Interviews with Market Insiders

 

September 2018 — Betty Halfon:  FOREVER LOCAL.  FOREVER MARKET

Betty Halfon sits down and scoots a neighboring chair closer. "You don't mind if I relax," she asks as she swings her legs up and onto the chair seat. "I have two more meetings after this one." And that is Betty's way. Casual. Always friendly. Always straightforward honest. And as the interview reveals, having a way of telling a story that puts you there, in the moment. Spending an hour with the PDA council member, former Merchants' Association Director and owner of Sweetie's Candy of the Down Under, to discuss her decades-long love affair with the Market, the challenges of keeping the Market vital for locals, the dangers of "berserk-o-ism," "the little hat on top of the 7," and the sweet successes of the Halfon family's wholesale and retail candy empires is your Constituency interview of the month. Haley Land

July 2018 — Sharon Shaw:  MARKET MOTHER.  A FORCE BEYOND

You've seen Sharon Shaw for years. Maybe it's when she crosses the threshold into your business as she organizes another fundraiser. Or at one of hundreds of meetings she attends. Or at Crafts Roll Call, when she holds back tears, while making another emotional pitch to pass the hat. She's raised more money for Market causes than any one individual. It's no contest. She is our walking, breathing embodiment of compassion. 

 

Our interview arrangement had been to meet at the Goodwin Library, but Goodwin wasn't available after all. We searched for quiet substitute, anything with chairs and four walls. But again--nothing. Next we lowered our sights -- any reasonably quiet spot with two chairs would do. No dice. Finally, we made the ultimate concession--just the chairs--and ended up in the theater seats in the hallway of the lowest level of the Down Under, where Sharon spoke of her thirty-five-plus-year love affair with the Market, giving back, paying it forward, learning to housekeep and more.  Haley Land

 

May 2018 — Mary Bacarella

"I've learned that everybody has an opinion about everybody and everything that's going on here……"

 

   --- Pike Place Market Executive Director, Mary Bacarella

Newly minted Pike Place Market Executive director, Mary Bacarella, has been on the job barely four months. She refers to these first months as the "listening tour." Her office is neat and spare. It was newly repainted, and with a laugh she mentions she could have chosen any colors-she picked grey blue walls with dark grey trim. Dressed neat-but-casual, she answers questions with rapid, highly animated tones, lots of laughs and the occasional headshake accompanied by "I can't believe I'm saying this."

And now, the former Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) and Space Needle executive, and longtime volunteer at the Market's improv theater, Unexpected Productions, offers her thoughts on grassroots-ism, attracting locals, the challenge of making headway with "New Seattle," and......Good N Plenty candy.  Haley Land

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