Sarasota Farmers Market reopens after being shutdown for nearly 5 months

Updated: Aug. 1, 2020 at 6:45 PM EDT
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Hundreds came out to the reopening of the Sarasota Farmers Market on Saturday afternoon.

“To be able to come out on Saturdays and sell your product and support the community is extremely important,” says Travis Kinsey, who is the owner of Kinsey’s Produce.

For the first time in decades, the Sarasota Farmers Market had to close up shop when the Pandemic struck.

Kinsey says local vendors like himself have never experienced the market shutting down.

“It’s like somebody turning the faucet off. Just turning it off. To be honest, the past five months especially if you’re a vendor here and if you don’t have another outlet,” explains Kinsey.

Dick Fields has been coming to the market for over 20 years, he says local vendors need the community’s support now more than ever.

“I like supporting local. I always go that’s why I have a couple of bags full of stuff. I always go in and help them. And buy stuff even if whether I needed it or not,” says Fields.

Now that the market is back open, it looks a lot different than it used to.

“We took over 1st (Street) again we’re further down State Street and our vendors are really spread out. But we are controlling foot traffic much like you see in grocery stores. We’re following along with traffic patterns which seem to be helping,” explains Morgan Bettes, who is the Interim Marketing Manager for the Sarasota Farmers Market.

Now, customers are required to wear a mask or face covering while walking through the market.

There is currently a mask mandate in the city of Sarasota which requires masks to be worn indoors and outdoor public locations.

“We’re working closely with the city and unless people don’t wear masks and don’t follow guidelines we should be able to keep operating,” says Bettes.

The Sarasota Farmers Market is expected to come back next Saturday, August 8th.

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