Portland Winter Market delayed one week

Organizers of the Portland Winter Market say opening day will be delayed one week as vendors scramble to obtain city licenses. The market is now scheduled to open Feb. 20 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 85 Free St. It will run every Saturday through April 24.

Following the success of a similar indoor winter market in Brunswick, the organizers of the Portland venture aim to expand access to local food by selling vegetables, meats, seafood, dairy, tempeh and baked goods during the time of year when the Portland Farmers Market is closed for the season.

Unlike the market in Brunswick, where the town does not require the farmers and vendors to obtain licenses or permits, the Portland Winter Market is governed by city ordinances that require vendors to have either a farmers market license of a food service without preparation license.

According to published reports, Portland first passed an ordinance governing farmers markets in 1890 and it has become less restrictive over the years. The ordinance still prohibits bread bakers and fishermen from participating in a farmers market. According to city staff, vendors prohibited from obtaining a farmers market license need to obtain the more costly food service license in order to take part in the market.

Twenty-one vendors are expected to participate in the market,
and the building's landlord is helping defray the cost of licenses.