The downtown Sarasota Farmers Market included in South's best farmers markets.
It's no surprise to Sarasotans to see the downtown Sarasota Farmers Market favored in the most recent issue of Southern Living magazine.
The September issue listed the market among the South's best farmers markets. The market has been a weekend staple for the downtown scene since 1979 offering local merchants a platform to display and sell goods.
"It’s something that isn’t always recognized in the community but it’s something incredible we have," said Phil Pagano, manager for the Sarasota Farmers Market. "I don’t think people are very surprised because the amount of people we’ve been taking in every year."
On average the market brings in more than half a million people per year with an estimated 12,000 people every Saturday according to Pagano. Offerings from 90 vendors include plants, baked goods, homemade soaps, housewares, fresh food and produce. Pagano is especially proud of the vendors unique to Sarasota who have cultivated a following of residents.
"Our agricultural vendors that we’ve built over the last six years are incredible," he said. "A lot of other markets try for that."
Produce vendors include Honeyside Farms, Kinsey's Produce, Worden Farm and Sweetgrass Farms. The seasonal weekday farmers market that starts in October as an extension of the Saturday market has been put on hiatus this year due to construction on First Street. The Saturday market runs from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. along Lemon Avenue from First Street to Pineapple Avenue and along the intersecting portion of State Street.
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