Outdoor Vendor Highlights “Alaska Made”

Anchorage’s street vendors are a hardy lot. Despite a blustery, wet summer, they are showing up at outdoor markets rain or shine. One familiar face at several of the markets is Carolyn Green, also known as the “Salmon Lady”, who sells Alaska made food products, crafts, books and items of all kinds, for producers from Egegik to Eklutna.

Drivers passing by in the crush of Anchorage traffic may not notice the tiny, elderly grey haired woman in the parking lot, but she has been a familiar face for years at the Anchorage Saturday Market and at other venues around town. Today, it’s farmer’s market day at the Sears Mall in midtown,

“This is the Center Market, every Wednesday, yes.”

Carloyn Green has set up her folding tables and portable awning to display a huge variety of goods,

“They call me the salmon lady. I do sell downtown I sell the fresh chicken eggs, duck eggs and goose eggs, so now they call me the duck lady, because they like those duck eggs. “

All of Green’s products come with the made in Alaska logo. She’s got a cornucopia of Alaska made edibles. There are several varieties of mustard, for instance

“…and of course our wonderful MOOSETARD from Faibanks. It’s a wonderful mustard with a cute name, that’s what it is, yes, yes. “

Several varieties of honey, fruit jellies from Alaska berries, even salsa is displayed in tidy jars with unique labels. A locally made sauce promises to pique taste buds.

“This is a nice product, down from Girdwood, the ski area. It’s what’s called Umami Sauce. That was a new word for me.” ‘Sweet and spicy’ “Yes. Aand we have coffee. “

“We have wonderful bread from the House of Bread, which is right here in Anchorage out on the Old Seward. We have lots of salmon and lots of reindeer and caribou. A little bit of musk ox. And we have a lot of reindeer salami and reindeer summer sausages. “

Beach grass baskets, Denali Dreams soap, whimsical wooden neckties and Alaska Native carvings and jewelry are just some of the items in Green’s booth. She says she hauls all the stuff to and from the markets by herself, sets up the booth, sells from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, then tears it all down again and packs it away for the next market day.

“It’s not for wimps”

Green, who is six months shy of her 80th birthday, lines up clients from all over Alaska.

“Over the years I’ve put together many, many products that are made here in Alaska and by Alaskans. You know, when I first started out, I had to go find people who were making certain Alaska reindeer things and caribou and that kind of thing. Now they come to me a lot because they see I have a good selection, and they make something that they don’t have time to sell, or it’s too expensive for them to rent a booth for just one little product that they have or something like that. So they come and find me now. “

She connects with new clients at fall craft shows. The Salmon Lady is a regular at the weekend market in downtown Anchorage.

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APTI Reporter-Producer Ellen Lockyer started her radio career in the late 1980s, after a stint at bush Alaska weekly newspapers, the Copper Valley Views and the Cordova Times. When the Exxon Valdez ran aground in Prince William Sound, Valdez Public Radio station KCHU needed a reporter, and Ellen picked up the microphone. Since then, she has literally traveled the length of the state, from Attu to Eagle and from Barrow to Juneau, covering Alaska stories on the ground for the AK show, Alaska News Nightly, the Alaska Morning News and for Anchorage public radio station, KSKA elockyer (at) alaskapublic (dot) org  |  907.550.8446 | About Ellen