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New market aims to incubate business, build community on Thursday nights

Megan Holmes

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A market in the side lot of Intermezzo Coffee & Cocktails (1111 Central Avenue, St. Petersburg)

If there’s one informal economic indicator that displays youth, community, creativity, and entrepreneurial spirit all in one place, it’s the presence of markets.

Lauren Segedin, founder of Royal Palm Market.

If you’re local to the ‘Burg, you’ve likely noticed the increasing popularity of markets throughout the city. Alongside the stalwart Saturday Morning Market is the highly sought-after Brocante vintage market, the ever-changing Indie Market, the Night Market and many more. As St. Pete’s renaissance has blossomed, so too has its markets.

But is there room for more? Despite what some might consider a crowded space, Lauren Segedin saw an opening. Segedin, a Palm Beach native who helped found the increasingly popular Monday Night Bocce League that operates out of the side lot of Intermezzo Coffee & Cocktails, saw opportunity for more than just league sports in the charming lot.

Through Monday Night Bocce League, Segedin, 30, saw that St. Pete’s younger residents were craving community, and that there was increasing demand for routine and regularity.

“That’s part of why – besides the fact that they clearly know what they’re doing and have been doing it for years – the Saturday Morning Market is so popular,” said Segedin.

While other markets come and go, popping up at different businesses throughout the year on different days of the month, Segedin believes there is something to be said for consistency.

That’s why on Thursday, she’ll launch Royal Palm Market, an all-local market that stays put. Every Thursday night, 6 p.m. to “late,” the market will be set up in the side lot of Intermezzo, rain or shine, under the royal palms that give it its name.

“Thursday night, because we feel like that’s what’s missing,” said Segedin. “Every week, guaranteed there will be a place with this amazing vibe to drink (or not), to shop (or not), to be with friends and gather.”

“But it’s also a place for entrepreneurs to incubate, to reach their target demographic,” Segedin continued, “and to sell goods without having the risks associated with being brick and mortar.

“We really want to cultivate a space for entrepreneurs, for business men and women who want to try something new. It can be scary to start a business. Come out and test the waters, bring us your best work.”

For the first Royal Palm Market, customers can expect a highly-curated, nostalgic, “Old Florida” vibe that’s pet-  and family-friendly. The vetted and diligently researched vendors will offer a range of goods, from food products like smoked meats, edible cookie dough, ice cream, and fermented foods to craft goods like woodworking and leather, illustrators, soaps, jewelry and candles. Up and coming pop-up boutiques will be another major focus of the market.

The Royal Palm market will include food vendors, artists, woodworkers, boutiques and much more.

“We’ve picked vendors we love and support ourselves,” Segedin explained, “and we’ve put in time and research trying to make sure that they would be a great fit.”

Segedin hopes that Thursday’s market will be the start of something larger. “We hope people come out weekly,” she said.

“There will be different vendors every week and we’ll be cultivating different things – on the 25th we’ll be hosting a Halloween party, complete with a pumpkin-carving contest and specialty Halloween drinks. The possibilities are endless.”

Check out the Royal Palm Market at the side lot of Intermezzo, 1100 Central Ave. in St. Petersburg’s EDGE district.

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