+ Farmers Market touts its success
Leaders of the Downtown Sarasota Farmers Market spoke before the City Commission June 21 to provide a progress report.
Nine months ago, commissioners handed over control of the farmers market to its vendors. The Downtown Partnership had been running it up until then.
The market now has a 13-member board that is comprised of 10 vendors and three non-vendors. The board has instituted a non-discrimination policy, conflict-of-interest policy, manager-review policy, new-vendor policy and a board of directors code of ethics.
For decades, the vendors had been located solely on Lemon Avenue, but they have now expanded to State Street west of Lemon Avenue, and soon they will occupy the east side of State Street for special events.
Board members have instituted several new features, including a workshop series, in which experts in different fields conduct seminars. The topics mainly deal with organic living and preserving the environment, but future workshops may include cooking instruction.
And nonprofits, such as the American Heart Association and Relay for Life, have been invited to promote their causes.
The market has expanded its marketing campaign, too, purchasing ads in local newspapers and on local TV stations, as well as CNN Headline News and The Weather Channel.
“You’re doing a lot,” said Commissioner Suzanne Atwell. “I congratulate you.”
+ SCVB boosts its marketing campaign
County commissioners approved this week an extra $100,000 to add to the Sarasota Convention and Visitors Bureau summer marketing campaign.
The SCVB will now be able to expand its campaign into July and August in response to the gulf oil spill.
The purpose is to spread the message that Sarasota County is far from the oil spill and is still a great vacation destination.
Through a partnership with Big Olaf Creamery, the SCVB will offer free ice cream while vacationing during July and August.
The Convention and Visitors Bureau plans to target in-state tourists from the Tampa Bay and Orlando areas.
+ Meetings & Agendas
• Interlocal parks meeting — 2 p.m. Thursday, June 24, Sarasota County Administration Building, 1660 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota
• CRAAB board — 3 p.m. Thursday, June 24, City Hall, 1565 First St., Sarasota
• Charter Review Board — 6 p.m. Wednesday June 30, Sarasota County Administration Building, 1660 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota