Local Crafts and Eats at Relish Café & Marketplace
Anna Maria Island has long been known as a charming beachfront town. Nestled within this seaside retreat, like a matryoshka doll, is a little haven becoming known as the Relish Community, which is quickly redefining our perceptions of the once clearly delineated roles between shopkeeper and customer.
Relish Community is comprised of two separate businesses. The first, Relish Marketplace, was the flagship store of the renowned Anna Maria Historic Green Village. The shop was founded by retro style maven Rhonda Eaton Grote, who curated a collection of vintage finds—from clothes to shoes to accessories to home goods and much more. The unusual pieces and the affordable prices soon earned her a devoted following, and she realized she was going to need to grow to keep up with demand.
Soon, Grote had revamped her business model to include pop-up shops. These small spaces within her store feature handcrafted and upcycled treasures all made by local artisans.
Delicate jewelry, vibrant purses, and handmade children’s clothes can all be found among the shop’s wares. And the store itself has become more of a collective, with the artists pitching in to take their turns on the till. Now, thanks to Grote’s vision, a historic house has become home to a thriving community of artists and designers while still retaining her own inimitable style.
One successful store would be enough for most entrepreneurs, but earlier this year Grote saw an opportunity to explore a whole new facet to the community-building concept.
Now Relish Marketplace shares an outdoor deck with Relish Café, the newest aspect of this miniature empire. Just as Relish Marketplace celebrates the past in its array of repurposed vintage goodies, Relish Café has its roots in the history of Southern cooking. Most of the menu items provide a light, modern twist on classically Southern food. Their Fried Green Tomato BLT is a perfect example of this concept. Farm-fresh green tomatoes are lightly fried before being layered on multigrain bread with applewood-smoked bacon, mayo, and fresh greens. This reinvented classic is the most soulful sandwich that’s ever come our way.
The laid-back atmosphere inside the café provides guests with the perfect environment to enjoy coffee and homemade baked goods, creative menu items like the Waffle Monte Cristo Brunch Sandwich, and even a wide array of gluten-free options. Both breakfast and lunch are served all day, so you’ll be able to satisfy just about any craving.
For hours of operation and sneak peeks at both whimsical vintage gems and the delectable cuisine, visit the Relish Community Facebook page at facebook.com/ReallyRelish.