Henry’s Depot a Culinary Collective soon to open in Sanford, FL

Henry’s Depot a Culinary Collective soon to open in Sanford, FL
Count me in as one of the many patiently and excitingly waiting for Henry’s Depot to open their doors. I’ve driven by countless times and watched as one of the very first railroad stations in Florida ran by Henry B. Plant back in the 1800’s comes back to life. The once drab and forgotten building is now painted an inviting steel blue paired with brand new steps leading you to the front porch as if you were walking into an old Southern home. The front porch wraps around the entire length of the left side on the building and leads to the back patio allowing for plenty of space for you and your friends to sit and relax and enjoy the Downtown Sanford view. I stepped inside to see the progress and chatted with owner Sean Kelley as he begins to gear up to open the doors to the new Culinary Collective in just a few short months!

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What is Henry’s Depot?
Henrys Depot is a concept we are calling a “Culinary Collective” which might be more commonly referred to as a food hall. Six different food vendors and a full service cocktail bar make up the collective offering our guests many options. The manner in which our property is situated also gives us the ability to offer some different experiences for guests who can relax out front on the old southern front porch, dine inside at one of the seating areas throughout, chill out on the west side deck or come party on the back patio where we will usually have live entertainment on weekends.

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How did you stumble across the old train station?
Back in 2016 a very good friend of mine, Joe Buttice, who we sadly lost to a car accident on I4 earlier this year came to me and showed me a lot of what was going on in Sanford and when we decided to do something in Sanford this was the first property we looked at, It just seemed like a wonderful canvas with incredible history for us to do something with.

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What is your background? 
I am from Upstate NY but have been in Central Florida since 1992, I have been in the service industry in restaurants and nightclubs for many years but more recently have had a career in real estate as the broker owner of Kelley Real Estate Group 2003 – 2008 and I also own Saint Lawrence Title 2004 to present which is now managed by my wife Kelsey. And are most recently happy to call Sanford home.

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Tell us a little about The Basin.
The original idea for this property was to build a brewery which Joe B came up with the name “Wekiva Basin Brewing, Co” but in the midst of the discovery phase of that we made the decision to just open a full service bar and cocktail lounge thus “The Basin” the theme is a nod back to the pre industrial times and reflects on the St Johns River and Wekiva Basin.

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Where are those beautiful Florida paintings from in The Basin?
A local artist Keith Goodson painted the two paintings and I told Keith I wanted to have the guests be able to have an experience with the paintings so Keith dug through a lot of stories and history of the St Johns, each painting has a specific story or meaning and when guests ask us about the paintings they will be given a card with a picture of the painting and its background. We will also have prints of the paintings available for sale.

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What businesses can we look forward to seeing inside The Basin?

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Anything interesting we should know about this historic building?
Its definitely haunted!!

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Anything you want to share about Henry’s Depot or yourself?

The journey to get the doors open has been a whole lot more than what I had an anticipated but I have poured every ounce of blood sweat and tears in to this project that I could muster and my passion for this project has consumed me. There is so much history on this site and so much to work with it has been incredible throughout
the process to see it come back to life and some of that can be seen in decor throughout the building. I have fallen head over heels in love with Sanford since this all started and feel as though all of this was just meant to be, there is no way I could have pulled it off otherwise.


Be sure to follow Henry’s Depot on Facebook so you don’t miss the announcement of their opening date as well as The Basin, which is scheduled to have it’s soft opening the beginning of August. Get ready for lots more Eats in Sanford!!

About The Author

Jessica Mccarty-Carvajal

Jessica here! A local Sanfordite myself, I enjoy exploring this beautiful earth, meeting new people, spending quality time with those my heart loves and living each day to the fullest. I am a local photographer and love capturing the beautiful faces of Central Florida, be sure to check out my most recent work at www.BenevolencePhoto.com. See you around!

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