Female Vendors Dominate the Boise Farmers Market


Sean Ellis

Boise Saturday Market

Natalie Nichenko, Media Team Member

Every Saturday, citizens gather at the farmers market in Boise on 1500 Shoreline Drive. The market is a lively environment filled with eager vendors trying to sell products from their businesses to customers surrounding their tents. The Boise Farmers Market is open every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., starting in April and going to October and is open to the public when it’s sunny or rainy. The event has a variety of vendors, ranging from food to jewelry and skincare products. Specifically, there are some amazing female vendors that shine bright during the summer season. To highlight their incredible work, the female individuals described how their business came to life, what’s unique about it, and why people should attend the Saturday market.

Jessica Harold is the owner of Apis as well as Hen and Hare Micro Farm. Apis features skincare products that nourish your body, and Hen and Hare Micro Farm holds home grown herbs and flowers as well as livestock, stickers, skulls, and blankets.

Harold explains how she started her business. “I was working on an organic farm, and I got really inspired to start trying out different things in my garden and harvesting the herbs and being creative with the products that I was growing.” With passion and hard work flowing through her veins, Harold continues to run a successful business. Responding to ­what people should know about her products, Harold emphasizes, “We keep chemicals out of our products as much as possible and really think about the entire process so that it’s sustainable and has no fossil fuels. It’s better to get everything closer to home to support smaller, local businesses.” Harold truly has the best intentions when it comes to the quality of her products and how they are made. She concludes her previous statements by elaborating on why people should come to the market. “I love the community that’s built around the Saturday market, where you get to meet new friends when they stop by your booth to talk every weekend. All these businesses go out of their way to support each other, which I think is wonderful because they know the importance of buying locally.” Harold is proud to be a seller at the market and share it with other vendors and the community.

Moving on, Cynthia Wallesz is one half of C&G’s Wild Alaska Salmon; the other half is George Meintel. C&G’s sells all kinds of fresh salmon, as well as shrimp and halibut.

While interviewing her, Wallesz describes, “We started our business a long time ago, and we get our fish directly. Normally when you fish in Alaska, most people sell to the big processor, and you don’t get a lot of money doing it. We realized that people needed good sources, and it was difficult to find places to buy good Alaska Salmon.” Wallesz emphasizes how important it is to get fish directly from the source. Discussing her products, Wallesz responds, “We do so much of it; we do all the catching, and we’re really picky about the quality so you get the best salmon possible.” Wallesz’s closing remarks on the importance of the market state, “People really enjoy walking around here, and it’s nice to know where your food comes from. It’s important to have time to talk to people and ask questions.” C&G’s Salmon prioritizes quality and continues to bring their A game to the market.

At Vitalize Juice Co., run by Audra McKissen, a variety of cold-pressed juices and smoothies are sold.

While interviewing a family friend of the business running the booth, JC, she answered, “This isn’t my business, but it’s a family-run business they started because they wanted to create something fresh where the herbs are home-grown, so you know where everything is coming from. It’s not pasteurized, so there are no added chemicals to it.” JC promotes the family business’s intent for admirable products. She goes on to define what is unique about their products. “We don’t sell in stores because our products aren’t pasteurized. We keep them frozen so that all the living organisms in them are preserved. When you buy it, you let it thaw out and drink it right away or freeze it and then refrigerate it. It will only be good in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.” Vitalize Juice Co. is unique in how we preserve their products and maintain their quality. JC expounds on her feelings about the market. “I love the people; it’s a good crowd. Everyone’s sweet and hard-working. It feels like a huge family or group of friends.” KC is well-spoken in how she loves the vibes of the market.

Solymar Palm, owner and founder of Fluff Hardware, sells vintage and nature styled accessories including jewelry, clothes, candles, hair clips, and more.

Kindra, an employee of Fluff Hardware, explains how the business was started. “It started in 2011 when Solymar started out by turning scrap metal pieces and transforming them into new things for her friends and family as a side hustle. Over time, it’s evolved into this full-blown operation of a store in Eastern Idaho, including another location in Hyde Park (they also sell at the Saturday market). Her passion for creating products and sharing them with loved ones naturally grew into something bigger.” Kindra goes into detail on their shared love for the business. She talks about what is unique about it, answering, “We are a small, woman owned and operated business, with over 200 different designs to offer to customers.” Kindra touches on how the strong, female ownership of the business makes it special. To finish off her interview, Kindra explains why people should come to the market and contribute to their business. “I love seeing people where the jewelry I’ve made. There’s this girl who works at the Boise Co-op who’s always wearing the earrings I designed. I asked her about it once, and she said ‘I wear these all the time; they’re my favorite’ which made me feel proud, just knowing that what we’re creating and putting out is empowering other people, specifically women, in the community. My favorite part is making them feel beautiful.” Kindra is an inspirational, female employee who enjoys her work at Fluff Hardware.

Overall, it seems like the Boise Farmer’s market is the place to be. Everyone in the community feels connected to their business and their customers. With so many diverse stories, there are unique products to go along with them. These incredible female business owners have paved their way to selling at the Boise Farmer’s market and will continue growing as time goes on. The Saturday market is more than it seems. It’s an amazing environment to be in for summer, where there is a variety of products to choose from. However, it is even more so in the sense that each business owner has an origin story and a deeper meaning behind what they’re selling. These women have dominated the Saturday market and are an inspiration for success in starting a business.