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Downtown farmer’s market season comes to a close

By Staff | May 10, 2013

If you’ve been thinking about checking out the Cape Coral Chamber of Commerce’s downtown Farmer’s Market but haven’t been there yet, you’d better hurry because Saturday is the last day of the season for the popular outdoor shopping bazaar.

After 30 consecutive Saturdays – rain or shine or anything in between, the market, located in the Club Square parking lot off Southeast 47th Terrace, is shutting down for the summer. The current season opened on Oct. 20.

So if you want to stock up on some fresh vegetables or fruit, or are in need of a bouquet of flowers or some other nice gift for that special person for Mother’s Day, South Cape the place you need to be this weekend.

According to Claudia St. Onge, business manager of the Cape Chamber, “This has been a fantastic season. We’ve had great crowds, great weather and a great growing season,” referencing both the increased size of the market and the fruit and vegetable season’s produce.

This year’s Farmer’s Market had about 15 more vendors than last year, said St. Onge, who has been on duty each Saturday.

Vendors at the market have indicated that the five-month season has been a good one, attracting a number of regular shoppers and occasional browsers each weekend.

“We’ve had a good year,” said Jessica Ryan, who operates the Veggie Vendors booth along with Steve Schad. “We love it here.”

Schad said he, too, liked the market, saying the set-up was nice and the crowds good.

Veggie Vendors offers a wide variety of vegetables that are all grown in Southwest Florida.

The couple, from Fort Myers, indicated that this was their first year at the market and added that they would like to come back next year.

“We’re hoping for a better year next year,” Ryan said.

Although the chamber Farmer’s Market is closing down, you can still get fresh veggies from the Veggie Vendors, which also has a booth each Tuesday at Surfside in Cape Coral.

Hunter Leake of Fort Myers, who’s operated the The Flower Guy business for 30 years, made similar positive comments about the Cape Farmer’s Market.

His booth proved popular with the shoppers. When asked if he had a good season, he said, yes, adding, “better than last year.”

“I like it here,” he continued. “It’s well run. I love this park it’s my favorite market.”

According to St. Onge, the Farmer’s Market has featured around 80 booths each weekend, a number that increased by 30 or 40 when the monthly antique and craft show was added to the market.

Like the vendors themselves, St. Onge said that she heard nothing but positive reports from those selling their wares.

“The vendors are very happy,” she said. “The best indicator of that is that they want to come back next year. That’s the best signal that it’s been a good season for them.”

In addition to the veggies, veggies and veggies available, the market also offers such items as fresh, smoked meats; pickles; jewelry; massages; guacamole made onsite; native trees; dog treats; cheese; orchids; T-shirts; salsa; soaps; bread and bagels; jams and honey; and much, much more.

The market also features information/promotional booths from such local groups/businesses as the Cape Coral Power Squadron, Joey’s Greyhound Friends, Aubuchon Realty and Breeze Newspapers.

While the chamber’s downtown market is closing, there are others in the Cape.

The year-round Surfside Sunset Market operates every Tuesday at The Shops at Surfside – indoors from May through October, and outside from November through April.

Also opening May 25 is the Farmers Market at Cape Harbour, which will be open from 8 a.m. to noon every Saturday through October.