Find fresh produce, gifts during cold months at Salt Lake City’s Winter Market

Shopping local can boost the economy and ensure you have holiday gifts for loved ones.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) The Mad Snacks Produce booth at Salt Lake City's Winter Market at The Gateway last year, on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020.

As fall comes to an end, so do Saturday mornings in Pioneer Park buying produce, jewelry and all the baked goods you could hope for, at the Downtown Farmers Market.

But the winter months bring a new kind of market. And “this is the most important season to be shopping locally,” according to Allison Einerson, executive director of Urban Food Connections of Utah, one of the two organizations that bring Salt Lake City’s markets to life.

The reason, Einerson said, is the benefit it brings to the local economy.

And Salt Lake City’s Winter Market, which opens Saturday, also ensures your gifts will be ready for holiday giving or under the tree in time for Christmas. As supply chains continue to have extreme delays, everything from presents to decor and table runners are stuck in crates in the middle of the ocean.

Like the summer market, the 2021-22 Winter Market also will be held on Saturdays, with shortened hours, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

In the past, it was held at the Rio Grande Depot — but that’s not an option, due to repairs still underway after the Salt Lake Valley’s 2020 earthquake. This year, the market will open Saturday at Pioneer Park before moving indoors at The Gateway on Nov. 20 for the rest of its run.

Also on Saturday, Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall speak about her “Shop SLC” initiative, which urges shopping locally as a way to bolster the city’s recovering economy.

The Winter Market’s highlight is “overwhelmingly food,” Einerson said, and the selection of seasonal produce won’t leave shoppers wanting. “Straggling peppers and zucchinis” will be available, along with more dependable winter produce such as potatoes and onions, she said. However, there will be little fruit beyond apples and dried cherries, she added.

But there will be salsas, sauces and spreads, as well as baked goods, nuts and grass-fed meat (including turkey for Thanksgiving) and other holiday treats. The rotating 10 to 15 artisans the market expects each week will also offer plenty of jewelry and art.

The market asks all unvaccinated shoppers to wear masks, and considers masks optional for those who have been immunized against the coronavirus.

For more information, visit https://www.slcfarmersmarket.org/winter-farmers-market.