Sarasota Farmers Market attendance up 31% in five years, latest count shows

Extrapolation of latest figure shows event drives about 800,000 visitors a year to downtown

People throng to the Sarasota Farmers Market in downtown Sarasota. Photo courtesy City of Sarasota

Attendance at the downtown Sarasota Farmers Market is up 31% from a count taken five years ago, Sarasota City Manager Tom Barwin has reported.

“We’re not imagining the popularity of the Farmers Market held each Saturday morning in the heart of downtown!” Barwin wrote in his March 8 newsletter.

On Feb. 23, Barwin continued, an estimated 16,340 people attended the market, compared to the estimated count of 12,424 on Feb. 1, 2014.  “That’s an increase of nearly 4,000 people,” he pointed out.

After extrapolating the numbers, Barwin wrote, it appears the market “drives approximately 800,000 visitors to our downtown per year. Once downtown, many of those individuals stay for lunch at one of the many popular eateries and extend their shopping past the Farmers Market,” he continued. Additionally, he noted, “The count showed that the Market and Whole Foods continue to have a strong symbiotic relationship with customers.”

The count was conducted by Phyllis and Roger Barry of Barry Consulting in Sarasota, Barwin wrote. Phyllis Barry earned a doctorate in adult learning and development and survey research, Barwin added, while Roger Barry earned a doctorate in economic geography and is an emeritus professor of urban planning.

The market was established in 1979, its website says. It is open year-round, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays, the website notes.

2 thoughts on “Sarasota Farmers Market attendance up 31% in five years, latest count shows”

  1. Yes, I can say that the Sarasota Farmer’s Market is a definite attractor to the city. I have visited the market on every Saturday I am in town and then stroll the downtown afterward. The market, in my opinion, is a success because of it’s friendly vendors and the keen insight of it’s organizers to be very diverse in it’s offerings. I live in New York and as a comparison, our markets are pitiful. They are handcuffed to rules that do not allow the vendor diversity that Sarasota has. Hers’s a shout out to Phil and his straw hat for doing a great job. Oh, and let’s not forget the musical entertainment…wonderful. Thanks, thanks, thanks.

  2. I love the farmers’ market. I’m there almost every Saturday. Mainly, I love the doggies, the music, the crowds, the free samples and also the produce. It’s my favorite Sarasota event. Keep up the great work, Phil!!!

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