Last Captiva Island Farmers Market is nearing
The final Captiva Island Farmers Market is set for next week as it wraps up for the season.
Beginning in January, the last weekly event will be held on April 30 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the entrance to the South Seas Island Resort. Organized by Local Roots – co-owned by island residents Jean Baer and Betsy Ventura – it features a variety of vendors and products, plus some crafters.
“It’s been a fantastic season,” Baer said. “I think we had a lot of repeat business from the locals, especially people living on the west end of Sanibel and on Captiva.”
Concluding its second year, she added that even seasonal resort guests who had discovered the market the previous year were excited to see it back for an encore, sharing how much they enjoy the events.
“We were very excited with the turnout,” Ventura said. “We had great weather all season.”
She noted that the new vendors added this year were welcomed by shoppers, including 12 Seasons Farm, an organic farmer from Alva. Ventura added that many of the island residents fell in love with his produce and The Sanctuary Golf Club even picked up his tomatoes, which are featured on its menu.
“Which is what we love to see,” she said.
For those unfamiliar with the market, there are approximately 30 vendors.
“It’s got just about everything you could ask for,” Baer said.
Open to residents and visitors, there is just-picked produce, cheese, local honey including options harvested from hives on Captiva, fresh-cut flowers and native plants, and Pine Island seafood.
“So it’s directly buying it from the fisherman,” Ventura said.
There is also wood-grilled hand-tossed pizza, Currie’s BBQ, and Gina’s Tamales & Oaxacan Cuisine, along with handmade soaps and candles, smoothies and watermelon tea, organic meats and more.
“We have guacamole and bakeries, hummus and greek olives,” she said. “We have an Italian chef that brings food that is prepared that you can take home, which is really nice for those on vacation.”
All of the vendors who have been present all season will be set up for the final event.
“Nobody’s dropped off,” Baer said. “We’ll all be there.”
She noted that it will be the perfect time for locals to stock up on supplies.
“They can stock up on honey and their jams. Some shoppers, they’ll freeze some of the lasagnas and pastas that they get,” Baer said. “The last day of the market can be really strong for the vendors.”
As for next year’s market, the women have no changes planned.
“It’s gone well, and I think we’ve got a really good balance,” Baer said of the offerings.
The majority of the vendors are expected to return and the market will be held on the same day at the same time in the same location. However, it will get an earlier jump than its usual start in January.
“South Seas Island Resort is hosting a tournament that starts in the month of November,” she said, adding that they were asked to kick off the market in time for it. “We’re going to be back early.”
The first event will take place on Nov. 5, the first Tuesday in November.
“About six weeks sooner than we normally would start,” Baer said.
The women highlighted the camaraderie with the resort and Captiva, in general.
“You can feel the community spirit when you’re out there,” she said.
They expressed excitement and hope for a strong third season on-island.
“We thank the community because everybody has supported the market. Without the support, we wouldn’t be able to bring it back,” Baer said. “And we thank people for keeping their spending local.”
The public is invited to come out for a final day of browsing, shopping and fun next week.
“It’s your last chance before November,” she said. “Another day to see what’s happening in paradise.”
Limited parking is available on site; alternative modes of transportation are suggested.
The Captiva market is pet-friendly.
For more information, visit buylocallee.com.
The South Seas Island Resort is at 5400 Plantation Road.