There’s something big growing just a few blocks from Winter Park – and its got the garden to show for it. Along the curb of Corrine Drive sprout plant beds five-rows deep, encouraging visitors toward the entrance of the newly opened East End Market.
The smell of freshly baked bread wafts out through the two-story building’s propped open door, and you only make it a few inches inside before Rosie, a familiar face to local farmers market-goers, welcomes you in. She’s the woman in charge of selling Olde Hearth Bread Co. baked goods, and she’s beaming in her newfound permanent home.
“It’s the best feeling to be here, there’s a great energy … and look out there – you can’t beat that view!” she says, motioning to the garden just steps outside her door.
After more than a year of renovations turning an abandoned 14,000-sqaure-foot church into a one-of-a-kind neighborhood market and locally sourced food hub, the East End Market is finally the bustling community hangout founder John Rife always imagined it’d be.
Independent vendors now call the first floor of the open-air indoor market home, from bakers and coffee brewers, to juicers and decorators. Alongside the Market Hall hosts the Txokos Basque Kitchen, a new culinary concept from the owners of Spanish River Grill, which sources food right from the garden out front.
“It’s a beautiful collision of collaboration,” said Jarrett Johnson with Lineage Coffee, which slings exotic pour-over brews from around the globe in the far back of the Market Hall.
Operating simultaneously in the space are an event area, demonstration kitchen, incubator kitchen, and offices.
East End Market is located just blocks from Winter Park at 1301 Corrine Drive in Audubon Park. Visit eastendmkt.com for more information and a list of vendors.
“It’s very community-oriented,” Rosie said. “You buy something here and you walk around and sit wherever you want. Go out to the garden, go to the bar, it’s a community deal.”
Being the first thing people see when they walk in the door, she said she’s made a game of watching people’s faces as they enter.
“They’re like kids when they come in,” she said. “Their eyes widen and they can’t help but smile.”
The Market is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The hours of individual vendors vary though, so you can come by earlier for a coffee and muffin before work, or stop by later for a craft beer and dessert afterward.
“It encompasses something for everyone,” Rosie said. “…I’m very proud to be a part of this whole thing.”