Community Spotlight: Seed & Bean Market is Latest Innovator in Downtown Fort Myers
Finding a Renaissance Man of many talents with knowledge in numerous areas and expertise in all of them is like finding a needle in a haystack. Southwest Floridians are lucky to have one in their very own backyard—Cole Peacock, co-owner of Seed & Bean Market in downtown Fort Myers. Peacock and his equally talented and innovative business partners, Kyle Schaid, Bruce Wendorf, Mike Smuts and Ron Greenstein are testing out a unique concept at Seed & Bean Market with offerings of traditional coffees, teas, beers and food served alongside a range of CBD-infused products. “We combine our experience and skillsets in retail, agriculture, legislative affairs, finance, and the cannabis industry,” explains Peacock, whose previous careers include that of a corporate executive and consultant at Chico’s, founder of Game Nation Theme Parks and a stint in the world of politics, where he ran campaigns for other candidates and eventually his own when he competed for seat in the Florida House of Representatives in 2010.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a phytocannabinoid compound occurring naturally in the cannabis plant. CBD effects, unlike the psychoactive effect of THC are cannabis, is recognized for the ability to calm and relax. “People are taking CBD internally for everything from getting better sleep and easing anxiety to alleviating joint pain and post-traumatic syndrome disorder (PTSD). It’s also being used topically for spot irritation on the skin. Generally, the individuals that use it are interested in a more natural, whole-health alternative,” explains Peacock, who was appointed by Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) Commissioner Nikki Fried to Florida’s first Hemp Advisory Council. The council will help to guide FDACS hemp rulemaking process as well as the state’s emerging hemp industry development.
Supporting the community
Working from the concept of “’We can only be successful in the community when we make the community successful,’ Seed & Bean Market has enjoyed a genuinely positive and welcoming response from local businesses and residents since opening in March,” says Peacock, whose experience with agriculture began with family farming in Jackson county, Florida. When Peacock's family moved to Fort Myers, he worked in his father’s fertilizer company loading trucks. “I’m 46 years old and consider myself very lucky that I’ve been instilled with a great work ethic and a southern gentility that embraces respect for my community, friends and neighbors,” explains Peacock.
Since the funky, chill marketplace soft opening in April, Seed & Bean Market founders have actively been involved in co-organizing nonprofit activities such as Lee County’s CanaFest, as well as participating in Peace day, Hope Hospice and Children’s Advocacy Center of Southwest Florida events. The market also offers a 10 percent discount to veterans, first-responders, government employees, teachers and senior citizens as part of its community and relationship building. “Seeing four or five deputies having lunch in the cafe makes us all feel good,” enthuses Peacock. “It’s how we enjoy giving back and becoming integrated into the very fabric of the community we are serving.”
Peacock refers to the Seed & Bean Market as a safe and welcoming environment for chilling out. The market’s CBD products are from state-approved hemp programs and the entire is totally organic, triple-tested and ingredients are listed on product labels. The line includes pet care and beauty products, as well as women-specific products such as CBD-infused cosmetics, face masks, bath bombs and lotions. CBD products are sold in a variety of forms such as tinctures, vape pens, transdermal patches, muscle rubs and even energy packets that dissolve in water. Clothing items made of organic cotton and hemp are also available for sale.
Clean, healthy foods, along with a variety of ways to enjoy CBD are part of the café’s new twist on happy hour that includes a menu of great beers and wines, some enhanced with CBD. One featured item that draws repeat patrons is delicious, baked avocado fries. Happy hour starts appropriately at 4:20 p.m.
Seed & Bean Market is located at 1520 Broadway, in Fort Myers. For more information, call 239-243-8137 or visit SeedAndBeanMarket.com.