PORT RICHEY — As spring comes to an end and summer approaches, people are always out and about. Outdoor markets make a great way to spend the day and enjoy the warm weather.
Last Saturday, the Gill Dawg Marina held its inaugural Market on the Bayou. The market features local small businesses and vendors ranging from food to handmade jewelry.
Arts, crafts and produce all come together in one place to showcase a variety of goods and businesses. The vendors included natural honey, handmade jewelry, Suzie’s Great Cookie Caper, Sweet Annie’s Organics, Core-Chiropractic and Wellness, and Better Bake Goods.
Marie Jo Rodriguez is the owner and operator of Better Bake Goods, which specializes in gluten-free and grain-free baked goods. She brought her business to the market to give people a chance to see her products in a diverse venue.
“You can get so much variety in a small space,” Rodriguez said. “It’s fun to participate and help the local community find awesome products.”
Another vendor was Annie Christensen, the owner of Sweet Annie’s Organics. Her business revolves around homemade soaps and organic skin care products. She believes that the market is beneficial because the money will come full circle.
“When you put money into your community, your community puts that money right back in,” Christensen said. “You give your money to a mom-and-pop shop or small business, we’re going to take that money, turn it around, and put it right back in because we support local businesses.”
Walter Loos, director of business development and marketing at Gill Dawg, believes that the Market on the Bayou is a great asset to the community with a goal to expand into a continuous marketplace.
“We’ve always wanted to get a localized market started,” Loos said. “Within our immediate area, there are fewer spots for artisans, crafters, and farmers to showcase their work and to sell their product so hopefully we can help provide a venue for that.”
Jaana Jala, a photographer and Gill Dawg customer, hopes to put some of her photos in the market because she believes that it will bring the community closer, and her photographs will bring a more artistic element to the market. “I’d like to see more artists in here,” Jala said.
The market makes use of the four acres that Gill Dawg has. Natalie Earley, a market volunteer, is glad that the scenic site is being used to bring people together. “It’s a wonderful place and they are doing so much,” Earley said.
Market on the Bayou is scheduled to take place every other Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Gill Dawg Event Center, 5419 Treadway Drive. For more information call (727) 842-1070. For volunteering and vendor opportunities visit marketonthebayou.com.