The Key West Artisan Market will start celebrating its tenth season this Sunday, December 4 from 10 am to 2 pm at Higgs Beach. Several participants who got made their beginnings at this show and went on to great things will make an encore appearance including Mel’s Rum Cakes, Pickle Barron, Key West Spice Company and Keys Beeze Honey.
In 2012 organizers Jill Snodgrass and Sean Krikorian teamed up with Richard Tallmadge at the Restaurant Store to host the inaugural edition during the Art Key West Festival. Held in the parking lot, that first show featured around 30 local artists and vendors showcasing their wares, along with performances by Key West Chris and the Coffee Mill Dance Studio. Cupcake Sushi, UVA Wine Shoppe, Help Yourself Organic Café, Key West Personal Chef Martin Liz, Tennessee Steve Ribs, Wagadoodle dog collars, Hats by Judy Bradford and Gilded Peach Studios were some of the early participants. The once a month event eventually evolved into every other week in season and continued to grow in popularity with residents who gathered to visit, buy fresh and support their friends and neighbor’s artistic endeavors. By 2018 the Artisan Market had grown so large the show was relocated to the county park at Higgs Beach.
Post covid, the City of Key West partnered with the Artisan Market to migrate to its present location at the Sonny Mccoy Indigenous Park, 1801 White Street, across from Edward B. Knight Pier. It now hosts upward of 70 or more vendors at each show in an open air bazaar filled with artists, authors, chef-made cuisine, craftspeople, performers and fresh produce representing diversity, creativity, ingenuity and locally made products. Participants must live and also create/curate in the Keys in order to qualify. Each show offers a different theme and features one or more local charities for whom the event promotes and raises funds.
“The economic impact the Artisan Market has on our city as both an incubator and venue for participants who can’t afford a brick and mortar location is significant,” said owner Jill Snodgrass.
“The economic impact the Artisan Market has on our city as both an incubator and venue for participants who can’t afford a brick and mortar location is significant,” said owner Jill Snodgrass. “So many folks who got their start at this show have went on to grow their part time little mom and pop into major businesses. We are proud to be a small part of that,” she said. “These are dollars that stay right here and support a healthy and vibrant artistic community”.
This Sunday’s featured charity is the Friends of the Aids Memorial. This week’s musical lineup at the Barefoot Radio talent tent includes the debut of the lovely sounds of Brielle at 10 am, at 11:00 am original music by Mckenna Carlson and noon till closing the return of local favorite, Jeff Clark.
The Artisan Market is conveniently located close to the Higgs Beach Dog Park, free West Martello Tower botanical gardens, White Street Pier and of course, the alluring Atlantic ocean across the street at Higgs Beach. Open 10 am to 2 pm every other Sunday in season, by locals, for locals. Free entry, free parking. Please BYOB (bring your own bags)