The beginnings of his green onion powder seem like a long time ago to Vince Gipson, owner and operator of Olympic Onion Farm. It was 1988 and Gipson, along with wife Marilyn and daughter Stephanie, was living in Bothell. Gipson had never planted his own garden, but he was enthusiastic.
“I didn’t know you couldn’t plant everything in God’s green earth in one little space,” Gipson said, laughing. “But by God, I tried. Everything grew fantastically. Tomatoes, potatoes, squash, lettuce, everything you could ever imagine.”
A friend of the Gipsons came by and took one look at the garden and started laughing, recognizing it had been completely over-planted. Gipson recalls her saying: “You know what, I want to plant one more thing in this garden. A green onion fence to keep everything in!”
With that one small garden, Gipson was overflowing in vegetables.
Gipson decided to purchase a food dehydrator.
“I started dehydrating everything in the garden and not everything dehydrated so well,” he said. “But the green onions were just phenomenal.”
Without doing a taste test, he took his first jar of green onion powder on a couple’s camping trip.
“We made some spaghetti and it was okay,” Gipson recalls. “Then we decided to add some of my blend and it came alive! It was so phenomenal.”
The next morning, as Gipson packed up he noticed he had a bit of seasoning remaining.
“I look up and I have about six wives standing in front of me like soldiers,” Gipson said. “I turn to them and ask, ‘Who wants the last half jar?’ They all said at the exact same time, ‘I do!’ A light bulb went off in my head.”
He said knew he had a tasty idea on his hands.
Gibson continued making green onion powder for friends over the years until he tired of city life. His family decided to move to Sequim, where he credits his wife Marilyn as the driving force behind his decision to take on making green onion powder full time.
Olympic Onion Farm’s green onion powder is truly a family affair. Gipson’s daughter Stephanie Parker manages a large position of the sales, with her husband Aaron Parker designing the products’ vivid, attractive labels.
Gipson said he believes his product’s success stems from the fact that it is truly one of a kind.
“You cannot find green onion powder anywhere else in the world,” he said.
Gipson said that it’s a frequent occurrence to have a customer share that they’ve never been fond of onions, but are totally hooked on green onion powder. The flavor has all of the good parts of an onion with considerably less bite.
Gipson has been a strong and steady presence at Sequim Farmers & Artisans Market for seven years.
“My product would be nothing without the Sequim Farmers & Artisans Market,” he said. “It’s basically how I get everything out there. I’ve seen orders come in from all over the United States and the Sequim Market is the reason why. It’s where people first learn about it.”
Gipson recommends green onion powder on eggs, potatoes, popcorn, and survival food (son-in-law Aaron is known for dressing up his backcountry ramen with the blends). Green onion powder is just as well suited for complex meals.
Gipson shares that when Thanksgiving rolls around, there’s a sprinkling of green onion powder on everything at the table.
“I always recommend, ‘Buy some for yourself, give some to a friend’,” Gibson said.
The Sequim Farmers & Artisans Market (SFAM) is a fantastic opportunity to discover unique items that are handcrafted by passionate farmers and makers like Gipson. These products bring local texture to life and make fantastic gifts to folks outside of Sequim.
Check out greenonion powder.com to learn more about this handcrafted gem and to place orders online.
You can visit Olympic Onion Farm’s booth at the SFAM every Saturday from 9 a.m.- 1 p.m. under modified operations.
Emma Jane Garcia is Marketing Manager for the Sequim Farmers & Artisans Market. See www.sequim market.com.