Madeira Beach, FL: The new Mid-Week Madeira Beach Morning Market made its debut on Wednesday, May 7, 2014 in the heart of downtown Madeira Beach. Located on Madeira Way between Gulf Boulevard and the Tom Stuart Causeway, the City’s first open air fresh and farmer’s Market hosted approximately 80 of the area’s finest Vendors at its opening.
Organized and operated under the direction of Garrison Market Management, a team comprised of Vendor-Owners with over 20 years of managerial, farmer’s market and event experience, the Mid-Week Madeira Beach Morning Market will provide a fun, year-round, family and pet-friendly outdoor destination where the community can gather on a weekly basis every Wednesday. According to Market Operations Manager, Laura Garrison, the Market will rank among the largest and very best of the area’s open air Markets. Says Garrison, “We do not promote resale or flea markets and we pride ourselves on the fact that all of our Market Vendors are local, hands on, owner-operators. We are organic and hydroponic farmers and growers, chefs, restaurant owners and gourmet foodies, artisans and teachers, authors, fine crafters and direct business resources for non-profit, education and community Information. Some of our Vendors hold patents and many of us have taught around the world.
The Market’s Mission is that of supporting and sourcing locally and the Market is honored to have a Steering Committee comprised of seven additional professional, seasoned and very involved Vendors. “We live what we do,” says Ralph Vandaveer also known as ‘Mr. Honey’, a purveyor of fine local honey products. His wife, Debbie, a long-time business owner and entrepreneur, hand-paints cotton casual beach-inspired clothing and works side by side with Ralph at the Markets as a Vendor.
Mary Roberts, another Steering Committee member, also works with her husband. “I think as people become more educated about where their food comes from, they are turning to local fresh markets for healthier alternatives and, likewise, purchasing something handmade by a local artisan adds a personal touch that you just can’t buy in a big-box store.” Mary and her husband, Jim, create hand-knotted wearable-art jewelry under the flagship of GemsandKnots.
Marlena Yates of MY Contents Art, also member of the Steering Committee, is responsible for the new Market logo. Yates, an impressionist painter who paints old Florida signs and local game fish on reclaimed wood and furniture only thought she was retiring when she joined the Garrison’s Markets. The Garrisons had other plans, however, and are quick to point out that that Yates is a dynamo. “We keep her very busy taking care of a ton of details—everything from brainstorming new events to babysitting our puppy,” states Garrison. “We’re all family here and we love it,” says Yates.
Dwain Ream is the Market’s Assistant Manager. He is the co-owner, along with partner, Jerry Arden, of Dream Pet Treats and Dream Flea Treats, a 100% all natural, handmade line of dehydrated pure pet jerkies, patented flea-repellant treats and designer pet wear. “He and Jerry are simply invaluable– all of the members of our Committee are– and I’m so grateful to know them as friends and extended family,” says Garrison. “My husband and I rely on Dwain and Jerry more than they probably realize.” Dwain helps manage two of the beach area Markets.
Each of the fresh and farmer’s Markets that Garrison manages are located in areas that encourage growth and a positive, cohesive contribution to the local community. “Garrison Market Management assumed the helm at the Corey Avenue Sunday Fresh Market in early March under the co-sponsorship of the Corey Area Business Association. By week two, we had doubled the size of the existing Market and expanded into the 400 block of Corey Avenue in St Pete Beach. We’re proud that the Corey Avenue Sunday Fresh Market is now a ‘Sister Market’ to the Madeira Beach Morning Market and both areas will benefit from the additional market-to-market exposure. Our Markets typically draw thousands of additional visitors during high Season, so it’s a win-win for the communities, our Markets, our Vendors and for the local economy.”
The Mid-Week Madeira Beach Morning Market is open from 9am-2pm every Wednesday, year-round, rain or shine. Parking is free and convenient. For more information please go to www.TheBeachMarkets.com