A New, Delicious Destination for the Whole Family
by Kirsten Harrington
On a recent breezy Sunday afternoon in Summerport, families practiced yoga on the lawn, selected books from the Little Free Library, and waited in line to visit with Rommy the therapy horse. This is not your average farmers market, and that’s exactly what Summerport Village market manager Shanny Rios intended.
“Because Summerport Village is a community, I wanted to feature vendors that come from a 5-mile radius, and I wanted to have a unique offering of vendors from within the community,” said Rios, who started the market at the end of February.
The new Summerport Village Farmer’s Market is open Sundays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Originally the lakeside market was intended to operate two Sundays each month, but since the response from the community was so positive, the market is open every Sunday. About 30 on-site vendors sell everything from fresh produce and honey to soy candles and jewelry.
The market is a great place to go for breakfast or a late lunch after church. DG Donuts routinely sells out, so it’s worth visiting early to beat the line and grab some apple fritters or Key lime doughnuts with a cold-brew coffee. First-time market vendor Jour de Crepes also had a line at its made-to-order crepe food truck, with savory choices like shrimp and mozzarella as well as a decadent Nutella and strawberry crepe. Grab a few extra napkins; the crepes are a little messy but oh-so-good.
You’ll also find a vegan hot dog stand, gluten-free baked goods, and Indian samosas and curries. Because there are so many families in Summerport, Rios wanted to make sure there were some healthy nutritional offerings, too. She has a waiting list of vendors and plans to add cage-free eggs and artisan breads soon. There’s seasonal produce from Gardner’s Fresh Produce, kettle corn, local honey, Simply Savory Dips, roasted nuts, locally made jam, barbecue sauce and so much more.
Shoppers will also see a few familiar vendors from the Windermere and Winter Garden markets, including Che Bella Cheese.
“I’ve been here three weeks, and I’m thrilled with how it’s going,” Bob Kersenbrock said, as he handed out samples of jalapeno havarti cheese and applewood smoked cheddar to shoppers. “I really like the dynamics of the market.”
Janice Lenceski of The Pretzel Spot agreed.
“I like it here — the vendors are a little different,” Lenceski said. “I’m doing really well.”
The Pretzel Spot is one of the many vendors offering delectable gourmet goods at Summerport’s weekly farmer’s market.
Her Minions-themed, candy-coated, double-stuffed Oreos; and elaborate chocolate-covered pretzels are big hits with both kids and adults, and she has taken several custom orders for parties from market customers. Her wedding pretzels, a pair of pretzel rods hand-dipped in white and dark gourmet chocolate and decorated to resemble an elegant bride and groom are adorable.
Market visitors have a chance to leave feedback on a whiteboard that stands in the middle of the street. More benches and garbage cans, a vote for bringing in food trucks, and a request for hanging planters are just a few of the suggestions made by recent visitors. Comments already put into action include a family movie night and food truck event.
“Part of our focus is making sure that we are listening to the community’s feedback to make sure that we are making it the village they want,” Rios said.
The Summerport Village Farmer’s Market is located at 13790 Bridgewater Market Crossings Blvd. and operating hours are Sundays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. For more information, call 321-209-4695 or visit Lakefront Farmer’s Market at Summerport Village on Facebook. 💓