Carol and Ed Williamson
Where do you live?
Carol: We live in Snapper Creek Lake which is just on the other side of the canal from the farmer’s market.
How long have you lived in the area?
Carol: We have been in our house for 40 years. I grew up down here. We moved here from Illinois when I was in grade school. Ed is from Indiana and moved to Lake Wales when he was very young. Ed graduated from college as an aerospace engineer and his father said if you want to be part of the business, you better get back down here.
Please share about what you do for a livelihood or what keeps you busy during the week?
Carol: Our family business, Williamson Cadillac just turned 50 years old. Ed and I are both still working and coming to the office every day. Ed’s father opened the showroom on Kendall Drive and was there for 30 years before moving to the location on 104th and US1. It’s hard to say what my job is, my card says I am a treasurer and partner. I am here for our employees and customers and handle all the real estate. We treat our employees like family and in turn they treat our customers like family.
How did you meet each other?
My mother and Ed’s father arranged our marriage. One of the first cars Ed delivered, in Miami, was an El Dorado to my mother. Soon thereafter, my mother and I had lunch plans and when I went to pick her up she said, I need to take my car in for an oil change. I grew up on Miami Beach and Kendall Drive was a loooong way south. We walked into the dealership and Ed’s father, George, said - we have reservations for lunch. This year is our 50th anniversary – so it worked!
How often do you come to the market?
We come every weekend, if we are in town. We go to church across the street from the market each Sunday for the 8:15 service and then head to the market.
Do you have a market ritual? If so, please describe.
Ed heads to Babe Froman to order breakfast and then gets me an arepa with an egg and avocado. I head over to you, and then go through the produce stands and usually get a large acai bowl. It will last me all week – as I continue to add things to it.
What’s your favorite thing to buy at LNB Grovestand and why?
I get the turmeric tonic and concentrate. I studied food and nutrition. I have always tried to incorporate turmeric in my life, and you have made it a lot easier.
What’s your favorite thing to buy at other stands at the market?
Honey from Keez Beez, Granola from Laurie, Sandwiches from Babe Froman, arepas and acai bowls.
A favorite activity I enjoy with my kids?
We go to yoga together on Wednesdays at the Elks club in South Miami. I also like going to the yoga class at our church on Saturday morning at 9am. Anyone is welcome to stop in for the class. They charge $10.
The best deal at the market is:
I wish the market had:
Carol: I miss Jerry’s produce and Francis’s almond croissants.
Ed: I wish the isles were wider.
Most-frequented local restaurants and what dish to order:
For fish, I love Captains Tavern. My favorite is the Hog fish.
For a quick lunch, we go to Wagon’s West. It’s like our Cheers – they all know my name. I’ll get a grilled cheese or scrambled eggs. If I want to be really bad - they have the best homemade cherry pie.
Two Chefs is good for quiet meetings.
For special occasions, I go to:
Either Caffe Abbracci or Caffe Vialetto in Coral Gables. Either place will make you anything you like.
Do you have a family recipe that you would be willing share?
Last night I made one of our favorites – roasted chicken. It’s a Trader Joes recipe. We both like dark meat. Take chicken thighs and coat with fig butter, champagne pear salad dressing and whole grain mustard. Roast at 425 degrees for 30 minutes and it’s so good.
One of my other favorites is sweet potato discs – I will slice up rounds of sweet potatoes and drizzle with olive oil and season with cayenne, salt and garlic powder. Roast with the chicken – they are delicious.
What’s the area’s best-kept secret?
Carol: It was Red Fish Grill – I wish they would rebuild.
Ed: If you’re on a boat – No Name Harbor. It’s enclosed, quiet and there’s a restaurant on the edge called Boater’s Café.
A worthy splurge:
Ed: Maine Lobster at Captains Tavern
Carol: Cherry Pie!
Movie at the Falls and an early dinner.
The most romantic spot around:
Our back yard – we have a jacuzzi, koi ponds, three waterfalls and orchids in all the trees.
Do you participate in any community or philanthropic events that you would like to share?
Carol: I am a breast cancer survivor and involved with raising awareness and money for research. Grace Wang is my oncologist and she founded Relay for Life. I participate with the East Kendall and Pinecrest groups, and it is really my passion. I was involved in designing the new breast cancer wing for the MCI center at Baptist – helping to make it as comfortable and easy as possible for patients. All of us on that committee are breast cancer survivors. I am 11 years out and am a mentor to people who are going through it and encourage them to stay positive. It really helps to stay positive.
Also, we’re very involved with University of Miami. We go to every football and basketball game. Ed’s been a trustee at UM for 30 years and is the chair of the visiting committee for the School of Engineering.
Ed: We’re involved with many different organizations. We have the best United Way operation in the country. Many of our employees, especially at a leadership level, are also involved with giving. United Way is very efficient – meaning they have a low overhead – so your dollar gets a lot more bang for the buck.
Do you own your own business or offer a service? Would you share a pitch about yourself or company with the community?
Ed: Our family business started with my maternal grandfather in North Eastern Indiana in 1929. He bought the Hudson Packard International Harvester Store. When my dad came back from the war, he bought into the business. In 1954 he bought a Cadillac Oldsmobile store in Lake Wales, and then 1967 built Williamson Cadillac on Kendall Drive. Now, on US1, we sell Cadillac, Buick and GMC. It’s the lowest pressure car buying experience anywhere and we have the best service operation in town.
What’s your favorite car that you have owned?
Carol: 1970 Corvette convertible
Ed: 1966 GTO
Is there a question that you would like to ask the LNBs?
Can I make golden milk with your turmeric concentrate?
A+W: Absolutely! Use a frother to whip up cold or hot coconut milk and add a shot of the concentrate. It’s delicious and beautiful.
If you would like readers to be able to contact you, how should they get in touch?