The Market returns to Lakewood Ranch.
BY LWR life Staff
If your thoughts of a farmers market conjure cramped street tents standing over vegetables wilting in the heat, The Market at Lakewood Ranch is here to give you a fresh perspective.
Starting Dec. 5, The Market is back, and it has a full basket of fun to offer patrons in its second season. From 3 to 7 p.m. every Wednesday through April 17 at the Sarasota Polo Club, patrons can expect all the things that made The Market great in its inaugural year — fresh food vendors, live music, food trucks and family-friendly activities — but this year it will blossom into something even bigger.
For starters, says Market Manager Morgan Bettes, at least 40 vendors will start the season, compared with 30 featured at the end of last season.
The Market will also have a rotating schedule of monthly events. The first Wednesday will welcome Create U DIY to hold woodworking workshops for adults and kids; the second Wednesday will feature Makers’ Market, which will offer craft products such as jewelry, soap and candles; and the fourth week will bring back bingo.
These are all in addition to the weekly purveyors and activities, including the Chef at The Market program, where a chef creates a “healthy hack” of recipes using ingredients you can buy right there on-site.
But the thing that really makes The Market stand apart from its farmers market brethren is its location.
“I can’t tell people enough about what a nice market this is,” Bettes says. “Most farmers markets are in urban settings, but this one is like a farm. It’s fun, it’s relaxed, and we have tons of green space. We can do a lot with the lights and the setup, and there’s plenty of space for kids to just run around.”
Monaca Onstad, who led the creation of The Market as director of community relations for Lakewood Ranch, agrees.
“We’ve really focused on making it a tradition that’s easy, where families can come and kids can run free,” she says. “Not only do we have cage-free chickens, but we also have cage-free kids.”