If you are on a quest for good food your path will lead straight to Coastal Market. While the name might make you think of an open air market, Coastal Market is a full-fledged indoor store offering all the goods you would find at a farmer’s market with the difference that you will not have to watch out for the weather and limited opening times.
The owner, Kimberley Kendrick, met with us on a Saturday afternoon so that we could participate in the free food tastings that she is offering. Once again we had occasion to say: “We love our jobs!” followed by several “Delicous!” exclamations.
None of the foods and goods are imported and several of her best sellers are produced right here in Panama City or within a very short distance of Bay County. Flamingo Joe’s Salsa And Sauces, Ed’s Red Hot Sauce, Voodoo Bloody Mary Mix, Awesome Possum Seasoning and Only Herbs Gourmet Seasonings and Dip Mixes, all these are crafted right here in Panama City or Panama City Beach. And all are perfect items to include with unique gift baskets.
Farm fresh produce is a family affair for Kimberley. Her grandfather, Alec Suggs, had started and managed several produce markets and passed the knowledge down to his son, Bert, Kimberley’s father. She remembers spending her childhood happily amidst the hustle and bustle of her father’s produce wholesale business. At an early age she learned that success in this business depends on building good direct relations with farmers and suppliers and with the experience and knowledge passed down from her father, recognizing high quality produce and goods is second nature to Kimberley. The pain over losing her father a few years back is apparent and she remembers: “Dad was the preferred vendor for the best restaurants all the way to Destin. Chefs would tell him exactly what they needed and tomatoes were his specialty. He would pick only the best for his customers, making sure they were clearly marked and designated to each one. You would hear him say “this crate is for Capt. Andersons, the other one over there goes to Fish Out of Water.” He never disappointed his customers and took extreme pride in delivering the best produce himself. Head chefs would personally meet with him and show great appreciation for his experience and skill and entrusted him with supplying the best.”
Kimberley worked for 13 years as a pharmacy tech but kept an eye on her true passion of owning her own produce store. While listening to her we are getting the feeling that her passion has a lot to do with family pride and keeping the family tradition alive. She worked hard on fulfilling her dream. In 2005 she took a leap and opened her first small produce stand in Southport, “The Vegetable Bin” and decided to expand to a full-fledged store at Pier Park. But her customers missed her here and they (us included) are very thankful that she has now moved back to Panama City.
Now, here at the new location, the store feels just perfect, inviting, and well thought out with all the local goodies in one convenient place. It is a haven for conscious consumers. Supermarket fare can just not compete with locally gown, harvested and crafted products by people who care about the local community and about leading a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. Kimberley emphasizes: “I am offering products from locally owned and family-run businesses and it makes me proud to do so. I know every one of my suppliers personally, I go to their farms and know who I am buying from and know that these are premium foods, farm fresh produce and crafted items that are local and best quality.”
Harvest, vibrant colors, the foreboding of the holiday season… it’s an inspiration for Kimberley and it shows throughout the beautiful store.
For this article, Kimberley suggests that all her suppliers will be mentioned and it is really not surprising that she is showing yet again her dedication to them. But as there are quite many, we here at Panama City Living will have to limit it to just a few selections and unfortunately cannot display all of them.
Coastal Market carries local food products, gourmet/specialty foods and beverages, premium produce and cooking related items and décor. Their best sellers are: Tupelo Honey, meats from the Hilltop Meat Company who are famous for their smoked sausage and butts. Many of our readers will still remember that Hilltop Meat Co. used to be located right in St Andrews. There is also a great selection of cakes handcrafted by Dean’s Cake House and also coffee, Amish jams, jellies and cheeses. Made to order gift baskets are one of the specialties that Kimberley is offering and if you enjoy putting gift baskets together yourself, then you will find a treasure of ingredients in one place, right here at Coastal Market.
Coastal Market is located at 2423 Hwy 77 in Panama City, in Gilberg’s Plaza next to The Mole Hole gift store and Red Elephant Grill. Check out their facebook site here: https://www.facebook.com/CoastalMarket