ST. PETERSBURG — The Deuces Renaissance Sunday Market, which comes alive weekly with the call of friendly vendors, the smell of freshly baked goods and the sounds of soulful music, now has new hours to adjust for the Florida summer heat.
Located at the intersection of 22nd Street South and Ninth Avenue, the Market is now open from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and has featured a variety of vendors selling fresh fruits and vegetables, freshly baked cakes, Jamaican fare and even barbecue ribs and chicken.
Aside from tasty edibles, the Market offers such eclectic items for sale as books, artwork and even clothing. There is currently a special rate offered to new vendors ($40 per month) to encourage an increase in activity.
Carla Bristol, owner of the nearby Gallerie 909, believes this is a positive boost to the area and admitted that the Market was a main reason she decided to open her gallery at 909 22nd St. S. in April, on the same day the Market was launched.
“They said we were going to have a Sunday Market right here outside my door,” Bristol explained. “That’s exciting!”
Elihu Brayboy, owner of the nearby ice cream parlor and Elihu’s Consignment store next door to Gallerie 909, plans to open a creole restaurant right there at the intersection in August.
“Once the creole restaurant opens that’s going to create a whole new energy,” Bristol stated.
The Market has already featured such talent as jazz artist Jevon Smooth, and Bristol said for upcoming Sundays there will be either a DJ or other types of entertainment. She added that Tampa Grown Folks Entertainment have partnered with the Market to provide help to attract people from outside the area.
“It’s a very, very diverse crowd,” she said. “Old folks, young, every nationality from every area.”
Brayboy agreed and said that since many of the buildings at the intersection were boarded up for over 30 years, people are turning up to see the revamped area.
“They’re coming out of curiosity,” Brayboy said, “but they’re finding good deals! A lot of the elderly people are making their way to Market on Sundays to buy their fresh fruit and vegetables.”
He added that the Market has provided a revitalization to the area and a fresh food supply that it has needed for some time.
“The Sunday Market has been a blessing,” he said. “The Midtown area really does not have a lot of quality fresh vegetables. So the Market has been a great resource for providing fresh vegetables to the community. We see a great future with it.”
The Sunday Market plans to continue indefinitely. For information, call (727) 415-9519 or (727) 565-3930.