Make us your home page
Instagram
Everybody's Business

Family revives farmer's market in South Tampa

SOUTH TAMPA — It is hard now to picture a modest farmer's market on the corner of Swann and Howard avenues, where retail plazas and a medical building have cropped up in the past decade, transforming it into one of South Tampa's busiest corners.

But that's where John Sansone spent 13 years selling fresh produce and flowers to the locals. His Hyde Park Farmer's Market was a source for many loyal South Tampa homeowners, until the day in 2002 when he sat in the new Panera Bread across the street and watched as it was torn down.

Seven years later, after a boom and a bust, Sansone is back.

He has set up shop again not too far down the street, in an old Chevron station at the corner of Swann and MacDill Avenue on the north edge of Parkland Estates. The gas station has been vacant for more than two years. The property owners have had it on the market, and even had the tanks removed, but so far, no deal.

So Sansone has leased the building and is turning it into the Tampa Bay Farmers' Market, which will be much like the original. He hopes to have it open this weekend, just in time for last-minute Mother's Day bouquets.

"We missed the neighborhood," Sansone said. "We were there quite a few years, and it just seemed like Hyde Park (real estate) was red-hot at the time."

Sansone actually sold his property at Swann and MacDill in the 1990s — "I had 12 offers on the property in a short period of time" — and kept the farmer's market open for eight more years until the new owner cut a deal for the medical building. (It seemed more palatable than a McDonald's, Sansone told the St. Petersburg Times in 2002.)

Produce is part of Sansone's heritage. His family has been in the wholesale banana business for more than 100 years, and owns farms up north that provide pumpkins, Christmas trees and Easter lilies for church and school fundraisers all over Tampa.

He has stuck to the wholesale business in recent years, but figured it was a good time to jump back into retail, now that local produce is coveted again. Many of the fruits and vegetables will come from Plant City and other farms within a few hours' drive.

"People go to Publix GreenWise and their tomatoes are $3.99 a pound," he said. "We'll be able to offer some good pricing, a lot of fresh quality."

Sansone's sons, Anthony and John Jr., will work with him, marking his family's fifth generation selling produce and fresh flowers. The gas station's fading blue roof has been painted a bright terra-cotta, the exterior walls a deep vegetable green. Other than the need for some repairs and a refrigeration system, the old building was already well suited for an old-fashioned market, he said.

"It was very easy to transform," Sansone said.

New South Tampa med spa opens

Skin NV has freshly opened at 4315 W Bay to Bay Blvd.

The med spa offers Botox, fillers, laser treatment, peels and consultations from plastic surgeon and hand surgeon Scott Gargasz, who will oversee the clinic, according to a press release. The NV stands for Nouveau Visage or "new face." Skin NV is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and evenings by appointment.

Information from Times files was used in this report. Know something that should be everybody's business? Call (813) 226-3394 or e-mail sharonlginn@yahoo.com.

Family revives farmer's market in South Tampa 05/07/09 [Last modified: Thursday, May 7, 2009 4:31am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa is 15th-most popular city to move to with U-Haul

    Markets

    TAMPA —Tampa is undoubtedly a destination point, at least according to U-Haul.

    Tampa is the No. 15 destination for people moving with U-Haul trucks. | Times file photo
  2. Florida's economy growing faster than other big states and far better than U.S. overall

    Business

    When it comes to economic growth, Florida's running alongside the leading states and well ahead of the United States as a whole.

  3. Westshore Marina District project takes shape with another acquisition

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — One of Tampa Bay's prime waterfront areas took another major step toward redevelopment Friday as WCI Communities bought 2.35 acres in Westshore Marina District.

    WCI Communities, Lennar's high-end subsidiary,has paid $2.5 million for 2.35 acres in the Westshore Marina District for 35 townhomes. WCI is under contract  to buy an additional 9.5 acres.
[BTI Partners]
  4. Posh Guy Harvey RV park to open in Tampa Bay with $250,000 cottages

    Business

    HOLIDAY — Love those Guy Harvey T-shirts with the soaring marlins? In the not too distant future, you might be able to kick back in your own Guy Harvey cottage in the first-ever Guy Harvey RV park.

    Renderings of the clubhouse and an RV cottage site of the planned Guy Harvey Outpost Club & Resort Tarpon Springs.
[Guy Harvey Outpost Collection]
  5. Port Tampa Bay secures $9 million grant to deepen Big Bend Channel

    Business

    Port Tampa Bay has secured a $9 million grant from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the widening and deepening of the Big Bend Channel in southern Hillsborough County.