DRY Team Volunteer Day: Pike Place Market
Seattle’s infamous Pike Place Market is one of the US’s oldest free standing open air markets. It is home to the legendary fish (throwing) mongers, Beechers Cheese, a vast array of local artisans, some of the city’s most impressive and affordable bouquets of fresh flowers, and unrivaled views of the Puget Sound.
Lucky for us, it is only a few blocks from DRY HQ – roughly a ten minute walk down 1st Ave. We make good use of our proximity; every week we buy fresh market flowers for our tasting room and several of our employees regularly grocery shop at this Seattle institution. (Sounds dreamy, doesn’t it?). Needless to say, we adore the market!
Although the market itself is what some might call the heart of Seattle, the Pike Place Market Foundation is the non-profit that supports the people who live and work in the neighborhoods surrounding the 1st & Pike area. Through social services like health care programs, assisted senior living and preschool classes, to charitable programs that help low income families gain access to fresh market produce, the Pike Place Market Foundation is committed to bringing high value resources to the incredibly diverse market community.
Tucked right into the market is the Pike Market Food Bank, which offers local produce, bread, canned goods and other provisions to the market’s low income neighbors every Tuesday and Thursday. Earlier this fall, bright and early on the morning after our 10-year anniversary party, each of our DRY team members spent a half-day volunteering here. Any looming hangover ghosts were quickly expelled by the buzz of the market and the day’s guests!
We’ve been working with the Pike Market for nearly ten years, but this was our first experience in the Food Bank. We organized goods, we ground coffee, we checked people in, we filled empty bags with impressive rations, and we got to watch our EVP of Sales inform everyone who passed through the doors about the benefits and recipe possibilities of daikon. (In case you’re wondering, daikon ended up being the hottest and most entertaining item of the day!) We met other volunteers who have been giving their time to the market for many years and had the chance to thank them in person. Our group is known for being high energy, so we were rewarded with lots of smiles, reciprocal light hearted sarcasm and that overwhelmingly positive feeling you get when you know you’ve done the right thing.
After a firsthand look at the food bank, we better understand the impact of every hour of service! Sure – anyone can donate money, but if more people donated time, that money would go a lot further. We also feel more educated about the inner workings of the market and more closely connected to the surrounding community. Win, win, win, win! If you are still on the fence about donating some time, here are a few more reasons to put yourself to work for a cause that’s close to your heart.
We had such a great experience at the Market, that we’re committing more DRY hours to them next year. We’re also working with other organizations like FareStart, the March of Dimes and No Kid Hungry. In fact, our next all team volunteer session will be December 10th at FareStart’s Guest Chef Night ( http://www.farestart.org/restaurant/guestchef/index.html). DRY employees will be serving up fabulous meals by Copperleaf Restaurant head Chefs Roy Breiman and Mark Boding all night long.
Special thanks to the Pike Place Market Foundation for the work they accomplish each and every day and for bringing us in to help. We’ll see you again, soon!