Downtown Bradenton businesses say farmers market is a cash cow

jtate@bradenton.comOctober 5, 2013 

BRADENTON -- Old Main Street businesses are looking forward to the Downtown Bradenton Farmers Market opening at 9 a.m. Saturdaybecause it brings more foot traffic to their shops and restaurants and an increase in sales.

The Farmers Market, managed by Realize Bradenton, is a seasonal event that brings food vendors and artisans from around town to sell fresh produce and crafts.

Fav's, an Italian restaurant, has been in business for 13 years on Old Main Street, and co-owners and siblings Michael and Maria Favasuli said they've seen an increase each year.

"Every year it's gotten better," said Michael. "We lack in the summer time, and when the farmer's market comes around there's a windfall, and we certainly enjoy it."

O'Bricks Irish Pub & Martini Bar managing partner Rick Willats agreed that the market is great for downtown but said with the growth and development of the downtown area, the market should move to a different street.

"It's kind of restricted, maybe they should look to moving it," Willats said. "I don't dislike. I think it's fantastic that we're doing it."

However, the managers of Time Zone/Silver Touch boutique and Unique Boutique of the Women's Resource Center said the farmers market doesn't need to go anywhere.

Julie Taylor, interim manager of Unique Boutique, said in celebration of the market starting back up, the store will be running a 20 percent off special for all purchases.

"It's a wonderful thing. Our volume definitely picks up during the farmers market and people are feeling festive," said Taylor.

Time Zone/Silver Touch boutique owner Marianne Ferrara will be running a sale in celebration of the farmer's market as well. She said she misses her seasonal customers who come around when the market is here.

"We're looking forward to having them back (Saturday)," Ferrara said. "We'll try to get the doors open so people can flow through."

The farmer's market will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Saturday through May 31.

Janey Tate, city of Bradenton and Palmetto reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7041. You can follow her on Twitter at Janey_Tate.

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