By LINDA CHION KENNEY
Blood, sweat and tears and a good dose of marketing are behind the Winthrop Pop-Up Market in Riverview, where each month a nonprofit is selected to receive a $1,000 check on behalf of the market.
Originally held as a much smaller market in a much smaller section of Winthrop, the monthly shopping showcase extends now throughout a wider swath of the “vibrant, social, pedestrian-friendly community where people of all ages and income feel welcome.”
That’s how Kay Sullivan describes the master-planned Winthrop community she co-founded with her husband, John, after buying property at the corner of Bloomingdale Avenue and Providence Road, just outside the Brandon/Riverview borders. The neotraditional town includes a Taylor Morrison residential community, and The Regent sits in its southwest corner on Watson Road.
With Winthrop residents and the community at large turning out in increasing numbers, the monthly pop-up market has grown into an impressive endeavor, drawing local artists, makers, small businesses and restaurants into the fold. The market kicks off in September and runs through May, or until the very hot weather sets in, according to Cindy Manchesi, Winthrop vice president. Market day kicks off 9 a.m. the third Saturday of the month and runs through 2 p.m.
The application period runs for one week after the last pop-up market, with a review of applications taking one week to complete. Applicants accepted then have a week to plan and pay for their spot.
Meanwhile, the Sullivans have agreed to donate $1,000 to a community nonprofit following each pop-up market, with the Nov. 19 check awarded to the Grow Into You Foundation, which provides coaching, mentoring, support and resources to individuals experiencing a hardship, particularly those within and aging out of the foster care system.
Area nonprofits are encouraged to apply. “The first nonprofit to benefit was a krewe from Gasparilla, the only one with an ADA-compliant elevator on the float, which can pick up a child in their wheelchair to be on the float,” Manchesi said.
The Buffalo Soldiers, with its emphasis on African American soldiers, was involved as well, Manchesi said, noting that the two nonprofits split the $1,000 reward.
“It was interesting to learn more about these nonprofits, who brought volunteers and had an information tent at the market,” Manchesi said. “It was an honor to help them out as well.”
The market traces its roots in part to Katherine Sullivan, the eldest daughter of John and Kay Sullivan, who started the pop-up market in reconstituted Airstream motorhomes three years ago.
According to Manchesi, the endeavor has grown substantially, with roughly 140 vendors signed up to showcase their wares at the Nov. 19 market. Her family members, including Nick and Dana Hobbs, serve as pop-up coordinators, who work as well with trained volunteers.
As for what’s next, Manchesi said the team would like to “have some music, some entertainment, some kid events happening” on market day. “I’m only on our fourth one, but I’d like it to [be] something that people look forward to.”
As for now, “we’re in the infancy stages,” said Manchesi, as she set about to plan her fourth market, set for Saturday, Dec. 17. “We try to add more things, including safe things for the kids to do, and to invite both the residents and the greater community.”
Interested vendors can apply for a market spot online. The charity/nonprofit application states that the selected group will be asked to provide volunteers to assist with tasks on the day of the event, including parking assistance, vendor check-in information and area upkeep. Volunteers under age 18 are required to have an accompanying adult.
“We love vendors who sell their goods, the things they make and that they’re proud of,” Manchesi said. She added that the market is designed to complement storefront tenants in business at Winthrop and to encourage more people to come on site to see what the retail and housing community has to offer.
“We want them to come to Winthrop, enjoy Winthrop, get to know our retail tenants and have a nice time with it,” Manchesi said. “We provide a little bit of shopping, an opportunity to walk around, and it’s a good way for people to enjoy the day.”
For Winthrop Pop-Up Market vendor and nonprofit applications, visit www.winthroppopupmarket.com/. Details for participation are explained there as well, and there is a $50 fee per vendor to participate. Vendor spaces are approximately 10-by-10 feet, and some larger spaces are reserved for food trucks and vehicles. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org/. Upcoming market dates are Dec. 17, Jan. 21, Feb. 11, March 18, April 15 and May 20.