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Warm light pours out of big windows, gleaming off worldly wonders, inviting you to travel the world in the space of one store. Hands of the World has an impressive 35-year history in Pike Place Market, matched only by the countries represented in the store—Nepal, Pakistan, Indonesia, Mali, Kenya, Thailand, India—just to name a few.

As a young woman, Cynthia Hope took off to see the world. Her travels led her through Southeast Asia, including Thailand, where she met a missionary working with local tribal people. Inspired, Cynthia settled in Northern Thailand to work at a refugee camp on the border of Laos. The next two years would be an experience “like living in a National Geographic magazine,” and ultimately one that would change the trajectory of her life forever.

Cynthia returned to the states with a huge collection of handmade folk art from her time abroad. After selling pieces at street fairs for several months, she eventually made her way to Pike Place Market to open Hands of the World, which over the years would become one of Seattle’s most beloved independent shops.

Keeping the shelves full of beautiful jewelry, art, toys and accessories is no easy feat. Without revealing all her secrets, Cynthia notes that while it has become harder to source items for the store, she is able to source directly from people with whom she has built decades-long relationships, thanks to the longevity of her business.

By sourcing from various communities, Hands of the World helps to provide a fair wage and educational resources through a system that is now known as Fair Trade, putting the needs of the producer first. Since 1982, Cynthia has enabled the Market and the Seattle community as a whole to support craftspeople all around the world.

Visit Hands of the World on Market Level 4, open seven days a week from 10 am to 5 pm.

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) will soon begin construction on First Avenue for its Center City Connector Streetcar. The Market community is encouraged to attend one of two upcoming informational drop-in sessions at Pike Place Market, hosted by SDOT and project partners. At these public sessions, you have the opportunity to meet the project team, get information and ask questions about what to expect during the construction stages, including utility work impacts, load zone and parking changes. Both meetings are identical and are open house format; there will not be any formal presentations, so you are welcome to come any time during the following sessions. For weekly updates from SDOT about the streetcar project, sign up here. To reach the Center City Connector Streetcar team, call the 24-hour hotline at (206) 400-7578 or email centercitystreetcar@seattle.gov. 

Public Info Meetings:

Session one: Tuesday, March 27
4:30-6:30 p.m.
Location: Elliott Bay Room (Atrium Loft); 1433 First Ave, 3rd Floor

Session two: Wednesday, March 28 
11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Location: Microbrewery Museum at Pike Brewing Co.; 1415 First Ave 

Construction Map & Schedule:

Almost 50 years ago, two teenagers working at their families’ businesses created what would become a classic Market love story. In 1969, Don Kuzaro Jr. was working as a "clean-up kid" at his dad and uncle's Pike Place Market butcher shop, Don & Joe's Meats. Directly across from the butchery, Diana Hanada was behind the table at her family's farm stand, where she first caught Don's eye.

Every morning after cleaning the display glass, Don would head over to Diana's stand to say hi, tell jokes and make small talk. The two soon became good friends. Their friendship continued even after Don was drafted into the Navy on Valentine's Day 1972, promising to remain pen pals. Between deployments, Don and Diana would spend time together, growing closer, eventually dating and finally tying the knot in 1978.

The couple now has two grown daughters, grandchildren and a lifetime of happy memories. Although Diana’s farm stand is no longer running, if you stop by Don & Joe's Meats the next time you're at the Market and you might see Don behind the counter (though no longer on clean-up duty)!

(Photo: The Seattle Times, 2008)

Known by nearly every craftsperson here at the Market—even affectionately called “Mama”—few know of Sharon Shaw’s incredibly sweet story about how she met her husband, right here at Pike Place Market!

It all began in 1984 at Cinnamon Works, where Sharon was employed. She’d start her days early in the morning, rolling out pastry dough and baking sticky buns at the well-loved bakery, which back in its early days, was located a few storefronts down from its current location on Pike Place.

Enticing customers with freshly baked pastries, the owner of Cinnamon Works wanted his staff to shout, “We’ve got hot sticky buns!” Sharon laughed as she told us this story, admitting she never wanted to say that to potential customers. That is until she saw Michael Shaw—a gentleman who worked at Tony Genzales Produce. She remembers seeing him every day, pushing hand-trucks of produce from the storage coolers into the arcade.

It was love at first sight!

“Knowing he was going to be coming back around, I put on some fresh lipstick and spiked up my hair, tightened up my apron and leaned WAY over the counter,” Sharon recalls. Michael stopped dead in his tracks after Sharon yelled, “Hey! I’ve got nice hot sticky buns!” 

The two had lunch together and, as tales go, the rest is history.

Sharon eventually moved on from Cinnamon Works; the two got married and became craftspeople at the Market, selling handmade stained glass kaleidoscopes. Their two sons grew up in the Market, and were frequently seen in front packs, strollers or playpens near Sharon’s table, and each eventually had their first jobs at Pike Place, too.

Sharon and Michael have been together for 34 years, and while they’ve retired from selling at the Market, Sharon is still an integral part of Pike Place Market and can be seen visiting and interacting with our Market community. 

Be My Pike Place Valentine ❤

Posted January 31, 2018

We know it can be tough to find just the right thing for your main squeeze for Valentine's Day. Time runs out, panic sets in and you find yourself eyeing the forlorn single roses at the gas station. But wait, there's still time to get the perfect gift!

Join us on a stroll through Pike Place Market as we show you where to score beautiful flowers, artisan sweets, handmade jewelry, romantic restaurants, dazzling entertainment and boutique lodging for the ultimate Seattle staycation. Ready? Let's go!

Read More

Meet The Confectional's Destiny Sund and Paul Verano

Everyone knows how amazing the cheesecakes are at The Confectional (and if you don’t, stop reading and go there now!), but few know how the specialty bakery came to be. According to co-owner Destiny Sund, it all started when she invited her best friend Paul Verano over for dinner one night in 2005. “If I’m remembering correctly, we were in business together before we finished dessert!”

Paul and Destiny met at the University of Oregon where Paul first got serious about cheesecakes. Word got out and friends started paying him to make them. Since then, he’s perfected his original recipes with Destiny as chief taste tester.

At first, opening a store in Pike Place Market seemed intimidating, but after meeting and become friends with other shop owners Destiny soon found a whole community that was welcoming and supportive. They started sourcing ingredients from other Market tenants like Frank’s Produce, the Pike Place Creamery and MarketSpice.

Over the years, The Confectional has been named one of America's "top 5 chocolate desserts" by Food Network and one of Whoopi Goldberg’s "favorite things," plus Destiny personally handed out mini cheesecakes to Jimmy Fallon and The Roots! But the most impressive feat to Destiny and Paul is the fact that they’ve kept “a small business alive and kicking for eleven years!”a testament to how delicious their desserts truly are! (Pro tip: Pick up some heart-frosted cheesecakes for Valentine's Day.)

Seeing the smiles on people’s faces as they watch cheesecakes being made in the “Chocolate Theater” and the even bigger smiles they have when they eat one, is reward enough for two friends who together have created a true Pike Place Market gem.

Visit The Confectional at 1530 Pike Place, 10 am-6 pm daily.