Revisiting Audubon Park Community Market

So, now that I’m back in Orlando, I had been meaning to catch up with the local market scene.  It didn’t take me long to go to the revived College Park Market located in the parking lot of Infusion on Thursday evenings.  Small but sweet, it focused more on edible items for purchase.  It was a brief visit, as my friend Frankie and I were en route into and out of Infusion Tea, but from what I saw, I’d love to have another visit–preferably when I have a bit more pocket money so that I may be able to buy some treats from the French pastry- and sweet-makers who are very popular with people who go to the Winter Park Farmer’s Market on Saturdays.

It was only earlier this week that I was able to take some time to go to the Audubon Park Community Market for the first time since I returned from London.  I recall when the market only took up half of the parking lot space in front of Stardust, but now APCM fills the entire space with vendors selling an array of produce, foodstuffs and handmade crafts.

The weather was chilly for Central Florida, but there was still a number of people milling about, flitting from vendor tovendor, curious to see what was for sale.  Dried meats, preserves, handmade jewellery, wontons, carrot dogs and handmade soaps were just some of the things on offer from the variety of sellers.  At the market, I did a little bit of shopping, although in the face of a number of nice things, my purchases were quite modest.  I bought a couple of bags of loose herbal tea from Orenda Herbal’s stall, because I had been having trouble finding loose herbal tea–specifically herbal tea to use as a sleep aid.  To satisfy my tummy and taste buds, I bought a chilli dog from a stall Stardust had set up, and also purchased some mini-sweets from Bee’s Knees Sweet Treats that I saved for later.

Had I been flush with funds, I would have definitely picked up something from Samantha Long’s ceramics stall, Nouveau Clay.  Also written as NouveauClay (without the space in-between), Sam’s pieces included lovely jewellery items such as earrings and pendants, as well as some pretty pieces that would have been lovely to have had my new tea out of.  Seriously, the cups were completely darling, as were the little bowls.  The colours are so cheery.  They’d make lovely gifts for anyone who appreciates wonderful design and their unique handmade quality.

*ahem* Like me.

There were a number of other vendors selling excellent craft items, including some really fantastically cute half-aprons that were on display across from the Nouveau Clay stall.  If you live in the Orlando area and you’re looking to pick up some gifts this Christmas (or Festivus or whatever), I’d certainly suggest coming to the Audubon Park Community Market for some excellent handmade items, both crafts and food items.

The food wasn’t just limited to edibles meant to be consumed that night or within a few days.  There was at least a couple of stalls selling homemade jellies and jams, preserves and pickles.  There were an assortment of jams and “mango jellyrup” from the Guerilla Jams table.  One of the notable vendors–with really excellent branding and a big booth–was Big Wheel Provisions, who started selling at APCM around the same time I moved to London last year.  Anyone who gets excited about food (yes, like me) would love to find a jar of their curry pickled carrots or something else from their selection of goods made with local ingredients in a Christmas stocking.

If you’d like to check out the market yourself, the Audubon Park Community Market happens Monday nights from 4pm until 10pm, and it continues to thrive with some excellent spots to satisfy sweet and savoury tooths, along with some locally-made handcrafted cool for yourself or for some lucky holiday recipient.  You know, like me.

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