Evening farmers market hopes to keep growing

ENGLEWOOD — Robin Phillips says the new evening market on Dearborn Street gave her the kind of exposure she never had at her gift shop a block away on Green Street.

“I did well,” said Phillips, owner of Beach Cottage and Gifts. “I was quite pleased how many people showed up. Locals seemed to appreciate it. I’m looking forward to next one.”

The Englewood evening farmers market, operating from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays across from Pioneer Park on Dearborn, was started by Joyce Colmar, owner of Vino Loco, and Karen Tyree, owner of Ivy’s Attic Resale.

The women say they wanted to give people who work during the day, and other locals, a chance to experience a farmers market. About 150 people came out for the inaugural event.

“We were pleasantly surprised the turnout was good,” Tyree said. “It was really great to see locals here. They thanked us. We had 50 people at one point. We had people show up before we started and coming throughout.” Colmar, who owns the property where the market is held, said they had 10 vendors to start last Thursday and are looking to add six more.

“It went really well. Some of our vendors sold out. A lot of people were happy we were there,” Colmar said.”

Demand was high for spots and Colmar had to turn some vendors away.

“There were probably a dozen people who came to me,” she said. “Some of them were an overlap. Others were not appropriate for the farmers market and more appropriate for a flea market.”

Colmar said she can probably fit 20 in the front end of the lot, but if necessary she can clear more brush at the back lot to fit up to 20 more. The market is scheduled to run through June.

“We’re doing it as we go along,” Colmar said. “As we increase, we’ll make more room.”

The market provides an outlet for artisans like Kitti Kloth, who owns Seashell Flowers.

“It’s great for people who work during the day,” Kloth said. “(Colmar) wants to keep it like a park.”

Kloth runs the shop for those who inquire, and the market provides an outlet to advertise her crafts where she normally doesn’t.

“I would say the market traffic was better than what I normally do at the shop,” Kloth said.

The market also provides people like Phillips an outlet for people who wouldn’t normally visit her store.

“I like to increase offerings at the market,” Phillips said. “I’m looking to recruit someone to help with the market and expand an additional table.”

Colmar said she would like to see businesses on Dearborn take advantage of the traffic the evening market will bring to the area.

“The only businesses that is taking advantage of this is Mango Bistro and us at Vino Loco,” Colmar said. “We hope other businesses consider staying open when the market is around.”

Colmar said there will be music at the next evening market.

Booths at the new evening market start at $25. Some booths will be available free for nonprofits. For more information, call 404-660-7629.


About Tom

Tom Chang is a freelance journalist with a background in multimedia journalism and web publishing. He is currently pursuing his Masters in Journalism and Media Studies from the University of South Florida St.Petersburg. He graduated in 2004 with a Bachelors Degree in Mass Communications at USF Tampa. Tom's interests include a little bit of everything from entertainment to sports. He also wishes to delve into creative writing writing sci-fi/fantasy stories. Tom was recently the Online Editor for USF St. Petersburg's the Crow's Nest, he joined the staff in January 2010 where he started freelance writing, photographing, copy editing and later became a staff writer. Tom’s freelance experience in journalism amassed a wide range of companies including Creative Loafing, The Focus Magazine, Lutz News, Examiner.com, and Tampa Tribune.
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