When Michael Yaeger’s grandparents first took him to visit Pike Place Market, it was love at first sight. “I was about five years old, and I still have vivid memories of my first time in the Market. I couldn’t believe how beautiful and exotic it seemed,” says Michael. “It really is the Casbah of the Pacific.”
Michael joined the Market in 1979, when he opened Seattle Watercolors to showcase the art of his wife, Sarah Clementson, and to sell their now-famous Market calendars, which feature Sarah’s watercolors. For years, Michael staffed the shop alongside his daughter, Mercedes. Today, Mercedes owns her own business in Pike Place Market: Ghost Alley Espresso, home of the Market Ghost tours. “It is a family affair for us,” says Michael. “Mercedes grew up in the Market. She is a regular ‘Market rat’.”
Michael’s longstanding commitment to the ongoing success of the Market earned him the title of Honorary Mayor of the Market. Says Michael, “I have served on all the Market boards: the Preservation and Development Authority (PDA), the Marketing Board, the Merchant’s Association Board, the Constituency. I guess you could say I have kind of done it all.”
In honor of her father’s deep connection to Pike Place Market, Mercedes is donating to the Pike Up! Campaign and gifting her father a Market Charm for Father’s Day. “If Pike Place Market is the soul of Seattle, it is also a part of my father’s soul,” says Mercedes. “All the principals that define the Market – artistry, entrepreneurship, community – also define him.”
Funds raised by these unique Charms will help build the new MarketFront, the expansion of Pike Place Market that will provide additional space for local artists and small businesses. “I am elated that Mercedes is giving me such a thoughtful gift for Father’s Day,” says Michael. “And I am even happier these Charms will help the Market expand to include more mom-and-pop businesses like ours.”
Says Mercedes, “when you support the Market by buying a charm, your name becomes a part of the Market, and you join me and my parents as part of the Market community.”
This Father’s Day, honor Dads with a unique gift from Pike Place Market. Inscribe their name or business name on a Market Charm or Piggybank Hoofprint and your donation will help grow the Market further by expanding social services and opening up more opportunities for family-owned businesses like Watercolors Fresh Daily.