Members of the South Lake Chamber of Commerce, family and friends celebrate the official ribbon cutting at The Great Floridian Marketplace

The Great Floridian Marketplace was recently welcomed into the business community at a ribbon cutting ceremony hosted by the South Lake Chamber of Commerce.

The Great Floridian Marketplace, a charming boutique, is located next to Erika’s Tea Room, also owned and operated since 2014 by Erika Shanoff and her mother Leila.

Erika has described the businesses as the culmination of the Shanoff’s family dream, where visitors become part of their family every time they sit down in the parlor to enjoy a pot of tea and scones and/or browse the boutique.

SOUTH LAKE TABLET recently spoke with the very active Erika.

TABLET: You own two businesses in historic Downtown Clermont, You are the very active president of the Clermont Downtown Partnership, and now a member of the South Lake Chamber of Commerce!

Erika: I joined the South Lake Chamber to highlight my new business, The Great Floridian Marketplace.

TABLET: Tell me about the new boutique.

Erika: It has “Everything for your Floridian Lifestyle”.  We carry men’s and woman’s clothing, home decor, furniture, giftware, jewelry and much more centered on the Floridian feel.  We try to buy mostly US brands and are proud to say more than 50% of the store’s products are made in the USA.  We look for unique, good quality, specialty products to entice all customers.

TABLET: You are undeniably an entrepreneur. Tell me about the Tea Room

Erika: Erika’s Tea Room is an English Style Tea Room featuring homemade scones, sandwiches, quiche, soups, and desserts.  We also feature over 130 teas from around the world. These are all made from scratch on premises by my mother Leila.  Additionally to our High Tea Service served Tuesday through Saturday 11 am to 4 pm and Sunday 11 am to 2 pm, we host bridal and baby showers, rehearsal dinners, small weddings and other celebrations for up to 50 people.  We do at least 2 special evening events a month that feature a 4-course menu and activities centered around the theme.  We just had a wonderful Wild West Murder Mystery.

TABLET: Why open a second business?

Erika: Our goal in opening a second business in Downtown Clermont which has been our home for the past 5 years, was to help build a thriving downtown experience.  Our two businesses employ 7 Clermont residents.  We are passionate to help grow the downtown and look forward to spending many years here. When the shop next door became available it was a perfect opportunity to grow.  As they say, timing is everything.  We have done fashion shows in the tea room and had no outlet for the clothing that did not sell, now we do.

TABLET: Your mother is your business partner.  Can you describe that partnership?

Erika and Leila

Erika: What makes us unique is our mother-daughter dynamic.  My mom and I are not just business partners but we are best friends.  Customers think our interactions are funny and we play it up during our evening events. My mom is the perfect Ying to my Yang and we complete each other.  I handle the day to day workings and am the face of the business.  But, my mom is the reason customers come back to the tea room because of her food.  She also manages the financial end of the businesses.  We both take turns running back and forth to the Marketplace and love the different selling there.  We also love going to buying trips together.  This makes us the perfect partners.

If you are hunting for a unique treasure, there is a good possibility you’ll discover just the right thing at the Great Floridian Marketplace, a charming boutique located on Montrose Street in historic Downtown Clermont at 789 West Montrose Street.

There are lots of unique finds at The Great Floridian Marketplace

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