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Meet Mrs. Modica

Posted on May 01, 2014 in Sarah Modica , Modica Market , May-June 2014

Sarah Modica’s advice to mothers: “Always let your children know you love them, even when you’re angry. I’m sure there were times my mother wanted to throw me on the street,” she jokes. “But it’s important to always look into their eyes with love.” Photo by Wendy O. Dixon

One of Seaside’s favorite moms celebrates life in her favorite town By Wendy O. Dixon

Sarah Modica crossed the finish line of her first 5K in the Seaside Neighborhood School Half Marathon and 5K as its oldest participant. At 83, Modica brought home the award as the ranking senior in a race of 4,000 runners and walkers. “I came in first in my age group,” she laughs. “But there was only one in my age group.”

During her “training”—she uses the term loosely—she recalls clocking in at an hour and 12 minutes. “And during the race, I did it in an hour and two minutes,” she says.

“I could have beaten that time, but I was stopping to get pictures of the signs the sweet kids made for me to set along the road.”

As Sarah and Charles Modica, who were in the grocery business in Bessemer, Ala., were looking for a place to build a second home, the town of Seaside consisted of one lone cottage. “When we first came through here, there was nothing. And I remember this little red house sitting there,” she says, referring to Seaside founders Robert and Daryl Davis’ first home. “There was Robert sitting there with his two dogs, who told us of his plans for Seaside,” she remembers. “And when we were done we both said, ‘That man’s crazy.’” But the couple thought about it and quickly came to like the idea of the blooming new urban town. Robert Davis and

Charles Modica put their heads together, she adds, and with architect Deborah Burke designing the store, the specialty and gourmet market was built. The original design remains today, and Modica Market celebrated 25 years in Seaside in March.

When Charles and Sarah told their grown children about their move to Seaside, the kids were excited for them. Today, Charles Jr. and Carmel run Modica Market while the Modica’s other daughter, Mary Jo, continues living in Alabama. Sarah still loves to stop by the market to meet new visitors and see longtime friends. “I just try not to get in the way,” she laughs.

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