Jiunta is new manager for Farmers Market

 

Last updated 3/9/2022 at Noon

Katy Yoder

Michelle Jiunta will manage the Sisters Farmers Market, which will be held Sunday afternoons at Fir Street Park starting June 5.

Seed to Table hired Michelle Jiunta, as the new Sisters Farmers Market Manager. With an extensive background running Central Oregon farmers markets, Jiunta is prepared and excited about the opportunity.

“I’m so thrilled to be a part of the Sisters Farmers Market (SFM), the Seed to Table family, and the community at large,” she said.

Former SFM Manager Caroline Hager is staying on to assist Jiunta through pre-event work and will attend the first couple of Farmers Markets. Jiunta is thrilled to have that kind of support during the transition while she gets acquainted with vendors and a newly installed vendor management software system.

Jiunta’s background is well suited to her new position. For the past 11 years she was the manager for the Redmond Farmers Market. During her tenure, she focused on building up vendors and the customer base. She also worked for several years with the Madras Saturday Market handling vendor coordination.

Seed to Table Executive Director Audrey Tehan, the staff, and board are excited to have Jiunta join the team.

“Over the past 10 years, she has shown immense dedication to small farmers, artisans, and local food producers as she grew and managed the Redmond Farmers Market,” said Tehan. “She did whatever was needed including helping vendors set booths up in the wind and rain, and selling their products for them if they weren’t able to attend. Her strong desire to build community through collaboration and partnerships will expand on the great work done by past market manager Caroline Hager, and those who came before us.”

Jiunta understands her responsibility as a community member and advocate for local agriculture and artisan businesses.

“This may be a part-time job, but it will take a lot of time,” she said.

Along with raising her family, she and her husband have a small hobby farm in Terrebonne.

“We have chickens and raised beds to grow veggies,” she said.

The Jiuntas have a daughter who is a freshman at Sisters High School and a son in the fifth grade at Sisters Middle School.

“It’s bit of a commute from Terrebonne. We originally wanted to make the move to Sisters but with rising housing prices during the pandemic we had to hold off. Even though we haven’t been able to buy a home in Sisters, we wanted to get our kids in the Sisters School District because it’s so outstanding. My husband and I took a leap of faith and enrolled them,” she said.

Jiunta’s husband is a contractor working on building projects in Sisters. With her children in the Sisters schools, Jiunta already feels woven into the fabric of Sisters.

Community-building and outreach are two main areas of focus for Jiunta.

“I like working with nonprofits and community partners and bringing them in to make a strong market and reach as many people as possible,” she said. “With the Sisters Market, I don’t need to reinvent the wheel. I will honor past relationships and look for new opportunities that are available to build.”

Having worked with many different Central Oregon vendors and musicians, Jiunta already knows many of the SFM vendors and musicians. With many established vendor relationships outside SFM as well, she looks forward to inviting new vendors, musicians, and customers.

“It’ll be fun to add them to the mix,” she said.

Jiunta started working on the Sisters Farmers Market in February.

“We’re already gearing up,” she said. “There have been some changes, including the new software. We’re getting ready to implement that, then I’ll reach out to vendors in the next week or so to let them know what the process is for joining the Market for the 2022 season.”

For Jiunta, taking the SFM manager position is one step closer to her family’s intention to integrate even more into the Sisters community.

“I’m a local. I’ve been living in Central Oregon since 2005. We love outdoor activities and raising a family in Central Oregon. I am so thrilled to be a part of the Sisters Farmers Market, Seed to Table family, and the community at large,” she said.

Barring unforeseen circumstances, Sisters Farmers Market will run every Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 5 to October 2, at Fir Street Park on the corner of Main Avenue and Fir Street in Sisters. Jiunta invites all interested participants to contact her at [email protected]

gmail.com or through the website at http://www.sisters

farmersmarket.com.

 

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