By Molly • Molly Walker • 

Thorson throws her support to Grange

Thorson adopted an underground parking lot as a new temporary location Saturday, citing its proximity to McMinnville’s downtown core as a crucial advantage. However, several key vendors chose the McMinnville Grange Hall on Old Sheridan Road, and they had the better of it in Saturday’s initial test, drawing larger crowds and better reviews.

She responded Thursday by suspending her venture indefinitely and throwing her support to the Grange group.

Thorson said she had initially ruled out the Grange as a Granary District alternative. However, she said she went out Saturday and liked what she saw.

“There’s something intangible about the draw of the old Grange — the huge trees, the ambiance,” she said. “It makes me see it could be really fantastic.”

When she launched her Granary District market, Thorson had two goals. One was to give the community a weekend venue for fresh produce and family-friendly activities. The other was to create a major West Coast tourist draw.

While downtown access is attractive, she said seeing the Grange site in operation won her over. She said she had to decide whether continuing downtown would be displaying perseverance or mere stubbornness.

“With the other market having so much potential, I think it makes sense that I suppport that market and move forward with other passions,” she said. “I’m confident that it will be a jewel of a market.”

Thorson said she is just happy to see her market vision continuing in some fashion.

“In the end, it doesn’t matter if it’s me steering the ship or someone else,” she said. “It’s what’s best for the community. The end goal is being achieved.”

With all the time and effort she put into the venture, she’s engaging in a bit of mourning at this point, she said. She’s going to sell off much of the equipment she’s accumulated, but will keep some mementos, she said.

In hindsight, Thorson said, she cared so much about the final product, she wasn’t as focused on the business model as she should have been. She said that ultimately proved her downfall.

But she expressed no regrets.

“Literally, every Saturday felt richer than the last, just being in the market and being surrounded by a great group of vendors,” she said.

“Watching the community experience was euphoric to me. Clearly, it was the best 3 1/2 years of my life.”

Thorson said she plans to open up the box of ideas she has, combine them with what she’s learned and move forward.


Sally G

Thanks, Shannon, for all that you have given to this community! As you imagine "outside the box," you inspire others, too. We're all better for it, and we look forward to your next adventure. Thank you for adding color and joy to our Saturdays.

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