One of the largest farmers markets on the Suncoast is making a temporary move to avoid construction. The decision to relocate the market in downtown Sarasota was made because of safety concerns for both market vendors and customers.
After some uncertainty about whether or not the City of Sarasota would allow the market to make the move, city officials say they will not stand in the market's way. So, on May 6th, Sarasota's Farmers Market will move just a few blocks north. It'll stretch across First Street from Orange to Lemon avenues and also down Lemon Avenue from First to Main streets.
Currently, Sarasota's Farmers Market sits in the footprint of a construction site.
"On Saturday at the market, I'm looking up, and I hear this loud clanging noise," Lynn Morris, owner of SaraFresh Juice said. "I was having to yell over my customers. There is dust and debris."
That's just the beginning. Construction on the 11-story Mark Building begins in May on the very same block.
"There are safety issues with things falling off of the buildings all over town, and it's just because accidents happen," Terry Hart, co-owner of Sarasota Sorbet said.
That's not the only concern. Vendors worry about the 'snow' that comes with construction.
"In a construction site there's insulation coming off, fiber glass and foam spreading all over the city," Hart said. "If that stuff falls in your food, it's not good for you. It's toxic."
They're chances that market organizers aren't willing to take. Hence the move to First Street. Sixty vendors are expected to make the move.
Once construction ends and the safety concerns are over, the market will be back in their original home. At this point, organizers are not sure when that might be.