Longtime Married Couple Helps Feed Farmers Market Visitors

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by Ralph Nichols

When you go to the Burien Farmers Market this – or any – Thursday, be sure to stop at the hotdog stand next to SW 152nd St. and say hello to Doris and Carl Jones.

They’re gonna greet you, they’re gonna feed you in all kinds of weather, come rain or come shine.

And while you’re there, be sure to buy a Hebrew hot dog or a Polish kielbasa sausage. Because they’re grilling them for you.

This season is the first for Doris and Carl at the Farmers Market, who are working the hotdog stand for the Mark Restaurant and Debra George, who manages the market, which runs from May into October and organizes other special events in Burien.

Even so, they’re not newcomers to serving food on a midway. For the past three years, they’ve cooked hamburgers at the Walla Walla burger stand at the Western Washington Fair in Puyallup – serving almost 800 hamburgers in one day.

They also spent nine winters as working campers at Yuma, Ariz., where Carl was a cook and Doris was cashier at the Cactus Café.

“We’ve just done lots of things,” said Doris. They still do – and they have no intention of stopping anytime soon. “When you retire, if you sit still too long, then you don’t last too long,” Doris said.

Drop by the Burien Farmers Market, and Doris and Carl Jones will cook you a hotdog.

Contrasting their patrons at the Burien market and at the Puyallup, Doris noted, “The fair is so different. They come from all over and its size is overwhelming. You’re always busy, and you can get an education just people watching.”

People who browse the booths in Burien are “so friendly. It’s a home town, small town feel. It’s really nice.”

Carl said it’s easy to tell that people really like this Farmers Market. “It’s wide open, and it’s ideal for a market because of the parking, and the way it’s put together.”

“It’s a real good addition to Burien,” Doris added. “It brings the people back downtown.”

Married for 52 years, Doris and Carl have three sons – Bill, Bob and Bruce – and a daughter, Lynda Isernio, the manager of Sterling Savings Bank and a former president of the Discover Burien board of directors.

“Because Lynda’s so involved with Burien, she keeps finding me things to do.” Carl quipped. However, they’ve always found things to do.

Doris, who currently works for Schroeter Surveying and Silhouette Marketing (“because my daughter asked me to”), also does demonstrations at the Burien Fred Meyer store on weekends.

In the past, she worked for many years for Bob Merryman Commercial Real Estate, and then Home Savings Bank, Seattle Trust, and Interwest Bank.

Carl, a “retired” truck driver, drove for Acme Intercity, Peninsula Truck Lines and CF (Consolidated Freightways).

He is a skilled carpenter whose projects included remodeling the second floor in the office building adjacent to Wells Fargo Bank at SW 151st St. and 8th Ave. SW – and operated a charter fishing boat in Puget Sound for 10 years.

Carl’s varied skills help a lot when improvisations are needed to make their day-long job at the Farmer’s Market easier. They start setting up the stand and grill around 9 a.m., then cook from 11 a.m. until closing at 6 p.m.

So when you’re there, say hi, have a bite to eat and, as Doris said, “Hope for sunny weather.”

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One Response to “Longtime Married Couple Helps Feed Farmers Market Visitors”
  1. KatieH says:

    I had one of the Polish kielbasa sausage, value meal. Comes with drink, chips. and cookies. All for $5.00. Pretty good deal in my book. Went to the Burien Farmers Market today. First time this season. It was a beautiful day today. June 3rd. First sunny day in a few weeks. Go and enjoy a sausage or hotdog. Pick up some local, fresh produce. Oh while you set there and eat. enjoy some music. They had some local guys there playing electric keyboard and a sax.

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