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Business Beacon: Inside The Salty Market

Editor’s note: This month’s Business Beacon is a spotlight on The Salty Market, a local farmers’ and vendors’ market in the heart of Destin. We talked to creator Wendy Boddie about what prompted this new venture. If you are interested in becoming a vendor, contact Wendy at destinmainstreet@yahoo.com.

Do you have an interesting topic you think we should cover? Leave a comment below!

1. How did you get the idea or concept for your business?

Photos courtesy of Wendy Boddie

WB: I made a post in the Facebook group, Destinites, as to why there isn’t a centrally-located farmers’ market in Destin after just coming home from doing the Fort Walton Beach market, disappointed in the turn out.

2. Let’s discuss numbers: What year did you open? How many locations do you have? How many people do you employ?

WB: The grand opening was August 7, 2021. Now, it’s open every 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month.

3. What do you sell or what service do you provide? What’s your best seller?

WB: Vendors sell homemade, homegrown, home-baked items.

4. What’s unique about what you do or offer?

WB: The central location for locals to easily access, the sense of community, a village of family and friends.

5. How would you describe your business to a potential customer?

WB: It’s a wholesome atmosphere for everyone to enjoy.

6. What do you love most about your line of work?

WB: I love bringing people together for a good experience they can reflect on and want to come back to.

7. What sorts of trends are you seeing in your industry?

WB: Folks are wanting more organic foods. They want absolutely unique pieces of art and to meet the artists. They are leaning toward entrepreneurs not big corporate businesses.

8. Tell me in just a sentence or two what you feel sets you apart from your competitors.

WB: We are not in competition. Vendors are not just people selling their products — for most, this is their job and their only source of income. We are small, we are vendors for the vendors, not a big market trying to make a buck off vendors’ proceeds. That was one of the complaints I’d heard: Big markets taking a large sum just to set up a tent and wanting a percentage of their profits as well! That leaves vendors having to jack up their prices to try to cover their overhead. A lot of other markets also require permanent contracts. If you own your business, you should not have to be locked into a contract if you’re not happy or profiting; a vendor should be able to make the call to go elsewhere. The Salty Market is a bi-weekly market that doesn’t profit from the vendors. They have first choice as to if they wish to return the next market date. All we ask is a courtesy call so we can offer the opening to someone else.

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!

WB: My dad … I’m doing this in his honor. “Wendy, just do whatever makes you happy, whether it’s opening a pet store or doing your art. Be the best you can be at whatever you chose and make it something you love…” My dad died a week later in November 2020.

10. What’s the best thing about being a part of the Emerald Coast, personally and/or professionally?

WB: Everyone knows everyone! It’s like a huge web that connects us all together as a family. I’ve continually said in this town, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know! There’s always another link connected from one person to the next that pulls us together as a mass family unit.

11. Are you/your business involved in the community in any way? Volunteering or giving back? If so, how?

WB: The Salty Market is FOR the community! Locals asked for it, I’m making it happen.

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.)

WB: I get up, feed a fur posse of 7, grab a Starbucks and start going through emails and FB messages. I do that throughout the day and night. I pour resin in the morning depending on the weather. Resin is a timing issue so between waiting I get chores done. I’m working on settling two estates as my folks passed within six days of each other in November and there’s an entire lifetime of two people I’m having to weed through. A lot of meltdowns as I miss my family and have no other family near me. Setting up The Salty Market has been a blessing of a distraction from what I face on a daily basis. I’m just now starting to feel alive again after nine months of emotional isolation.

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.)

WB: Just be kind! Although we live in paradise, it doesn’t mean it’s paradise every day for everyone. We all have home life situations, we work hard to earn a living so we can stay in this utopia, we all get tired and weary. Be compassionate! Talk to each other, not at each other. You might learn something really interesting about people.

14. How do you recharge or relax when the day is done?

WB: POOLLLLLL!!! I have a gorgeous pool with an island waterfall. My favorite time is actually at night, laying on a floatie, beautiful colored lights on the live plants around the pool and waterfall, the trickle of the water off the rocks, looking up at the starry sky and moon and listening to my neighbor’s gazillion frogs in her ponds sing in harmony … it’s mesmerizing.

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!)

WB: We’re located at 211 Main Street, and open every 1st and 3rd Saturday. I’m looking at setting up some evening markets, too!

16. One final question: If there was just one thing you wish the public knew about your business, what would it be?

WB: This would never have happened without the outreach of total strangers offering their mad skills in helping me on this journey. We truly are a village and believe me, it took a village to build The Salty Market in only 3 weeks’ time!

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