"We are meeting the demands of locals and our Northern friends who are escaping the winter at Grand Lagoon,” said Barney Barnes, President of Waterfront Markets. “Market-goers have learned that they have to get to market early because many of our produce vendors and bakers sell out midway through market!” Barnes is gratified that many customers are on a first-name basis with their favorite vendors and that they ask each other about their families. “This is so important, the strengthening of our local food system AND the strengthening of our neighborly ties. It all works together!” Barnes also explained that local farmers planted early this year to meet demand of customers, and they are harvesting their first crops already. The mild winter has accelerated the harvest.
The Patronis Brothers Partnership generously allows the use of their space in front of Captain Anderson’s Restaurant to keep foot-traffic moving at Grand Lagoon. Three marked parking lots adjacent to the market area will accommodate parking on the east side of the bridge. Visitors can stroll the historic docks at Capt Anderson's Marina, book a fishing trip and grab a bite to eat at one of the legendary restaurants within walking distance.
With the completion of the beautiful new Grand Lagoon Bridge, runners, walkers and bicyclers are a common site originating from both sides of the water. “It’s a beautiful thing to see all these people moving around, smiling and connecting,” said Lois Oswald, market volunteer and wife of the Wooden Spoon Man. “We love being a part of this and so do our customers.” LuAnn Key, a vendor that has been with the market since 2010 stated, "We are like a family and we are happy to add foot traffic to local businesses. The small business owners of Grand Lagoon benefit from our markets in a big way and we benefit from being here."
The market boasts an all-volunteer staff with a mission to "bring agriculture home" while enhancing economic opportunities in the communities they serve. Pirate’s Cove Marina graciously hosted the farmers market from April 15, 2012 through September 2013 when the market first expanded, then re-located to the east side of the Grand Lagoon Bridge. Additional construction of a new 450 boat barn required use of land formerly occupied by the market on Sundays.
Scott Burt of Coastal Marina Management reached out to Waterfront Markets in 2012 to bring the market to Grand Lagoon. “We love contributing to the success of all the Historic Grand Lagoon waterfront businesses and look forward to working with the market in the future.”
The market is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 8am to 2pm at Capt Anderson's. For more information about the market, call 850.763.7359 and visit them on Facebook.