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Gulfport Fresh Market Extends Into Evenings

Soon, you can swing by the Gulfport Fresh Market on your way home from work or dinner on the town.

Stop by Beach Boulevard on any given Tuesday morning and you'll notice vendors setting up tables, musicians entertaining the crowd and artists showcasing their talents at the . For more than six years the market has lured people downtown with

Now, by popular demand, organizers are extending the hours on the first Tuesday of the month to 8 p.m. starting in October; current hours are from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.

“I think it’s the next stage in the evolution of the success of our market,” Fresh Market Coordinator Daniel Hodge said.

Hodge believes the longer hours will give even more residents and visitors a chance to shop after work.

"We get comments very frequently from people that wish they could come to the market, but they can’t because it’s in the middle of their work day," he said.

Hodge says the longer hours will begin with the first Tuesday Market in October and will continue through the peak season and end in May. This will be a one-year trial to see if the 11-hour-day market is successful.

Hodge says they will have a special event during the evening hours. On October 2, there will be a raw foods demonstration by Chef and Author Laura Garrison. Guests will learn about preparation and dehydrating techniques. Garrison will also share recipes and samples.

Organizers hope the change will also allow new vendors to join the market while bringing in more business to shops downtown.

"Everyone’s pretty enthusiastic, they see it as another opportunity for a new group of customers that they’ve never been able to enjoy before," Hodge said.

Lori Rosso with the Gulfport Area Chamber of Commerce agrees. She says the new hours may lure customers to restaurants that may not be open during lunch hours.

"Daniel has taken a staple ‘fresh market concept’ and turned it into something truly unique and totally Gulfport. To be able to keep later hours for folks who cannot make it there during the day is a great opportunity," Rosso said. 

"The Gulfport Area Chamber of Commerce did not miss a moment once it was presented it to us, to recommend this to the City.

Who knows what will come of it, Daniel will reassess it in the spring to see if it should continue. I have no doubt it will help boost excitement downtown on Tuesday evenings," Rosso said.

For more information, contact Daniel Hodge at 727-366-4086 or email dan@igc.org.

Check out the Fresh Market’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/gulfportfreshmarket.html.

Check out our photos and stories we've put together about the Gulfport Fresh Market on Gulfport Patch! Do you have photos from the market? Add them on this article.

Joyce Kwasiborski September 14, 2012 at 11:33 AM
I am absolutely delighted with the extended hours of the Tuesday Market! Thank you so much, Daniel, for such an innovative idea. Sometimes, I just can't get down to the Market due to health problems during regular hours and now, you have solved my dilemma! Again, thanks you very much!
Lynda September 14, 2012 at 02:35 PM
Gulfport is very fortunate to have creative business leaders willing to take risks and try new ideas. Daniel and Lori -- among others-- are making valuable contributions to the liveliness of the Gulfport community. I hope we show our appreciation by showing up for these fun events -- and bringing friends!
CJ September 14, 2012 at 02:50 PM
This is absolutely great news. I have wondered every since we moved herewhy they have not done this already, considering how many people are at work during the day. They will be sorry they did not do this sooner. I predict this is going to be a ''happening'' for Tuesday nights in the area, not just Gulfport. Can't wait!
Karen miller September 14, 2012 at 03:02 PM
This is GREAT !!! Glad to hear this.
Kimberly Buff September 14, 2012 at 06:33 PM
Thank you for the extended hours. I work during the day and never get to attend, now I can.
Mark L Grantham September 14, 2012 at 07:02 PM
Wonderful news! I am once again proud to say I live in Gulfport!
Daniel Hodge September 14, 2012 at 07:34 PM
Thanks, Joyce. We are excited about the Fresh Market's new evening hours and appreciate your support.
Mike September 14, 2012 at 09:58 PM
This will be another great event bringing new visitors to town and also offering residents who work during the day a fun, festive venue for food shopping in the heart of town.
mtober September 14, 2012 at 10:04 PM
This is great - thank you!!
Faun Weaver September 15, 2012 at 03:52 AM
Terrific plan! I think it'll be very sucessful; heck I'll finally get to attend!
Daniel Hodge September 15, 2012 at 02:49 PM
Thanks Faun. Hope to see you there on October 2nd. We will need the support of our locals who work during the day to help make this successful.

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