By Kathy L. Collins
If you are looking for a fun, family and pet friendly activity on a Sunday that is close to home, try attending the weekly Valrico Sunday Markets hosted by T Marie’s Fashion & Gifts Boutique, located at 3407 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. In Varico. T Marie’s Valrico Sunday Market takes place weekly (weather permitting) from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Sunday now through the end of May. The markets will pick back up in October.
T Marie’s owners, T Marie Benchley and Kirk Gladwyn, started the Sunday Markets so that families could have a fun activity that also helps local vendors, artisans and artists. “We wanted to give families something to do locally every Sunday,” explained Benchley. The Sunday Markets started on January 15, and since then, over 500 people have gone to each market.
The Sunday Market is composed of local artisans, artists and food vendors. There are 60 booth spaces available for each market and are available for just $30. The vendors, artists and artisans change each week so there is always variety at the market.
In addition to the booths, local businesses such as AJ’s Fine Wine and Liquors have embraced the market and open their businesses to the attendees. “You can get some delicious food from one of our vendors and then enjoy a glass of wine on AJ’s outdoor patio,” said Benchley.
Benchley and Gladwyn are long-time residents of Valrico. They are both civic minded and want to give back to the community. “The market is our way of giving local artists, artisans and food vendors an opportunity sell their goods,” said Benchley.
T Marie’s opened two years ago. It is a lovely space that offers unique clothes, accessories and gifts. “This store is for all women. I want them to feel beautiful and offer an escape,” said Benchley. “Anytime you combine puppies, champagne and chocolate, you cannot lose,” added Benchley.
The setting is just lovely for a Sunday Market. The majestic oaks offer shade and tranquility.
There are some spaces available, but given the success of the market thus far, vendor spaces will go fast. If you are interested in becoming involved as an artist, artisan or food vendor, contact T Marie at 530-0922. Applications can be picked up in the store.