— The Florida market is coming.
The first of three new meat and vegetable markets, known as the Tampa Market, is scheduled to open this fall in the former meatpacking plant at 5300 E. Main St., Tampa, Florida.
The new market will have up to 20,000 square feet of space, and is being developed by an entity called the Garden of Life Community Center.
“This is a community project, it’s not just a meat or vegetable market,” said David McPherson, the founder of Garden of Light.
“We’re really excited to have this space and we’re looking forward to having this community come in and see this community.”
The Garden of Lights is a partnership between the Tampa Bay Community Foundation and the Florida Food and Beverage Commission.
It was started by community members who are trying to revitalize the area and get people to come out.
“It’s been very hard to make that happen,” said Jeff Daugherty, a Garden of Love volunteer.
“The first thing we need to do is create a community garden,” he said.
The Garden’s goal is to create more than a few trees, shrubs and flowers to support the Garden’s gardens and the garden itself.
“People are going to have a really good time here,” Daugbery said.
“And we want to make sure we have a place where people can come and see the people they’ve grown up with, the people that they know, and have a good time.”
The market will be operated by Garden of Joy, a non-profit that operates out of a former meat processing plant at 8200 N. Main Street in Tampa.
The organization, which is based in the heart of downtown Tampa, opened a grocery store in 2012 and has been expanding since then.
The Garden of Sunshine opened in 2014 and now has three locations.
Garden of Sunshine also operates a pet store, an ice cream shop and a pet-friendly restaurant, all of which are open to the public.
Gardener Jason Turek said the Garden is very different from the rest of the meatpacking plants, because it’s about bringing people together.
“They’re all a big old company that’s been in Tampa for 30 years, and this is the first thing that’s different, the new owners are a family, they’re going to be doing it together,” he told the Tampa Tribune.
“I think that’s the most exciting thing about this place.
The community, the garden, the pets, the ice cream, all that’s really going to create a really strong community and create a strong community of people that want to come here and see what they’re doing.”
Tampa’s new meatpacking and processing plant was closed in 2010, and the new building is undergoing extensive renovation.
“There’s going to come a time where people need to get in the door, and I think that people are going have a great time there,” said Tureck.
“A lot of the food that we’re serving at this time will be available to the community.”