Sequim Farmers Market
May 30, June 6
Open Saturdays 9 a.m.-3 p.m. through October
Downtown Sequim at Sequim Avenue, Washington Street
Contacts: www.sequimmarket.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; 460-2668
Back at our market this season is the unique and fantastic Olympic Onion. Having sold at a variety of markets in the area, Vince Gipson says the Sequim Farmers Market is the place he likes best.
I had a chance to speak with this gregarious adventurer at his Carlsborg oasis.
Gipson is the mastermind behind this innovative business venture which is both sweet and spicy. Olympic Onion, formerly known as Seattle Onion, came to Sequim three years ago and has taken off like a rocket. Green onion powder is made from purely organic green onions which are dehydrated and ground. This is not your granulated white onion powder, but rather a sweet herbaceous experience.
Gipson grows hundreds of green onions and then in his home-based commercial kitchen he turns out thousands of jars of the green flaky powder. He also has diversified from just green onion powder to blends including jalapeño and habanero peppers. The pepper plants for this year’s blends are in his greenhouse and just a few inches tall.
He tells me it all started about 30 years ago at his home in Bothell in a 4-foot by 8-foot garden. He tells me he was “growing everything you could imagine crammed into that small space. I had no experience at all.”
A friend suggested green onions as a sort of “picket onion fence.” Sometime after he got first dehydrator and “the best thing was the green onions,” he said.
He remembers sharing the first bottle. “We were on a campout with friends and we put it on spaghetti and everyone went ‘Wow!’ The next day all the women wanted to take the rest home.”
After that he says, “I had it in the back of my head, this thing is cool.”
Having worked for decades in the television industry and then as an event supervisor at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Gipson says he was ready for a change. He says after organizing some 400,000 meetings in 10 years, he and his wife were looking for something new. His wife’s mother lived in Sequim and they had loved visiting for years. The first day searching for a piece of land led them to their bit of heaven on earth in Carlsborg.
All the years he and his wife Marilyn were raising their daughter Stephanie and working in the Seattle area, he never stopped making and sharing his green onion powder with everyone around him. The demand was high and it was tremendously received.
Now he gets to focus his energy on developing the product and this sweet green onion powder is found in over a dozen local stores and a Whole Foods Market. He is changing the face of onion powder far and wide with enthusiasm and passion and his son-in-law, Aaron Parker, changes the faces of his product by creating unique graphic art on Olympic Onion’s labels.
Come meet Gipson and try his ultra-cool product which is delicious on or in a wide variety dishes including fish, eggs, popcorn and chili at the Saturday market. Your palate will be amazed!
On May 30, the Sequim Rotary will be selling ducks for its annual fundraiser.
See you at the market!