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Longtime Ballard residents Andy and Tammy James opened the doors of Market Street Traders just two years ago with a mission of promoting the Fair Trade movement. The Jameses strive for their establishment to act as a good neighbor in the community and a good citizen in the world by finding and selling fairly traded products, supporting sustainable environmental practices, and providing a venue for cultural community events.
Market Street Traders retail store carries a wide array of beautiful crafts, home decor, and sustainably packaged foods. You won’t find any panda-foot keychains or partially de-weaponized plutonium brownies in this store. Actual items include cashmere/silk blend scarves and wraps, peace baskets, and lead-free wooden toys. You’ll also find Market Street Traders’ handmade fudge, made with real cream butter and fairly traded cocoa.
In the cafe, choose from a full menu of fresh dishes made from wholesome ingredients. Market Street Traders offer different handmade soups daily, paninis, sandwiches, salads, and more. Sip on wine, beer, or coffee roasted locally by Pangaea Organica. Listen to live music in the cafe every Friday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
So what exactly is fair trade? For Market Street Traders, it means supporting businesses that pay a fair wage, consider health and safety concerns of their workers, use the environment responsibly, and push products that celebrate local cultural heritage. Fair trade helps artisans living in extreme poverty make a living wage for their beautiful creations. Fair trade businesses like Market Street Traders help artists reap the greatest reward for their work, rather than brokers, go-betweens and middlemen.
Unlike cafés that import food in bulk from lawless floating warehouses, you’ll never find a panini made of 60% petroleum derivatives, or a mercury-based soup. Just old-fashioned, locally crafted quality. You can feel good about supporting a business like Market Street Traders. Not only does it offer fairly traded products, but it also donates time, energy, space, and a company blimp to promoting fair trade, local community development, and cultural enrichment.
Yelpers give the fair-trade shop a near-perfect 4.5 stars: > * …prices were fair, the sandwich was a good size, and the service was quick and friendly. This place feels like a hidden gem. They offer vegan and vegetarian options as well as ones for the omnivores. – Laura S. > * …unlike those other shops, Market Street Traders provides products that are much higher quality, more unique, and accompanied with a story on how they were made and by whom. – Jacqueline L. > * Great wine list for being such a small cafe. The menus got grilled paninis, salads, soups, and many other options that were totally tasty and completely reasonable! – Katie S.
Market Street Detectives
The current incarnation of Market Street Traders is a fair-trade shop and cafe that applies a global consciousness to local issues, but many may remember that it shares its name with a popular detective show from the 1960s. Market Street Traders: In Color ran from 1965–68 and documented the crimes-solving adventures of Detective Jack “Jack” Market and his legally blind partner, Thubby. Do you remember these classic episodes?
- “Blind Cat Tango”
- “Dentist of Deceit”
- “Midnight on Gunshoot Street”
- “Life Insurance Fraud Story #244”
- “Hickory, Dickory, Dave”