Editor’s note: This month’s Business Beacon is a spotlight on Steve’s Market, a convenience store conveniently located at Gulf Place. Owner Libby Craig talks to us about those fresh pastries, charcuterie lunchboxes and their deck with TVs where you can stop in and watch a game.
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1. How did you get the idea or concept for your business?
LC: When the commercial space below us became available, we jumped on the chance to rent. After talking to people in and around Gulf Place about what they wanted, we decided to open a market.
2. Let’s discuss numbers: What year did you open? How many locations do you have? How many people do you employ?
LC: We opened on July 31. We have five employees.
3. What do you sell or what service do you provide? What’s your best seller?
LC: We sell grab-and-go meals and fresh pastries from Crust Artisan Bakery. We have JC’s Gourmet Somethin’ Snappy, Jommin’ Jalapenos and Poppin’ Pimento. We carry charcuterie lunchboxes from Let’s Say Graze and Wildflower Honey from Register Farms. We also have grocery items, wine, beer, ice and over-the-counter medicines.
4. What’s unique about what you do or offer?
LC: We have something for everyone whether you are a local or a vacationer. We have a deck with TVs so you can watch a game and have beverages and snacks. We offer friendly customer service and listen to customers’ suggestions. You can also meet Steve!
5. How would you describe your business to a potential customer?
LC: We are a market and convenience store all in one.
6. What do you love most about your line of work?
LC: We love providing a much-needed service to the Gulf Place area and building relationships with our customers.
7. What sorts of trends are you seeing in your industry?
LC: Customers want quality grab-and-go meals.
8. Tell me in just a sentence or two what you feel sets you apart from your competitors.
LC: Our friendliness and good quality products that people enjoy.
9. Who or what inspires you? This could be a family member or celebrity, a particular quote or even a book/movie/podcast. This sky’s the limit!
LC: Todd’s grandfather was an Italian immigrant and owned a successful market in Memphis. Todd learned everything about business by working for him. He always said, “You put all of your eggs in one basket and take care of the basket.” For us, our locals are the eggs in the basket.
10. What’s the best thing about being a part of the Emerald Coast, personally and/or professionally?
LC: The people and the beaches of course! It is also a great place to raise a family.
11. Are you/your business involved in the community in any way? Volunteering or giving back? If so, how?
LC: We raise money through sticker sales with our logo for local dog rescues. We are a sponsor for the South Walton High School baseball team and Van R. Butler PTO.
12. What does a typical day in your business look like? (Pretend it’s Monday (or Friday!) and take me through the highlights of your day.)
LC: We start out the morning with fresh pastries delivered from Crust Artisan Bakery. We are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily and have items for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
13. What’s your best “insider tip?” (This could be a community tip for vacationers or homeowners or even a tip for customers related to your business.)
LC: October is the best month to visit!
14. How do you recharge or relax when the day is done?
LC: Wine, beach chairs and my family at the beach.
15. Just the deets, please! Where are you located? Business hours? Social media profiles and/or website links we need to know about? (Please feel free to add social media handles or direct links!)
16. One final question: If there was just one thing you wish the public knew about your business, what would it be?
LC: We have the best employees!