The River District Farmers Market, open every Thursday, is now held in Centennial Park in downtown Fort Myers.
Previously located under the Caloosahatchee Bridge at 2000 West First Street, the Farmers Market’s new location frees up more than 40 parking spots for customers and park goers.
“We are really excited about this change in venue because it not only frees up parking under the bridge for our customers but also allows for seating under the pavilion and gives us a fabulous back drop of the river,” said Betsy Ventura, who, along with Jean Baer, owns Local Roots, LLC and will run the market each week.
The market is held on Thursdays and be open all year except for Thanksgiving Day but will open on Wednesday, Nov. 23 for a make-up market. Vendors begin setting up at 7 a.m. with everyone in place by 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.
According to Ventura and Baer, there are plenty of lunch options available including area favorite food trucks as well as fresh flowers, local fruits and vegetables, Greek olive oils, dog treats and more. Complimentary Jimmy Java’s coffee will be given to the first 100 shoppers starting at 9 a.m.
Baer’s son, Tyler, a graduate of the University of Florida, and Ventura’s daughter, Sims, will be joining the duo this season to assist in managing the markets.
In addition to the downtown Fort Myers location, Ventura and Baer also operate the Sanibel, Bonita Springs, Coconut Point, Fenway South, Lakes Park, FSW and Boca Grande (beginning Jan. 6) Farmers Markets.
They added that the goal of each of their markets is to strengthen the surrounding community by showcasing vendors who are selling produce and artisan products that are grown or produced locally. Products are packaged by owners in an environmentally friendly way, and the locations of markets are clean, safe and reflect a community atmosphere.
Anyone interested in becoming a vendor or providing live entertainment may visit www.BuyLocalLee.com.
PHOTO: Tyler Baer and Sims Ventura