The Corner Market in Lincolnville St. Augustine - One of the few Black-Owned Businesses Left - is Raising Money for Major Renovations

The Corner Market in Lincolnville St. Augustine Florida

The Corner Market in Lincolnville at 97 MLK Avenue, St. Augustine, FL has been in the Smith family's ownership for decades, and for the past seven years Nyk Smith has been running it. It is one of the few black-owned businesses left in this historic area, which was built by freed slaves, and if this building could talk, it would have so many stories to tell. 

"I'm really blessed to be here through generations of African-Americans, who have occupied this space, and I am just trying to keep it going," says Nyk Smith. "We're in survival mode. The community is changing so much, but I am proud and honored to keep this store open, although it has been a struggle lately with the pandemic and the renovations needed."

Nyk has a vision for the Corner Market, but the 1920s building is in dire need of repairs and renovation, and she is still trying to turn the store around after the Covid-19 closings. "I'm hoping to do some pop-ups," Nyk says, explaining that she will have different chefs coming through in addition to herself and her mom cooking southern foods. She is especially hoping to get online booking started through event brite, and she encourages everyone to follow her on Event Brite to not miss an event. 

She has great plans for after the renovations including hosting events, weddings, and just making the Corner Market a place where everyone will come meet and greet and enjoy themselves.  

This Saturday, Nyk is going all out trying to kickstart the Corner Market and raise funds for the renovation through a special Southern Food Fusion Affair in collaboration with local chef Tyrone Bennett.

Dinner at the Corner Market in Lincolnville St. Augustine

She will be selling her famous meat pies and baked goods starting at 11 a.m. and at 5 p.m. dinner is served at the Corner Market by chef Tyrone Bennett, who is bringing out a southern food fusion such as:

  • BBQ ribs, collard greens, Mac n Cheese, 
  • Curry Chicken, rice and plantains or the
  • Veggie platter: baha three bean, rice and Nyk's Beet Caviar.

There will be live music, open mic, storytelling by Bernadette Reeves, praise dancers, entertainment and of course good company.

With dinner you will also get free sangria, mimosas and desserts.

To be a part of the dinner party, you will need to make a reservation through event brite, although walk ins are welcome, if there is room. You can also call ahead or text, if you would like to take your dinner to go. 

You can make a reservation for a southern fusion dinner at the Corner Market in Lincolnville here before noon Saturday October 23rd. 

With the Lincolnville Blues Festival going on across the street at the St. Benedict the Moor Catholic Church, it will be a block party for all, and whether you are looking for a special date night or want to meet new friends and neighbors, the Corner Market will be buzzing Saturday night.

The 1920s building began as a library and convenience store, and over the years, it has gone through many stages including being used as a training space for the NAACP and Memorial College to teach students non-violent strategies to fight discrimination.

"You will see books throughout the place to honor the former library" Nyk says, "I don't want the history to be forgotten."

Nyk is hoping to be able to have regular opening hours soon, which will be Tuesday - Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., but for now you can call her or email her, or you can stop by, if she has the store open.

Besides her meat pies, Nyk specializes in beet-based products, but she has lots of other mouth-watering desserts ready for anyone in need of a sweet treat.

Nyk Smith at the Corner Store in Lincolnville, St. Augustine, Florida

Nyk also specializes in beet products, which she sells under the name Royal Beets. "What's special about the beet honey is that it is raw, all natural, and unprocessed. For those, who don't really care for the taste of beets, this is seamless, if you like honey, you'll like my beet honey," says Nyk. "You can drizzle it in your tea, put it in your coffee, in your desserts, wherever you would put honey you can put this."

Beet Honey from Royal Beets by Nyk Smith at the Corner Store in Lincolnville, St. Augustine, Florida

If you cannot make it by the Corner Store tomorrow, stop by another day, or give Nyk a call to see, when she is open, or if you would like to have her cater meat pies, baked goods and more. 

Nyk's family still lives in Lincolnville, and her mother Ollie often helps out with the baking, especially making her special red velvet cupcakes. With major renovations needed such as a new roof and extensive renovations both inside and out, it can be hard to see beyond the needs of the building, but Nyk is forging on, and she is thankful for the support she is receiving from her neighborhood. 

You can sign up for the dinner at the Corner Market here before noon tomorrow. Walk ins are welcome, if there is room available. 

Gail Wisler, a Lincolnville resident, has set up a Corner Market Go Fund Me Page, so if you are able to, please go help support Nyk and the Smith family at the Corner Market.

The Corner Market in Lincolnville

97 MLK Avenue

St. Augustine, Florida


The Corner Market in Lincolnville 

Royal Beets on Facebook

Royal Beets website


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