Sarasota's Farmers Market - Our Mission & History
Our Mission & History
The Sarasota Farmers Market was founded in 1979 by Paul Thorpe and the Downtown Merchants Association. Its original mission was to bring foot traffic to the downtown area.
In 2009, the vendors formed a non-for-profit to further enhance the market with a focus on local farms and growers and also to support local non-for-profits and create educational platforms.
We are proud to provide our community with a connection to local farmers, growers, artisans, and chefs, right in the heart of Downtown Sarasota. Open every Saturday, rain or shine, 52 weeks a year, 7am – 1pm.
The Sarasota Farmers Market Vendors Incorporated (“SFMV”) has been established as a not for-profit organization under laws of the State of Florida, continuing the 40+ year tradition of enhancing and improving the quality of life in Sarasota. Our charitable mission is to create a social opportunity for residents and visitors to gather and interact, to bring foot traffic to downtown Sarasota sustaining the economic viability of the entire downtown area, and to provide a venue for other not-for-profit organizations benefiting Sarasota.
Inherent in our charitable mission is educating consumers and sharing knowledge about the products and services of local farmers, local businesses, and local artisans.
The market has received many awards, both locally and nationally.
- Southern Living Magazine listed the Sarasota Farmers Market as one of the number one farmers markets in Florida.
- We are also the receiver of the Local Hero award for the best farmers market in the area from Edible Sarasota.
- We are the Nattie Award winner from Natural Awakenings of Sarasota Readers.
Since 2009, the market has supplied space free of charge to over 100 other non-profit organizationss. These non-profits are part of our mission to create an opportunity for their organizations to not only raise funds, but raise awareness about important community programs and initiatives.