Tiffany Ferrecchia, 32, is the creative behind some of the region's most popular neighborhood gathering spots: the Seminole Heights Saturday Morning Market and Flicks and Food Trucks in the Channel District, for instance.
But while such events attract a variety of community members, she wants to do more to increase access to local, sustainable and green products, and to do so in a location that reaches a more diverse population.
Enter Ybor City's newest market, which debuts tonight (January 15th) at twilight.
"People in Ybor need a place to go after work to grab some fresh bread or produce," says Ferrecchia, co-owner and director of Tampa Bay Markets Inc
. "A quick wind down before they hop on the highway and head home."
Ybor City's Twilight Market -- a nighttime bazaar featuring local organic producers of agriculture, ready-to-eat food, crafts, baked goods, eco-friendly products and live music -- plans to be around weekly.
On Tuesdays, The Roosevelt 2.0 will open its doors to the public from 5 to 10 p.m so patrons can browse the products of roughly 20 vendors out front, inside and behind the multipurpose building at 1812 N. 15th St.
Products including Adrenaline Group
's fresh buffalo mozzarella, made from the milk of water buffalo that reside in Plant City, hormone and antibiotic-free chicken and pork sausages from The Sausage Factory
in Wesley Chapel and freshly ground peanut butter and organic microgreens from Natural Goodness
Ferrecchia has a few more vendors on her wish list, including a local bee keeper for fresh honey and a natural soap maker. Ultimately, the types of items offered will depend on the public's demands.
"If it's not as pure and natural as it could be, it'll end up transitioning," she adds. "I want people to understand we're just getting started."
Finding The Right Fit
Ybor City seems the ideal place for the market because of its healthy and diverse mix of residents, workers at numerous businesses, boutiques and restaurants, and students at Hillsborough Community College
The market's potential success will provide a more consistent source of income for The Roosevelt 2.0
and will also assist in the expansion of the Urban Coalition of Tampa Bay, a nonprofit Ferrecchia established to nurture and create a sustainable local community.
One long-term goal is the funding of a community space with a commercial kitchen where local vendors can gather to make their products and low-cost, healthy meals will be served to the public.
For now, Ferrecchia is focused on spreading the word about her latest endeavor, modeled after downtown Orlando's Audubon Park Community Market
that has attracted crowds on Monday nights since 2009.
"If it can work there, I think it can really work in Tampa," she says.
Matt Spencer, a University of South Florida grad, is a native Floridian who enjoys sharing his love for Patty Griffin, browsing produce stands, spending hours in record shops and gawking at the ice cream selection in grocery stores. Comments? Contact 83 Degrees.