By Mimi Wood, Staff Writer For The Island Eye News
No one could be more excited about Middle Street Market, located next door to Home Team BBQ on Sullivan’s Island, than its new General Manager, Lesley Fox. “She was hand picked,” says Sean Daniher, of Home Team, which opened Middle Street Market on Memorial Day weekend. It’s already evident that Home Team has another winner, not only with Middle Street Market, but even more so with Fox.
“Coming to the beach is all about happiness,” exclaims Fox.
“Our happy little market is here to serve the community, to enhance Sullivan’s,” be ye a resident or a visitor.
Packed into the 600 square foot market is a vast array of gourmet made-to-order sandwiches and salads, wine and craft beer, non-alcoholic beverages, and candy in bulk. “Most of our offerings are locally made. We are a local business supporting local businesses,” says Fox. Adam Rothstein, Home Team’s director of operations, echoes that sentiment, “We are bringing what’s not here already. We are not after anyone’s niche.”
Daniher, Rothstein and Fox envision residents and visitors alike stopping in for lunch that they can take to the beach, dinner they can whip up at home, or a bottle of wine they can take as a hostess gift.
“We are open to the community’s needs. I expect we’ll tweak our offerings in the coming weeks and months, as we’ll be asking our regulars ‘How can we better serve you?’” says Rothstein. To his point, Fox adds, “We’ve already added bacon and New York strip steak to our refrigerated case, at the request of a customer.”
Fox is all about serving others. A single mom of red-headed, freckle-faced, six-year old Jack, she started in the hospitality industry at TBonz, when she was 15. A nurturing, “people” person with a gregarious and engaging personality, she also worked as a doula for several years, after the birth of her son. But hospitality was and is her first love.
Rothstein discovered Fox in her most recent capacity as Cafe Concierge at Mercantile and Mash, downtown. “She embodies hospitality. I was impressed at how well she knew her customers, and how she remembered so much about them,” he says. So much so that as the concept of Middle Street Market developed, he considered no one but Fox for the managerial position.
No stranger to Sullivan’s, Fox spent a period of her adolescence on the island, as her parents owned a home “behind Poe’s, when it was The Shanty, and Home Team was Bert’s. I also lived at The Officer’s Quarters on my own, years ago. I’m looking forward to getting back to island life.”
Don’t forget to introduce yourself to the petite ginger as you grab a great bite to eat at this sure-to-be neighborhood hub, where some of the kiddos “are already coming in three and four times a day,” stocking up on bulk candy. “I can’t wait to meet everyone else. I’ve been called the ‘Rain Man’ of remembering names,” Fox jokingly brags. Does anyone hear a challenge?
Middle Street Market is located at 2213 Middle St., next to Home Team BBQ on Sullivan’s Island. Operating hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week. The phone number is 843.416.5660; call-ahead orders are encouraged. The menu may be viewed online at middlestreetmarket.com.