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Captiva Island Farmers Market to return

By Staff | Oct 29, 2019

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The Captiva Island Farmers Market will return to the island next week for its third year.

From Nov. 5 through April 28, the event will take place on Tuesdays 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 will feature a mix of vendors and products, plus some crafters.

“I think Captiva has its own small community, so it is nice to have a farmers market in the village and for the South Seas residents and resort guests,” Ventura said. “It’s another option for the island for shopping locally.”

Baer added that the market is not just for residents and guests of the resort.

“It’s open to the public,” she said. “It’s outside of the gates.”

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Ventura noted that the market typically starts in January, but the resort approached them about launching early in November in time for the Hobie 16 World Championship it is hosting.

“It’ll be a nice addition for anyone coming out to watch the races,” she said.

There will be approximately 30 vendors this season taking up the same area.

“It’s in the same location, same footprint,” she said. “It’s been successful in the past, so we wanted to continue with what we had.”

New this season, the market will no longer be using single-use plastic bags.

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“We just want to make sure that we’re doing our part to help the environment,” Ventura said, adding that the market also uses paper straws instead of plastic ones. “It’s just a direction we want to go toward, especially on the islands.”

For those who forget, reusable and insulated bags will be available for sale.

There are several new vendors taking part this season.

Bushdogs serves up Maryland crab cakes, shrimp and crab bisque. Ventura explained that the operator is originally from Maryland, but now lives locally. The items can be taken to go or enjoyed on site.

“She brings to the market fresh Maryland crab cakes, Maryland-style crab bisque,” she said.

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Catherine’s Art Corner features a local potter who makes and sells her own bowls, cups, plates and more, while Healthy Pooch will have pet treats available for those four-legged family members.

“It’s organic healthy treats for your animal,” Ventura said.

Laurie’s Pantry creates homemade granola.

“The granola comes in mason jars that are beautifully presented – and it comes in about 13 flavors,” Baer said. “Also, she’s got gluten-free products.”

Hailing from France, the operators of Tartine and Tartelette bake up tasty goodies like croissants, quiches and such, while Sweet Blendz purees acai smoothie bowls with a choice of toppings.

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“They’re just a real good, healthy treat,” she said. “They’re good for breakfast or lunch.”

Lastly, butcher Pop’s Meats specializes in freshly-sourced beef, sausage and pork.

“Which is a great addition to the market because we haven’t had a local butcher there,” Ventura said. “And it’s something that the island doesn’t have – a place to shop for freshly-sourced meats.”

As for the returning vendors, the list will include: Angelic Desserts, Antonio’s Pizza, Chef Robert’s Kitchen, Colombia Lula Bags, Currie’s BBQ, Dynasty Guacamole, Fouta Spa, Heritage Honey, Holicow, Hot Jams, Island Seafood, Jimmy Java, Ernesto and Luigi Sauces, Madagascar Hats, Moringa Tea, Paradise Soap and Candles, Pasta Machine, Pilar Empanadas, Savoury Spoon, Stef and Andre, Stamper Cheese, SWFL Produce, Twelve Seasons – starting in December – and Twisted Acres.

“It’s always nice when vendors want to reapply and return to the farmers market because it means they’ve established their customer base and have done well,” she said. “We’re happy to have all of the returning vendors.”

In addition, the Captiva Memorial Library plans to take part in the market for the second consecutive year by promoting the various activities going on throughout the season and issuing library cards.

“I think that one of the reasons for having a farmers market is to strengthen the community and be a part of the community, so having the library and others, it’s just a great addition,” Ventura said.

Parking is limited, so golf carts, bicycles or walking is encouraged.

The Captiva market is pet-friendly.

“Well-behaved dogs are allowed,” she said.

Resident and visitors are invited to stop by.

“It’s a bit more of an intimate feel, it’s smaller, maybe a little bit more laid-back,” Baer said, noting that shoppers can spend time getting to know the vendors. “And we’ve got some offerings there that we don’t have at the Sanibel Island Farmers Market (organized by Local Roots).”

For more information, visit buylocallee.com.

South Seas Island Resort is at 5400 Plantation Road, Captiva.