You won't find artificial flavors in the butter pecan paletas, or ice cream bars, handmade by Bryan Najera's family.
Heather Otte started making jams, spices and cakes part-time from home in Tampa until a job loss spurred her to begin selling her products full-time at area markets.
"I used to make all kinds of stuff, grape juice and apple sauce and jelly and jams with my grandmother in Indiana where I grew up," she said.
Some of her recipes, such as her fast-selling apple butter, came from her grandmother. Others, like a cranberry jam made with pineapple, spiced rum and coconut, are her own concoctions.
Otte has familiarized herself with Florida's laws, which prohibit the sale without a license of meats and other food products with higher risks of spreading illness. She said her homegrown business has become successful.
His family started Le Reyna de Michoacan a dozen years ago in the southern Mexican state with the same name and continued the tradition at their Clearwater business.
"We get real fruit, pineapple, mangos. You see the butter pecan. It's got the nuts in it. So we try and use natural, homemade," Najera said.
Promoting small businesses that use fresh, local ingredients is one of the main goals of the Clearwater Gateway Farmers Market that started Saturday.
You could argue the paletas and some of the other treats offered by the 40 vendors lining Cleveland Street might not meet another of the market's aims: offering healthy foods.
But an assortment of tomatoes, peppers, Florida oranges and other produce was easy enough to find.
The collection of government and community groups behind the market hope it will showcase the cultural diversity of foods available in this mostly Spanish-speaking part of Clearwater. Visitors to the market sampled everything from arepas con queso, a corn cake with cheese popular in Colombia, to Japanese spring rolls offered at the popular Tampa-based Oki Doki food truck.
"We've got people selling Greek food; we've got people selling Mexican food; we've got barbeque," said Sandra Lyth, chief executive of the local InterCultural Advocacy Institute. Lyth's group will work with Pinellas County Extension to help lower income residents navigate health and safety regulations so they can open new businesses.
The institute plans to set up a kitchen at its offices on nearby Franklin Street, where vendors can prepare their food for market. O
rganizers also hope to educate people about the state cottage industry law, which allows people to make foods such as cakes and jams at home without a license to sell food.