River Cities

Miami Springs farmers market may not reopen in October

Grand opening in 2012: A ribbon cutting signaled the opening of the Miami Springs Farmers Market. From left to right, John Perez, Mason Ator, Councilwoman Jennifer Ator, Mother Susan Keedy, Sarah Vargas, Mayor Zavier Garcia and Michael Vargas.
Grand opening in 2012: A ribbon cutting signaled the opening of the Miami Springs Farmers Market. From left to right, John Perez, Mason Ator, Councilwoman Jennifer Ator, Mother Susan Keedy, Sarah Vargas, Mayor Zavier Garcia and Michael Vargas. Miami Herald File

The Miami Springs farmers market, held on Saturdays at the Circle from October to April, may not reopen this fall.

“I’m sorry to see the market close,” Councilwoman Rosie Buckner said. “It brought the residents and merchants together for a few hours of fresh air, conversation, exercise and fresh items that are not easily found in our community.”

The farmer market originally opened in 2012 at All Angels Episcopal Church in Miami Springs. Scores of locals from throughout Miami-Dade County flocked each week to the seasonal market for fresh produce, baked goods, candles and flowers.

Two years ago, the market moved to the 100 block of Curtiss Parkway and then the crowds dwindled.

The market’s organizer, Sarah Vargas of Human Powered Enterprises, a Florida company that ran the operation, was not immediately available for comment. “I’m in Alaska with limited cell,” Vargas wrote the Miami Herald on Saturday, saying she’d call back “next week.”

The Miami Springs farmers market Facebook page has not been updated in more than a month.

City leaders gave Vargas $2,115.90 in January to help promote future farmer’s market events downtown. However, it appears the promotion was not enough to keep the market afloat.

“[Vargas] resigned from the farmer’s market,” Buckner said. “We are working on seeking someone new.”

In the meantime, the city has not yet notified residents that the market has closed for good. Miami Springs Assistant City Manager William Alonso, Mayor Zavier Garcia and council members Bob Best, Billy Bain and Jaime Petralanda did not respond to Herald emails sent Saturday asking why the market won’t reopen and whether any subsidies given by the city would be returned.

“It’s difficult to lure quality vendors into a small town which may not sustain a viable business base,” said Buzz Fleischman of Miami Springs. “Miami Springs residents need to support local business initiatives and keep that local feel we cherish.”

“We should have all gotten out and supported the weekly effort,” Fleischman said.

More information

For updates about the Miami Springs farmers market's future, call 305-805-5020.

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