PLANT CITY – Jennifer Jurnigan and her sister Lori Butterworth like to shop for organically grown foods but say they can be hard to find locally.
So the sisters were delighted when a new farmers market opened near downtown featuring some organically grown produce. They were among the first customers April 9, the weekly market’s first day.
“Were both happy that something like this finally opened in Plant City,” Jurnigan said. “There’s nothing like it around.”
The Plant City Get Fresh Market is open 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays at 115 W. Alsbrook St. About a dozen vendors set up each week in the yard at Heather Henderson’s home.
Henderson and Karen Elizabeth, who is president of a local gardening cooperative, were the driving forces behind the new farmers market. They say they were inspired by talk about the need for a place where local farmers can sell produce, including organically grown, and for an outlet for area vendors to sell handmade jewelry, wall-hangings and other art.
The market will fill a niche in the area and be beneficial to the vendors and their customers who are eager for locally produced products, Henderson said.
“There’s just a need for it, and I thought, ‘why not start one,’” Henderson said. “It actually came together pretty quickly, probably three or four weeks. The idea just took off.”
Her home at Evers and Alsobrook Street is just west of Collins Street, and a short distance from downtown. A florist’s shop, Creative Flower Designs by Glenn, has opened up its lot for parking across the street.
Her home has commercial zoning so it made the location ideal, she said.
Danielle Phillips, who makes jewelry, was among the vendors at the first market on April 9. Phillips said she’d been making jewelry for three years, but this was the first time she’d tried selling it from a booth.
“I thought this would be a great way to show off my jewelry and meet people. I hope to come back every week depending on how things go,” she said.
Kimberly Wyant, who operates an art gallery in Lakeland, said she was anxious to try to reach more customers in Plant City.
“We’ve done a lot of other farmers markets but never in Plant City. We have a lot of friends in the area so we look forward to seeing them here,” said Wyant, who calls her shop Krap – for Kimbery’s Recycled Art Projects – Art.
Elizabeth, who helped found the Plant City Community Garden about two years ago, said the cooperative will sell some of its produce there. She also operates a booth to sign up more members for the garden, where farmers can get a strip of land to grow vegetables for a nominal fee.
“We want to support this in any way we can. We’ve talked about this with Heather for a while and it’s great to see that the idea has just blossomed,” she said.
Vicktoria Hanson said she wanted to find a place where she could sell her fabric art.
“I’m optimistic that we’ll have the support we need in Plant City,” she said. “We definitely have a need for it.”
Henderson said the first market went very well, with plenty of shoppers snapping up produce and merchandise.
“All the food vendors sold out,” she said. “Right now, we have a waiting list of vendors who want to take part.”
Elizabeth said she expected the first week to be slow and was overwhelmed at the response.
“Plant City really showed up a supported our efforts and exceeded what I was anticipating,” she said.
If you go:
What: Plant City Get Fresh Market
When: 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays
Where: 115 W. Alsobrook St. (corner of Evers and Alsobrooks streets)
Features: Locally grown produce and other locally produced products, including arts and crafts
Facebook page: Plant City Get Fresh Market