Local vendors set up their booths Friday morning to begin offering fresh, local goods at low prices in Northeast St. Petersburg (at Founders Corner on Southwest Corner of 4th St. N and 62nd Ave. N.). Locals offered fresh produce, homemade honey, pastries, crafts and other goods. These vendors are working hard in this down economy to support themselves and their families. Those who benefit from their labor will be the consumers in the area that can enjoy easy access to quality, low cost goods they can trust from local people they know. Will the City of St. Petersburg allow such a free market exercise in our own borders?
Last year Dr. David McKalip, owner of the Founder Corner lot where the market is staged, leased space to a local food truck vendor to provide similar services to the neighborhood. The City was not pleased that a local land owner would use his private property to allow a small businessman to operate. The city sent an order to Dr. McKalip attempting to ban any more “roadside vendor” activity. It took over two years for the city to finish its complex set of rules for food trucks. Now the City appears to be harassing the operators of the “Fresh Market” Joe & Kathy Irizarry. These locals have operated the Azalea Fresh Market for over a year but the city regulators have become more onerous over time. Joe Irizarry is worried the city will try to stop the Founders Corner Fresh Market. “I am just trying to make a living here by offering people legal goods they want at prices they can afford. Why would the city have a problem with that?” offered Joe.
The market is set to run every Friday morning from 9 am to 3 pm at the Southwest Corner of 4th St. N and 62nd Ave. N. at Founders Corner. The Corner is home to a set of monuments that memorialize the principles that made America great and includes tributes to Free Markets, Property Rights, Limited Government and Individual Liberty. Vendors interested in setting up a booth at Founders Corner should contact Joe Irizarry at 727-600-4223.