Gail Eggeman and Mark Johnson are founders and organizers of the Saturday Morning Market, which features about 130 vendors every week, making it one of the top 20 markets in the country and the largest in the Southeast. The market has served as a business incubator of sort, with dozens of vendors using the market to launch their business and then moving on to permanent retail locations. Product sales on a typical Saturday are estimated to be $120,000. The market is recognized as the weekly hub for downtown St Pete, a places where local gather to eat, shop and meet friends.
Gail and Mark are being honored at the LocalShops1 Community Awards, which take place 4-7 pm Sunday, Aug. 14, at the Vinoy Resort in downtown St. Petersburg.
Gail Eggeman worked for the City of St Petersburg for 28 years in accounting, audit, grant writing and the mayor’s education initiative. She has been the business manager and for the past 8 years, also the market manager. Mark Johnson spent more than 35 years in leadership and organizational development roles for AT&T, SYKES and as consultant.
Gail, Mark, Judy Staunko and others collaborated in creating the Saturday Morning Market in late 2002. The market runs every Saturday, early October to late May, from 9 am to 2 pm in the Al Lang Field parking lot ( corner of 1st Street and 1st Avene S) in downtown St. Petersburg. In the summer, a smaller market takes place 9 am to 1 pm at Williams Park. also downtown.
"In the Sunshine City, the town square isn't a place, it's an event — Saturday Morning Market," according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Information on vendor spots, sponsorships and advertising in the program guide: