Evelyn C. McDonald
Arts & Culture Reporter
November 29, 2017 3:00 p.m.
Last Saturday was Shop Local/Shop Small day. This is a program designed to increase awareness and support of local businesses. The idea is to buy goods from your fellow townspeople instead of big box stores or on-line shopping. I decided to give it a try. The weather contributed nicely; not too hot, not rainy, just a fine November day.
My first stop was not the usual store, at least not yet. Friends Mark and Donna Kaufman are turning their signature Story and Song into bricks and mortar with their soon-to-be open book store. Since construction was going on, they decided to hold a Pop Up sale in the parking lot adjacent to the store on Park Avenue.
The selection was varied and spoke of careful selection, always a hallmark of the Kaufmans. There were children’s books, best sellers, puzzles, journals, toys, and other selections. Everyone who purchased had their email added to the store list so that they could be made aware of events, sales and such.
Next up is a store which is rapidly becoming one of my favorites downtown – Pelindaba Lavender on the corner of Centre and 4th St. I guarantee you that 5 minutes in the store surrounded by the scent of lavender will leave almost everyone feeling very tranquil. They had lavender tea and, brownies to sample. The stock represents lavender for all manner of purposes – bathing, eating, cooking, washing, resisting insects, and just inhaling. My lavender candle brings a pleasant reminder of the store.
Across Centre Street on 4th is a new store (new to me, anyway). Hudson & Perry. This store features a nice collection of pottery, glassware, housewares, and gifts. It’s a small space but arranged to accommodate several browsers.
Lastly there was lunch, a reward for the rigors of shopping. Sabbia, on Third St., is a great addition to the downtown lunch scene. I had been longing for spanakopita, the Greek spinach and feta pie. When I lived in Tarpon Springs, that was the only dish that kept me away from sweet desserts at the local Greek bakeries. Sabbia’s version lived up to my expectations.
The Chamber of Commerce encouraged participation on Saturday by giving store owners tickets to prize giveaways being held between now and the end of December. If you received one, check the Chamber website to see if yours matches www.islandchamber.com.
Shopping small and local is a great way to see the interesting goods available in our town. It helps keep these businesses going. It takes courage and stamina to open a store. Next time you are looking for a gift or a treat for yourself, why not see what’s available in town?
Evelyn McDonald moved to Fernandina Beach from the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C. in 2006. Evelyn is vice-chair on the Amelia Center for Lifelong Learning and is on the Dean’s Council for the Carpenter Library at the UNF. Ms. McDonald has MS in Technology Management from the University of Maryland’s University College and a BA in Spanish from the University of Michigan.