The folks behind The Heavy, the mixed retail concept moving into the vacant Lombardi’s building at 1152 Harmon Avenue [GMap], has been raising more questions than answers since they came out of their fishy closet in November of last year.

We were invited to submit the following questions to Jason Moore and Jennifer Crotty of Porch Therapy, the leads on the mysterious Winter Park project, to try and paint a clearer picture.

So, what is this place?
The concept is called “The Heavy.” It is currently a curated retail space that will offer an
array of plants, florals, furniture, textiles, ceramics, products for the home and products
sourced directly from local makers. It’ll include a coffee bar and a floral bar
that will feature a vast selection of seasonal flowers allowing customers to build their
own bouquet. We also plan on hosting small skill-based workshops and popups
that will provide local talent a space to showcase their work. We have a lot of other
big goals for the space and will hopefully be able to share those in the near future.

Where does the name come from?
We knew we wanted the space to speak for itself instead of defining it for people.
Our intention is to let it come together organically, allowing the community an opportunity
to help shape what it is. The building itself and what we’re trying to
accomplish is heavy. It’s defined as something “substantial” or “of great weight.”
That speaks very accurately to the impression we hope it will leave on the
community.

Who owns it?
That is a complicated question, haha. [They’re leasing it from a third party].

You just had an event here, was that a soft-opening?
We have been hosting several private previews to not only show off what we’ve
accomplished so far but also because the building as-is is extremely unique and has
a lot of natural character. We simply want to invite our community into the process
of what we’re doing and that has been a simple way to do so.

I hear you’re having some food elements in here, what does that look like and is
anyone officially signed up yet?
We would love to have an option for food and we are looking at what it will require
in order to make that happen. We’ve brought Hunger Street Tacos and Bangrak Thai
into that conversation to help us dream what that might look like.

Besides the food vendors and Porch Therapy, what else will be in here?
Downtown CREDO will feature a coffee bar as well. So far, that is the only other
vendor that we’ve solidified.

What is the City of Winter Park asking you to do in order to open up?
We are on the tail-end of being ready to open for retail. So far, that is the only
conversation we have had with the city.

What’s your timeline until people can hang out in here?
We are hoping to have a grand opening for our retail shop by August 1st.

What are some things you think the local media has gotten wrong about The Heavy?
There’s definitely been a lot of rumors and preemptive information circling around.
We’ve been called a market or food hall, which isn’t accurate. Hopefully, everything included above will help clear up some of the misconceptions going around.

What are some big things on the horizon for this project?
While we do have some bigger picture ideas we’re investigating, we’re not at liberty to
share just quite yet as we don’t want to set off any alarms with the city.

What are two things you really want Bungalower readers to know about what
you’re doing here?
We want to elevate some of the best Central Florida has to offer that covers all the bases
mentioned above. We also want to bring the community around bringing life to an old building in Winter Park that has been vacant for years

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