Editor’s Note: Coterie Market closed product sales in January 2016.
Coterie Market owner, Chelsea Staires Sun, embodies the girl next door. A sprinkling of freckles dances across her nose, and her alert blue eyes and relaxed ease make her genuine and approachable.
She’s a wife, mother and small town southern girl. She’s also been successful in corporate and creative America, a highlight includes interning on the documentary film Fast Food Nation, directed by Austin’s own Richard Linklater. Her positions were rewarding and intense. But they deprived her of a luxury many yearn for but struggle to grasp: time.
Coterie Market stemmed from her desire to discover the mom and pop businesses that make Austin unique. Her mission is simple: to expose Austin’s creative artisans to consumers who want to support local vendors. Many of us have good intentions, but we lack the necessary time to find Austin’s hidden gems. Fortunately, Sun decided to simplify the process. She researches local artisans and samples their wares. Her standards for quality are high, so customers can rest assured the products she represents have passed inspection.
With over 300 artisans represented, the items for sale through Coterie Market are as eclectic as their creators:
- Mexican vanilla marshmallows, Baked by Amy’s
- Medicinal cordials and elixirs, Texas Medicinals
- Bloody Mary mixes, Barbecue Wife
- Moustache-shaped soaps, Latika
- Whisky pocket knives, Son of a Sailor
Austin to Your Doorstep
While there isn’t a storefront, Coterie Market ships worldwide from their South Austin location. If your order is being delivered within city limits, packages will likely arrive via a company vehicle within 48 hours of the time you placed your order.
In addition to individual gifts and themed gift baskets, Coterie Market recently started a subscription service called “The Sampler Box.” Depending on which box you choose, you’ll receive between 4-8 products, all hand-selected by the Coterie team. And don’t let the name “Sampler” deceive you. It doesn’t translate to small samples. Instead, their website explains, “Our mission is to delight and surprise you with the delicious, beautiful, and functional products made right here in our fine city. You can expect a balance of sweet, savory, ready-to-eat, beverage, and pantry food items, as well as craft products for the home, body, kitchen, office, and more.” Send these boxes to anyone who appreciates quality.
The Sampler Box I received included something for every family member to enjoy. The first item consumed was a box of salted caramels by Chocolaterie Tessa. A fresh residue of butter left on our fingers was proof of the treats’ freshness.
Another delight was a mason jar from CKC Farms, filled with tender chunks of feta swimming in extra virgin olive oil and seasoned with sun-dried tomatoes, rosemary leaves, cracked pepper and roasted garlic.
A tin jar of “Luscious” Chai by Luscious Pastry lived up to its name. After adding a few scoops of granules to a cup of hot water, the aroma of fall took over the room. The tea was creamy, rich and good to the last sip. An added feature to each box includes an informational sheet about the contents inside, along with a visual of their creators.
The company is a small operation with a big heart. Like a good neighbor, Chelsea Staires Sun supports the creative individuals she’s inspired by in the community. Allow her to share her wisdom and simplify your task of shopping local, by delivering her most memorable discoveries to your front door.
@judymerhar wants to know:
Are you familiar with any of the local artisans Coterie Market has featured?
Disclosure: I received a complimentary Sampler Box for the purposes of this article. All opinions are my own.