Soon after marrying in 1949 Charlie and Sarah Modica opened a food store in
After working side by side through the years and raising three children, the Modicas decided it was time to look for a retirement house at the beach.
The closest beach to
As the couple drove along County Road 30A they came upon a little red cottage at the new development of
As the couple sat on the porch with
Davis told them he wanted it to be like in the old days with no trailers, and houses painted a certain color, where people sat on their front porches, and everyone knew everyone else — a walkable community with shared walkways and picket fences.
"Charlie thought he was too old to do that at age 53, but he thought it would be just a little neighborhood store at the beach, and said Ok," says Sarah today.
The Modicas sold their company in
With not many residents,
Their son Charles, however, had inherited his parents' strong work ethic and using money he had saved, at age 21 jumped in and opened his own Sip 'n Dip store to serve sandwiches, ice cream, lemonade, shakes, and sodas to potential real estate buyers and browsers.
"Mother taught me to save money," Charles says today.
Soon, the town of
The Modicas opened Modica Market on the bottom floor of the
"We were thinking it would just be a little neighborhood store," says Sarah, "but, Robert took us to
The market is now an iconic anchor in the town and is a place not only Seaside homeowners shop, but also visitors who make their first stop at Seaside a visit to Modica Market, where they find the culinary options in the gourmet realm and the Modicas always present to extend a hospitable welcome and call you by name.
Charlie and Sarah worked side by side all of their married life.
Charlie Sr. passed away in 2010, and Sarah is not in the store as much as she used to be, but the legend goes on.
With the market's successful concept and name, the family has been invited several times to open stores at other locations.
"But it was never a wish of ours to go beyond
The movie is "The Truman Show," which was filmed in
Making the market as successful as it has been has not come without a lot of elbow grease.
"It takes a lot of hard work," said Sarah. "The kids are here for 12 or 14 hours a day."
However, she said she would not do anything different.
"We believed in Robert from the moment we sat on his porch swing at the red cottage with his little dogs in his lap, and he told me about his vision and how it would be. That told me because of the restrictions, property values would be protected. We bought into his vision, but the way it all has turned out has been beyond our expectations," she said.
In keeping with