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APRIL thru SEPTEMBER

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  • The Venice Farmers Market

    A Non-Profit Organization

  • Fresh Vegetables

    From local growers

  • At Our Market You'll Find

    Everything for a healthy meal

  • Fresh Breads and Baked Goods

    From our local bakers

  • Artisanal Cheeses

    Small production from small farmers

  • Fresh Fruits

    From local growers

  • Giving Back

    To our community

LOCAL
PRODUCTS

Local and Organic Fresh Produce, Baked Goods, Meats, Seafood, Dairy, Plants, Herbs, Prepared Foods, Honey, Syrups, Sauces, Salsa and more…

OUR
MISSION

To promote local Florida growers and agriculturally related products with a focus on our four core values of nutritional health, education, sustainability, and sense of community.

OUR
PARTNERS

Englewood Community Care Clinic
Englewood Elementary School
Florida Organic Growers Association
Helping Hand Food Bank
St. David's Food Pantry

OUR
SPONSORS

Feeding Florida
Englewood Community Hospital
Englewood CRA
Friends of Sarasota County Parks.

Venice Farmers Market will reopen on Saturday

Organizers have worked with city to devise a CDCcompliant plan

By Earle Kimel (earle.kimel@heraldtribune.com)

VENiCE — The Venice Farmers Market will open for business at Venice City Hall Saturday

morning, with a slightly different layout that will both accommodate for social distancing and ongoing city hall campus renovations.

Venice Avenue will be closed to vehicle traffic between Harbor Drive and Avenue des Parques so market vendors can showcase their products.

“We worked for several months with the city of Venice to come up with a plan where we could open in a CDC compliant way,” said Lee Perron, who manages the market on behalf of the Friends of Sarasota County Parks.

That model evolved from one where people would have been able to shop online and then drive by a location to have goods placed into their trunk to the current one, which is similar to the traditional market but with social distancing safeguards built in.

For example, each vendor tent will be set up 10 feet apart and volunteers will use hand clickers to keep count of the number of patrons who enter the market either from the east or west.

Just like aisles in supermarkets, shoppers will be asked to walk in one direction while shopping — specifically the same direction traffic would flow in each lane.

Dusty’s Produce

Dustin Thibodeau, of Dusty’s Produce from Fort Myers, is one of 32 vendors who will return to the Venice Farmers Market Saturday. This summer, people who are enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program can double the value of the foods they purchase at the market through a program sponsored by Feeding Florida. [HERALD-TRIBUNE ARCHIVE / THOMAS BENDER]

Lee Perron

Lee Perron, who manages the Venice Farmers Market on behalf of the Friends of Sarasota County Parks, said it took a cooperative effort to come up with a market layout that will promote social distancing. [HERALD-TRIBUNE ARCHIVE / MIKE LANG]

All market staff and vendors will wear masks and gloves, and sanitizing stations will be available. Restrooms will be available at the Heckscher Park tennis courts.

While service animals are allowed, patrons are urged to leave their pets at home.

Booths will be set up to minimize a customer’s ability to touch products — though those wearing a mask can still choose their produce and are encouraged to take what they touch.

Six-foot social distancing markers will be placed on the pavement, and the areas between booths will be taped off to discourage people cutting through.

Each vendor will have a payment station separate from where products are displayed.

“Everyone is in this together to create this safe environment outdoors,” said Perron, who worked on the layout with Venice Assistant City Manager Len Bramble.

The move to Venice Avenue would have happened even without the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bramble noted that construction on the city hall campus took away about 40% of the market area.

On top of that, the city has been working with Florida Power & Light to get electrical power in the median of the 400 block of West Venice Avenue.

“They’ll be doing, in the next few weeks, a new drop right in the middle,” Bramble said.

Aesthetically, it will allow the city to decorate the trees in the median with holiday lights, but it will also allow farmers market vendors in the westbound lane of the road easy access to electricity.

For now, they will have access to generators, while those in the eastbound lane will still have access to power from city hall.

Frequently asked questions are posted on the market web page, thevenicefarmersmarket.org.

The market is open from 8 a.m. to noon through September and until 1 p.m. in season.

While it is in operation, motorists traveling toward the beach should detour at Harbor Drive and Barcelona Avenue for the block, while eastbound motorists can detour at Avenue des Parques to Granada Street.

About 32 vendors should be at the market Saturday, offering the usual array of fresh baked goods, wild caught seafood, Florida grown mushrooms, boutique cheeses, locally roasted coffee and kettle corn.

Vendors offering handcrafted soaps, fresh cut flowers and nursery plants, as well as local artists will be there too.

The market, which is a nonprofit, has been working with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, since 2014.

Perron said the Feeding Florida network has worked out a deal where people enrolled in the SNAP program can double the value of their purchases at the market.

‘If you come up with $100 to swipe off your card, we will come up with $100 in matching,” Perron said. “For those people, right now, we are doubling whatever dollars they want to spend.” That program should be in effect through all of 2020.

“It’s a win for Florida farmers and the SNAP participants in our community and good use of our grant dollars,” Perron said.

The market will remain on Venice Avenue after the summer, as construction of a new fire station and expansion of city hall continues.

If it’s successful in that location, the process may continue after the new city hall campus is complete.

Perron also manages the seasonal farmers market at CoolToday Park and the seasonal Englewood Farmers Market. He said both of those are expected to reopen in the first week of October.

In the summer, the Venice Farmers Market typically sees about 1,000 to 1,200 people in a fourhour period. Perron is expecting about half of that to show up during the pandemic, or about 150 to 200 people in the market during peak hour.

If it looks like attendance is threatening the ability of people to properly social distance, volunteers at either end would temporarily halt admissions until other shoppers leave.

“You see that often in retail environments now,” Perron said.

Counting both sides of Venice Avenue, the market will operate in about 800 linear feet, with 300-foot-wide lanes.

“You should be able to handle that many people socially distanced for the 32 vendors that we have,” Perron said. “We haven’t seen it in person, but we’re going to, starting Saturday.”

Interested in becoming a vendor at the Venice Farmers Market?

Get started by visiting our vendor information area
or
downloading a vendor application!
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LOCAL FRESH PRODUCTS
Local and Organic Fresh Produce, Baked Goods, Meats, Seafood, Dairy, Plants, Herbs, Prepared Foods, Honey, Syrups, Sauces, Salsa and more…


Every Thursday from October thru May from 9 AM - 2 PM, the best local growers and food artisans in our region gather at the Englewood Farmer's Market located in the heart of historic Dearborn St. in Englewood, Florida. It's THE event of the week where you can shop for local and organic fresh Florida produce directly from local farmers, find wild caught Florida seafood from local fisherman, select from seven gourmet bakers including gluten free, taste and sample international artisan food creations, discover the amazing selection of flowers, plants and trees from our green space vendors, and of course enjoy the music and ambiance of a true food and agricultural market experience. It's a great destination to meet your friends and neighbors, shop, and enjoy our fantastic Florida weather! Check out our vendor directory for descriptions of their products and how to contact them directly!

OUR MISSION: to promote local Florida growers and agriculturally related products with a focus on our four core values of nutritional health, education, sustainability, and sense of community.

OUR PARTNERS:
Englewood Community Care Clinic, Englewood Elementary School, Florida Organic Growers Association, Helping Hand Food Bank, and St. David's Food Pantry.

OUR SPONSORS:
Englewood Community Hospital, Englewood CRA, and the Friends of Sarasota County Parks.

OUR SPONSORS

SOCIAL MEDIA

Address:
Venice City Hall
401 W. Venice Avenue, Venice Fl 35285


Summer Hours:

Saturdays 8am to Noon
APRIL thru SEPTEMBER

Winter Hours:
Saturdays 8am to 1pm
OCTOBER thru MARCH

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OUR PARTNERS

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