With Small Business Saturday coming up this November 27 (it falls each year on the Saturday after Black Friday), we thought we’d give a shout out to some of Anastasia Island’s most unique mom and pop shops. Shop local and support small businesses this holiday season!
Regionally Sourced Artisan Meats and More
Chop Shop Artisan Butcher
600 Anastasia Blvd, St. Augustine, FL 32080
Chop Shop is the brain-child of Preserved chef Brian Whitthington, who decided to give customers who’d been begging to take home pickles and charcuterie meats a more dignified way to do that 😉
They stock a wide variety of preserved meats and savories and wines that pair well with them. Grab some exquisitely marbled beef tenderloins and scallops for a poolside picnic. Or get fancier with their house-made pates and duck confit.
The shop also stocks some of the freshest organic vegetables outside of the Amphitheater farmer’s market, wines, charcuterie boards, and all of the fine cookwares you could possibly need to pull off some charcuterie magic of your own back at home.
Chop Shop’s chef-trained craft butchers practice old world methods. Everyone is very nice, but don’t get offended if they’re finishing up an okra pickling job on the counter when you go in. These guys take their craft seriously.
Watch Chef Brian and crew give a tour of the shop back on opening day.
Vegan Food and Vintage Florida Vibes
Creative Juices Natural Café
846 Anastasia Blvd, St. Augustine, FL 32080
We’d feel, er, guilty if we didn’t also give a shout out to our vegan friends. A longtime fixture of Lighthouse Park, Creative Juices Natural Café serves up delicious locally sourced vegan food in a homey setting.
It’s the kind of place where you can stop in nursing a wicked hangover and, after a smoothie, a breakfast burrito and a chat to a soundtrack of old school rock and roll, leave feeling much better.
Creative Juices origin story is a simple one. Chris Faunce, co-founded and owner, put it this way: “I really believe that what you put in your body is what you get out of it. I want to be healthy and enjoy the life I have.”
Many of the cafe’s regular patrons share Chris’s ethos. Indeed, the community and the staff have a synergistic relationship. One regular describes the atmosphere as being “like sitting in someone’s kitchen while they make you lunch.” (Which is exactly what a restaurant is, when you think about it, lol.)
Original artwork always graces the walls — another way the cafe connects and nourishes the creative energies of the community. The staff are super fun and knowledgeable about old school rock and roll, among other things.
A Coffee Shop with a Cause
322 Anastasia Blvd, St. Augustine, FL 32080
We’d be remiss if we didn’t give a shout out to Growers Alliance, another solid coffee shop that’s making a difference in the community. And not just here in Saint Augustine.
The cafe and gift shop is located off of A1A Blvd in the heart of the island. They only serve low acid coffees, which are grown organically at high elevations and are easier on folks who love coffee but suffer from acid reflux. But that’s not the only thing sets Growers Alliance apart.
Born and raised in Kenya, Purity Gikunju started the business with partner Martin Kabaki to support small coffee farms and farmers back in her native country. Giving back is also backed into how Growers Alliance does business. They’ve invested in everything from school upgrades to a dialysis machine in the Kenyan farming communities where they source beans directly, in accord with Fair Trade standards.
When you stop in, be sure to get Purity or Martin talking about the awesome philanthropic work your coffee habit helps support. Very inspiring stuff.
They serve beer and wine and host live music throughout the year.
A Floating Yoga Studio
Koastal Paddleboard Yoga
446 Ocean Vista Ave, St. Augustine, FL 32080
Launch location: Lighthouse Park boat ramp
Koastal Paddleboard is Saint Augustine’s only floating yoga studio. They use specially made BOGA YOGA paddleboards, which have a yoga mat built in. They’re wider than normal paddleboards, making them extra stable.
Founder and lead instructor Kelly Simmons sees the business as a way to combine her love of yoga with her marine biology background. “Helping people reconnect with nature and flex their courage muscle is my passion,” she says.
If you’ve never been on a paddle board and are anxious about trying, Kelly’s got you covered. She explains everything to you on land before you get in the water. Once you’re out in water you’ll learn the different stroke techniques and how to maneuver safely without falling in. (Remarkably, it doesn’t happen much.)
During your session you may encounter a sea turtle or even a pod of curious dolphins.