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Vendors Gear Up for 23rd Annual Downtown Summer Market

Salt Lake City’s downtown farmer’s market opens for its 23rd summer season this Saturday. And one local vendor is preparing for another busy year.

It really is a family affair at The Soap Lady’s house in Sandy. Kathy Wawrzyniak’s kitchen is brimming with pots and freshly baked loaves of soap.

“Well I have my sister Michelle and she just does everything,” Wawrzyniak says. “She’s concentrating on wrapping, making sets today, but she helps me make soap and does pretty much everything. I have my niece in the back. She does bath bombs today.”

Wawrzyniak says this will be her and 20th year selling colorful, fragrant vegetable glycerin soaps at the Summer Market. This year, she’s hoping the new bacon soap will lure some adventurous customers.

“I think it looks as close to bacon as you can in a soap,” she says. “Not edible, but it smells like bacon.”

Wawrzyniak says the ritual has paid off. Her products are now on the shelves at Harmons grocery stores.

“They’ve [Harmons] helped us grow our business and supported us, given us free marketing, so we’ve been very pleased. It’s a wonderful result of the downtown farmer’s market.”

Nick Como, a spokesperson with the Downtown Alliance says the market is a great incubator for local businesses and builds relationships between consumers and producers. 

“You know the person at the checkout stand can’t give you any recipe for how to make this rhubarb, but the person who grew it that you’re meeting at the farmers market certainly can. So the impact is people are getting more and more connected to their food, learning where it comes from and supporting their local economy all at once.

The downtown farmer’s market is open from 8am to 2pm from June 14th to October 25th. This year, some new vendors include Beltex Meats, Ice Lollies and Good Grains gluten-free bakery.  

Whittney Evans grew up southern Ohio and has worked in public radio since 2005. She has a communications degree from Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky, where she learned the ropes of reporting, producing and hosting. Whittney moved to Utah in 2009 where she became a reporter, producer and morning host at KCPW. Her reporting ranges from the hyper-local issues affecting Salt Lake City residents, to state-wide issues of national interest. Outside of work, she enjoys playing the guitar and getting to know the breathtaking landscape of the Mountain West.
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