Venice Farmers Market to Re-Open on July 11, 2020!

we are back!

Summer vendors will offer produce, fresh baked goods including breads, pies, bagels and pretzels, wild-caught seafood, Florida-grown mushrooms, boutique cheeses, locally roasted coffee, kettle corn, hand-crafted soap, essential oils, nursery plants and fresh-cut flowers. In addition, local artists will be attending the market offering award-winning photography, unique clay art and jewelry, hand-designed clothing for children and adults, and more.

Market staff and vendors have created a CDC-compliant and safe socially distanced outdoor shopping experience for the community, states Farmers Market Manager Lee Perron. All staff and vendors will wear masks and gloves and sanitizing stations will be available. The plan has been reviewed and approved by the City of Venice in order to comply with all federal, state and local guidelines for food and personal safety. Please visit the market website, www.thevenicefarmersmarket.org, and select the FAQ tab to read more about new operating guidelines.

During the construction of Fire Station 1 and expansion of City Hall, the market will relocate out of the parking lot but will still operate at City Hall. The Farmers Market will set up on W. Venice Avenue between Harbor Drive and Avenue des Parques, located between City Hall and the Hecksher Park tennis courts.

Summer market hours will be from 8 a.m. to noon. Only service animals will be allowed during current COVID-19 rules.

For more information, go to www.thevenicefarmersmarket.org. Contact Lee Perron via email at info@thevenicefarmersmarket.org or call 941-445-9209.

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 www.englewoodfarmersmarket.org or www.thevenicefarmersmarket.org.
“Flexibility, patience and kindness will allow us all to work through our current global crisis,” Perron said. ‘Be well and be safe.”

Englewood’s farmers market opens to crowds

By STEVE REILL (Englewood Sun – STAFF WRITER)

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: steve.reilly@yoursun.com

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)