The Olympia Farmers Market: Holiday Market

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 Market will have plenty of baked goods, cheeses, jams, sauces, seafood, fresh and cured meats and more to create memorable holiday meals!
Holiday Market Hours at The Olympia Farmers Market runs every Saturday and Sunday, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 pm, November through December 19th. You’ll find fresh produce, artisan foods, inspired art and jewelry, practical and whimsical gifts – something for everyone on your holiday list! The Market will be closed December 25 and 26 and will reopen Saturday, January 8, 2022, at 10:00 a.m. January, February, and March the Market will be open every Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

ABOUT THE OLYMPIA FARMERS MARKET: In operation since 1975, The Olympia Farmers Market is home to over 100 vendors from the South Puget Sound area. Now open year-round, over 150 days a year, we see approximately 500,000 visitors a year. We have a dedicated staff and a volunteer Board of Directors who are committed to our mission “to promote and encourage the development of local, small-scale agriculture and ensure a dynamic market balance for small, local growers and others to make available their products to residents of this community.” We are proud to be an active component of the Olympia community for 45 years.

Centrally located on the waterfront of downtown Olympia, in close proximity to the Hands on Children’s Museum and WET Science Center, area residents and visitors can enjoy local farm fresh produce, artisan foods, wine, plant starts, cut flowers, fresh and cured meats, dairy, fresh baked goods, seafood, jams and preserves, confections, handcrafted gifts, local arts and more, with restaurants and plenty of covered seating, all set to live music.

Olympia Farmers Market

Toscanos Responds to Challenges with Renewed Community Involvement

During the winter when restaurant dining rooms were shut down because of COVID, Toscanos Italian Grill in Puyallup, like other restaurants, began to serve family-style, takeout and curbside meals. This became a successful formula for keeping the business going and its staff employed. Toscanos also began a practice of giving back to the community by preparing meals for local healthcare workers and first responders.

The challenging years of 2020 and 2021 brought many changes to Toscanos. But through all that change, the restaurant has rekindled its core belief in supporting the community. After an extensive renovation, Toscanos reopened its dining room and bar in the spring. Soon their sun-splashed patio reopened and things seemed to be returning to something like normal. But as summer continued, the stress and pressure placed on understaffed healthcare workers mounted. Toscanos responded with more meals for these heroes. And on Labor Day, to honor their 17th anniversary, Toscanos provided lunch for the entire staff at Good Samaritan Hospital.

After a conversation with Good Samaritan’s leadership, the Toscanos ownership and management team felt and heard the struggles of local healthcare workers that they still need the community’s support. The hospital staff is exhausted both physically and emotionally and they really need to know that the community is behind them. To answer this need, Toscanos will be providing individual meals to the healthcare workers at Good Samaritan Hospital Christmas week 2021.

Toscanos dining room, bar and even business model may have changed during this past pandemic year but the restaurant’s unwavering commitment to the community has only grown stronger.

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Wines to Enjoy this Holiday Season

Prime wine tasting season may be over, but that doesn’t mean full-bodied reds and refreshing white wines can’t make the winter holidays that much more special. Washington State is known for its rich and abundant vineyards, so here are five top-notch Washington wines to indulge in and celebrate.

Rose of Sangiovese 2020

Barnard Griffin
Columbia Valley
Vintage style

A wine that tastes like a summer memory. Bursting flavors of strawberry, melon and pineapple with every sip. Pair this juicy rose with a lemony clam linguine.

Grenache Blanc 2020

JM Cellars
Yakima Valley

This white holds a touch of vintage European flavor from nine months of aging in French oak barrels. Crisp citrus notes make this wine pair perfectly with fish-focused dishes, especially fish tacos!

Best Friends Red Blend 2018

Mellisoni Vineyards
Columbia Valley

A beautiful Tuscan blend that comes from a fun Mellisoni story, (you’ll have to visit the winery to hear all about it), this red harbors tart cherry, fig and sweet thyme helping it pair well with herbs and hearty vegetables, along with peppered short ribs.

Signature Syrah 2018

DeLille Cellars
Yakima Valley

Aromas of wild blueberries and violets hit the nose on this Syrah, while smokey flavors fill the palette. Try pairing this wine with deep berries and smoked gruyere cheese.

Malbec 2018

Lone Point Cellars
Columbia Valley

Intense, rich spices such as vanilla and anise and hints of huckleberry envelope the mouth of the one that drinks this malbec. A rubbed tenderloin steak pairs beautifully with this wine.


Two New Taprooms Opened In Centralia

There are two new, family-friendly taprooms in Centralia.  Insert Coin, an arcade bar with a full-service restaurant, and The Juice Box, a taphouse and kitchen, both opened in late summer of 2021.

Owners of Insert Coin, Keli and Dan Coleman, used to travel for work and fell in love with other arcade bars they visited around the country.  They looked at each other and thought, we could do this in Centralia, so they found a location and started renovating the building they bought.

When the pandemic hit, they found themselves with some time on their hands, so they began the envious task of locating nostalgic video games. “We found them wherever we could, on OfferUp, Craigslist, or Facebook Marketplace,” said Keli Coleman.  “It took about a year,” she added.

Now with more than 100 games, 30% of which are ticket redemption games that kids love, the Coleman’s arcade bar also features the first of its kind in Lewis County: self-serve beverage taps.  With 26 taps that include ciders, wines and several craft beers, patrons pre-purchase a digital RFID card that charges by the ounce poured.  They then serve themselves just the right amount of a specific beverage to accompany their delicious meal.  Insert Coins’ restaurant menu includes stuffed burgers made from fresh beef purchased locally from Reichert’s Choice Meats, and pizza with fresh dough from Kalama Sourdough Bakery.

If you enjoy technology, then Insert Coin has even more fun in store for you with a serving robot that brings your meal to you.  “It looks like a shelf on wheels,” said Coleman.  Insert Coin has a slushie machine and a self-serve frozen yogurt kiosk with three flavors and six different toppings where your dessert is created by the kiosk to your specifications.

There is a mezzanine party area that can accommodate parties of 30 or less at Insert Coin and the team regularly produces gaming tournaments.  Past events have included Super Smash Brothers, Pop-A-Shot, and Street Fighter.

Insert Coin is open Monday through Thursday 3-11pm, Friday and Saturday from 11am-2am, and Sunday from 11am-11pm. Insert Coin was recently voted by readers of the Chronicle as the “Best New Business in Lewis County.”

Another new establishment in Centralia is The Juice Box, a 5700 square foot taphouse and kitchen located at 216 South Tower.  With 30 beers in their taproom and a beer hall bar that features eight more brews and a stage for live performances, The Juice Box also has a front area bottle shop and a large outdoor patio in the back.

“We bring in beers from all over the world Germany, California, New York and, of course, many brews from Washington and Oregon,” said one of the owners, Michael Perozzo.  He added, “We do, after all, live in the beer mecca of the world!”

The Perozzos and the Althausers (also owners), each with four kids, wanted to make a community house like you see in so many towns around the world with family-friendly atmospheres.  “We wanted to bring people together and create community, but we wanted to do it where kids were also welcome,” said Sarah Althauser.  You’ll find large tables throughout the restaurant and people are encouraged to move around and explore.  Patrons from separate parties are invited to sit together and get to know others from around the area.

Open every day of the week (including Sundays) from 11:30am to 10pm, The Juice Box’s menu features gourmet brats made locally at Dick’s Brewing’s NW Sausage and Deli.  The team then piles the brats high with lots of crazy, delicious stuff.  There are Italian, Latin-inspired, and traditional German brats.  They even feature a Banh Mi brat.   You’ll also find a variety of salads, quesadillas, and charcuterie boards.  One of their most notable boards features salmon from Briney Sea Delicaseas in Tumwater.   Dessert lovers aren’t left out with ice cream from local maker Nea’s Ice Cream and cookies from Pacific Northwest Cookie Company.

The Juice Box is also making good use of their stage.  They have bingo every Monday night, regular live music, and once a month they host great comedians featured on Last Comic Standing and America’s Got Talent.

The Centralia Downtown Association (CDA) is committed to revitalizing its historic downtown.  Dedicated to developing and promoting historic Downtown Centralia, they have embraced the Main Street Four Point Approach that is used in over 1200 cities across the nation.  The CDA unites and empowers residents, merchants, and civic leaders to promote, beautify, and develop a vibrant and prosperous downtown that celebrates its history and preserves its historic charm for all Centralians and visitors. by Lynn Castle

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