As I sat on the crummy wooden couch on my back porch and lit up the Grapefruit and Mangosteen candle I was given by Richie from Parlor and Pantry, I couldn’t help but imagine the charming sight of every shop and the personality of every piece that I have yet to discover right here in Orlando.
Inimitable is the word that can define the feeling you get when you come across a hidden gem in your hometown. It is indescribable to find something as rustic, authentic, and personal as the items you pick up from your local shop. As I gazed around Parlor & Pantry’s page I felt as I had just come across a personalized shop just for me and every shop I have unintentionally ignored throughout every corner of this city.
There is a definite distinction as you franticly parade through the mall full of big-brand names and franchises than when you take a stroll down the unspeakably genuine boutiques, the inspiring hand-crafted markets, and your local mom and pop shops.
I have a bit of mixed up feelings now and again about Orlando mostly due to the fact that I only dream of waking up one morning to the unrestful city of New York. I want authentic; I want different; I want fast-paced, slightly hipster, and very personal. I have lived in Orlando more than half my life and I still feel as if there’s not enough and everything that follows is impossible to find.
The idea grew from just that. A boy and a girl in love with their hometown and his need to meet his severe entrepreneurism. In a town like Orlando, we tend to miss out on the cultural rawness of it all, the “little guys”, and the undetected difficulty for these shops to stand out, let alone survive. When you live in such a spread out city you miss out on the hand-crafted products and the authenticity we neglectfully miss.
I met with Richie a few days after getting a feel for Parlor and Pantry to get a sense of how the ever-growing demand for local goods and services and his inspiring support for the small business drove him to his creation of this rustic online marketplace. Richie and his wife tell the story of the local vendor’s brilliance and uniqueness that is hidden within the streets of this scenic city and give us a genuine introduction.
Whether you’re a local or not, or you’re just missing the city terribly, visit Parlor and Pantry for their grand opening!