Minto Homes sponsors outdoor Fresh Market

Published on: May 26, 2011

Locally grown blueberries from USA Produce in Tampa were a popular item.  Mitch Traphagen Photo

Locally grown blueberries from USA Produce in Tampa were a popular item. Mitch Traphagen Photo


SUN CITY CENTER — The outside temperature at the bank said it was 86 degrees at 11 a.m. Sunday but that didn’t seem to bother the people at the Fresh Market held on the lawn outside the Kings Point Clubhouse in Sun City Center.

Sponsored by Minto Communities, LLC, developer of Sun City Center for the last year, the event was well-attended and offered just about everything from herbs and plants to hand-made art and homemade baked goods.

Tampa Bay Markets Inc., cosponsor of the event, is a nonprofit organization with a purpose of supporting locally-based foods. The market is intended to improve public health by assisting in gathering and displaying fresh fruits and vegetables grown by area farmers.

The venue is also a profitable place for artisans and crafters and many specialties were represented.

When I first arrived, I met Lisa and Allison, owners of Be Hoopful on St. Petersburg Beach who were demonstrating how “hooping” can tone the body and build strength.

“It’s retro, it’s techno, and many say its even spiritual,” said Lisa. They make their hoops themselves from much stronger material than the plastic ones found in stores and give lessons and perform at parties.

They are especially proud of the collapsible adult travel hoop and pet agility hoop, both of which are their own inventions.

Upon leaving the Hoopful tent, I wandered through the various tents and showcases, examining the hand-made wares of many talented people from all around Tampa Bay.

One especially interesting conversation was with Wael Barakat, who has only lived in the United States for one year. Wael explained how he makes his multi-colored glass ornaments and glues the pieces together into shapes, some of which were hanging like Christmas tree ornaments while others stand alone or in groups in bowls.

If I wasn’t trying to lose more weight I’d have bought out the tasty-desserts at Elizabeth’s Gourmet Delights that she and her husband Jim bake at their home in Wesley Chapel and take to markets around the state.

It looked to me like they had every shape and texture bread I’d ever seen as well as homemade doughnuts and pastries.

But then I heard music and followed the sound.

Despite the heat, Billy Lindsey had on full dress Elvis Presley attire, the white sequined outfit he wore at his last memorable television concert shortly before his death in the late 1970s.

Billy is a singer with BW & The Phantoms, a group that performs for parties and occasions and can be reached at

Many people I knew were there just to buy the farm fresh onions, peppers, potatoes, lettuce and more at the fresh market tables, which is where I spent most of my time.

Kitty Munroe and Nancy Diaz of Minto Communities, LLC were on hand giving tours by golf cart to the many different homes available in the area, priced from just under $147,000 to almost half a million dollars, and were also passing out material and brochures describing many more.

Minto Communities, LLC may be reached at or by calling (877) 954-4446. Minto spokesmen say they hope this will be the first of an annual event.