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Second farmer's market comes to St. Pete Beach

The beginning of fall also signals the return of farmers markets throughout South Pinellas.

But just off the sandy shores of the Gulf of Mexico, a market standoff may be brewing.

By Oct. 16, St. Pete Beach residents will have a choice of two markets. The original market, the Corey Sunday Market, has moved to Horan Park. In its place will sprout a new market, the Corey Fresh Market — St. Pete Beach.

The original market was a collaborative effort between the Suntan Arts Center and the Corey Area Business Association. In its new home, the Corey Sunday Market will be run by the Suntan group.

"We had a number of issues on Corey," said David Cellon, market manager. "We had no electricity, which limited the number of food vendors, and that location has no visibility."

Cellon added that the market is forced to close four times a year to make way for arts and crafts events.

Back in April, "the market moved temporarily to the park, and the vendors loved it," he said.

"The new location is along the waterfront with great views, electricity and public bathrooms near the swimming pool area," said Cellon, who said he later contacted the city to make the move official.

The merchants decided they wanted to continue the market on Corey Avenue, so they hired a new manager, Bob Fernandez, who also runs a market in Clearwater.

The new market, the Corey Fresh Market — St. Pete Beach, will be in the 300 block of Corey Avenue between Blind Pass Road and Boca Ciega Drive.

The Corey Sunday Market will be at Horan Park at 7701 Boca Ciega Drive next to the community center on the Corey Causeway.

Cellon said about 35 vendors are booked for opening day, which is Oct. 9. The Corey Fresh Market seeks vendors and will open a week later on Oct. 16. Both markets will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays.

In St. Petersburg, the Saturday Morning Market will get the ball rolling as the popular weekly event opens Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Al Lang Field parking lot.

The downtown market, one of the largest in the United States, averages about 120 vendors per week.

"We still get applications from vendors who come from several hours away," said Mark Johnson, market manager. "We're really delighted and encouraged that we're able to bring the very best vendors from throughout Central Florida."

Also starting Saturday will be the new Fresh Market at Ferg's, 1320 Central Ave., which runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. each Saturday.

"We're not trying to compete with anyone, we're just another stop in the downtown area," said Sherry Ferguson, manager of the new market.

Ferguson said there is interest from vendors and a new neighborhood vibe along Central Avenue, thanks to an influx of residents into neighboring apartment complexes.

"There are always people walking around now, with their dog or just out on a morning stroll," she said.

Sandra J. Gadsden is an assistant metro editor, community news. She can be reached at (727) 893-8874.

Second farmer's market comes to St. Pete Beach 09/27/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 27, 2011 4:20pm]
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