Local Business News on the Southern Oregon Coast
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Coos Bay Winter Market
By Annette Langenstein, Staff Writer 

The Coos Bay Winter Market is now open on Wednesdays from 10 am to 2 pm, located at the new Coos Historical Museum on Front Street in Coos Bay.

     The winter months on the South Coast bring lots of rain, wind, and reluctance to venture outside. If you’re looking for something to do and still stay dry, check out the Winter Market at the new Coos History Museum!  Located at 1210 N Front Street in Coos Bay, the winter market is enjoying a busy first year in the equally new museum.

     I spoke with Mike Lofrano, who hails from Roseburg but manages the winter market, which is open every Wednesday from 10 am to 2 pm, and Frank Smoot, Director of the Coos History Museum.

     Mike explained why Coos Bay chose to open its winter market in the new museum. “This is an absolutely beautiful building, central to the Coos Bay community, and we wanted to locate our winter market in an area where the people could enjoy the ambiance of the museum. We want to encourage people to come visit and just enjoy this facility; it has one of the best views of our bay!”

     Frank added, “It’s really important that the museum bring as many people together in the community as possible, and there’s no better venue.”

     Most people who’ve lived in this area for any amount of time are familiar with Coos Bay’s wonderful summer Farmers’ Market, but in the winter, many of the items found there are unavailable. “People need things like produce, bread, fresh eggs, meat and other items year-round,” said Mike. “We’ve got those here, plus other consumables and crafts…just a variety of things you’d find in any market.”

     So what makes this market stand out?  “We’ve got vendors from Coos, Douglas and Lane counties,” replied Mike.  “Because this is the first year we’re open, not all the vendors were prepared with winter crops. Now that we’re established, the growers will prepare for it. We still have produce like kale, carrots, onions, turnips, leeks, potatoes, and lots of other items like coffee, baked goods including gluten-free products, sprouted greens and various craft items. There’s also lunch available with the best fresh tamales in Southern Oregon…something for everyone.”

     “We have regulars who come every week, shop and chat with each other,” said Frank, “but we also have lots of new faces here. There’s even live entertainment that resonates through the building. And we want people to know that entrance to the market is free…you don’t have to pay museum admission to shop here.”

     I asked the two men why they chose to advertise their winter market in  the South Coast Shopper. “I heard it was a great paper for the community, and we’re very happy with the coverage,” said Mike.

     “You know the old saying, ‘if you build it, people will come,’” added Frank. “You always need to keep the word on the street that we’re open, and there’s no better way to do that than advertising.”

     To see a list of what’s currently available at the market this month, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CoosBayFarmersMarket. The Coos History Museum is open every day except Monday from 10 am to 6 pm, and their phone number is 541-756-6320.  The Market is open every Wednesday from 10 AM to 2 PM.  If you need any additional information or want to vend at the Market, contact Mike at 541- 679-0952.

     “This whole project is terrific both for the museum, the community and the vendors. It’s a great place to meet your friends and neighbors!,” said Frank.

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