Since 1907, Pike Place Market has been the soul of Seattle and the source of some of the best locally grown produce, fresh seafood, specialty food, handmade gifts and independently owned shops and boutiques.
From our humble beginnings, when farmers sold fruits and vegetables from horse-drawn carriages on the cobblestones; to today, as we welcome more than 15 million visitors annually, Pike Place Market has a rich history that is difficult—if not impossible—to replicate. Yet, many wonder how Pike Place has operated for so many years and are curious about the challenges that we face, especially with in the era of a booming society and digital age.
This year, we are incredibly honored to be part of a new alliance of internationally renowned public markets from around the world. While we're approaching our 111th anniversary and are one of the oldest continutally operating markets in the U.S., Pike Place Market is the youngest public market—and the only public market in the Western Hemisphere—to be included in the group of founding alliance members.
The new “Magnificent Seven” is an alliance, spearheaded by Borough Market in London. We’re in great company with six other public markets: La Boqueria in Barcelona; Markthalle Neun in Berlin; Central Market Hall in Budapest; Sydney Fish Market in Sydney; and Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne.
Collectively, these markets bring thousands of years of history and more than 74.5 million annual visitors. The alliance is a partnership focusing on forward-thinking and sharing of knowledge, expertise and history pertaining to public market operations, including championing quality, sustainability and environmental approaches to food and its production. Additionally, leaders from the markets will collaborate in skill sharing, community development and innovative uses of the historic spaces and locations each market is in.
Next time you visit Pike Place Market, we invite you to stop and take in the history from the past 111 years, but also participate in the history that is being made now, as we continue to operate Seattle’s oldest farmers market, and one of the country’s longest continuously operating public markets.
Read more about Pike Place Market’s history at http://pikeplacemarket.org/history.