Amidst the world-class culinary and craft locales in Historic Downtown Sanford, a new organization comprised of business owners from the retail and service industry has emerged as a collaborative force, and this teamwork and camaraderie is leading to improvements to both the bottom line and the #Sanfording experience.
In the past, events and full streets could often overshadow the storefronts and create additional challenges for the restaurants and brick and mortar shops that comprise an essential part of this experience. The creation of the group of merchants, bars, and restaurants whose locations fall within the “Famous L” spanning Palmetto Avenue from 1st St to 2nd St, and 2nd St between Palmetto Ave and Sanford Ave, more focus can be directed at events and organized fun that benefits all.
Perhaps the quintessential example of this collaboration bearing fruit for all parties is the move of the iconic monthly ‘Sanford Food Truck Fiesta‘ event to Sunday afternoons. The food truck events, traditionally held on Saturday evenings, have always been a large attraction and draws impressive crowds into Historic Downtown Sanford. As a result, patrons to the restaurants and retail shops within the “Famous L” often faced a struggle against those crowds to find parking. Collaboration among the various members of the newly formed ‘Famous L Collective’ prompted a move of the event to Sunday afternoons, benefitting all.
Restaurants and retail patrons now enjoy peak evening times downtown more freely, while the event is still a staggering success and brings the crowds in on a Sunday – a time that traditionally struggled with foot traffic – providing foot traffic and a boon to the businesses. Paul Williams, co-owner of Celery City Craft and The West End Trading Co. and the lead organizer of the event, stated that “I am happy to be working with all of the businesses in the “Famous L” to keep this event in Historic Downtown Sanford. The ‘Sanford Food Truck Fiesta’ is bigger and better than ever! Plus, with the local non-profit Ladies 327 taking a larger role in the operations of the event, this event is 100% charity driven!”
The “Famous L” is far from confined to a single event, however. Dino Ferri, owner of Spice is Nice International Heat Market, commented that the recently-held Cinco de Mayo Salsa competition was a “perfect example of a collaboration,” as he was able to feature his salsa and hot & spicy products to an eager audience.
Providing a boon to retail has been a focus of the ‘Famous L Collective’, with synergy and cooperation of large-scale street events dovetailing with and accentuating Sanford’s growing retail footprint. “It’s been great to connect with such a supportive group of people who understand the nuances of operating a small business in Historic Downtown Sanford,” says Daniel Valentine, owner of Brix and Mortar.
Pamela Lynch, Sanford’s CRA Executive Director and Economic Development Project Manager, noted that “collaboration and teamwork is a hallmark of doing business in Historic Downtown Sanford. This is on full display with the group of merchants making up the Famous L Collective. By working together, the collective can put their group powers to work, attracting customers and hosting events.”
Where is The “Famous L”?
Palmetto Avenue from 1st St to 2nd St, and 2nd St between Palmetto Ave and Sanford Ave.
Why is it called The “Famous L”?
Because a lot of the major events in Historic Downtown Sanford are hosted there like Sanford Mardi Gras, Pints n’ Paws Craft Beer Festival, St Paddy’s Day Truck Pull, Sanford Food Truck Fiesta, Hurricane Party Music Festival and more.
Who are the businesses located in the “Famous L”?
Magpies Modern General
1st Street Lounge
Spice is Nice Market
The Station Bar & Grub
The Old Jailhouse
Celery City Cigars
A Clore Interiors
Celery City Craft
Sunshine State Threads
The West End Trading Co.