Life is full of difficult choices and Saturday we are forced to make what may feel like an impossible decision, but I am here to simplify a possibly earth-shattering moment when we are all faced with this serious question. Where can I shop for both a Valentine’s Day gift for my sweetheart and buy food for the Super Bowl? At the Fernandina Beach Arts Market and the Fernandina Beach Market Place farmers markets in historic downtown. From 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM, both markets will be open, rain or shine, to share their home grown, hand made, artisticly unique, and culinary specialties with you that are ideal for both holidays.
Let’s begin with Valentine’s Day. You will find a variety of vendors dealing in bling from whimsical to fine jewelry made from silver, gold, and and remarkable stones. We have woodworkers that craft cutting boards, charcuterie boards, signage and more for the Valentine who appreciates fine wood grains and the art of the piece. Is your lover an avid reader? Meet Steve Gibbs and check out his Java series of three books, “Java”, “Wood Rats”, and “Crazy Love.” There will be nearly 30 booths of Artists to choose from and they are located adjacent to the farmers market in the parking lot behind Pine Land Bank on the corner of Eighth and Centre Streets.
On North Seventh Street you will find over 40 vendors with their seasonal produce, fresh baked breads, and specialty items to make your Super Bowl super! Look for wild caught shrimp from Debbie and Eddie Chesser of Chesser Seafood, call ahead (904) 509-3337, to make sure they don’t sell out before you arrive. You could also pick up a nice Alaskan salmon filet from Upstream Seafood, and JD Beef has steaks, burgers, pork roasts, and whole chickens that are perfect to grill for the big game. Are you going to a party and need to bring a dish? Check out the tubs of cheese straws, a traditional Southern cracker, from Lizzie’s Cheese Straws. They come in classic cheddar, white cheddar and Rosemary, Parmesan cheddar with oregano and sun dried tomatoes, pimento, and cheddar with habanero peppers. There are also two sweet straws available, one in Key lime, and one in red velvet. No matter which one you choose they are always perfect for a party! Sweets are abundant this week at the Market Place with macaroons, meringue kisses, macron cups, macaroon push-ups, and macron lollipops from Jo’s Macs and More. Me, Myself and Pies is returning from their January vacation with ready-to-serve sweet and savory pies. Vegan Amelia will have cookies, cupcakes, muffins, scones, breakfast breads, and pies, all items are free of dairy, egg and other animal byproducts. Other sweets can be found like fresh strawberries at Kings Kountry Produce; baklava, brownies and cookies at Ferra’s Bakery; dehydrated fruits and flavorful granola’s from Amelia’s Granola Bar; and sweet and savory dips mixes are available from Simply Savory. There will also be hand made soaps from Osborne Farm, she has loofah grown in Fernandina Beach, soaps, body lotions, beard soaps, sugar scrubs and so much more. We also have flowering plants and blooming baskets from Seven Trees Nursery and Robert Young is back with Everblooming Gardens and his patio and foundation plants.
So as you can see shopping for your Valentine and shopping for Sunday’s big game can be down in a one-stop shopping experience under the Spanish moss draped oaks of historic Florida. This is an outdoor market, so take in the fresh Florida air, listen to the musical styling of Tommy Cornwell, and bring along your friends and family for a unique shopping experience. Well behaved leashed pets are always welcome. For more information, both markets can be found on Facebook.