August 2021
Dear Community,

Starting eight years ago, I have had the great honor of serving this wonderful community of customers and vendors every week. Vendors have come and gone. Small vendors have grown so much that they were able to open up storefronts. I've raised my own kids while working here, and my small family of four has grown strong in this community that includes all of you. 

The majority of my work, beyond the secretarial and administrative, has been growing the Sarasota Farmers Market’s social media presence and developing the weekly newsletter. The goal was to share the story of love that we, as a market, feel about our vendors and community. I did not take this lightly, and have given it my all. Each week, as the one behind the lens, I’ve been taking photographs and videos of the market, vendors, musicians, and customers and posting them to the Market’s Facebook and Instagram. This has been, without a doubt, my favorite part of the job. Building heartfelt connections with you through your weekly emails and Facebook/Instagram messages has been a highlight of my life. I am going to miss every single one of you!

I am beyond proud of what we have accomplished, and could never have done it (especially these weekly newsletters) without Eve Johnston, my volunteer newsletter editorial sidekick, who often snazzes things up. You all probably recognize her as the superwoman slingin' fish at Maggie's Seafood every Saturday.

Growth is inevitable and it's something I have always embraced. This Saturday, August 28, will be my last Saturday here at the Sarasota Farmers Market. I have accepted the Market Manager position at the Bradenton Farmers Market and am so excited to build new connections in Manatee County. 

This week’s newsletter serves as my farewell to this beautiful City/Community/Market. My hope is that you all will continue to come down and “Support Local” at this Market every week. These vendors are amazing people and I will miss them dearly. Enjoy reading about some of my favorites that I regularly connect and shop with on a Saturday!

With love and gratitude,

Heather Empsall
Marketing Director

Heather’s Market Highlights
Polpo's Pizza Co.'s “Rock the Casbah” pizza is my absolute favorite and will be the vegan option this week. Market staff and vendors often tease me for my Polpo addiction. My kids are spoiled with great taste, so no other pizza company will do. It's Polpo’s Pizza or bust! P.S. Did you know that Polpo's makes their OWN mozzarella? It's fresh every week, and they only use the best of the best ingredients in each pie.
The Blood Orange Espresso Soda is my favorite Market pick me up. When I need a refreshing, energizing kick, I go see Justin at O & A Coffee.
Dairy Free Creamery's vegan cheeses are hands down the best vegan cheeses that I've ever had. Nothing compares. If you haven't tried them yet, please do so. I promise that you won't regret it. Be advised that dairy fans may become vegan converts.
I am consistently impressed with Stef and everything she does with The Empanada Girl. She is a force to be reckoned with and is always evolving her product line. She truly offers something for everyone, including those on specific diets and even the pickiest of eaters. PRO TIP: Keep a dozen frozen empanadas in your freezer for those hectic weeknight dinners (this has SAVED me many times).
Cuni Tuni offers such a delicious variety of lunchbox friendly Middle Eastern delights for my family of four. Dana’s chicken stew is my older son's favorite, and he requests it every week.
My son and I love a good cup of tea, and what takes a good cup of tea to the next level? Just Ginger's Original Flavor Honey Bomb. It's a spicy-sweet explosion of flavor.
Travis Kinsey is the unsung hero of the Market. He is the Chairman of the Board of Directors, puts in just as many hours of work as the staff, and does it all voluntarily. His mom, Debbie, now does the coconuts and his dad, Phillip, used to core the pineapples. I often purchase locally sourced Florida fresh veggies and fruits from Kinsey's Produce throughout the year.
Fernando of Arte Canales is a true gem, and if you're fortunate enough to own a piece of his custom copper metal art, then you know what I mean. He's one of a kind, both in talent and kindness. Fernando ALWAYS shows up with a smile and a welcome greeting every week. I'm sure gonna miss his enthusiasm.
Kim of Sugar Sand Silver is the rock that helps us keep our sanity during stressful times. Not only does she create absolutely gorgeous jewelry, but she assists in keeping a balance of fun and work every week.
Chris of Sol Foodz nourishes the soul with scrumptious, Caribbean inspired, plant based meals. Loaded with flavor and healthy to eat, Chris' food never disappoints. It's also convenient to eat at the Market or take home to warm up later.
Delight of Delighted looks out for all of us! She makes sure everyone is healthy and taken care of and is the greatest Mama Bear a gal can have. She creates beautiful one-of-a-kind recycled couture that enhances your fashionista self.
Tricia of Magni's Muchies is the sunshine on a cloudy day. She always has a hug to offer and an encouraging word of support every time you need it. Also, the dogs love her and her handmade dog treats.
You can't go wrong with a Sarasota Candle from Drew. His bountiful collection of quirky, scented candles are some of my favorite Christmas gifts to give.
What many of you don't know is that X of Fysiko's Sea Sponge writes the weather updates in our vendor emails each week. This is my favorite part of these emails, and I'm often on the edge of my seat waiting to see what the weather will be. You didn't know we had our very own weather man, did you?! Stop by X's booth for the best selection of sea sponges and seashells, plus other excellent gift ideas.
Greenway Formula 7's bug spray has saved me from many a bug bites on camping trips and trail runs. Lynn is a favorite of the Market kids as she has a secret stash of fun goodies for human and fur children alike.
I love to cook and have made many meals using Worden Farm certified organic veggies. Nothing beats one of their radishes; spicy, crisp, and delicious! Have no fear, they'll be back at the Market at the end of September or very beginning of October.
My kids love Circle 6's eggs for a late Sunday brunch. I make them a quick 5 minute toasted egg sandwich. Fry the eggs (but make sure there's still some egg juice left), toast the bread, add spicy mustard with plenty of hot sauce, plus onion, tomato, lettuce. It's quick, filling, and a family favorite.

Jay Taylor of Circle 6 is a gifted musician who has quickly become a Market favorite. Booking the Market's entertainment has been another highlight of my work here, and I am thrilled to have discovered this talented performer from within our own ranks.
My kids love seafood, and you can get the best, freshest selection from Maggie's Seafood every Saturday. Plus, my Market Bestie is Eve, and she's the Seafood Queen. I'm gonna miss her more than she knows! (Gary's pretty cool, too!)
Market Friendships
I've known Chrystal for many years now. She and Aaron (who unfortunately is not pictured) make the market set up happen every week. They haul barricades, set up tents and weights, and do so much more starting at 4:00am every Market day.

Gena has also been part of our Market for a long time as a Crossing Guard. She keeps our customers and vendors safe week after week.
Bear is always looking out for me by asking me if I need a drink, ice, or something to eat. You can find him and his megawatt smile next to O & A Coffee and Lou's Bonsai each week. Tell him Heather (or as he likes to call me "Manager") said hello!
Every Market needs a community Board Member like Kelly Kearns. She goes out of her way to help in the Market Info booth every week. She tells customers vendor information and also let's them know how to become a vendor in this amazing Market. Having such a supportive board member is gold.
You all are in great hands with Market Manager, Ciera Coleman. I first met this creative woman when she worked for Healthy Start and had a booth at this Market many years ago. She's brought so many exciting and fresh ideas to this Market since she joined as the Manager last Fall. If you get a chance, stop by the Market info booth to meet her and learn more about what makes this Market so incredibly special.

Please stop and say hello to all of these fabulous people and thank them for all of their hard work.
Featured Non-Profit
Newtown Alive is celebrating a recent vote by the City Commission to establish an African American Cultural Arts Center and History Museum. You can stop by their booth on Saturday to learn more about Newtown Alive's programming, resources, and local history tours.

Newtown Alive will be located south of Main Street on Lemon Ave (in spot #72).
Established in 1987, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) is a voluntary health organization that gives those affected by suicide a nationwide community empowered by research, education and advocacy to take action against this leading cause of death.
AFSP is dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide. 

AFSP will be located near the Market Music Tent, at the intersection of Lemon Ave and State Street.
Entertainment this Week
Performing around 300 shows a year, Tommy D is one of the busiest entertainers in SW Florida. He plays a wide range of genres at his gigs…Rock, Funk, Blues, and some Latin grooves. He puts his own spin on cover songs while playing original titles as well.

Tommy D will be performing at the intersection of Lemon Ave and State St in front of The Mark entrance, 9:00am - 12:30pm.
This Week's Map
We appreciate your support!
Thank you for coming down each week to visit the market. Every purchase you make supports a local business.

You can find individual vendor contact information on our website.

From all of us here at the Sarasota Farmers Market: thank you for your patronage. We will see you on Saturday!