There are endless ways to spend a sunny Saturday in Central Florida, but an afternoon spent sampling food and sweets, picking out local produce directly from the farmers who harvested it, and perusing artisan crafts certainly tops the list. You’ll find all of this and more right here in Lake Mary at the farmer’s market each Saturday.
As farmer’s markets continue to grow and gain popularity throughout the nation, communities are putting more focus on what’s available locally, but in that regard Lake Mary is ahead of the game. The farmer’s market, which is a city market, began back in 2007 and has since become an important fixture in the local community.
The market differentiates itself from other farmer’s markets in a few ways. For starters, there’s a live DJ on site every week to complement the welcoming and lively atmosphere. And you can’t beat the setting – right outside of City Hall in Central Park, under a canopy of trees next to a small lake.
Local restaurants and shops surround the area as well, so it’s worth sticking around to explore before or after a visit to the market.
When it comes to the vendors, there’s a big effort to keep things as local and as close to Lake Mary as possible, and many vendors have been with the market since it began.
One such vendor is Morris Family Farms. Jonathan Morris has been with the market since it began in 2007 and has never missed a Saturday (really!). Together with his wife, Amy, and a few of their children, Morris Family Farms provides customers at the market with an assortment of fresh, 100% natural locally farmed fruits, vegetables, meat, and dairy products.
The farm’s fresh meats are a major draw, and on the day I visited it just happened to be a “fresh pork day.” There’s also plenty of beef to go around, as evidenced by the freezer full of perfectly marbled steaks as big as my head.
Another veteran of the market, Trish Helm has been selling her orchids at the farmer’s market for the past 9 years.
The market, which she describes as a “quaint little small town market” is a happy home for her gorgeous orchids, which start at $9.00. I overhead a customer refer to Trish’s Orchids as the “heaven tent” and after walking through myself, I have to agree.
If it’s something sweet you’re in search of, seek out Claudia at Camila Sweets. Camila Sweets is a family business (the name is in honor of Claudia’s niece, Camila) owned by a family from Peru that specializes in Peruvian goodies such as empanadas and alfajores.
The alfajores–delicious shortbread cookies with a dulce de leche filling that come in a variety of flavors—are made fresh each week for the market by Claudia’s mother. And if you fall in love, which you will, you should certainly treat yourself to a dozen to take home. Camila’s also caters and can create custom flavors for your event.
Old Hearth Bread Co. and Winter Park Honey are two more vendors you won’t want to miss. Old Hearth Bread Co. is run by Rosie, whose customers have affectionately nicknamed her “Rosie Bread” for good reason. She’s got a delightful and aromatic selection of freshly baked breads, pastries, and homemade pop tarts (try the guava!) set up each week. I took a loaf of ciabatta home with me and am now a loyal customer!
Winter Park Honey offers a blend of local Florida honey along with medicinal and gourmet honeys. Jeanette West, who has been a beekeeper for 8 years, runs the stand each week. One of her favorite honeys: the orange blossom.
“It tastes like the orange grove smells,” she describes, and after tasting I agree.
The farmer’s market is a city market, and is a great example of the city and community working together for an event that’s enjoyable for everyone. So round up the family (pets are welcome too!) and head to the market for a fun filled day together.
About the Lake Mary Farmer’s Market
The farmer’s market takes place Saturdays from 9:00am – 1:30pm year round.
The market is set up outside of City Hall at 100 N Country Club Rd. in Lake Mary. The event is pet-friendly; just make sure your dog is on a leash.
Free parking is available in surrounding areas, and a parking map can be found on the City of Lake Mary website. http://www.lakemaryfl.com/farmers-market/slideshows/lake-mary-farmers-market-parking-map
Ethan Smith, who is the Special Events Assistant for the City of Lake Mary Parks and Recreation Department, is on site every Saturday incase you have questions or need assistance while visiting the market.
For additional information, visit http://www.lakemaryfl.com/farmers-market.