Barbara and Barrie Williams and Sandy Veilleux
Flora Bama Farms was originally established in 1987 by the D’amico Family in the Bellview Community of Pensacola, Florida. Tony D’amico, along with his family grew the very successful market which featured Indian River Citrus, Sand Mountain Vine Ripe Tomatoes, and a variety of local vegetables grown in the panhandle. The open-air market was the original neighborhood market for the Bellview Community.
I recall going by the market and Tony, proudly, would offer me fresh squeezed orange juice. At the time, I was a young sales representative for a produce distributor. I would go by the market to pick up local greens and peas for my clients. I remember thinking then what a fitting name “Flora Bama Farms” was for the market. On occasion, I would sell Tony or Paul, his son, some produce items through my company. I always enjoyed going to the outdoor market. Especially in the mornings. The crisp air and the smells of vine ripened tomatoes and citrus just made you feel good. Who would have ever thought that many years later, I, Barbara Williams, along with my husband Barrie would join forces with Sandy Veilleux, the coolest pastry chef in town, to become the new proprietors of Flora Bama Farms of Pensacola.
When the three of us set out on this adventure on July 3, 2012, it was a bit daunting because the market had been closed for a year. There are now several chain grocery stores nearby, but we were none the less excited. We knew people missed their original neighborhood market. They missed having access to ultra-fresh produce, local meats, honey, eggs, Amish cheeses and butters, along with small-batch food items.
The market was also known to have been a great place to socialize with your neighbors, meet local farmers, and learn about your food. A tradition we want to carry on. We are fortunate to have Duchsa ( everyone knows her as ” Duck”) with us to help us accomplish all this. Duck has been here almost since the beginning. She is full of energy, and runs circles around all of us. She truly enjoys working with customers. She’s very knowledgeable, and a genuinely nice person. I must mention she is vegetarian, as well as an awesome cook. She likes it spicy and acquaints most who get to know her with the delights of Indian seasonings. We are so proud to have her as a friend.
Along with our retail, we have a wholesale division through which we service 200+ restaurants in Pensacola and the surrounding areas. Now in our fifth year of business, we are proud of the “little farmers market” that could.
We want to invite you to come visit us. We may be a little out of the way, but worth the trip
. Stop by the next time you are near.
Barbara J. Williams,
President Flora Bama Farms