Businessman remembered fondly by friends, neighbors and visitors
By Jamie Conley
Davis Properties of Northwest Florida
Family, friends, locals and vacationers, gathered on June 21, 2012 in Seaside for the dedication ceremony of “Charles Modica, Sr. Hospitality Way.” Spearheaded by the efforts of one of Seaside’s first homeowners, Senator Don Gaetz and his son Representative Matt Gaetz, the 2012 Florida Legislature has now officially designated a portion of Scenic Hwy. 30A to honor Charles Modica, Sr., founder of Modica Market, who passed away in 2010.
In a very patriotic display, complete with opening prayer by the Modica’s parish priest, Fr. Tom Collins; presentation of colors by Walton H.S. ROTC; to the pledge of allegiance lead by their two youngest grandchildren followed by singing of God Bless America, Thursday’s dedication honored a beloved longtime member of the 30A community. SR Don Gaetz, Rep. Matt Gaetz, Rep. Marti Coley and town founder Robert Davis shared a common theme in their brief speeches to the large crowd. Each spoke with a common theme of appreciation for the contributions made to the 30A community for nearly 30 years and of the many ways that “Mr. Charles” had impacted the lives of so many locals and visitors alike with his famously warm smile, Southern genteel manners and welcoming spirit.
Senator Gaetz, at one point, even referred to Mr. Modica as “the unofficial mayor of Seaside.” Rep Gaetz fondly recounted that during his summer jobs at the market he had learned valuable lessons under Mr. Modica’s supervision that would he would carry throughout his life. “Charlie Modica, Jr. who now runs day-to-day operation at the family owned business, spoke to the crowd of well- wishers and expressed the family’s profound appreciation in naming the roadway to honor Mr. Modica’s legacy.
Charles Modica and wife Sarah relocated their highly successful Alabama grocery business to Seaside some 30 years ago. As the first business in town, Modica Market has long been considered the anchor of the highly popular coastal vacation community. The epitome of all that is right with the American free enterprise system, Mr. and Mrs. Modica and their family have poured love, dedication and hard work into the “Mom and Pop” business; they have generously given back to their community and in the process have touched untold numbers of people along the way. The newly enacted road designation of “Charles Modica, Sr. Hospitality Way” extends from CR 395 and 30A in Seagrove to CR 283 in Grayton Beach.