By ALICIA LEONARD
Shoppers might have stumbled upon a new market this past Friday (April 15) as the Southebys Antiques building hosted their new Farmer’s Market. Farmers and craftsmen set up tables and shared their wares and homegrown goodness to anyone who stopped in to see what all the fuss was about. Honey, fresh vegetables, fruit, heirloom seeds, jewelry, hand-sewn crafts and fresh eggs, were just a few of the items that filled tables in the early hours, but by noon, when it was time to cut the grand opening ribbon, many of those items had been purchased, with shoppers inquiring about when the farmers and craftsmen would be returning.
Ellen Mayfield catered a grand opening and lunchtime spread to die for with flowers, finger foods, desserts and champagne for all the guests.
Owner Dee South was pleasantly impressed and pleased with the first day of the new market. “We had a great turnout. Many people stopped by and offered words of encouragement and luck to me and this venture, while picking up some fresh food for their family dinners.”
South said she was encouraged to try the farmer’s market idea from trips she took with her mother to the market in South America, where she was born. “Going to the market was an event every Saturday. You shopped, got to see and try new things and visited with friends and made new ones. There’s something about being able to speak with the person who tended the hens whose eggs you might purchase or asking the farmers how they grow their vegetables. It adds something to understand where and how your food gets to your table. I wanted to try and share that experience with friends and family here. I wanted to provide that kind of venue for people to shop and visit here. ”
The new market will be open on Fridays from 8 a.m. until noon or a little later. South originally wanted to be open on Saturdays as well, but is having a harder time finding vendors that do not travel south or into Okaloosa to work more established farmer’s markets. The market is open for all growers and those who enjoy making crafts.
“We are looking for anyone who gardens, home cans foods, makes crafts or sews. Soaps, seeds, jewelry, plants, eggs, you name it. I would encourage anyone who has a garden or who want to sell their crafts or items to contact me. You don’t have to be a farmer full time, if you have more than you need and want to make a little extra every week, contact me and join us. And if you are looking for fresh foods and homemade items, come see us. We’d love to see you,” South said.
To contact South about vending opportunities call 892-6292 or 419-9286. Shoppers can find the Southebys Antiques building off of Baldwin Avenue, across the street from the Century Link building, next to the Doctors Medical Center building.