The Food Biz: Market mania

Summer is near and here are the farmers markets

Farmers market season is in bloom. Most of the neighborhood markets that bring a bounty of seasonal produce to our city have opened for the season.

This week both the 12South Farmers Market (Tuesdays from 3:30 to 6 p.m. at Sevier Park) and the East Nashville Farmers Market (Wednesdays from 3:30 to 6 p.m. at 210 S. 10th St.) opened for the season. And the Hip Donelson Community Farmers Market is set to kick off Friday, May 10, from 4 to 7 p.m. at 108 Donelson Pike, repeating every Friday ’til the season ends.

They join two west side markets: the new West End Farmers Market (operating 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturdays on Vine Street off Harding Pike across from Aquinas College) and the longtime West Nashville Farmers Market (9 a.m. to noon Saturdays in Richland Park).

Something to look forward to: the Vanderbilt Farmers Market will start June 6, running 3 to 6 p.m. Thursdays through October in Vanderbilt’s Medical Center Plaza.

And don’t forget the crucial year-round markets: the Franklin Farmers Market (back to its summer hours, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays, in the covered lot outside The Factory at Franklin) and the Nashville Farmers’ Market (open daily at 900 Rosa L. Parks Blvd.).

The Nashville market announced that it’s rearranging its indoor and outdoor spaces. The northwest shed is now the Plant, Crafter & More seasonal shed. The Flea Market, held Friday through Sunday, has moved to the northeast shed. A special producers-only area is being carved out. Stay tuned for more details about improvements.

• Back in March I reported that Lesa and Brad Wood, owners of charming coffeehouse 8th & Roast, were teaming up with veteran chef and baker Sam Tucker, most recently of Watermark, to expand the cafe’s food offerings. Now Tucker is unveiling the new menu, which he describes as “Southern with a European accent.”

To welcome Tucker’s cuisine, the Woods are holding a “Try Our Food” open house this Saturday, May 11. Be- tween 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., you can get a plate with four good-sized samples for $5. 8th & Roast is at 2108A Eighth Ave. S. (phone 730-8074).

• Speaking of coffeehouses, a new one has opened in the Gulch. Bond Coffee Company takes over the space in the Icon tower formerly held by Casablanca Coffee.

The owners are Mel and Kimala Bond and their daughter Kathleen, a Belmont grad and entrepreneur who formerly worked as a manager at The Turnip Truck Urban Fare across the street.

In addition to coffee and espresso drinks, Bond Coffee serves pastries (including muffins made in house), sandwiches and panini. Some favorites, like the chicken salad, will always be on the menu, and some options will rotate, said Kathleen Bond, who oversees the food.

Bond Coffee Company is at 602 12th Ave. S. (phone 810-9940). Hours: 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday; 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday. Closed Sunday.

• Our sister publication the Nashville Scene is throwing a Margarita Festival next week, and the lineup of margarita makers hints at a new restaurant coming soon.

Announced participants are Alegria, Bar Louie, Kocktails and Kouture, Saint Anejo, Salsa, Sopapilla’s, Tavern and Whiskey Kitchen. Notice the novel name: Saint Anejo. All we know is that it’s a project from Chris Hyndman of M Street Entertainment Group (Kayne Prime, Tavern, Virago and Whiskey Kitchen). More details when we get them.

If you’d like to join the big summer party (and maybe get some skinny on Saint Anejo), it’s set for 6 to 9 p.m. May 17 in the Gulch. Tickets are $25 and include 10 margarita samples; street food and beer will be available for purchase. Learn more here.