The Second Avenue stretch of SoDo offers so much for the bikespeditioning* shopper that I’m writing a two-parter.
We started by parking our bikes in the rack made of bike frames by the west entrance of the Spokane Public Market, a destination at the corner of Second Avenue and Browne for people interested in talking to those who actually grow or make the things they sell.
Food first, since treats constitute an essential element of every bikespedition: Here you’ll find veggies, fruits, organically raised meat (I’m a vegetarian but the Susie & David sausage dogs were a hit with the carnivores I love), preserves, and pastries—oh, the pastries, including gluten-free options.
Just some of the goodies you’ll find:
- Sands Trail Farm cilantro pesto and honey maple dressing/marinade.
Maple walnut treat from The Scone Ranger—moist, delicious, and a manageable size, not one of those monstrous dry biscuits some places serve up. (And he offers a gluten-free blueberry/huckleberry)
- Organic veggies and fruits but you have to ask—not all growers are organic. Some are pesticide-free without being certified; some vendors are all-organic.
- Gourmet Foragables: Mushrooms and wild berries.
- Toddy or latte from Natural Start Bakery, which offers several gluten-free/dairy-free pastries (not vegan—they use eggs).
- If I were a fan of flavored popcorn I’d stop at Apple Crisp Farm and the Popcorn Patch every time. They’ll catch you if you enter through the wide opening on Second and offer you tastes of everything from popcorn to cherry juice. They had striking Fourth of July heirloom tomatoes that look like fireworks bursting and chocolate/yogurt-covered cherries.
Next trip for sure I’m scoring something amazing from Monica at Modern Tart—you should have seen the size of the brownies with fresh macadamia nuts.
- If it’s lunchtime you have your choice of the Taza Truck (Mediterranean) or Tuscan Sun wood-fired pizza oven out back.
Other vendors offer up jewelry, handspun yarn, felt hats, soaps, knives and sharpening, eco-friendly Man Pans cookware made right here in Spokane by Lloyd Industries (we have two of the pans—love ‘em), and more.
Particularly striking: Sculptures and wall art by Lyn’s Custom Metal Art, including large-scale lighted pieces wired for outdoor use that would look incredible in your yard (or mine).
Many of these vendors are just now getting their websites up on OurTownZip.com, another Spokane business, and you’ll find a list of all vendors on the Spokane Public Market website.
But wait—you’re just getting started. The first space occupied in this renovated warehouse belongs to Sun People Dry Goods, established by Juliet Sinisterra and staffed by a dedicated group of people who know the products inside and out. You’ll find candles, canning supplies, kitchen items for made-from-scratch cooks, refillable cleaning products, baby stuff galore, bedding, and other down-home products for living an eco-smart, non-toxic and highly enjoyable life, along with classes on everything from urban chickens to canning and composting.
Best of all, she carries hats by Old Man’s Pants! These nifty and adorable lids of recycled fabrics are made in Newport, WA, and available in Spokane here and at Tangerine Boutique (Betsy scored one there on Bikespedition #1 to Carnegie Square).
Each hat is unique so if you try it and like it and it’s the right size buy it—buy it now. Rachel, Betsy, and I each scored one on this outing. Perfect for hiding helmet hair or just looking cute; they really frame the face and bring out your eyes.
Also in this building, a 1918 warehouse on the Spokane Register of Historic Places, the perfect place for a date getaway: Market Place Wine Bar.
Glass art by Sharon Davidson and giant art photography by Dean Davis adorn the walls and you’ll see one of the Custom Metal Art lighting pieces on display. They feature wines by EMVY and Bridgepress (produced at Mountain Dome at Green Bluff) and live music Friday nights. They’re currently in the running for a KREM “Best of” competition in case you want to cast a vote.
This one building provided plenty of things to look at, taste, and buy—and we were just getting started. Watch for more on SoDo in Part II, coming up.
*A linguistic footnote: One of my friends on Facebook borrowed the “bikespedition” term to talk about going on a bike ride with his son. A spread in its usage would be an awesome continuation of the line, since it has its roots in the leafspeditions and bugspeditions I used to take with my daughters when they were little and still easily fascinated by outings that didn’t involve the expenditure of hard-earned cash.
When to Go
- Spokane Public Market: Thursday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
- Sun People Dry Goods: Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
- Market Place Wine Bar: Thursday noon- p.m., Friday-Saturday, noon-9 p.m.; opening Wednesday nights starting this fall.
- Bikespedition #2 Part II: Exploring SoDo Some More
- Inlander article on the Spokane Public Market (July 20, 2011)
- Bikespedition #1: Carnegie Square
- Bikespeditions Explained