In the heart of Oakland Park — a short walk past Mandala Yoga Center, the Alchemist coffee shop, and La Frutera Garden Bar — patrons visiting the city's cozy, gated artist enclave known as the Yard can now find a new artisan market.
At the end of a swirling, rainbow-painted pedestrian walkway and down a narrow dirt road is 3-month-old Lola's Market, an enclosed space at the edge of a five-acre property located just east of Dixie Highway that today is home to a growing number of artisan vendors.
Lola's Market is the brainchild of property owners Caroline White and Evan Anthony, who are said to have drawn inspiration from Key West's Duval Village and Miami's Wynwood Arts District to transform the former lumber yard into a creative community. Lola's Yard is their most recent project to come to fruition, a weekend operation that opens to the public on Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
At the entrance to Lola's, guests will first encounter an outdoor farmers' stand selling fresh produce. Just steps away — inside the nearby warehouse — a variety of shops offer everything from orchids and handmade candles to local honey, handcrafted jams and jellies, organic foods, and loose-leaf teas.
That includes the Good Earth at the Yard, where owner John Heimerdinger sells meats, eggs, boutique cheeses and butters, and pickled produce. One of the first vendors to come to Lola's, Heimerdinger says he relocated his business from the Hollywood Yellow Green Farmers' Market to the Oakland Park compound in January. The goal: to help foster the growth of Lola's.
The Good Earth remains a loyal (and one of the few local) purveyor of Lake Meadow Natural products, an Ocoee-based farm that specializes in antibiotic-free and humanely raised meats and poultry. That includes organic, cage-free eggs laid by Ameraucana, a breed that produces eggs in various shades of blue and green; grass-fed, single-source beef; nitrate-free bacon or smoked pork; and whole duck or chicken.
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Danny Thompson, owner of Fort Lauderdale-based You Can 2 Fit, the Good Earth is one of his favorite purveyors at Lola's Market at the Yard.
"I come to see John every weekend, and buy all my meat and eggs from here," says Thompson, who first discovered the Good Earth three years ago. "I even tell my clients to come here. I want to support anyone who has a direct relationship with the farm that's providing my food. With the Good Earth, I know what I'm getting is safe, all-natural, and organic. And that's what Lola's is all about."
Lola's Market at the Yard is located at 2449 NE 13th Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Hours are Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit onlinelola.com.
Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram.