EAST LAKE — When Colleen Davis got the idea to hold a monthly farmer's market outside the East Lake Community Library, she envisioned a few vendors selling their wares on the front lawn.
"I thought that it'd start out small,'' she said.
However, on Saturday, when the new East Lake Community Library Farmer's Market kicks off, more than 21 vendors — artists, crafters, organic gardeners and chefs — will be spread out all over the library's property.
Several months ago Davis, a 10-year library employee who is currently library manager presented the idea of a Saturday market to library administrators.
"The amount of interest has been amazing. Everyone thought it was a great idea,'' she said.
Vendors will include:
• Bee Branch Creek, a Palm Harbor beekeeper who will have a bee box on display while he and his wife sell honey and hive products.
• Doggie Cakes of New Port Richey, whose owner is a pet-loving baker and seamstress who will be selling homemade dog treats as well as doggie pillows
• Pinot's Palette, an Oldsmar business that will encourage visitors to create a piece of art right there on the spot.
"We had a vision for this market. We wanted to further enhance the image and lifestyle of this very special East Lake community,'' Davis said. "Once we collected (vendor) applications, we had a committee make the selections. There's nothing like it otherwise along the East Lake corridor.''
Heather Ludlam, the volunteer market manager, agrees.
"East Lake is a creative, high-energy community, and there are so many (Tampa Bay) businesses to showcase,'' she said. "I'm a parent and a naturalist, and I think it's important to support local and organic businesses. It's good for everyone.''
In the future, market organizers hope to continue expanding. Money earned from the $25 vendor registration fees will hopefully be used to bring electricity to the outside event in the near future, according to library director Lois Eannel.
"With the little bit of money we bring in, we'll put in electric for not only future markets but other community events outdoors as well,'' she said. "We are doing this because of our community center philosophy. This is a gathering place for East Lake.''
On Saturday, there will also be plenty of action indoors at the library. The Friends of the East Lake Library Antique Appraisal Fair will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the community room.
"It just worked out that both events are being held Saturday,'' said Carole Jackson, a Friends board member. "Our fair we held in the spring was so successful. We saw people come in with all kinds of things, items like an antique wooden wagon, china and paintings and even an antique rifle.''
Admission to the Farmer's Market is free, but a donation will be requested from those getting merchandise appraised at the Appraisal Fair — $5 for one item or $10 for two or three items.
Piper Castillo can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 445-4163.