The Florida Local Market
Last fall during my hunt for local makers that hadn’t shown up on my radar, I found Chelsea Preston. Chelsea is an artist who is known locally for her beautiful Florida-focused illustrations with Jelly Press. I have one of her beautiful watercolor prints of Florida manatees hanging in my office and sometimes when I’m not loving Florida to the fullest I look at my print and think fondly of its natural beauty. Everything she creates delicately embodies Florida living with vibrant color and charm.
As a graduate of Flagler College, and now a Florida transplant, she has embarked on a new venture in the city she has called home for the past four years, New Smyrna Beach. The new shop is the Florida Local Market.
Along with her business partner and friend, Alonda McCarty, the new shop is full of locally made merchandise and of course a coffee counter. Alonda’s background is in biology, but she has begun making her own intricate goods and jewelry and wanted to try something new with Chelsea.
The Florida Local Market is brand new to this beach town and Chelsea and Alonda are using the space to showcase over thirty local makers from all pockets of the sunshine state, while creating a hub for locals to sit back and relax in their “living room”. They already have intentions to create more fun events for locals, but those are still in the planning phases. One thing is for sure, the beautiful hand-painted mural that Chelsea created on the side of the building is a beautiful addition of local art.
I got to sit and chat with Chelsea on my visit, and she answered a few questions about their new business.
LH: How did you and Alonda select the local makers?
CP: “I knew several of them through my work with my company Jelly Press from doing markets in Deland and St. Augustine, and through the people I met while attending Flagler College in St. Augustine. The goal was to marry the cool aesthetics that are happening in Deland, St. Augustine, and Orlando and bring it here to New Smyrna. I also used Etsy, Instagram, and Fare which showcases smaller vendors that you can search geographically. We wanted to find people that had a great aesthetic, quality, and branding.”
LH: Tell me about the coffee counter and how Trilogy coffee fit into the Florida Local Market.
CP: “We really love Trilogy Coffee. We would drive to Deland just to get a cortado or a cappuccino. Here in New Smyrna we have Island Roasters which we also love, but we wanted to offer some diversity to the town. Clay (of Trilogy) has been so helpful in setting up the coffee bar and we consider them a part of the Florida Local family now.
All of the coffee cups, lids, straws, and trash bags are compostable. Right now the cups are made of corn plastic, and we have a local compost guy that comes by and picks up our composting. At some point he will probably do a composting workshop here with us for those who want to learn. We are still working on the perfect straws. Right now they are hay straws but we are looking into avocado pit straws.”
LH: Was there any hesitation in choosing your location on Canal Street versus Flagler?
CP: “I’ve lived here for four years, my husband and Alonda were born and raised here. I’ve always had a draw to Canal Street. Flagler has a different vibe. Things are happening culturally on Canal street, so this feels like the more local spot where locals hang.”
LH: How will you be utilizing the Living Room space?
CP: “We are targeting high-end date night or educational cultural experiences. We hope to have three or four experiences a month. Composting classes, hopefully a high-end wine and cheese pairing with local Chef Mackenzie Smith, and other makers classes. It can also be rented out for small parties.”
Current local makers at the Local Market include:
Right now the shop is open Monday - Saturday from 7 am - 6 pm. The address is 202 Julia Street and there is street parking as well as an open parking lot a block away. Follow the account on Instagram at @thefloridalocalmarket.
The business did not ask for this feature, and this is not a sponsored post. All images are property of LemonHearted Creative and cannot be used in print or digital publications without permission. SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL BUSINESSES!