A fresh farmer’s market is coming to downtown New Port Richey, and its planners want it to take root and grow.
The Fresh Friday Night Farmer’s Market will be held for the first time on Oct. 5, and its organizers are currently accepting applications from vendors who want to participate.
The market will be staged in Railroad Square (Nebraska Avenue, east of Grand Boulevard) and Cavalaire Square (between Missouri and Nebraska avenues) and will be open to customers from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Organizers are planning on holding the market on the first Friday of each of the remaining months of 2012. In January 2013, they plan on holding it weekly on Fridays through the end of April.
Greater New Port Richey Main Street, a nonprofit that focuses on downtown revitalization, is organizing the market.
Beth Fregger, executive director of the group, says the market will bring “activity to our downtown.”
It will get people out on a Friday night and into downtown, where they can support vendors at the market and the nearby downtown businesses.
This market is one that places a heavy emphasis on food but also handmade goods.
Planners want to attract vendors who sell produce, vendor-made specialty foods, baked goods, plants, flowers and handmade crafts. They also are looking for entertainers, musicians and instructional speakers.
“It brings potential businesses into the area to test the waters,” said Fregger. “It also brings additional consumers.”
Years ago, Greater New Port Richey Main Street held farmer's market events on Saturdays in Cavalaire Square. The markets did well in winter but suffered in the summer, when snow birds are gone and it’s hot. They withered and were put on hold about two years ago, said Fregger.
That was years before Fregger took the reins of the group in January. She said she’s wanted to do the market since she came aboard and has been hearing inquiries about it.
Now’s a good time to pursue the market again.
There’s an interest in organic food and sustainable living, she points out.
Fregger says there’s a larger audience and more time and opportunity to grow the market.
“There’s an increase in these types of markets throughout the country,” she said.
One local business that is looking forward to Fresh Friday Farmer’s Market is The Market Off Main.
Rose Mohr, an owner, is on the committee that is making the Fresh Friday market a reality.
“I think it offers a sense of community,” she said.
Mohr said that she’s optimistic about the chances for the market catching on. There’s a lot of enthusiasm among planners, and she’s hoping it translates to vendors.
Musing on what the market needs to succeed, she said, “For me, the biggest part of it is the marketing and getting the word out.”
Are you interested in participating in the market as a vendor? Greater New Port Richey Main Street has vendor applications online at its website, where guidelines for vendors are also listed.
Contact Fregger and Main Street for more information. The contact number for Main Street is 727-842-8066. The organization can be emailed at email@example.com Applications can be brought into the Greater New Port Richey Main Street Office at 6231 Grand Blvd., New Port Richey, Fl., 34652 which is behind the Progress Energy Art Gallery.