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SPRING 2020

Issue No 2

CELEBRATE!

MARCH 29, 2020

National Mom & Pop Business Owners Day PAG E 1 4

Jody Carter ART EXPRESSIONS

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. u G a E Lisa Packard Rebecca Burgman Sara Russo Maria Sonnenberg Jenny Morrison

EDITOR WRITER WRITER WRITER WRITER

LETTER FROM THE

EDITOR

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irst, thank you for the success of the inaugural edition issued in January. For our second issue, we’re celebrating 10 years as a main street program and our small businesses plus highlighting the many assets of the arts district. Although we’re along the river, our murals are the destination for creative engagement and wedding photos, but before you plan the event, you may need a romantic place to pop the question. What could be better than a romantic arbor or the Oleander Club, the newest speakeasy to open in the district? When we were experiencing 35% vacancy on the street 10 years ago, I certainly didn’t see the Oleander coming. That alone was worth the wait. Sara Russo, who wrote about having twins in the inaugural issue, enjoys a very adult night out with husband and father, John. Now that’s date night. How many historic downtowns have a ballet academy directed by a graduate of the renowned Vaganova Ballet

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Academy in St. Petersburg, Russia? Maria Sonnenberg introduces us to Elena Shokina and her husband, Scottwood Ivers, and their wild successes as the Brevard Ballet Academy. Bravo…or Браво! We step outside the arts district long enough to hear about a very cool job at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex from our own, Rebecca Burgman, but even Rebecca and her husband, Shane, had several engagement photos taken in the arts district. The gravitational pull to the district is strong in these two. EGAD held its second Whiskey in the District fundraiser under the most glorious sky anyone can remember.

The photo here is Cameron Mitchell and Anthony Soland, two of our most valuable gentlemen and business owners. The future is looking handsome and bright with these guys involved. Next year’s event—February 13, 2021— will certainly be the one to attend. Make it date night! Thanks for coming along on this journey with us. Like the Carpenters always sang, “We’ve Only Just Begun.” ▪

Lisa Packard EDITOR, THE EAU G

Executive Director of Eau Gallie Arts District Main Street THE E AU G

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The Oleander Club B E

T R A N S P O R T E D

by Sara Russo

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t’s eight p.m. on a warm Thursday evening as we arrive in the district. A mellow block and a half walk from our parking space leads us to the modest entrance to the latest addition to Eau Gallie’s craft bar scene, The Oleander Club. As we open the heavy, brass-embellished door, we are instantly transported from dark, low-key Highland Avenue into an intimate bar, imbued with deco-style finishes...a truly authentic “neighborhood speakeasy.” The Oleander Club occupies a small section of the bank building, nestled into a section of the FM Pizza Oven. Brevard natives might remember the charm and vibe of The Vault, a moody coffee shop/lounge that occupied the building in the 90’s. The nostalgia is intoxicating as we wait for the barkeep; this building has always had personality. The low-lit wallpapered room features a trio of industrial high tops, two small vintage ensembles and bar seating. Brass chandeliers sparkle above as Alice Faye blares out of what could truly be mistaken for a gramophone. The menu is imaginative—two pages of craft cocktails, followed by single malts and zakuski that all beg to be tried. I decided on the Eucalyptus Negroni, my guest on the Italian Job, and a dish of Marcona almonds. Our mixologist, the sole employee on duty, delivered the cocktails quickly and as we took our first sips, billows of smoke filled the air as she maple-smoked ingredients for a fellow patron’s order. Now, truly, all of our senses were treated. Our drinks rested on cocktail napkins embossed with a botanical print of the hideaway’s namesake. One might be hard pressed to name a single reason why the renaissance that historic Eau Gallie has undergone in the past five years has been so successful, but the devil is in the details. The Oleander Club borrows the name from The Oleander Hotel that once sat at the base of the old bridge off what was called 9th Avenue. The hotel closed in 1970 and, beyond repair, was razed to make way for Conchy Joes in the 90’s. Weaving in storylines from the town’s past into the present continue to keep EGAD weird, and unique, in the comparison of Brevard downtowns. S PR I N G 2 0 2 0

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It is that substance that adds to a memorable whole experience, as well as the business’s sustainability. While some might consider needing a password to enter Oleander Club ostentatious (entrance to the bar on the weekend requires one), in reality it prevents overcrowding—the bar only seats around 20. The Italian Job, a walnut infused Woodford Rye, Amaro Nonno and pimento bitters, is a complimentary after dinner drink for bourbon/rye aficionados. The pimento bitters take the ‘edge’ off and the generouslyportioned orange twist marries with the walnut and whiskey to give balance. The refreshing Eucalyptus Negroni offers medicinal notes compliments of gin and Lillet Blanc and, served with a rosemary garnish, is the perfect drink for humid evenings. For round two, I opted for the Bourbon Smash, which was a delectably satisfying, perfectly mixed treat featuring ripe blackberries, Bulleit, lemon and honey. For a truly transported experience, try the Sazerac. If there was a bar outside of New Orleans to order one, it is here. However, be advised that, true to form, they are not particularly chilled concoctions. Prices are on point for drinks of this strength and character.

with framed photographs of celebrities (including Paris Hilton) devouring saucy slices of pizza. The facilities are creative and well-appointed, but the experience momentarily erases one’s golden-age bliss and is in huge contrast to the vibe of the speakeasy. The Oleander Club experience lives up to its byline, “conversation and cocktails,” as everything about its atmosphere promotes connecting with whomever you are with. This gem is a welcome change to the usual Melbourne nightlife where one is never truly ‘transported.’ Thank you, Oleander Club, for providing us a proper environment to celebrate the roaring 20’s. ▪

Once you are finally at ease, transported back 100 years and relaxed, the magic is broken as you answer nature’s call. The facilities require you to walk through a much brighter pizza restaurant, looking as confused as the restaurant’s customers. The restrooms greet you

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CALENDAR

OF

EVENTS

▪ ART EXHIBITS, LECTURES & TOURS ▪ ▪ C L A S S E S & D E M O N S T R AT I O N S ▪ ▪ B A R S & R E S TA U R A N T S ▪ ▪ LIVE MUSIC & PERFORMANCES ▪ ▪ COMMUNITY EVENTS ▪ ▪ SPECIAL EVENTS ▪

Ongoing Fun & Games Improv Show

Every Saturday, 8:00pm - 10:00pm NOT QUI TE RI GH T IMPROV

Guided Mural Tour

Third Saturday, 9:00am - 10:00am E AU GALLIE PUBLIC L I BRA RY Guided, narrated mural tours available on the third Saturday of each month from October thru May. Buy tickets online.

First Friday Artwalk

First Friday, 5:30pm - 8:30pm

Take the Historic Audio Tour

Download the Florida Stories App from your smart phone and go!

March

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First Friday Artwalk

Friday, 5:30pm - 8:30pm I N THE NEIGH BO RH O O D

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Fifth Avenue March Exhibit “Coast to Coast” “The Year of the Horse”

21Happy Birthday Salty Fox 28Zora in Brevard

Saturday, 7:00pm - 1:00am

Saturday, 10:00am - 1:00 pm RO S S E TTE R H O U S E

Intracoastal Brewing Company E V E NTS PAG E

The Yoga Garden FIND A C LAS S

April

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Local Favorites

Standard Collective

Women We Love

Wednesday, 8:00am - 2:00pm HA RBO R STAY

Not Quite Right Improv

3 Aesop and Other Fables

Traditionals Shaves Cuts & Brews

Friday, 5:30pm - 8:30pm F I F TH AVE N U E A RT G A LLE RY

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First Friday Artwalk

Friday, 5:30pm - 8:30pm I N THE N E I G H B O R H O O D

FIND A S H OW

The Irish Cottage Pub

Traditional Live Irish Music Every Saturday, 5:00pm - 7:00pm

The Salty Fox

11 TRUE FLORIDA Lecture 18 TRUE FLORIDA Lecture

Saturday, 3:00pm - 4:30pm

Saturday, 3:00pm - 4:30pm

Friday, 5:30pm - 8:00pm

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ReHab Vintage Market Days

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ReVamp Vintage Market Days

Saturday, 10:00am - 4:00pm REHAB VINTAGE MARKET

Saturday, 10:00am - 2:00pm REVAMP VINTAGE MARKET

7 FLEAGAD Street Festival

Saturday, 11:30am - 4:30pm HIGHLAND AVENUE SOUTHERN END

7 TRUE FLORIDA Lecture 14St. Patrick’s Day Festival

Saturday, 3:00pm - 5:00pm

Free MainStreet WIFI provided by

Saturday, 10:00am - late THE COTTAGE IRISH PUB

15Traditionals Second Anniversary 20Animal Sanctuary Concert Series Sunday, 7:00pm - 12:00am

Friday, 4:00pm - 7:00pm EAU G AL L I E SQ UARE S PR I N G 2 0 2 0

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rueFLORIDA” celebrates being Floridian in Brevard by bringing together longterm residents and recent arrivals in exploration of culture, literature, art and history. The series begins in November and concludes in April. Presented by Friends of Eau Gallie Library. Supported by Florida Humanities.

SATURDAY AT 3 PM

SATURDAY AT 3 PM

SATURDAY AT 3 PM

Late author Patrick D. Smith’s son, Rick, will give a “visual storytelling” presentation on one of Florida’s most beloved works of literature featuring more than 50 video clips, special visual and sound effects, music and more. (Patrick Smith was a resident of Merritt Island). After the presentation, a book discussion will be led by Harry Coverston, Florida Humanities Public Scholar. Books will be available for checkout on Feb. 15 at the Circulation Desk.

Dr. Ben Brotemarkle, director of the Florida Historical Society, discusses the changes in the state as a result of WW II. The “trueFLORIDA” series is presented by Friends of Eau Gallie Library and supported by the Florida Humanities Council.

MARCH 7, 2020 By Jennifer Morrison

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APRIL 11, 2020

Dr. Ben Brotemarkle, director of the Florida Historical Society, discusses the changes in the state as a result of WW II. The “trueFLORIDA” series is presented by Friends of Eau Gallie Library and supported by Florida Humanities.

APRIL 18, 2020

SEE CALENDAR FOR FUTURE DATES

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by Rebecca Burgman accomplishment that inspires us, and there are not many places in the world that can make such a claim. It’s my joy to share it with everyone and that’s a cool job.

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s a Brevard native, I have an amazing job as the public relations manager of Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. People from around the world visit Florida, millions to Orlando, but would you be surprised to know that a little over a million people travel to the Visitor Complex? I have the opportunity to interact with some of those people, visiting VIPs and, yes, astronauts, but we also travel to other cities to promote the Visitor Complex to drive even more visitors to our area.

Traveling to Miami to spread the word about the visitor complex was enlightening. Quite a few NASA “meatball” t-shirts and hats were seen. Rocket launches and space, and even football, make us feel patriotic, hopeful and in awe of human abilities. It brings people together because we all root for the win. Our American tradition of exploration is alive, and people of all ages are still amazed to meet an astronaut. Locals are lucky in that we only need to step outside to experience the human

Recently while out to dinner one evening, my husband and I overheard someone bemoaning all that is wrong with Brevard, and in their opinion, there was plenty. We had a difficult time not listening in and responding. This is the place where humans launched the rocket that landed on the Moon! There’s an incredible mix of nature, surf history, arts and culture wedged between the ocean and the Mouse House. Knowing how those interactions typically turn out, we just laughed and tried to ignore her and enjoy our dinner. People may not realize what gems we have here or the innovations taking place in our own backyard. Here’s my shameless plug to come visit the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex to excite you about living in Brevard. I hope I get to meet you there. ▪

The Mars Rover Vehicle Navigator or MRVN looks part tank, part Batmobile, and it’s been my job to take it, along with an astronaut, on road trips to introduce it to the world. The Rover has made appearances in NYC, Washington, DC, and, most recently, at the Super Bowl in Miami. Millions of people converged on the city for the game and the pre-game festivities—from new product samples to celebrity chefs to astronauts and the Mars Rover. Seeing the Mars Rover on the streets of New York City was a thrilling experience. The streets were shut down in the city that never sleeps so the Rover could be transported to the historic Ed Sullivan Theater where Stephen Colbert films “The Late Show.” It isn’t easy getting a huge vehicle like the Rover into a city known for its traffic. I felt such pride seeing the Rover drive down the streets of New York and watching the amazement on the faces of people New Yorkers who have seen it all. S PR I N G 2 0 2 0

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B R E V A R D by Maria Sonnenberg

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eer into Brevard Ballet Academy’s facility and you will discover the magic that goes on behind the making of a performance. Here, Cinderella’s coach, a carriage that can accommodate as many as ten kids, awaits the upcoming ballet production of Prokofiev’s famous Cinderella put on by the Academy’s production organization, Brevard Ballet Youth Company. The elaborate and colorful costumes and sets hint at the magic that is to come when dancers don the outfits and step onto the stage of the Eau Gallie Performing Arts Center.

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Behind the beauty and fantasy of the show is Elena Shokhina, the dancer whose vision and experience has nurtured the Academy from its beginnings in 2014. A graduate of the renowned Vaganova Ballet Academy in St. Petersburg, Russia, Elena spent eight years performing around the world as principal dancer for the St. Petersburg Ballet, before resettling in the United States as principal dancer with the Nevada Ballet Theatre for an additional eight years. The dancer became the teacher, and Elena now takes great

pride in the accomplishments of her students who, under her tutelage, have earned spots in prestigious training programs around the country and dance professionally around the world. “Being a good dancer doesn’t always translate into being a good teacher, but Elena is a natural at both and it shows in her student’s achievements,” said Elena’s husband, Scottwood Ivers. In January alone, Elena’s pre-professional students have been accepted into THE E AU G

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training programs---some with scholarships---at the Boston Ballet, the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in New York City, Orlando Ballet and the Harid Conservatory in Boca Raton. Because of her students’ high level of training, Elena is able to produce two full-length ballets annually at the 700seat Eau Gallie Performing Arts Center. The production of Cinderella on May 23 features guest dancer Arcadian Broad of the Cincinnati Ballet (and former principal dancer with Orlando Ballet). Arcadian has been featured on So You Think You Can Dance and on the Ellen DeGeneres television program. The Academy also performs Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Ballet during the holiday season, a classical holiday staple for the community

of Elena Shokhina, follows in her mother’s footsteps as a dancer and an instructor for pre-ballet students. Brevard Ballet Academy offers group and private lessons, performances, summer camps, dance competitions and master classes. Pre-ballet, ballet and contemporary classes are available for young dancers, in addition to a full adult program in ballet technique, contemporary, and pointe. “Several of our adult students were former professional dancers and want to maintain their skill level. Others are beginners who have always dreamed of dancing and we are here to make that dream come true.” said Elena. “What separates us from other schools in the area other than the high level of training is that we have everything we need for multiple full productions right here. Dancers, costumes, sets, props, and even a full-scale storage facility.” ▪

Scottwood helped make Elena’s vision a reality, by transforming the 5,000-square-foot space at 1399 Highland Avenue in the Eau Gallie Arts District into a state-of-the-art facility that features two studios, warm-up areas, lounges, production storage, and play area for younger siblings, and dressing rooms. Studio A, a massive 1,500-square foot dance floor added in 2018 to meet the growing student body of 200-plus dancers ages three to adult, is outfitted with a spring construction and Harlequin dance surface. “It gives us plenty of room for rehearsals of our full-length productions,” said Elena. The nearly 1,700 square-foot Studio B, with sprung subflooring and Marley dance surface, is designed to help young dancers transform into princess ballerinas. With a keen eye for talent, Elena has engaged an impressive faculty for her school. Ballet instructor Joey-Lynn Mann was a principal dancer and ballet master at Orlando Ballet for 15 years. The Academy’s ballet master Jeff Heiden, a 15-year teaching professional, performed with ballet companies such as the Cleveland Ballet, San Jose Ballet, and Dance Alive National Ballet. as well as with Cirque Du Soleil in Las Vegas. The Academy’s head of contemporary, Elaine Eccleston, has a dance career that spans more than a quarter of a century and has toured the United States with the Dayton Ballet Company. Dasha Bondar, daughter S PR I N G 2 0 2 0

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COMING UP Brevard Ballet Academy will host a “Cinderella Tea Party” on March 28 as their annual fundraiser for the Youth Company. For tickets to Cinderella on May 23, visit BrevardBallet.com.

Being a good dancer doesn’t always translate into being a good teacher, but Elena is a natural at both and it shows in her student’s achievements”

For more information, call (321) 622-4713.

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! o , D o I D I by Lisa Packard

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n 2015, SpaceCoast Living magazine wrote an article on intimate places to get married in the arts district. Five years later, the arts district continues to have wonderful nooks and crannies for smaller events, as well as Eau Gallie Square, although you may think a public square is an odd place for a wedding. Especially since the arrival of the murals, EGAD has also been a popular place for milestone photographs—graduation, engagement, and wedding. An online search of “Eau Gallie weddings” will result in a flood of photographs to stimulate your imagination. So, somebody asked, and somebody said yes. EGAD offers alternatives to the typical venues besides a church, hotel or country club. Weddings have been held at the Cottage Irish Pub’s garden, Historic Rossetter House & Gardens, Eau Gallie Square or Pineapple Park (properly permitted through the city of Melbourne) or Renee Foosaner Education Center (managed through Foosaner Art Museum which is owned by FIT). Each site will have its own charms, and its suitability

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will depend on how you imagine your wedding. Once you have finalized your event date and size, you can then accurately assess which venue will serve you the best.

The Eau Gallie Civic Center is the largest indoor space with parking, and it is easily transformed into anything you want it to be. Eau Gallie Square and Pineapple Park are both rentable through the city of Melbourne Parks & Recreation, which is housed in the Civic Center. They boast different features, but Pineapple Park has a gazebo with power for twinkle lighting for an intimate dinner for two or a small crowd, all under a massive, old live oak and it’s along the Indian River Lagoon. Add your own lighting effects to the park and you’ve got an authentic, natural riverfront setting for much less than a country club. The Square, of course, has a band shell and an alley that could hold a food truck and party on the lawn for ~200 of your closest friends. Add your own mood lighting, photo ops and rentals for a truly original idea. Pick your favorite pergola or mural and get

married there and walk to any of the local restaurants that will accommodate your party. Check those places, of course, to see what restrictions may apply. This is Florida where Mother Nature is a guest that can make her presence known, but if you avoid the heat of summer and choose the cooler months, your weather forecast is slightly less risky, and you and your guests may really enjoy something different. Besides, it’s considered good luck to have rain on your wedding day. There is a great mix of vendors that cater to the wedding trade and can also host bachelor or bachelorette parties. There are flower vendors, photographers, 11 hair salons and one barber shop/bar. Standard Collective offers a variety of custom leather goods, t-shirts for fun, and party space for a club vibe. Frame your keepsake photograph in town, too, with custom hand lettering available. If a limousine is in your budget, we have that, too. EGAD can also highly recommend Sol-Tree Cocktail Catering Co for your event bartending services. Located in EGAD and ranked #1 on The Knot in Central Florida. They are located in EGAD. If you’re having a destination wedding, EGAD has an increasing variety of lodging available, too. Harbor Stay can house up to 40 people and host the event. THE E AU G

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Photography by: www.ArdenSea.com

Photography by: www.ArdenSea.com

Photography by: www.LizCowiePhotography.com

Photography by: www.ArdenSea.com

They have a three-day plan ready for you. Uncle Scotty’s Community Bed & Breakfast is a series of houses and apartments designed for the Airbnb lodger - perfect for out of town guests or a little honeymoon of your own. The Cottage Irish Pub owner, Sarah Hogan and her fiancé, Chris Gorley, are flying to Sarah’s hometown of Ballina, in County Mayo, Ireland, for their July wedding in an Irish castle. Sarah says the weather is predictably bad, so the #1 tradition is to pray for good weather by placing a statute of a Child of Prague outside, beheaded if it happened naturally. See the link below to learn more about that fascinating and fun tradition. The dress. We can’t forget the dress. EGAD doesn’t have a bridal boutique, but if we did, it would be this one. Avoid the pitfall of fighting over money and schedule a consultation with Cameron Mitchell, of Edward Jones. He specializes in such meetings to get you started off on the right foot. Mazel tov! ▪

EGAD BUSINESS DIRECTORY S PR I N G 2 0 2 0

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Photography by: www.ArdenSea.com

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t n a W to

ADVERTISE

WITH US? C

O

N

T A C

T

Lisa Packard

Executive Director Eau Gallie Arts District Main St cell: 321.543.0638 | ofc: 321.622.4223

hq@egadlife.com www.theeaug.com/advertise

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umans have long been interested in orchids. The earliest mention of orchids dates to 700 BC in Chinese literature, and orchids were mostly used for their medicinal properties. A student of Aristotle’s wrote about them in 300 BC, and it’s from the Greek language that we get the name Orchid. Having lived here since 2010, and suffered orchid envy from friends who grow them so easily, I was too intimidated to try such an exotic flower. My only prior experience was while visiting my sister in Thailand years ago and she purchased a massive vase full of them… for about $10 at the market. We can all thank explorer William Swainson, who visited Brazil in 1818 and sent a sample to a merchant and horticulturalist, William Cattley, who became the first person to make it bloom and, as you would, named it after himself - Cattleya labiata.

the

Exotic Orchid

By Lisa Packard

I was happy to realize that I raised a digger when my son got into gardening in California, in particular carnivorous pitcher plants (bottom right), mostly to gross me out, I’m sure. He was excited to show me a YouTube video on one devouring a mouse. Thank you, next. We took a trip down to Odom’s Orchids in Fort Pierce and, voila, I am converted. They have over 90,000 square feet of greenhouses so, a few dollars later, I now have five orchids in my yard, house and office. You can do an online search to learn everything you want to know or talk to a knowledgeable person. Months ago, after having a very sickly orchid in my office, I asked Alexis Johnsten of Eau Gallie Florist, what I was doing wrong. She told me to put it outside and forget it. She was dead right. (See Orange Orchid) There are about 28,000 different varieties of orchid, each with varying requirements, so it’s not surprising that many find it intimidating. To bloom, like all flowers, they need pollination, with the easiest being bumble bees. To attract pollinators, a plant must offer them something of interest, such as nectar, fragrance, shape and even color. Orchids that are pollinated by moths typically release a chemical at night since moths typically fly around at nighttime. Other species that are pollinated by flies emit an odor that resembles rotting meat. Orchids are categorized by how they grow—in the ground or on a tree. They might grow on trees, but they don’t feed off the tree. What you could know could go on forever. S PR I N G 2 0 2 0

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An orchid lover can shift into full on geek in no time. There is so much information on the internet about what’s required to grow orchids. They have a variety of requirements regarding space, light, water, dirt or bark, fertilization and stuff I don’t know and will never look up. I ignore my outside orchids and I water the roots of the indoor orchids about once a week. So far, so good. If you’re interested in continuing with the Florida garden tips of the month, click the link in the box. ▪

CLICK TO LEARN MORE...

Monthly Tips edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pp287 www.odoms.com www.orchidboard.com/community/ Platinum Coast Orchid Society United States Plant Hardiness Zones

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C E L E B R AT I N G

Mom & Pop BUSINESSES by Lisa Packard

National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day is celebrated on March 29 to honor small business owners who are the backbone of the United States economy. However, in the arts district, and in main street neighborhoods across America, mom and pops are the heart and soul of any city and we honor them all year round.

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om-and-pop stores have been part of the American landscape since cities and towns were formed. Before the transportation revolution, people shopped where they could walk. After World War II, the highway system was expanded under President Eisenhower and, in the 1970s, people migrated to the suburban developments and malls were under construction everywhere. Historic downtowns started on the road to urban blight. That resulted in the National Trust for Historic Preservation sounding the alarm on the death of downtowns, which prompted the national main street movement—an allvolunteer army to restore and rebuild historic downtown. Downtown remains critical to protect because it is a city’s very identity, its architecture, traditions, founding peoples, scoundrels and whispered stories about who robbed the bank and absconded on the railroad system (yes, that happened in Eau Gallie). Mom and pop stores are family-operated and usually have one-to-four employees. For them, it’s not about being big; it’s more about making sure their needs—and those of their families—are met. Mom and pops aren’t solely focused on their own success. These businesses (1) create neighborhoods and play a significant role in the stabilization of that neighborhood; (2) make shopping personal because they are local and carry on local traditions; (3) and

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contribute to local causes because they are local. They provide jobs and recycle local money back into the local economy; and (4) they are the catalyst for fresh ideas that are often then picked up on the national stage. So how does the future look for mom-and-pop stores? Actually, pretty bright. Small businesses account for 64% of the GNP and 78% of new jobs created each year. Mom and pop businesses make up 54% of all small businesses in the U.S. and are quintessential examples of the American Dream. National trends in retail shows that consumers are becoming increasingly interested in artisanal and locally produced items and seek more authentic experiences in unique store environments offered by small shops, two things no big box store can provide. Decision making is made on the spot so mom and pops can be nimble. They can add in-store experiences, offer free WiFi (like EGAD offers), and engender local pride. At Art Expressions, owned by Jody Carter for over 20 years (but 37 years in the industry), you can get the best framing in town, but the cash register must ring daily, so Jody offers a wide variety of gift and novelty items. Also, she has more recently partnered with modern folk artist Julie Kessler to offer special arts and crafts classes on Saturdays which sell out. Eau Gallie Ace Hardware is second generation owned by George

Alexander who volunteers his time—and connections—to provide Holiday Tree Lighting in Eau Gallie Square every December First Friday. EGAD has a number of businesses that have been open for well over 15+ years including The Horn Section, Ralph’s Art Supply, Fifth Avenue Art Gallery, and the renamed Eau Gallery. Many of you will remember Mathers’ Cake Shop which permanently closed this year after 68 years of service. Marci Mathers Nails and her parents lived in the back of the shop for most of her life.

That would be unfathomable to people now. Eau Gallie Florist was opened by Link and Alexis Johnsten in the 1970s, after Link worked there as a teenager before buying the business. Alexis carries on the business since Link’s death five years ago. We’re just as excited to see new businesses come to the district, and we respect the investment and financial risk they take in converting one space into another. Intracoastal Brewing Company is a microbrewery with trivia night, running club, yoga and they probably know your name. Traditionals Shaves Cuts & Brews is a barbershop, bar and club all in one. Becca Pollak runs the shop while her husband helps, but he is also on the road as a professional musician. Having bought a house in the district, they have become a touchstone for the area.

FM Pizza Oven, owned by Doug and Marci Kissell, both have day jobs and run their business at night. FM Pizza Oven started out as a popular food truck, which continues, but their build-out occurred night and day and with help from Anthony Soland, Renaissance Man and owner of Standard Collective whose touch can be seen from the wooden walls to the leather bill holder. Derek Gores lent his artistic touch to The Oleander Club. The stroke of brilliance for the restaurant was moving the massive wooden table from Mathers’ Cake Shop which now serves as a community table—and there could absolutely be no better place for it. Families who purchased milestone cakes from Mathers can now dine on the table that is filled with years of history and love. That personal touch and that connection to the community is what separates independent retailers from the chains. Weird little retail businesses endure not because the economy needs them, but because consumers want them, and the market delivers. There’s always room for a cool idea, a cool way to present something, whether it’s a new product or something that’s been around for thousands of years. Mom and pop businesses are the fabric of every town, frankly, in the world. They are where we gather outside of home and provide a sense of pride in where we live. Visit EGAD this month as we celebrate 10 years of main street and all the wonderful shops that existed before main street and who have joined in and brought their own vibe to rock the district. ▪ THE E AU G

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Profile for EGAD Main Street

The Eau G March Issue  

Celebrating Mom & Pops

The Eau G March Issue  

Celebrating Mom & Pops