Salem food producers open new winter market at 45th Parallel building

Sandra Martin is busy during the spring and summer selling gluten-free, dairy-free baked goods to customers across Salem, hitting three markets every week so people can taste her cookies and bars.

But for Martin, owner of To Go Paleo, the winter can be a slower time as seasonal farmers markets close their doors. She was excited to get an offer to sell her goods indoors at a new winter farmers market, held Saturdays in the 45th Parallel Building.

“That’d be great for the winter,” she remembered thinking.

The market started after Thanksgiving and runs through the end of February from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., featuring many of the prepared food sellers and vendors from the Salem Saturday Market.

“It’s a little slow but we’re hoping to get more people involved,” Martin said.

Sandra Martin, owner of To Go Paleo, sells baked goods at the Salem Winter Market in the 45th Parallel Building on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023 (Rachel Alexander/Salem Reporter)

The winter market is the brainchild of Magdalena Abdon, owner of vegan veggie burger manufacturer Peace Patties Love.

The business moved into a manufacturing space in the 45th Parallel building in July, and Abdon said she talked to the building owner about a winter market after realizing a corner of the building was going unused.

Abdon emailed other Salem Saturday Market vendors and got about 30 who were interested in a winter market, though many have other commitments until the end of December.

Her own mung bean patties, which have often sold out at the Salem Saturday Market, will be among the selections at the new winter market.

Abdon began her business with her friend Niranjan Wonta after he showed her how to prepare mung beans.

“I said, ‘You know, I could make a patty out of these’ and it was on,” Abdon recalled. She spent much of the pandemic perfecting recipes and developing a business plan. 

Abdon’s patties are available in local grocery stores, but she said farmers markets offer a chance to get out, meet new people and build relationships.

“We love our customers — they become our friends,” she said. Her manufacturing space in the 45th Parallel building, Suite 185, is open during the winter market to meet and sell to customers.

Other vendors set up tables in an adjacent hallway.

On Dec. 2, the market lineup included Martin’s baked goods as well as locally grown mushrooms, apples, eggs, grass-fed meat, tea, coffee, soaps and pottery.

Hannah Sandau, owner of Yerba Buena tea, said the winter market is perfect to fill the gap between October and March, when the Salem Saturday Market closes for the season.

Her locally blended teas are mostly sold online, but like Abdon, she said markets give her a chance to sample products and meet people who otherwise wouldn’t have heard about Yerba Buena.

“In person, spreading the word to local customers, it’s very consistent,” she said.

The Salem Winter Market runs Saturdays through the end of February at the 45th Parallel Building, 2195 Hyacinth St. N.E., from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Contact [email protected] for more information.

Produce for sale at the Salem Winter Market in the 45th Parallel Building on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023 (Rachel Alexander/Salem Reporter)

Contact reporter Rachel Alexander: [email protected] or 503-575-1241.

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Rachel Alexander is Salem Reporter’s managing editor. She joined Salem Reporter when it was founded in 2018 and covers city news, education, nonprofits and a little bit of everything else. She’s been a journalist in Oregon and Washington for a decade. Outside of work, she’s a skater and board member with Salem’s Cherry City Roller Derby and can often be found with her nose buried in a book.