River District Farmers Market reopens in downtown Fort Myers

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Months after being closed due to Hurricane Ian, the River District Farmers Market reopened on Thursday with a variety of fresh goods.

WINK News went to downtown Fort Myers to talk to some sellers about what they have to offer.

Sue Elen learned the recipe for the perfect Brazilian crepe when she was barely a teenager.

“They are like pockets, so you can do sweet on one side, savory on the other. This was my first job in Brazil when I was 13 years old. I decided to bring to here now and show everybody the Brazilian crepes,” Elen said.

Years later, Elen takes what she had mastered over to farmers markets all over Southwest Florida.
The business was great, but then Ian hit.

“When I got back to business, [it] was not very good, so ended up closing down,” Elen said.

It took time and persistence for many small businesses to start over. With so many vendors hurting, the River District Farmers Market in downtown Fort Myers struggled to get up and running. On Thursday, that luck changed.

“We’re thrilled; we’ve been working with the Community Redevelopment Agency, CRA, here in downtown Fort Myers. They’ve just been a tremendous help in inviting us to come back,” said Jane Baer, co-owner of Local Roots Farmers Market.

Vendors are back at the downtown River District Farmers Market and are showcasing what they’ve got.

“French bakery… my bakery in my town,” said Remy Gratesol, a vendor from Aux Delices French Bakery and Cafe.

John Leonard, the owner of J Dawgs Chi-Town Dawgs, describes how his business makes hot dogs.

“We have Chicago-style hot dogs. We serve Vienna beef, all-beef hot dogs, whether you get a classic chili and cheese or Chicago style, which comes out on a steamed, poppy-seed bun. You get mustard, relish, onions, tomato, pickles, sport peppers, and celery salt,” Leonard said.

“We make sure each of each and every one of our sauces has a very unique flavor,” said Alejandro Brooks of Mama Brooks Hot Sauce. “When you really, like, put your heart… into doing as many markets as you can and really expanding the brand, you really start to see how the word of mouth starts to spread.”

The vendors are glad to be back and can’t wait for you to come by and see what they have to offer.

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