The Corey Avenue Sunday Morning Market seems more like a street festival than a farmers' market. The smell of kettle corn and barbequed meat hit me as I approached the collection of vendors lining both sides of the street. And it wouldn't be long before the music was cranked up. 

It was just past sunrise and though the market wouldn't officially open for a while, vendors were setting up displays of baked goods, fermented veggies, kombucha, produce, arts and crafts, even live plants.  As shoppers arrived, the market hummed with activity. It has been this way on Sundays since 2007.

The Corey Avenue Sunday Morning Market is coming back to life after being silenced in the spring by COVID-19. Like other outdoor markets in the Tampa Bay area, it shut down at the beginning of the pandemic in March, then pivoted to a drive-thru, contactless market and it has recently reopened.

Visitors are asked to wear masks and social distance.

Pamela Lynn

Vendors were forced to pack last season

In March many of the vendors that keep tent space at the market had to close up shop and go back home. Liz Thomas, the owner of Sunshine Beads headed to her summer home in Maine. She was not alone. But she is back and, “Super excited about this season," she said.

"My husband and I got back on Monday. So, this is my first Sunday and we know it is going to be just great!"  Thomas said.

Pamela Lynn

I met Rachel Norton, owner and pastry chef of 2911 Bakery, a vegan-friendly, cruelty-free always baked with love purveyor of baked goods. This is Norton’s first season with the market.

“It’s going really good already. I have only been out for the first four Sundays, but I already have three new clients, some repeat business and I’m happy to be here,” she said.

I spent the morning walking Corey Avenue checking out the local vendor and their wares. There was a vast variety of beautiful produce, herbs, flowers, local honey, and a eucalyptus balm that promises to relieve your aches and pains.

From food tents to trucks there are take-home foods, and ready to eat bites boxed and inviting you to feast. The fragrant smell of smoked meat coming from the tent of Mr. I Got Em’ will draw you in. The menu features an assortment of smoked meat, but I went for the smoked ear of corn. I’ll just say it may well become a Sunday must-have. Mr. I Got 'Em is a regular at the Saturday Morning Market in downtown St. Petersburg.

Pamela Lynn

Like so many outdoor markets, the offerings go beyond food. Ther way artwork that can be personalized, handcrafted jewelry, eco-friendly products like sea oat weaved crushable hats, raw silk scarves, shirts, and painted leather handbags. Live music entertained shoppers and strollers plus the businesses along Corey Avenue are open too. It's dog-friendly, as long as the dogs are on leashes.

Pamela Lynn

It appears that Corey Avenue has been resurrected, and I for one can only hope that this is just the beginning of what is yet to come.

The Corey Avenue Sunday Market is open from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Sunday from October to June and supports 50 to 80 vendors from the Tampa Bay area. It is held in the blocked-off street between Boca Ciega Avenue and Gulf Boulevard. The parking is free on the sides streets around the market and Corey east of the market. The market's Facebook page includes regular updates.

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