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Weekend market thrives despite nationwide economic slump

Three months after resuming the Mid Way Swap Meet, formerly referred to as the Mid Way Market, founder Michelle Wilson said she is pleased to announce the farmers market is having an even more successful second season than first.

"This has been a fantastic year for everybody," Wilson said enthusiastically. "There are vendors selling everything from antiques and handmade jewelry to purses, bags, plants, knick knacks, crystal nail files and more."

An average of 20 vendors set up tents and tables from 9 a.m.-

3 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday in the Lost Mountain Surf Company parking lot off U.S. Highway 101 in Carlsborg.

Unlike last year, products don't have to be homegrown or homemade. Home-based businesses are encouraged to participate. Food vendors must have proper food handler permits and licenses.

"I really want to give thanks to the community for being so supportive," Wilson said.

"The whole concept behind the market in 2007 was this idea brought forward to open up a venue for home-based businesses, artists and growers to give them an opportunity to show and sell their products and services," she explained. "But it's also a unique opportunity to network with people in the community."

Wilson has been busy networking herself. In an effort to help her own business and another, Lost Mountain Surf Company recently became landlord to the Taco Shop, a family-owned fast food business on wheels.

The Taco Shop, owned by the seven-person Moreno family, sells "south of the border" style tamales, burritos, burgers and more out of a large white van.

According to Monica Moreno, 20, her father started the business in 2004 so he could work for himself, save money for his children's education and provide a summer work opportunity for the older children.

The family lived in California prior to Sequim, Monica Moreno continued, and was accustomed to seeing food sold out of vans. So, her father - Javier Moreno - traveled to Los Angeles, Calif., bought a van and drove it back to the peninsula.

"It took some time to come about," Wilson said about the partnership, "but as soon as he was in a position to relocate (from where he had been located on Carlsborg Road) he came here and now we have the best tacos in town."

"The reason I said OK (to letting him park the van on her lot) is because I know there is a need for good fast food around here," Wilson continued. "Not only does it benefit me in a small way but it benefits his family and the entire community."

The Taco Shop is open year-round from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday.

According to Wilson, networking and offering top-notch customer service is the only way to overcome the economic slump affecting small business owners nationwide. "People are shopping more conservatively and looking for good deals," she said. "As business owners, I think it's important to keep that in mind and work together."

For more information about the Mid Way Swap Meet or to sign up as a vendor, call 683-9001.

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