‘A Gig Harbor Treasure’: A Fond Farewell to Patterson’s Market
Gig Harbor looks back on 43-year community treasure following closure By Allison Pollock-Pugh | Photo by In-Gear Media
After more than 43 years, local favorite Patterson’s Farm Market closed their doors at the end of 2022. Owned and operated by Gig Harbor natives Rick and Shelli Patterson, the market became not only a landmark on the corner of 38th Avenue and 56th Street but a cherished piece of many seasonal traditions. From spring flowers and summer fruits and veggies to a pumpkin extravaganza in autumn and winter tree farm, Patterson’s has brought a lot of love and memories to Gig Harbor families.
“Patterson’s was my first job in high school,” recalls Candace (Gwynn) Robson. “Rick and Shelli became like family—it felt like a second home more than a job. As an adult, I brought my kids to the market for flowers, fresh produce, cider, pumpkins, and the famous “BOO” photo. I have treasured memories from the market and am so grateful for the experience the Patterson family brought to the Harbor.”
What started as a family run produce stand turned into a community staple. Rain or shine, ice storms, or snowmageddon, the market brought families together and joy to neighbors. “What I will miss most is their friendly shop. It always felt like the neighborhood shop. Even on rainy days when the parking lot was muddy, they were smiling and happy to help us. Gig Harbor has truly lost a gem,” share Paul and Elizabeth Bramkamp.
In spring and summer, Gig Harbor locals headed to Patterson’s for flowers, fresh fruit and berries. Sonja Ellingson Hoff reminisces, “I lived down the road, and when my kids were little, we would walk to the market, pick up some peaches, and enjoy the free bounce house. I have no idea where I’ll find fruit near as good.”
A resounding favorite was Patterson’s in autumn. Providing picturesque photo-ops, kids would joyfully race rubber duckies, challenge the giant bean bag toss, and search for the perfect (or not-so-perfect) pumpkin. Fall favorites like caramel apples and fresh kettle corn made the market a pumpkin-hunters paradise. “Growing up, my family went to Patterson’s every year for pumpkins, and I continued that tradition with my kids. When we drive by, they still talk about their pumpkins. We’ll miss that tradition, but we’re so thankful to the Patterson family for such great memories,” smiles Morgan Brown.
A charming Christmas tree farm fit for a holiday movie brought families back each year for their traditional tree hunt at Patterson’s. Karen Casteel Larson shares, “They (Patterson’s Farm Market) have formed the seasonal fabric of my family for so many years. First, waiting for spring and the lovely annual flower starts, then summer produce, followed by pumpkins and fun family games, and ending the year with the most outstanding Christmas trees in Gig Harbor. They will be sorely missed in every season.”
In writing this article, I received dozens of grateful messages recounting stories from Patterson’s Farm Market. It was clear that while the market was cherished by many, the Patterson family leaves a lasting legacy in our community—and our Gig Harbor friends and neighbors are deeply thankful for so many beloved memories.