Portion of Scenic 30A to be "Charles Modica, Sr. Hospitality Way"

June 16, 2012 by Susan Benton

For many years and across generations, Charles Modica, Sr. was Seaside. Not only did he and his wife Sarah open the first market in Seaside, they built one of the first homes on Tupelo street. "Mr. Charles" touched the hearts of locals and vacationers alike, including my family. On June 21st he will be honored as part of Scenic 30A between Scenic Highways 283 and 395 will be named after him. The ceremony will take place in Seaside at 11am in the Seaside Amphitheater in front of Modica Market.

SoWal archive photo of Charlie Modica from 3/12/10

I met Mr. Modica in 1992, and moved to the area in 1999 on a permanent basis, spending quite a bit of time at the market, especially when building my home. He was charming, witty, and never forgot my children’s names when we visited the store. He loved adventure and travel and we had many conversations about his love of good food. Sadly, he passed away in the Fall of 2010.

As a child my daughter likened him to Santa. He was jolly, kind-faced, and she said his eyes twinkled. They did. She went on to work for him as a young teen when attending the Seaside Neighborhood School. My son soon followed, also attending the Seaside School, and their afternoon treat was visiting Mr. Modica and the Market with friends.

Now the kids are in college, but we still look forward to their weekends at home when we ride our bikes and take friends and family visiting, to share in the delight of the market's spectacular waffles, a family tradition.

I am glad that the “ambassador” to Seaside will have a fitting memorial with the dedication of Charles, Modica, Sr. Hospitality Way, and my family will take pride in remembering Mr. Charles, Sr. as we continue to support the Modica family and their Market, creating future family memories.

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Susan Benton

A Gulf Coast native who now calls SoWal home, Susan spent much of her childhood traveling the world as the daughter of a Naval officer. Susan is known for her connection to area chefs, and her passion for promoting local farmers, businesses and artisans.

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