It's more than the music in Miami Gardens: Food and clothing vendors offer up entertainment in the Merchant Village
Jazz in the Gardens gets a lot of attention for its musical acts, but the off-the-radar eat-and-shop options cause their own ruckus, too. Sometimes, even upstaging the performances taking place at the Sun Life stadium during the two-day festival.
Here is a list of eight great vendors that offer a variety of cuisine, clothing, handbags and jewelry.
Heydi’s Latin Grill
"Our Shish Kabobs are world renowned,” August Bohler Patrick says. The owner of the Pembroke Pines restaurant has participated with Jazz in the Gardens for the past seven years. His concert offerings include chicken, beef and pork varieties. "It’s the only event where the community is the main sponsor of the event and it's getting better and better every single year.”
Heydi’s Latin Grill
1201 SW 102 ave., Pembroke Pines, Fl
Reed & Son Catering
The conch salad served by Reed and Son Catering is possibly the most talked about dish during Jazz in the Gardens. Vendor owner, Keith Reed says that people have stood on line for up to 45 minutes, which causes them to even miss the acts. The wait is well worth it, once the customers taste his savory conch specialty, which is served in a pineapple with two fritters. “I enjoy making people happy," Reed says. He has participated in the event for the last six years.
Happy Times Real Tropical Fruit Smoothies
"There's no other show that I do that’s greater or bigger than Jazz in the Gardens," owner Wanda Randolph says. Her smoothie shop is located in Eatonville, Florida. She has participated in the concert four years in a row. Among the popular menu items is the banana pineapple smoothies. Business aside, Randolph says she also enjoys the hospitable concert goers. "It’s a big melting pot.”
In business since 1990, Cliff's Restaurant serves Caribbean varieties. Among the most popular festival dishes, jerk chicken and ox-tails. The Miami restaurant has anticipated in the festival for the last seven years.
107-40 NW 7th ave.
Steven Lee sells handmade clutches, purses, accessories, skincare and hair products out of his Washington, DC store. This is his fifth year participating in the Merchants Village. “Jazz in the Gardens has been good to me," says Zuresh store owner Mr. Lee says. "It’s constantly growing and you get a good amount of people from out of state that are new to our products.”
Sultry Touch Collections
Regina Jackson from Dallas, Tx., is a clothing designer whose clientele comes in all sizes. She can fit a size 4 up to a 4x. Ms. Jackson has participated for six years as a merchant. She said, “It opportunity for me to see old friends, make new friends, have a wonderful time," she says. "It’s just a really good time for grown folks to get together and we’re all behaving ourselves.”