New healthy living programs, including yoga, will be added

FORT MYERS, Fla. (May 1, 2017) – Although the seasonal farmers markets have closed, residents can still support local vendors by shopping at the River District Farmers Market that’s open every Thursday.

For the warmer summer months, the market will return to its former site under the U.S. 41 bridge on the corner of Heitman Street and West First Street next to the Caloosahatchee River in Centennial Park in downtown Fort Myers.

Unlike similar markets held on Sanibel and in Estero, Bonita Springs and South Fort Myers, the River District Farmers Market is open all year except for Thanksgiving Day but will open on Wednesday, Nov. 22 for a make-up market. Vendors begin setting up at 7 a.m. with everyone in place by 9 a.m. and open until 1 p.m.

“We are going to introduce some healthy-living programs such as yoga, fitness classes, gardening programs and more,” said Betsy Ventura, who, along with Jean Baer, owns Local Roots, LLC and will run the market each week. “Details of events will be posted on our River District Facebook page throughout the summer at

Beginning Thursday, May 18, David Anderson from SoniYoga in downtown Fort Myers will be offering a yoga class in conjunction with the market. The one-hour, all levels class is open to the public and will begin at 10 a.m. It will be held on the grass just to the side of the market and under the trees toward the marina. The charge is $10 per person, cash only.

According to Ventura and Baer, there will also be plenty of lunch options available including area favorite food trucks as well as fresh flowers, local fruits and vegetables, Greek olive oils, dog treats and more.

The market was established in 1994 and managed by the City of Fort Myers until this season when Local Roots, LLC took it over in co-operation with the Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency and the River District Alliance.

Market vendors include:

  • Pine Island Botanicals
  • The Sprout Queen
  • The Nosh Food Truck
  • Artisan Bread Company
  • Coasting Donuts
  • Doner King Gyros Food Truck
  • Dynasty Guacamole
  • The Happy Pickle
  • Greenhouse Smoothies
  • Kreips & Juices Food Truck
  • Heritage Honey
  • Stamper Cheese
  • The Flower Guy
  • Jimmy’s Java
  • Mr. Funguy Mushrooms
  • Island Seafood
  • Lakonia Greek Products
  • Veronica’s Bakery
  • Heather LuLaRoe
  • Pilar’s Empanadas
  • Maggie’s Farm Tie Dye
  • Bonez Brother’s BBQ
  • Brittain Farms Produce
  • Theresa’s Produce
  • Jan’s Produce
  • I Love Oils Essential Oils
  • University of Florida Extension Services
  • Edison Winter Estate’s Gardens

Baer and Ventura added that the goal of each of their markets is to strengthen the surrounding community by showcasing vendors who are selling produce and artisan products that are grown or produced locally. Products are packaged by owners in an environmentally friendly way, and the locations of markets are clean, safe and reflect a community atmosphere.

Local Roots manages eight seasonal markets in Lee County. The River District Farmers Market is its only market that runs all year.

Street parking is available as well as under the bridge and in the nearby City of Palms Parking Garage.

Anyone interested in becoming a vendor or providing live entertainment may visit