BRADENTON, FL—Realize Bradenton is pleased to announce that the 2013-2014 season of the downtown Bradenton Farmers’ Market starts on Saturday, October 5, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., on Main Street, between Manatee Avenue West and 4th Avenue West in downtown Bradenton. On opening day, the Central Library is holding its fourth annual “Mana-Con: Comics Convention,” 11 a.m.-4 p.m. The event features local comic shop booths, games, prizes, trivia, a costume competition, art workshops, and a student art show. Teens are encouraged to get creative at the Doodle Booth and origami station, or make (and eat) candy sushi. Parking is free and dogs on leashes are welcome. For more information about the Bradenton Farmers’ Market, visit www.bradentonfarmersmarket.com.
According to Johnette Isham, executive director of Realize Bradenton, a non-profit organization that manages the market, the 2013-2014 season is marked by an exciting new partnership with the Suncoast Food Alliance (SFA), an organization that distributes locally grown and made products to regional food establishments.
“We are delighted to work with John Matthews who founded the Suncoast Food Alliance in 2008 in order to offer a direct connection between regional food producers and the public,” says Isham. “We envision the market growing in leaps and bounds with this new partnership.”
Matthews, who serves on the Florida Association of Community Farmers’ Markets board, says his enterprise will help manage the day-to-day operations of the market and attract more independent food producers to participate.
“The Bradenton Farmers’ Market has already put down deep roots in our community,” says Matthews. “In the months ahead, I’ll be engaging with regional culinary and agricultural leaders to get on board and help us offer new features and programs. Manatee County’s food growing industry is just as vital to the local economy as our beaches, climate and cultural amenities. Our importance as an economic driver can only grow as more and more people demand locally grown and harvested food. SFA has forged strong connections with area farms, ranches and fisheries to help meet that demand. We’re the people behind the food, and we’re proud of what we contribute to our community’s quality of life.”
Dave Shiplett, chef-owner of Soma Creek Side, a popular eatery that will soon be relocated in the heart of downtown Bradenton, says that he purchases a major percentage of his produce, dairy goods and fish from the Bradenton Farmers’ Market. “It’s a great source for fresh, locally produced foods and artisanal goods,” says Shiplett. “When you buy from local growers, you know where your food comes from and you can ask how it’s grown,” says Shiplett. “It’s about making that human connection and procuring the best possible ingredients for my customers.”
For more information about the Bradenton Farmers’ Market, visit www.bradentonfarmersmarket.com. Prospective vendors can apply by completing an online application form.
About the Bradenton Farmer’s Market
Supported by the Downtown Development Authority, the Bradenton Farmers’ Market features more than 40 vendors who offer locally grown fruits, vegetables, plants, organic products, prepared foods, and the work of local artists and craftspeople. Live music, demonstrations by local chefs, and free family activities are also part of the fun. The market is open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Parking is free and dogs on leashes are welcome. For more information, visit: www.BradentonFarmersMarket.com.
About Realize Bradenton
Realize Bradenton is a non-profit organization that builds community and promotes economic development through collaborative events, strategic partnerships, and interactive strategies. We help make downtown Bradenton one of the best riverfront communities in the country. For more information, visit: www.RealizeBradenton.com.