Where can you find locally grown products and handmade items? The Fort Walton Beach Farmers Market, held at the Fort Walton Beach Landing Park downtown every second and fourth Saturday of the month. It starts at 8 a.m. and ends at 1 p.m.
The Farmers Market sits on the Santa Rosa Sound where a nice breeze comes in off the water. There are artisan food vendors and products from local farmers, along with local craft vendors sporting a wide array of handmade items.
Smiddie’s Viddles has been a mainstay of the Farmers Market for the last five years. The company is owned by Kevin Smith, who has a farm in northwest Walton County. He grows Asian pears, Muscatine grapes, figs, and more. He sells homemade jellies, preserves, relish and rubs. “This is a wonderful market and there is always a nice crowd out here,” he says.
The Fairy Kitchen is owned by Abbey McNeal. It is a Florida cottage licensed kitchen in which McNeal makes gluten-free, organic and non-GMO baked goods. Some of her specialties are high protein muffins, sea salt brownies and varieties of baked bread.
Heavenly Potions is owned by Randy Compton and Concha Worth. They create products that are all sugar free. Some of their homemade items include Bloody Mary mix, Soul of the South barbecue sauce, habanero pepper jelly and Spanish gazpacho. Worth also makes and sells handmade jewelry and crafts. Randy’s daughter Lindsey helps out at the market.
NoWal Farm (North Walton) is owned by Lindsey and Gary Jackson. They have been at the Fort Walton Beach Farmers Market for four years now and were among the first vendors. You can pick up eggs, apple butter, wild honey and blue water berry honey, and you can order meats from them. Lindsey is a beekeeper who has 100 beehives and is also a master gardener. She enjoys doing demonstrations for local 4-H clubs.
Golden Dreams Dairy in East Milton is owned by Kim McKelvey and her family. It is a small dairy farm with Guernsey cows, and they also breed Heritage livestock. They sell milk, fresh cheese and ice cream. McKelvey also sells various flavors of honey. A customer from Pensacola buys the flavored honey—she likes to put in her coffee.
The Pledge Allegiance Flag Company is owned by veterans Deja and Shane Cronley. They make handmade rustic wooden American flags representing the Air Force, Marines and Army. They have been in business since December 2016.
And then there is Pink Flamingos, which sells handcrafted jewelry and specialty items. This is owner Jennifer Pope’s first year as a vendor at the Fort Walton Beach Farmers Market.
One of the regular customers at the Fort Walton Beach Farmers Market is Q92 Radio program director and disc jockey Chelsea Alayne. “I love coming down to the market. I love the homemade jams and jellies and other products. Plus, I like the sense of community here.” she says.
The next Fort Walton Beach Farmers Market will be held Saturday, Aug. 12. There is plenty of FREE parking, so come out and support local businesses.