Vicki and Jim Reilly would be the first to admit that they never know what they might find at the Lynwood Community Market.
And that’s half the fun of coming.
Every Sunday in a parking lot along Lynwood Center Road in Lynwood, vendors set up their wares and, come 10 a.m., shoppers and those passing by, stop to see what’s there.
“It’s really a funky little market,” said Vicki Reilly, one of the longtime organizers. “Vendors change all the time. Some come every week and others just set up when they have something to sell. There are no reservations.”
A combination of a farmers market, flea market and garage sale, the Lynwood Community Market began in 2012. It was the brainchild of the Reillys and Kathy and Morrie Blossom.
“When we moved here in 2009, we were told that the property near our home would be a park,” Vicki said. “Here it was several years later, and still nothing. So I told Kathy that we needed to do something to help raise funds for the park.”
The Blossoms sold the park property to the city with the stipulation that it would become a park. But a lack of funds kept the project from happening.
Vickie told Kathy a market would be a good idea. After mentioning it quite often, Kathy finally said “just do it.”
“Kathy said she was way too busy to plan it, but if I planned it, she’s help out,” said Vicki.
The Blossoms gave their permission to use the parking lot they own near Walt’s Center Market for the Sunday market.
The first year there were no fees to vendors. Since 2013, vendors pay $10 each to have a space. That money is used to advertise the market and to create banners, Vicki said.
“We don’t take any percentage from the vendors,” she said. “Whatever they make is their’s.”
But, at each market, there’s a raffle for a great prize, and the raffle money is given to the park efforts.
In the time that the market’s been operating, $28,000 has been given to the Bainbridge Island Metropolitan Parks & Recreation District, some of that coming from grants offered by the Bainbridge Community Foundation and the park district foundation.
In late 2015, the park began to take shape. All of the materials for the sandpit, stop hop, slide and boat swing were sourced locally and are primarily made of wood. Concrete foundations were laid, trail connections were made and the park opened.
So why keep going with the Lynwood Community Market?
“Because the park needs a restroom,” said Vicki. “That’s what we’re working toward now.”
As she explained, the park is generally used by families with children younger than 7 years old. “They’re unpredictable and you have to have a bathroom near by.”
So the market opened again this year on May 8. It will be open every Sunday through Sept. 25, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
To date, vendors have numbered from seven to 10.
“We’d love to have more,” she said. “The only rules is whatever you’re selling it can’t be illegal, immoral or elicit.”
A regular is Paulson Farm, with fresh items they’ve grown including herbs, veggies and even fresh eggs.
Other vendors include a women who has market bags and purses that she’s made, a young boy who has the Kid’s Garden, where he sells his home grown vegetables, and a lady with her collection of vintage items.
“It’s really an eclectic mix,” Vicki said.
Raffle prizes have included gift certificates for dinners out, cases of wine and lodging vouchers. This year they’re trying a “50/50” where the raffle winner gets half of the money made from the raffle ticket sales that day, the other half to the park.
“The first week it was $152,” she said. “The next was $66, and that winner gave it all back to the park bathroom efforts.”
A local barbecue truck will join the market soon, and other food vendors may be added.
Vicki reminds folks that there’s lots of parking and if you’re planning a yard sale, bring it on down.
“That way people won’t be coming to your door at the crack of dawn wanting to buy things,” she said.
For more, go to the Lynwood Community Market Facebook page.