Advertisement
  1. Hernando

Spring Hill farmers market moves up the road, gains parking and possibly more vendors

A customer inquires about tomatoes offered by Beasley Farm of Brooksville, the largest vendor at the Spring Hill Farmers Market, represented here by Rollo Mencacha. BETH N. GRAY | Special to the Times
Published Jul. 8

SPRING HILL — Customers and vendors alike are cheering the Hernando County Farmers Market's recent move to the parking lot fronting Towne Square Mall.

Relocating from a similar lot at Rural King, a scant mile north on U.S. 19, has accorded the Spring Hill market patrons more parking and easier access via a traffic light at its entrance. Vendors praise a more organized layout of booths, higher visibility that attracts on-a-whim customers and new shoppers drawn from mall patrons and the nearby Timber Pines development.

"Everybody came," said organizer Desiree Canora of vendors from the Rural King site, where independent sellers gathered every Saturday for eight years. "In the peak season, when the Northerners are here, we'll expand."

Vendors number about 35, occupying some 2,400 square feet and served by at least 200 parking slots.

"We have a waiting list of vendors," Canora said. "We're being a little pickier this time. It's truly all about the vendors' quality." She and co-leader Tammy Patrick also want to avoid vendors competing against vendors.

"One person who sells soap, one person who sells honey," Canora said. "We want to keep to farm, homemade, handmade, even a small business that can't afford a storefront."

A recent Saturday visit revealed charter member Beasley Farm, whose fresh produce spread across 60 feet of tables. Also for sale were Amish-made bologna, cheeses, jams and relishes, and a women's casual clothier, plus herbal cosmetics and supplements, honey, gluten-free baked goods, handmade jewelry, pet food and supplies, heirloom vegetable plants and seeds, woodcrafts and lawn ornaments.

Repeat shopper Melanie Paradise-Wathen of Spring Hill, who came to buy Amish hot pepper jam, likes the new location.

"I think it's actually better," she said, "a little better organized."

On the warm morning, Cassandra Kreig of Spring Hill arrived at the Jen & Jen clothier booth bearing iced coffee for entrepreneurs Jen Harper and Jen Thomas.

"They make you feel like family," Kreig said. She's shopped their both for a year.

The double-sized booth of the Humane Society of Hernando County was selling pet supplies.

"Customers have followed us, absolutely," said Sandy Berg.

Her cohort, Sue Krahula, praised the parking.

"Even golf carts come over," from Timber Pines, she said.

Rural King assistant manager Mark McCabe said the farmers market and farm and home supply store benefitted from each other's presence, but parking was becoming a challenge.

"The farmers market took up approximately 30 percent of our space. Parking spaces for our customers became more and more important," he said, especially on the store's busiest day of the week.

"We're very, very supportive of them," McCabe added. "We tell people exactly where they are. We hope they're doing the same for us."

Mall marketing manager Richard Sanbenero raved about his new addition.

"We've been trying to get them here for two years," he said last month. "We were packed last week."

The outdoor venue plays into the mall's plan for a new indoor endeavor it's calling Weekend Market — "a kind of garage-sale in air conditioning," Sanbenero said.

An aisle in a former big box store will be designated for part-time sellers of used goods on Fridays and weekends for $25 per day. Prospective sellers can contact him at (352) 340-7579.

Applicants for farmers market space can contact Canora at (352) 345-1446. The new address for the market is 3021 Commercial Way

Contact the writer at graybethn@earthlink.net.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. A Hernando County Sheriff's deputy talks to students in the cafeteria of Brooksville Elementary School in 2018. Earlier this month, the school district put forward a proposal to move away from a contract with the Sheriff and establish its own police force. On Tuesday, it announced it would drop that idea.
    Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis spoke out this week against the proposal.
  2. Local officials’ requests for legislators also include sewer project funding and teacher bonus reforms.
  3. Hernando County community news Tara McCarty
    Letters to the editor from Hernando County
  4. The traffic signal for eastbound traffic on Drew Street at McMullen-Booth Road in Clearwater. Image by Archive
    A reader wonders why the sign at the end of Bayside Bridge instructs trucks heading north to exit during specified hours rather than stay on the bridge.
  5. Austin Wyatt Altman Pasco County Sheriff's Office
    The 22-year-old man said he picked up the girl in Hernando County after meeting her on a popular social media app.
  6. Actors emerge from a simulated farmhouse at the center of the Infected Haunted House at Scream-A-Geddon in Dade City. Luis Santana
    Fall fests, haunted trails and other scares kick off Halloween festivities.
  7. A New Generation unveils its new name and affiliation with Obria Medical Clinics during its 20th anniversary celebration in Brooksville in September. From left: New Generation board members Greg Shaw and John Pidek, executive director Cheryl Bennett and founder Stephanie Knight. Cheryl Bennett
    A New Generation will become part of Obria Medical Clinics and add medical services.
  8. Central High School student Samantha Lewis, 17, shows her Angus Cross heffer Annabell, 1, Saturday morning during the Open Beef Show at the Hernando County Fair and Youth Livestock Show at the fairgrounds. The fair and livestock show will run through April 16. For more information, call 352-796-4552 or visit hernandofairgrounds.com. HERNANDO TODAY PHOTO BY HAYLEY M  |  Hernando Today
    Hernando County Fair Association plans meet with skepticism from county commissioners and Brooksville City Council members.
  9. Families enjoy carnival rides at the 2018 Rattlesnake Festival at the Pasco County Fairgrounds. The festival returns Oct. 18-20, kicking off with a concert featuring the Bellamy Brothers on Friday and food, entertainment and educational activities throughout the weekend. "LUIS SANTANA  |  TIMES"  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Musicals, art exhibits and other things to do in Pasco and Hernando counties
  10. Festival goers move through the midway during the St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church's annual Ethnic Festival. This year's festival will be Oct. 17-20 at the church on Spring Hill Drive at Coronado Drive. Tampa Bay Times | 2010
    The 28th-annual Ethnic Festival returns to St. Joan of Arc.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement