We Celebrate with Seagrove Village Marketcafé!

Seagrove Market Food

75 Years of Heartwarming Friendship and Cherished Memories

Seagrove Village MarketCafé, a beloved staple of our area’s own scenic Highway 30A, is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year and Bay Life joined into its recent celebration where heart-warming stories and fond memories were told.

You might not believe it, but it had its beginnings in 1949, and the café has become a nostalgic and cherished destination for locals and visitors alike, offering a taste of deep-fried love and a journey through seven and a half decades of memories.

C.H. McGee, known as, “Cube,” laid the foundation for what would become a beacon of community and culinary in Seagrove Beach. His vision and appreciation for the Gulf-front land inspired the café’s inception, which started as a haven for travelers seeking the necessities in a remote, untouched paradise. Ann and George Hartley, who purchased the restaurant 25 years ago in 1999, have lovingly preserved its legacy while infusing their own passion and dedication into every aspect of its operation.

The Hartley family have been South Walton locals since 1997 back when only 15-20 full-time elementary school kid families lived on 30A. Just one street over from their family home was the Seagrove Village MarketCafé. While the Hartley home was under construction, George would walk to the market and order a coke. He didn’t even realize it had a restaurant in the back for months. Over time, George became a regular in the market, always ordering his favorite, the shrimp po’ boy. One afternoon, he overheard the current owner mention that they were ready to retire. George simply replied, “How much do you want for it?” That one question led to a check and a handshake that would change the course of the Hartley family’s future and place them on a culinary journey that has transpired into a 30A legacy.

“When Ann and I decided to purchase the Market in 1999, I honestly didn’t know the first thing about owning a restaurant. I just knew that if we had good food and we served people with a smile, we could figure out all the rest,” said owner George. “Throughout the years, we have learned a lot of lessons and met some of the most sincere people. They started as customers and employees and have turned into family.”

The menu, rooted in Southern tradition, features signature dishes such as the iconic grouper sandwich, which Garden & Gun recognized in its “100 Southern Foods You Must Try Before You Die” list. Guests can also savor po’ boy sandwiches, fresh salads and fish tacos.

“Seagrove Village MarketCafé holds a special place in our hearts,” says Ann. “We only get one shot to make a lasting impression on our guests, one meal to make it the best they’ve had all day, and one moment to show them all the love we can give. We’re honored to have the opportunity to carry on Cube’s legacy and share the love and spirit of Seagrove Beach with each and every guest.”

As part of the year-long anniversary celebration, Seagrove Village MarketCafé is introducing a limited-edition, outrageously large specialty sandwich, “The George-normous Po’ Boy.” This creation features fried shrimp, oysters, grouper, andouille sausage, fried pickles, fried onions, hushpuppies, and more, all nestled on a crusty 12-inch roll with coleslaw, tartar sauce and spicy remoulade—a true homage to the flavors of the restaurant. For $99, it includes an “I conquered the George-normous” tee shirt.

The Hartleys are also reprinting Junie McGee’s original cookbook available for purchase at the Market and are offering new 75th-anniversary merchandise where locals can get a special red vintage keychain granting them different seasonal deals.

Visit www.seagrovevillagemarket.com or follow at @seagrovevillage.