Almost every Friday night, the Mainstreet Deland Association in DeLand, Florida, presents the Artisan Alley Farmer’s Market and More on Georgia. It is important to note that this little city of about 30,000 has maintained an active and vibrant downtown area for decades, including the most recent recession – a remarkable feat for any community. This article addresses the most recent Market event on June 10, 2016.
“Friday night in the big city…” So what should we do? We can take in a movie; maybe get some dinner at a chain restaurant like millions of others in Generica; or go for a walk in the neighborhood before dark; or something.
But wait!! We live in DeLand, Florida. Snuggled between Daytona Beach and Orlando, DeLand is the home of Stetson University and the best little downtown you can find. One-of-a-kind restaurants and shops, hundred-year-old buildings and a county courthouse with a brass dome that marks the time for everyone to hear is more than enough to bring you back to a much more simple time. Plenty of free parking doesn’t hurt, and a restored theater helps complete the package. There’s always something going on downtown.
On this particular Friday night, we decided to take in the Artisan Alley Farmer’s Market, a weekly event. Artisan Alley is just that – an alley between buildings at the center of town that now contains eclectic businesses – augmented this night with vendor booths that offer local produce, plants, pickles, honey, baked goods, and arts & crafts. Samples of home-made goods – most really home-made or home-grown – entice wanderers like us to purchase these wonderful goods while talking with these local creators. This night there was also a young musician switching between violin and banjo.
Here is a short list of the great folks and businesses we met – by all means not a complete list of all vendors, but ones that we spent some time talking with about their products and their lives!
- Grandpops’s Applesauce – So good you’ll wish he was your Grandpop! Home made applesauce that you will LOVE! Check them on Facebook!
- Redneck Candles and More, LLC – Saving the earth on jar at a time. You’ve heard of Yankee Candles? Try the “southern version.” Check the website.
- Haus of Hobbs – Live, Laugh, Love…creative custom vinyl family fun and sports gifts. Check out the owner and creative manager, Rhonda Hobbs at her website!
- Lulubells’s Pickles, Spices, and More – Homemade pickles and freshly dried seasoning blends. Linda Corcoran will make gift baskets on request. Email her at Lulubel121@aol.com.
- Daytona Rental Kitchen: DRK – Flat Top, Convection Ovens, Refrigeration with Storage Available. Check out DRK and Harry Mitchell on Facebook.
- Goodness To Go Energy – Natural, organic homemade energy bars. See Clark and Jessica Sollows on Facebook.
- Creations by Flowy – Wearable Crochet Art. Check out this uniquely crafted items on Etsy!
- Pauline’s Lucky Market Garden – Locally farmed veggies. Great veggies organically grown. Check out Pauline at her website!
- Art by John – Fantastic artwork created on the spot with spray paint in cans! Check out John Robbins art on Facebook.
These are only a handful of the wonderful, dedicated and creative folks that we found at the Artisan Alley. Take a look at some photos of the event!
If you have a downtown in your town, check out any local events that they have. If you find yourself in Central Florida, check out Downtown DeLand anytime – but especially on Friday Night.
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Kevin, Christal, Jerry & Barbara