Downtown Market Celebrates 20 Years of Delighting Locals
By RJ Walters
Photos provided by LDDA
Editor’s note: The Farmers Curb Market has been cancelled for Dec. 16, 2023 due to weather advisories.
Where the NOBAY apartment complex stands in downtown Lakeland was once the initial spot for what has grown into one of Lakeland’s most vibrant and cherished offerings.
Now in its 20th year, the Lakeland Downtown Farmers Curb Market “took over” the streets of downtown from the railroad track to Bay Street in 2013, and eventually expanded post-COVID to Lemon Street.
That has become a blessing for all Lakelanders, especially the merchants who are selling everything from fresh produce to artisan furniture to custom apparel to delicious treats every Saturday from September through May. What once could hold a maximum of 85 vendors now hits up to 140 vendors to satisfy the wants and needs of the 5,000 plus customers who visit the market each week.
“The Market is its own community,” said Julie Townsend, Executive Director at Lakeland Downtown Development Authority. “We have lots of loyal customers who patronize their favorite local vendors and support these small businesses.”
Aside from being a favorite spot for locals to find homegrown, handmade items, it has been a place for small businesses to start their dreams and build their brands.
“These businesses started off as vendors at the Farmers Market where they were able to prove their concepts, test their products and prices, and cultivate loyal customers before taking the next big step to a retail location,” Townsend said
“The Market is its own community. We have lots of loyal customers who patronize their favorite local vendors and support these small businesses.” – LDDA Executive Director Julie Townsend