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. No toll lanes north of downtown Tampa in three of four interstate proposals

    Transportation

    TAMPA — Express lanes may not be coming to downtown Tampa after all. Or at least not to the stretch of Interstate 275 that goes north through Bearss Avenue.

    Seminole Heights resident Kimberly Overman discusses the new interstate options with V.M. Ybor resident Chris Vela (left), Hillsborough County Commissioner Pat Kemp and HNTB consultant Chloe Coney during a Tampa Bay Express meeting Monday night at the Barrymore Hotel. [CAITLIN JOHNSTON  |  Times]
  2. Pinellas grants St. Pete's request to add millions to pier budget

    Local Government

    Times Staff Writer

    The Pinellas County Commission has granted St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman's request to dedicate millions more toward the city's new pier.

    The St. Petersburg City Council on Thursday  voted 7-1 to appropriate $17.6 million for the over-water portion of the Pier District. This is a rendering of what the new Pier District could look like. [Courtesy of St. Petersburg]
  3. Pinellas licensing board loses support for staying independent

    Local Government

    CLEARWATER –– The Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board on Monday lost its strongest supporter for staying independent.

    State Sen. Jack Latvala, a Clearwater Republican running for governor, said Monday that he will no longer support any legislation to keep the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board independent. This photo was taken in August. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  4. Triad Retail Media names Sherry Smith as CEO

    Corporate

    ST. PETERSBURG — Triad Retail Media, a St. Petersburg-based digital ads company, said CEO Roger Berdusco is "leaving the company to pursue new opportunities" and a member of the executive team, Sherry Smith, is taking over.

    Sherry Smith is taking over as CEO at Triad Retail Media, the company announced Monday. | [Courtesy of Triad Retail Media]
  5. Two new condo projects for same street in downtown St. Pete

    Real Estate

    ST. PETERSBURG — It lacks the panache and name recognition of Beach Drive, but 4th Avenue N in downtown St. Petersburg is becoming a condo row in its own right.

    Bezu, a condo project planned at 100 4th Ave. N in downtown St. Petersburg, will have 24 units including a three-level penthouse with infinity pool.
[Courtesy of Clear ph Design]