Vendors start moving in as Oneco Farmers Market puts out the open-for-business sign 13 Jul 20 By

Vendors start moving in as Oneco Farmers Market puts out the open-for-business sign

The long-awaited Oneco Farmers Market has its soft opening Tuesday in the Oneco Square Shopping Center, 5108 15th St. E. Restaurants, produce vendors, and other retailers have taken all 117 spaces. There is a waiting list of 200, property manager Brian DeLutz said Monday. Vendors will be moving into the farmers market over the next several weeks. A grand opening is set for Oct. 1.

Opening of the Oneco Farmers Market was delayed by the need to update the building’s fire extinguisher system, and the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the vendors who will be open inside for business seven days a week, on weekends there will be 100 more set up under tents in the parking lot, DeLutz said.

“We now have companies banging on the door wanting to come in. The idea is to create a platform for small businesses. We are here for the people in our community,” he said. “We are excited to open our doors.”

Seven restaurants are among the businesses setting up shop in the farmers market. Among them are American, Mexican, Greek, Honduran, and El Salvadoran menus. Whether customers come for the fresh produce, or a meal, the farmers market will be a one-stop shop, DeLutz said. “We will have pre-made dinners or the freshest ingredients with which to make dinner.” Brady and Dawn Hendricks, who previously operated 421 Sweet Treats in Holmes Beach, have renamed the business Cafe 421 and moved into the farmers market. They changed their concept to made-from-scratch New Orleans-style cuisine. They also have a beer and wine license and look to open next week.

Jimmy Lopatinsky and his wife, Marla Pena, plan to open their M&J Comfort Kitchen on Tuesday, offering fresh seafood dishes and menu selections from Chile, Ecuador, Mexico and more. “It’s good fresh food. Nothing is frozen,” Lopatinsky said. Sisters Phyllis Mullins and Donna Lacy were setting up their screen printing and embroidery business, Stitchin’ Women, in the farmers market on Monday.

“Gosh, we are so excited. We are glad that we are finally here,” Lacy said. Oneco Farmers Market also has a kids zone, where volunteers will be available to read to them. The farmers market offers a free movie the first Saturday of each month. The movie is projected onto a screen on the front facade of the building. The Market Cafe will serve coffee free to any first responders who visit. In late 2017, Oneco Center Holdings LLC of Fort Lauderdale paid $4.9 million to Harwin Tobin Oneco Square LLC of Hollywood for the shopping center. The shopping center previously sold for $9.5 million in 2007. The new owners have been pumping new life into the 128,536-square-foot shopping center, which was empty except for four tenants, when they purchased it.


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