Farmers market darlings Sea Breeze Farm will soon have a spot in the most permanent farmers market of all: Pike Place Market.
Sea Breeze owner George Andrew Page III and crew have been delighting customers at the Saturday University District and Sunday Ballard Farmers Markets for years, with other seasonal markets on their roster as well. And as of Monday, February 8, the Vashon Island-based team will be in Seattle seven days a week.
Though the company had yet to sign a lease, Sea Breeze received approval last Wednesday to open in the Corner Market building of Pike Place, in the spot most recently occupied by BB Ranch. Prior to BB, the space operated as Crystal Meats back into the 1940s, Page tells Eater.
The process of getting into the history-rich Pike Place Market is lengthy, with approval needed from the Historic Commission of Seattle, as well as Pike Place standards. The space Sea Breeze will occupy is currently getting a spruce up before Sea Breeze moves in.
The stall will look familiar to Seattle farmers market goers, with large cases for the fresh cow, pig, lamb, and other meats from the farm. Additionally, the farm's popular pâtés, eggs, wines, milk, and prepared products will be for sale.
Page is already looking into getting approval for a dining portion on-site, building on "Graze," Sea Breeze's farmers market restaurant pop-up. The menu has featured pulled pork, meatloaf, and mortadella sandwiches, fresh pasta with seasonal braises, and more cooked-on-site dishes made from the company's own meats.
"In March or April, we'll do a grand opening," Page says of the long-term plan. "At that time, we should have our build-out completed, pending design approval from the historical commission." The 10-seat bar is the goal, though Sea Breeze has only just begun the first phases in the approval process and, Page adds, that portion may not get green-lit. If all goes well, approval will come through in mid-February with service starting in early March.
Sea Breeze will continue to sell at Ballard and U.District, and is looking to expand to more seasonal locations in addition to its current Columbia City and Bellevue markets. The new stand will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. — standard Pike Place hours — and some fabrication and production will be done on-site in addition to on Vashon.
I've always loved Pike Place, it's dear to my heart.
The company is excited, too, about the potential to produce dinners at the Pike Place Atrium. The event space has been home to plenty of culinary events, from book signings with sushi chef Shiro Kashiba to pop-up dinners put on by the now defunct Dyne. Page says he's looking forward to being able to replicate farm dinners in Pike Place from the Vashon restaurant, La Boucherie.
Continues Page, "I've always loved Pike Place, it's dear to my heart. It's where I got my start when I was developing my culinary passions. We love the neighborhood and the vibe of it. We're really excited to bring some super local farm products back to that market — it's time. It's going to be a great home base for us in the city. We're excited to add another dining option to Seattle and we're looking forward to great things."
Additionally, Page says his goal is to increase production to the level wherein he has enough volume to supply the frequent requests he gets from local restaurants.
This new chapter in Sea Breeze's history comes after a fire last year caused $50,000 in damage to the restaurant, destroying its smoker and a walk-in. Then, at the end of 2015, the business was plagued with a sudden deficit, requiring it to raise $90K in just a couple weeks. An angel investor stepped in, and now Sea Breeze is ready to take on Seattle.