Associate Spotlight: Gemma Matthews
by Gertrude Mann
Gemma Matthews, born and raised in the UK, is a talented and creative Associate. She has been serving our community for over 20 years. Gemma’s portfolio of responsibility includes all stores in the Fishing Village, overseeing the boat storage for MarineMax involving all contracts and paperwork for 500 boats, plus being in charge of all holiday décor, interior plants and orchid contracts, all tenants at the Business Center and the Farmers Market. How does she fit it all in? She laughs and says 24/7, but we know she finds time for her husband and children at home in Key Largo. Her efforts to assemble our Farmers Market have given all of us a terrific venue for shopping.
The Market remains open Monday, Thursday and Saturday from 11-4 but with rigid restrictions. In the time of Corona, gloves are distributed and spacing of purveyors and shoppers is enforced. Gemma recalls how it all started. She says, “I’ve known Jerry, the wonderful produce man, for years. He was my anchor and he led me to our crew of sellers. We were careful to choose those who fit the best criteria to serve Ocean Reef customers. Jerry’s stand used to be in the Plaza area, but when the Club expressed interest in moving the Market over to The Field at Four Corners, we were ready.
“Something new has been introduced: an alphabet of service—ORC’s F&B. When the restaurants closed we had offers of fine food available for selling at the Market. F&B brings steaks, chicken, fish, chicken and tuna salads, soups, bacon, eggs, and some sweets. Customers pay by giving their Member numbers. In addition, we have about 10 loyal vendors who sell bread and pastry, coffee, orchids, pasta, meatballs and sauce, high quality cheeses, dried fruits and nuts, Mediterranean foods, and always fresh fruits and vegetables. We are so happy to serve the Members. They are appreciative of what we do for them. I can’t begin to count the Thank You’s.”
Gemma is humble and credits all who help with the Market, but in our interview for this article we learned that much of the innovation comes from her. Every Market day she is at the Field, checking with sellers, making sure our Market remains top-notch in quality of products and service.
Open 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Monday, Thursday, Saturday
Please continue your practice of social distancing while attending the market. Be considerate of your fellow Members and those vendors working at the market.