staff members back to work,” Brunton said. “We have a lot of young people working at the restaurant, and when we can bring one back, it is a great feeling. They are excited to get back to the restaurant and get back to work.”

Most staff work in the kitchen to prepare the signature Indochine dishes. During the shutdown phase, three or four team members have worked in the front on every shift to distribute pickup orders.

Cooperation, creativity and community service have been key to weathering the COVID-19 pandemic.


1924 Pacific Ave, Tacoma, WA 98402