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Captiva Island Farmers Market opens at South Seas Island Resort next week

By Staff | Dec 13, 2017

Local Roots’ owners Betsy Ventura and Jane Baer. PHOTO PROVIDED

The Captiva Island Farmers Market will officially be open for business beginning Tuesday, Dec. 19.

The market, which is owned and operated by Local Roots, will take place at the entrance of South Seas Island Resort on Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. through April 3.

Local Roots’ owners Betsy Ventura and Jane Baer, said some of the offerings at the Captiva Island Farmers Market include fresh produce, local seafood, bread, cheeses, meat, smoothies, desserts, fresh flowers and crafts. More than 20 vendors will be present every week.

“It’s small but mighty,” Baer said. “It’ll be a lot of the same vendors we have on Sanibel.”

Cash and credit cards will be accepted at the market.

For Ventura, she feels as though she’s bringing the market back to her hometown.

“I moved to Captiva with my family in 1983. I lived on Captiva for the first 13-14 years that I was here,” Ventura said. “Jean’s first job was at South Seas. It’s a full circle for us. This is our 10th season, and now we’re opening our ninth market in the place that we both started.”

Rachele Noce, director of recreation and special events at South Seas Island Resort, said she is looking forward to the collaboration.

“Having the market here was a no brainer,” Noce said.

Although the Captiva Island Farmers Market is similar to the Sanibel Farmers Market which is also run by Local Roots, it will differ in a few ways. The market on Captiva will feature a craft component and there will be different vendors patrons can’t find on Sanibel like Farmer Mike’s U-Pick from Bonita Springs.

“He’ll be bringing his local produce and he’ll also be selling fresh cut wild flowers right from his field,” Ventura said.

Since the market will be tight on parking, Ventura and Baer will incorporate golf cart parking for patrons. Walking and bicycling are also encouraged.

“We’ve got such great shared-use paths on Sanibel for biking and walking. It’s a great way to get to the market and not have to deal with traffic,” Baer said.

Both Ventura and Baer are encouraging patrons to bring reusable bags to the market as well.

“We’ll also be selling bags that people can purchase that will support the market, because it is a coastal area, we don’t want people to use plastic bags,” Ventura said.

For those who want to drive to the market, parking will be available at adjacent shopping centers like Chadwick’s Square.

Ventura and Baer’s first farmer’s market began on Sanibel a decade ago in the Tahitian Gardens Plaza. Since then, it has grown exponentially.

“We quickly grew to the point that we had to move it off of Periwinkle (Way) and went back to City Hall. It’s been an excellent location for us. It’s been so great to work with the City of Sanibel. They’ve been great partners with us for the event as well as the neighboring parking lots that we have access to,” Baer said.

Other Local Roots’ farmer’s market locations include Sanibel, Fenway South, Coconut Point, Lakes Park, Bonita Springs, the River District, Boca Grande and Fort Myers Beach.