Holiday Gift Market showcases local vendors ahead of Christmas

The market at University Town Center Mall is a big opportunity for small businesses to meet...
The market at University Town Center Mall is a big opportunity for small businesses to meet customers and get their brand into stockings this year.(Shane Battis)
Published: Nov. 21, 2021 at 1:20 PM EST
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - The Holiday Gift Market is back at the University Town Center Mall.

It’s that time of year when folks are scrambling to check off their Christmas lists, giving local vendors their time to shine.

“You can find very cute things here that are handmade and very unique that you wouldn’t find inside the mall,” Pat Schultz said.

Florida Penguin Productions has been putting on the market for three years. This time, at least 70 vendors set up booths selling everything from clothes to handmade crafts and food.

It’s a big deal for local vendors. Some of businesses are new ones trying to get their name out there while others are getting back into the swing of things after some rocky months during the pandemic.

“We want to show them support and get people to be able to come buy them cause we know times have been tough this year and last year with everything going on,” Brett Cecere, the Sarasota event manager for Florida Penguin Productions, said. “This is these people’s platform to get their business out to everybody.”

Cecere is pleased with how the market came together this year, but he wants it to keep growing as the years go on. If all goes well, he’s hoping to set up an ice rink or some other winter activities on top of the shopping next year.

The Holiday Gift Market will be back at UTC mall for the first two weekends of December.

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