February 27, 2019
Ybor, with its historical offerings, offers another thing to its community every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m from October to April and 9 a.m to 1 p.m from May to September. The Ybor market located at 1901 19th St. and it is the largest continually operating outdoor market in Tampa Bay since 2000. It is free to attend and also free parking. Their mission statement is “The Ybor City Saturday Market will improve the accessibility of nutritious and affordable, regionally grown produce and ornamental plants, arts and craft, pre-prepared foods, and locally produced products unique to Hillsborough County. The Ybor City Saturday Market will simulate entrepreneurial activity among local residents and create a venue for local artists, craftsmen, and specialty product producers.”
Their Saturday market really lives up to their mission statement. With dozens of vendors set up, the market had everything from handmade jewelry, fresh food and coffee, handmade household products, woodworking, artwork, fine cigars, herbs and plants, pet treats, clothing, and fresh local produce.
The handmade jewelry by a local artist named Ashley Amanda here in Tampa Bay who started her own company Bella Body Beads, back in 2006 while making jewelry on the beach. All her jewelry is handmade and crafted in her home. Her jewelry ranges from bracelets, earrings, necklaces, and even waist beads. When speaking with Ashley, I asked her what her favorite thing to make was and she responded, “Waist beads because they mean different things to different people.” She makes her waist beads for adornment and not for weight loss. Her newest waist bead she made is called Royal Connection that has purple, teal, gold, and clear quartz colors. The purple is supposed to promote calmness, balance, and peace. The teal promotes sophistication, emotional control, communication, and self-sufficiency. Gold promotes wealth, love, compassion, courage, passion, and wisdom. Lastly, the clear quartz is a powerful stone for manifestation that helps quickly manifest intentions pertaining to wealth, prosperity, and abundance. You can find her online store at her website bellabodybeads.com or find her on Facebook and Instagram to check her out.
Out of all the vendors, there was one fresh produce stand called Tungett Produce and Citrus, they sell only at the Ybor City Saturday Market. At their stand, they had produced that ranged from tomatoes, peppers, bananas, onions, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, star fruit, broccoli, cauliflower, and of course a plethora of oranges. Their prices are very affordable as well, compared to our local supermarkets like Publix or Wal-Mart. Tungate’s tangerines cost $3.50 a bag as opposed to Publix where they cost $7.79 a bag, so roughly you will save around $4.29. If you were to buy a head of broccoli and cauliflower, case of strawberries, a bag of carrots and tomatoes you are more likely to spend $14.50 at Tungetts as opposed to at Public where you will spend roughly around $20.85. If you shop locally you will save about $6.35, may not seem like a lot at first, but yearly if you shop every other week you will save around $152.40 a year if the prices do not change.
If you are looking for something to do on a Saturday, then make your way over to Ybor City Saturday Market, but make sure to get there early to get a good parking spot because the parking is around the market on the side streets. Most of the vendors do take credit cards, but to make it easy to bring cash. It is a great friendly environment where everyone is invited, including your furry animals!