Small Business Saturday at Winter Park Farmer’s Market is an early morning local tradition for residents with families and friends in town.
Year-round locally produced food, from produce to baked goods, plants, flowers, health food, kettle corn, coffee, honey and seasonal decorations.
For anyone shopping small businesses intentionally to support Small Business Saturday there were handmade gifts, baked goods, teas, barbecue, hot sauce, crepes, coffee, plants, honey, even green eggs from a farm in Ocoee.
The small businesses at the farmer’s market didn’t offer deals, discounts, promos, 2-for-1, buy one get one sales. The small businesses offered the usual: quality products at a fair price with kindness and conversation.
The non-discount tact is a good way to do business because companies can provide priceless value to shoppers in service and unique items that can’t be found at the mall.
Earning the trust of a customer comes from creating strong bonds formed through little acts of kindness and warm
interactions while shopping for small business regulars.
You can pickup and handle merchandise, talk with neighbors, meet new friends and enjoy the outdoors and fresh air creates a memory.
That memory is what keeps the farmer’s market filled with families, Floridians and tourists. People come regularly to buy the same thing over and again from the same small businesses at the farmer’s market. It’s the shopping experience and business owner friendliness that create shopping memories to revisit every weekend. Ginger Jams (far right) has been in the Winter Park Farmer’s Market for nearly a decade.
Nature’s Way Butterfly Garden
Lorenzo B. Zayas, owner of Nature’s Way Butterfly Gardens Inc., was selling caterpillars and cocoons in complicated plastic containers to a family who was visiting Winter Park for the Thanksgiving weekend.
Lorenzo Zayas has sold butterflies for 27 years.
“My kids came here 20 years ago when they were three or four and I’m back today with their kids,” said a customer who was buying cocoons for smiling children picking and pointing out their selections.
Lorenzo sells in a prime location at the center of the Winter Park Farmer’s Market by the covered patio in a location with more foot traffic passing his location than any other in the market. His location is not by accident; Lorenzo has earned his spot.
He spent 20 years at the market selling holding cages, habitats, and containers raising butterflies and caterpillars. Lorenzo doesn’t have a hard sell: the butterflies and cocoons say it all.
The Lemonade Stand Stands Still
The oldest business at The Winter Park Farmer’s Market is The Lemonade Stand, owned by Lisa Griffin who has been selling delicious lemonade for 30+ years.
Lemonade is still the focus, but now, it’s flavored to appeal to new and old customers: strawberry, lime, and lemonade which is always the No. 1 seller. Lisa isn’t afraid of competition and sells name brand soda to give guests what they ask for–another trait of small businesses who honor client requests to show that they care about customers.
Small biz owner Cecilia Cortes is new to the Winter Park Farmer’s Market with her business Camila Sweets. Camila Sweets sells Peruvian artisan handmade empanadas, pastries and desserts and is one of the newest businesses at the market. Recognized for its beautiful hot pink and tiffany blue boxed confections, she’s strategically located at the entrance of the covered pavilion.
Porch Therapy Offered
Need to spruce up your porch or a corner of the room with some living artwork and handcrafted greenery? Porch Therapy offers small beautifully designed container plants. From vine wrapped baskets, to succulents in tiny designer pots, air plants that wrap and curl around delicate little baskets that hang and seem to float on air.
Anyone who likes a bit of green but without a lot of space or maintenance can find a beautiful, locally made, garden goody. From miniature plants to what Porch Therapy describes as the careful placement of plants in antique-like containers and natural, earthy but bright baskets.
Artistic Twisted Sisters Holiday Decorations
Need a wreath for your dog or your cat, or the dog or cat lover in your life? The Twisted Sisters have it for you. Their colorful and unique holiday designs were hard to miss by people and by the pets who snacked their way through the biscuits hanging on holiday animal wreaths.
Kathy and Cari’s handmade holiday pieces are meant to entertain. In her other life she’s Sparkles the Clown, Mother Nature and the Tooth Fairy entertaining with her delightful personas spreading smiles and joy with a little face painting, balloon sculpturing and storytelling.
The one thing that all of these small businesses had in common was friendly service with a smile. They’re also thriving while doing business in-person. Only half of the businesses at the farmer’s markets have websites or participate in social media. Many small businesses are successful doing business the old-fashioned way: with a handshake, a smile, selling what they love which shows in the way that they care for their customers.