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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!

Flower Forest

It’s not Valentine’s Day without flowers—and a trip to Pike Place Market is not complete without going home with them either! Plan ahead and order a gorgeous centerpiece from The Carrot Flower Company on Western Avenue. If your schedule or planning has left you desperate for the perfect bouquet, don’t fret! Pike Place Flowers, located on the corner of First Avenue and Pike Street, begins its annual Valentine’s Day marathon bright and early February 12. The shop will be open for 72 hours straight! Whether you’re looking for classic red roses or their specialty rainbow roses, you can place orders over the phone (206-682-9797) or in-person, and pick up at the store or have them delivered in Seattle.

Candy Castle

Ooey, gooey and oh-so-good! Chocolate abounds at the Market. Give the gift of Chukar Cherries—a Market favorite! Just in time for Valentine’s Day is their new Chocolate Heart Pecan Box, filled with honey-roasted pecans and cocoa pecans dipped in milk and dark chocolates. For a hands-on date night experience, check out the Valentine’s Day Truffle Making Workshop at indi chocolate in their new expanded MarketFront café and classroom.

Got a serious sweet tooth? Check out the abundance of candies—chewy, hard, soft, classics and more—at Sweetie’s on Market Level 4. Giant heart-shaped lollipops are a fun variance to the usual conversation heart.

Table for Two

Pike Place Market is home to some of Seattle’s most renowned restaurants, offering fresh seasonal fare in a variety of culinary styles. On February 14, delight in Red Cedar & Sage’s special Valentine’s Day menu, including PNW-inspired dishes like pan-seared duck breast with wild mushroom farro, butter poached halibut and fried herbed pasta with pink vodka sauce, and white chocolate mousse with a strawberry coulis, just to name a few. Or transport yourselves to Paris for a romantic evening at Maximilien featuring a 6-course prix fixe menu and live accordion by Bonnie Birch.

Dazzling Date Night

Take your date night to the next level with an entertaining evening out at the Market! Become mesmerized by aerialists and trapeze artists performing overhead while dining at The Pink Door. The ambient lighting, dazzling show and delicious food will make this a date you won’t forget! Head “underground” and enjoy a show at the Can Can Kitchen and Cabaret, where the intimate 60-seat venue will make you feel like you’re on the stage. Starting February 9, sip on handcrafted cocktails while watching a modernized Romeo & Juliet performance, cabaret style! Looking for something more lighthearted? Check out the Comedy of Love improv show from Unexpected Productions for a night of laughter in the Market Theatre. Whether you’re with a date, a group of friends or going stag, you’re sure to have a great time.

Jewelry Junction

Your relationship is one-of-a-kind, so spoil your special someone with handmade jewelry just as unique as your love. Pike Place artisans are standing by with beautiful pieces in a wide range of mediums and styles. Make a statement with emoji-esque Eye and Lip Earrings by Twyla Dill Designs, a hand-hammered copper Double Moon Ring by Nature’s Twist, or a wooden pendant necklace with inlayed gem stones by Arrow Woodworks.

Lovers' Lane

Treat yourselves to the ultimate Seattle staycation: an overnight at Inn at the Market. Whether you're planning on getting engaged, been hanging out in the dog house or just need to earn an extra gold star, sometimes you just know you have to go big. The Massage Package includes overnight accommodations, valet parking, a fresh fruit basket from Market vendors, and in-room couples massage. Check availability and reserve online.

Score Bonus Points: Love notes, caricatures, proposals and more!

Wax poetic and give your sweetheart a romantic love note. Handwritten cards are always meaningful, and handmade cards designed by Jennifer Cullin at The Paper Feather are an excellent option. Want something not so serious? Stop by for a couple’s caricature on the Market’s Lower Levels. At Portraits by Nick, you and your special someone can go home with a fun hand-drawn portrait by Seattle caricature artist, Nick Elezan. Finally, why not pop the big question on Valentine’s Day? The new MarketFront plaza offers stunning views of the waterfront and provides the perfect backdrop for your storybook proposal!  (Pro tip: Take her/him to the “Marry Me” Market Charm on fence Panel 15.)

Share your Valentine's gifts and dates on Instagram by tagging #PikePlaceValentine for a chance to be featured!

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.

Robot vs Sloth Opens on First and Pine

Posted January 23, 2018

Located on the corner of First and Pine, Robot vs Sloth is the new shop of owner/artist Lauren Rudeck. Though the shop is a Market newcomer, Lauren is no stranger to Pike Place. For the past five years, she was half of the duo behind Ugly Baby and La Ru on Western Avenue.

Now with more space to showcase her handmade art of "cute animals fighting each other," Lauren's original designs be found throughout the shop on t-shirts, buttons, pins, magnets and totes. Robot vs Sloth also features an expanded selection of paintings, jewelry, plush creatures and DIY craft kits from other local artists such as Starheadboy, Care It Bites, Narboo and more. For those who are artistically inclined, a variety of workshops will also soon be offered in a new classroom space in the back of the store.

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Meet the Artist: Wais Ali

Posted January 19, 2018

Meet Wais! Pike Place artist Wais Ali first became interested in visual arts while growing up in Djibouti, his home country in East Africa. Now a Seattleite, Wais has been selling original acrylic paintings and prints in the Market since 2015. Stop by his table in the North Arcade and meet the artist behind these stunning paintings!

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