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Englewood Farmers Market to Cancel Upcoming Season

EFM Logo

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Englewood Farmers Market to Cancel Upcoming Season


Due to the construction project for the farmers market site which will begin in August, and is expected to take approximately six months to complete, the Englewood Farmers Market will cancel the Fall 2021 – Spring 2022 season. With less than two months before our projected opening, our Board of Directors has regretfully voted to dissolve the Englewood Farmers Market and cease all operations.
“Unfortunately, two alternate location options that we may have considered are no longer available to us. In addition, two other suggested options in the downtown area do not have sufficient linear footage for the vendor tents or a large enough square-footage footprint for pedestrian traffic and vendor vehicular and trailer parking. None of the alternate sites we have considered have the necessary infrastructure such as electricity, restrooms, or potable water, that are required to support our market operations and the significant seasonal attendance volume of approximately 200,000 customers. It has taken many hours of discussion and difficult consideration by the EFM Board of Directors before coming to this decision.”
“Our customers will be notified via social media, along with e-mail and voicemail. All of our Englewood community SNAP customers will be able to continue using their benefits and any remaining tokens at our Venice Farmers Market which is open on Saturday mornings year around.”
It is important to note that during the last ten years that over one million people have come to historic downtown Englewood on Thursdays between October and May… that the University of Florida’s economic impact study presented to the CRA a report that the market was a multi-million dollar enterprise benefitting the vendors and downtown merchants and that the market had become the economic engine contributing to the renaissance of the downtown business district… and that the market, as a non-profit entity under the Friends of Sarasota County Parks, has donated over $235,000 dollars back to the Helping Hand and St. David’s food banks, the Englewood Care Clinic, local parks, and funds to address food insecurity in our community through the Fresh Access Bucks/Feeding Florida SNAP program.
“I would like to publicly thank our market founders, Marie LaForge, Mike Hutchinson, Ricardo Ruggiero, and Don Musilli… and to also thank our Board Treasurer, Rose Hutchinson…. A special thank you to former Elsie Quick Library Manager, Jennifer Perry and to our Operations Staff Amy Stone, Bob Deal and Tom Stone.
But most of all we would like to thank, from the bottom of our hearts, the Englewood community. The EFM was your market. You built it, supported it, loved it and made it your own. We simply had the pleasure to operate and nurture the market’s growth on your behalf over the last decade. We are humbled…and we leave you with our most sincere attitude of gratitude.
We have already made plans, in addition to the $7,000 in donations we just issued in July, to donate the entire remainder of our financial assets in the amount of $9,700 and all of our tangible assets and operating materials to non-profit entities. This should be completed no later than the end of September, 2021.
We feel that we have completed our mission, and we are amazed that the market has exceeded even our own wildest expectations. Even during this last pandemic year of a season of winter, it has been a place of excitement, positive energy, joy and much love! And we wish for all of you, who work and play in historic downtown Englewood, our best wishes for great success in the years to come.

Thank you!

Best of Englewood 2021

2021 Best of Englewood

Best of SRQ Local 2021 Bronze Winner

Englewood Farmers Market - Best of SRQ Market Bronze Winner 2021

Thank you Englewood, you voted us #1

Best of Englewood Award 2020

Local farmers markets suspended, vendors available

Strawberries phot

Farmers markets are closed in the area until further notice. You can still get items like fresh strawberries from vendors, by going to the farmers markets’ Facebook pages. SUN PHOTO BY OLIVIA CAMERON

ENGLEWOOD — As might be expected in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, farmers markets are suspended.
Englewood and Venice markets aren’t happening, organizers announced Tuesday.
The Punta Gorda Farmers Market has also been suspended, but organizers anticipate reopening the market next month.
“Our markets will remain closed until further notice in compliance with federal, state and local guidelines,” manager Lee Perron announced in an email Tuesday.
Perron manages the markets in Englewood, Venice and the new market that started this year at CoolToday Park in North Port, spring training home of the Atlanta Braves. That market was canceled earlier this month after Major League Baseball shut down spring training.
“The phone volume and e-mails regarding our markets have been massive,” Perron said.
But that doesn’t mean people have to deprive themselves of fresh vegetables. Patrons may still contact their favorite vendors individually and make their own arrangements.
“We are also directing customers in a responsible way to use our vendor directory on our websites to contact vendors directly,” Perron said. People need to arrange their own delivery and/or pick up options that comply with current social contact guidance.”
Perron encouraged vendors to use the markets’ Facebook pages as a platform to sell their products.
The vendor directories can be found on or
“Flexibility, patience and kindness will allow us all to work through our current global crisis,” Perron said. ‘Be well and be safe.”

The Market will be moving to a new location on next Thursday, March 19

Until further notice the Englewood Farmers Market will be relocating to the 500 block of Dearborn Street on Garrett Park, towards the Veteran’s Memorial.

The Englewood Farmers Market is moving!

   500 W. Dearborn St., Englewood FL 34223

                                  New location: 500 W. Dearborn St., Englewood FL 34223

Englewood’s farmers market opens to crowds


A sure sign that autumn has arrived in Englewood is its Thursday farmers market.

Lee Perron, manager for the nonprofit Englewood, Venice and new North Port markets, anticipated 2,000 to 2,500 shoppers to visit vendors by the 2 p.m. closing time Thursday.

“That’s a good opening,” Perron said. Wednesday, opening day the North Port farmers market — located at CoolToday Park, the Atlanta Braves Spring Training facility, 18800 South West Villages Parkway — saw 2,000 to 2,500 people turn out.

In November 2011, the first day of the Englewood Farmer’s Market saw 17 vendors, 21 booths and attracted 1,500 people. Now there’s more than 56 vendors at the market — and that doesn’t count the markets that sprung up around Englewood’s downtown and are piggybacking on the success of the original nonprofit market.

“We’ve heard nothing bad about Englewood,” said Anthony Sessa of the Fort Myers-based The Pasta Machine, a new vendor at the Englewood Farmers Market.

For Stevie Banks, the drive from North Port was worth it.

“There’s so many different (vendors),” she said.

Rosibel Malheiro sells jewelry and women’s wear at one of the smaller markets at the corner of South Orange Avenue and West Dearborn Street. She’s been coming Thursdays from Sarasota to the Englewood markets for several years.

“I like the people — and it’s quiet,” Malheiro said. Email:

Hernandez Produce

The Plant City-based Hernandez Farm Produce owners Lucia Hernandez and her husband, Artemio, never miss selling their produce at the annual Englewood Farmers Market every Thursday until May. (SUN PHOTO BY STEVE REILLY)


By STEVE REILLY (Englewood Sun staff writer)

ENGLEWOOD — The temperature and humidity may still signal summer, but a sure sign of the fall season will be on West Dearborn Street in nine days.

“The Englewood Famer’s Market is set to launch its new season,” said Lee Perron, who manages both the Englewood and Venice farmers markets. The market will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursdays, beginning Oct. 4, at Pioneer Plaza, 300 W. Dearborn St., Englewood.

This week, Perron and three helpers spread 100 cubic yards of mulch — a 60-foot-long semi-trailer plus two dump truck loads — to mark out the pathways between vendors at the Pioneer Plaza, Perron said.

Joyce Colmar, owner of the property across from the plaza, is expected to bring back her Dearborn Street Market of assorted vendors as well. Colmar could not be reached for comment.

The Englewood Farmer’s Market is the second-largest in Charlotte, Sarasota and Manatee counties. The downtown Sarasota Farmers Market is the largest in any of the three counties.

The Venice Farmers Market operates year-round, 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays. It’s located at the Venice City Hall on the 400 block of West Venice Avenue and the Avenue Des Parques.

Englewood’s is at 300 W. Dearborn St., the heart of Olde Englewood Village.

Why go to a farmers market? On the Englewood Farmer’s Market Facebook page, Perron wrote: “You can shop for local and organic fresh Florida produce directly from local farmers, find wild-caught Florida seafood from local fishermen, select from seven gourmet bakers including gluten-free, taste and sample international artisan food creations, discover the amazing selection of flowers, plants and trees from our green space vendors, and of course enjoy the music and ambiance of a true food and agricultural market experience.”

Ivani Norman of Myakka City sells vegan organic homemade cowboy cookies and breads at the Englewood Farmer’s Market in 2017.


Efrain Martinez of Al Anadaluz packs up a tin of paella during the Englewood Farmer’s Market in 2017.


It also supports local growers — there will be 11 this year — and supports SNAP and the Fresh Access Bucks double dollars program for customers who qualify for that federal assistance.

The market is also good for West Dearborn Street and Englewood’s traditional downtown.

“(The farmers market) brings lots of people to Dearborn,” said TaylorMeals, president of the Olde Englewood Village Association. Besides being a big draw in itself, Meals said, the farmers market draws potentially new customers into Dearborn’s restaurants and shops.

In November 2011, the outset of Englewood Farmer’s Market saw 17 vendors and 21 booths, attracting 1,500 people on its opening day. By the end of the season, the market grew to 43 vendors and 50 booths, attracting 70,000 people by the end of the inaugural season.

Subsequently, the Englewood market grew annually, attracting an even larger crop of vendors and booths. From the fall of last year until this spring, the market’s 60 vendors served 165,000 attendees, a 8 percent increase over the previous year.

Venice’s farmers market sees 50 vendors participating at the farmer markets on Saturdays, with 5,000 people showing up during season. The Venice market started operating as a nonprofit last year. The market now expects to see 8,000 people per week during the winter season.

As a nonprofit under the tax-exempt Friends of Sarasota County Parks, the Englewood Farmers Market has contributed $84,000 to local charities and other nonprofits since 2011. Beneficiaries include the food banks at St. David’s Jubilee Center and Englewood Helping Hand, The Englewood Community Care Clinic, New Paradigm, Friends of Sarasota County Parks and Englewood Elementary School.

The Venice Farmers Market intends to donate $17,000 by the end of 2018.


Lee Perron is getting ready to open up the 2018-2019 Englewood Farmer’s Market on Englewood’s West Dearborn Street.

Press Release

contact: Lee Perron

The Englewood Farmers Market is set to launch their new season on Thursday, October 5th! First off, we want to welcome back our all star line-up of the best food and agriculture vendors in the region. We’re also going to have some fantastic new talent joining the market this season! In addition to local pasture raised chickens, ducks and turkeys plus farm fresh eggs from Sarasota’s Grove Ladder Farm, there will be two new gourmet bakers with French tarts and American pies, Empanadas from Argentina, handmade popsicles, ready to take home gourmet meals, and new fusion drink beverages.  In addition, you’ll see live cooking demos every week with Master Chef Chasky. Chef Chasky will be creating and featuring recipes made with fresh ingredients purchased that morning from the market vendors.

As part of our mission to support local farmers and an initiative with our SNAP and Fresh Access Bucks double dollars program, we’re thrilled to have eleven local grower’s this season” stated market manager Lee Perron.

As a non-profit farmers market that donates its proceeds back to the local community, the Englewood Farmers Market donated over $21,000 last season to St. David’s and Helping Hand food banks, the Englewood Care Clinic, the Englewood Sports Complex, New Paradigm and Englewood Elementary School.

The Englewood Farmers Market is open every Thursday from 9 AM – 2 PM, October through May in the 300 Block of Historic W. Dearborn Street.

For more information please check out our website: or contact Lee Perron via e-mail: or phone (941) 445-9209.

The EFM Donates over $20k Back to Englewood Community

(ENGLEWOOD, Fla. – December 5, 2016) – The Englewood Farmers Market, as a chapter of the Friends of Sarasota County Parks, operates as a non-profit enterprise serving the local Englewood community.

Each season, proceeds above operating costs are donated back to local community organizations that provide services to local residents that need support and assistance.

The Englewood Farmers Market donated over $20,000 to our local food pantries, St. David’s and Helping Hand, Englewood Meals on Wheels, FOSCP and the Englewood Care Clinic.

Pictured standing left to right: Tom and Amy Stone , Marie Laforge, Rose Hutchinson, Ricardo Ruggiero, Mike Hutchinson, Jim Baines and Howard Goodrich, Administrator from Helping Hand, and Bill Lavriha, Executive Director of Meals on Wheels. Kneeling, Lee A. Perron.

Press Release: Englewood Farmers Market Continues Local Community Donations with $1,000 to T.A.S.K.

efm task chk


FRONT: Lucianna Carney, Savannah Grannan, Ella Piotrowski, Natalee Grannan, Myah Dickerson, Ava Sanchez, Alexa Smith
MIDDLE: Melissa Carney, Jaxon Carney, Jonas Sanchez, Gracie Leonard, Gabe Dickerson. George Baker, Jocelyn Reuss, Cole Grannan, Peyton Mason
BACK: Englewood Farmers Market committee (Mike Hutchinson, Ricardo Ruggiero, Marie Laforge, Evelyn Dales); Nichole Moranda, Trent Moranda, Veronica Grannan.


The Earth T.A.S.K. Crew is an adjunct program of The Open Studio. ETC was founded by three local women: Melissa Carney, Veronica Grannan and Nichole Moranda. T.A.S.K. stands for our core values of Teamwork, Accountability, Service and Kindness. This summer, with help from the Englewood Farmers Market, we facilitated outdoor and classroom activities that included hiking, wading, exploring, paddle boarding, field observations of flora and fauna, scavenger hunts, journal writing, nature and recycled art, geocaching/orienteering, soil/air/water experiments, lessons on self-esteem, team building games, and group service projects such as mangrove/shoreline cleanup, a mosaic to be donated to Lemon Bay Park, garden stepping stones to be donated to several community locations, an experimental archaeology exhibit on the Calusa to be displayed at Lemon Bay Park  and Kiddie Geocache Trail Construction at Lemon Bay Park. For more information please call (941) 662-5600

For more information please contact: Lee A. Perron, Market Manager, Englewood Farmers Market @ 941 548-7843 or  email:

Press Release: Englewood Farmers Market Continues Local Community Donations with $1,000 to Lemon Bay Park

efm foscp lemonbay chkPictured left to right: Lemon Bay Park volunteer Laurel Rhodes, Englewood Farmers Market Committee members Evelyn Dales, Mike Hutchinson, Ricardo Ruggiero, Marie Laforge and Lemon Bay Park volunteer Gaby Ferland.

Most of us would spend a lot more time kayaking if our boats were waiting for us at the boat launch.  Well, the Friends of Lemon Bay Park are working on it.  With the support of the Englewood Farmers Market and parent organization Friends of Sarasota County Parks, the volunteer group is $1,000 closer to building a public kayak storage system at Lemon Bay Park, providing a secure waterfront storage location for kayaks, canoes and stand-up paddle boards.  The goal is to make accessing and enjoying a day on the water as easy and efficient as possible.  The storage bays would be available to the public to rent for a small fee that would be reinvested into park programs and projects.  The Friends of Lemon Bay Park have been actively fundraising to provide this amenity at the park.  If you would like to make a donation or contribute to the project, please call Lemon Bay Park at (941) 474-3065.

For more information please contact: Lee A. Perron, Market Manager, Englewood Farmers Market @ 941-548-7843 or email:



Old Englewood Village
300 block of W. Dearborn St.
Englewood, FL 34223


October thru May
Thrusdays 9am-2pm

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