The Main Street Market returns to Lakewood Ranch 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday with the promise of upgrades.
Niki Dalsing, who manages Main Street Market with Lindsay Wood, said vendors will extend on Lakewood Main Street from Lakewood Ranch Boulevard to the Fish Hole miniature golf course.
“It's incredible, and I feel so excited that we're able to find all these amazing retailers who don't have brick and mortar storefronts, and we can introduce the community to them,” Dalsing said.
Dalsing said so many vendors had applied to join the market that she had to ask Lakewood Ranch Main Street to extend her event space, which used to run from Lakewood Ranch Boulevard to Main Street Trattoria.
The atmosphere will be enhanced with live music by acoustic guitarist Ken Macy.
Wood said live music has been made possible by have five sponsors for the market, Abide Designs, JUMP Dance Company, Sarasota Golf Cart Sales, The Elevatus Group, and Angotti Design.
Although Wood and Dalsing had previously also managed the market on Ranch Nite Wednesdays at Waterside Place, this year, that market will be managed by Lakewood Ranch Community Activities.
Main Street Market began in 2020 as a one-time event, and was intended to reenergize struggling businesses during COVID-19.
“We wanted to have an event where all these businesses, and retailers, and makers could come together, and just bring our community back to life,” Dalsing said.
Dalsing said they then began the market on a more regular basis by combining with other small businesses in the area such as herself, Wood, Nikki Roenicke who owns Barre3, and Edith Ramage who owns By Designs.
Wood is founder of the candle company Blossom & Burn Co., while Dalsing works for Barre3.
“I've been a person that's always enjoyed markets, outdoor markets, farmers markets, French markets,” Dalsing said. “I love supporting local, so it’s a fun way to be able to do it, and see all those vendors out together.”
Dalsing said many businesses in the area do not have brick-and-mortal storefronts, and such a market is their only opportunity to gain exposure.
"It's rewarding to see we can provide them with sales and new customers,” Wood said.
Wood said the market looks for “one-of-a-kind jewelry, and arts and crafts from unique artists. Always included at the market, she said, are art forms, candles, fashion and apparel, and desserts.
She and Dalsing will also visit other markets for comparisons.
“We will take people that haven’t even launched their websites yet, and we will take people that have been open for decades,” she said.
When selecting vendors she and Dalsing are careful not to overcrowd the market with a specific type of business.
She said the market seeks mostly local vendors from the Sarasota, Brandenton, and Lakewood Ranch areas, although some vendors come from Tampa and St. Petersburg.