Farmers market coming to Palmetto

jsalman@bradenton.comOctober 5, 2012 

PALMETTO -- Vegetables, check. Baked goods, check. Jewelry, check.

A new 20-booth farmers market will open for the first time Sunday on a vacant lot at 414 10th Ave. W., Palmetto -- the city's first farmers market in nearly two years.

Hosted by local retailer Maria Sevier and her business partner Vita Osterberg, the weekly event is designed to satisfy a growing demand for fresh produce that now exists north of the Manatee River.

"There's a big demand for it," Sevier said. "Not everybody likes going over the bridge to Bradenton."

Sevier, who operates Imagine Simply Unique Gifts, stocks items in her store that are locally sourced. But she wanted to expand the opportunity to other area vendors that can't do the same.

So she's hosting the farmers market on the lot adjacent to her store from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Sunday. Sevier hopes the event will run year-round.

The farmers market now has 20 vendors signed up, with room for about 35. A portion of the proceeds from booth rentals will go toward the technology student association at two area middle schools.

The students also will have a booth at the market to sell crafts for fundraisers.

"We approached this as vendors, and we think that will make it easier to manage," Sevier said.

"We are going to try to remain a true farmers market, so we don't have 15 jewelry stores, but there will be a good mix."

Phil Pagano, operations manager for the Sarasota farmers market, also managed a farmers market in Palmetto but it has been closed for about two years.

For anyone interested in renting a space, call 941-479-7825 or email vita@palmettofarmersmarket.com.

Josh Salman, Herald business writer, can be reached at 941-745-7095. Follow him on Twitter@JoshSalman.

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