Local Buds: An ode to area drink, eats

A collective of food artisans teams up with Green Bench for beer collabs that celebrate local culture.

click to enlarge Some of last year’s vendors will return for Local Buds’ second installment. - Illene Sofranko
Illene Sofranko
Some of last year’s vendors will return for Local Buds’ second installment.

Mini curry doughnuts with a stout dipping glaze, popsicle and beer cocktails, beer slushies and three types of beer-boiled peanuts are among the offerings local food- and drink-makers have in store for a St. Petersburg event.

At 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 18 — in conjunction with Keep St. Pete Local’s inaugural Localicious week that will celebrate eating and drinking locally — Local Buds, a food-centric artisan collective, will host its second late-night market at Green Bench Brewing Co.

According to market founder Illene Sofranko and Green Bench tasting room manager Colin Lyman, the evening promises nearly 30 vendors, drink specials and live music.

While many of the artisans will put spins on their products using Green Bench brews, Squeeze Juice Works, Commune + Co. and Mother Kombucha are partnering with the brewery on exclusive beer releases that will be featured on tap throughout the event.

Guests will receive 20 percent off their tabs for the night if they purchase a beer glass from Hop Cloth, a local T-shirt company, too.

“It’s been awesome for the both of us (Green Bench and Local Buds),” Lyman said, “And the community appreciates local products and local collaborations.”

After launching the first Local Buds in April at the St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Club, which drew a crowd of about 700, Sofranko said she knew she wanted to have the next one at Green Bench. She plans to showcase her Urban Canning Company mustard, pickles and jam infused with Green Bench suds.

Sofranko told CL in July that one of her favorite parts about Local Buds is that it’s food-focused, which is different from other markets in the area. One of her goals, she said, is to see the event motivate more people to buy their weekly, or biweekly, needs from their favorite vendors at farmers markets.

Though Lyman and Sofranko agreed that small businesses and homegrown products drive the culture in St. Pete, Tampa vendors will also be highlighted at Local Buds. Some, like Commune + Co., haven’t participated in an event on this side of the bay before.

“The more we work together, the more we’re gonna benefit,” Sofranko said.

Until about 7, tunes will be provided by accordionist Nick Boutwell. Afterward, Local Buds will function as the after party for the Don’t Stop St. Pete music festival with performances by Gators in the Sawgrass, RedFeather and Luxury Mane.

The Facebook event page for Local Buds has more than 200 people registered as “going.”

“I think the stuff we’re doing is on the edge of creating an identity for St. Pete,” Lyman said. “It really highlights what St. Pete is becoming and how it’s grown.”


Here’s a list of other participating vendors and their beer collabs, with more to be announced:

Amelia Bartlett Photography

Beard + Beauty

Belle Fleur Studio

Big Crush Slush Company- 1903 beer slushies

Bodhi Basics - beer shampoo and IPA hops body soap

Brooklyn South

Community Cafe

Confectionistic Tendencies - stout marshmallows and miniature curry doughnuts with a stout dipping glaze

Craft Brew Peanuts - beer-boiled peanuts

Dancing Cats Cafe

Eat This


Kalamazoo Olive Company

Little House Essentials

O’Berry’s Succulents

Oma Darlin’ Press - beer-related letter press

Pop Bandits - popsicle and beer cocktails

Smith Wicks Soy Candles - hops-scented candles

St. Pete Indie Market

Strands of Sunshine - tag jewelry like “I’m a Green Bench girl”

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