Unpacking DeLand’s SoNY District 

Chalkboard signs inside the SoNY Market front window.

“Vintage, design, antiques, gifts, oddities, local art, wine and beer”

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Capital “s,” small “o,” capital “n” capital “y.” An international Japanese electronics corporation, stylized to circumvent casual usage restriction? Is it a self-aware pun? Oh, we’re so New York. What secrets does the referent of this corner lot vintage store hold?

It turns out a simple understanding of local topography provides the answer. The vintage store, SoNY Market, sits on the intersection of N. Woodland Boulevard and New York Avenue. It, in addition to the entirety of Artisan Alley and the bar crawl et al along Georgia Avenue, lie just south of New York.

Et voilà! SoNY District reveals itself–though not everyone is familiar with the fashionable distinction. Cam Amici, the owner of South of New York Market and a DeLand lifer, provided a little history and context about the area.

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“People wouldn’t come this far down the boulevard. So when Terry Piedan opened [her store] Nest [a few years ago] she came up with the idea of an art walk and started calling it the SoNY District…so we all just really pushed it. Just to bring awareness to our end of town.”

The art walk began as a downtown-wide event one Friday a month: each business would feature a local artist and their work. While this tradition no longer continues, the spirit of the occasion lives on with the weekly farmer’s market in Artisan Alley and on Georgia Avenue.

“On Friday nights, most of the businesses on the boulevard do close about five or six, just to give [smaller merchants off Woodland] an opportunity to build their business once a week,” Amici reflected.

Amici is also the owner of Dressed Boutique several store fronts down, which she opened as her first venture in 2007, though it began down on Rich Avenue before later migrating to the current location on the boulevard. The Market only opened in the last 16 months, though its showcase location paired with Amici’s savvy has already made it a District staple.

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Above: decor in DeLand artist Erica Group’s section of SoNY Market. The Market is vendor-based; Amici rents smaller spaces inside of her space to local artists and merchants,  whether they specialize in handmade, vintage or re-purposed items.

Below: a jewelry display at Dressed Boutique. Amici has been working the fashion circuit for nearly a decade and regular suppliers offer their stock to her directly.

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“The SoNY District is really cool. Most of the merchants, we’re all really close. We keep an eye on each other.”

                                                                  –Cam Amici, SoNY Market and Dressed Boutique

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Left: vintage items for sale; right: the seasonal window display.

Indeed, every owner expressed at least a passing friendship with other merchants both south and north of the New York Avenue border.

Owen at Da Vinci’s.

 

Owen Brown, the general manager of Neighbors Artisan Taqueria–a food truck-esque taco stand–seems very close friends with Dan and Melisa Reed,  the couple who have co-owned and run Cafe da Vinci for over a decade.  But only in the last year did the Taqueria open on their property: a joint effort between them and the Persimmon Hollow brewers to bring a permanent food option to the Georgia Ave bar crawl.

 

Michelle Cass at Trilogy’s cush outdoor seating set up.

 

Right down the road from there is the new home of Trilogy Coffee Roasting Co., owned and run by another business savvy couple, Clay and Michelle Cass. Their grand opening was a mere several days ago, on Dec. 4, though they first moved back in October. They are excited to become a more integrated part of the District at this address, and value the ability to up their customer base.

 

 

 

In their previous location, there wasn’t really the room for sit-down clientele. They shared a space with Da Vinci Design Studios and Beeatroot juice  bar,  and found themselves ready to expand this year, making Trilogy café the newest addition to the blossoming SoNY District.

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