Local Folks: Markus Thiesen

Local Folks: Markus Thiesen
Markus Thiesen

Markus Thiesen calls himself CEO, Chief Enthusiasm Officer. He is co-owner of St. Johns Flower Market in Avondale, the one at the corner of Herschel Street and St. Johns Avenue, across the street from Fishweir Elementary School. He and his wife, Eden Erickson, bought the business in April 2020 from his parents, Marianne and Leonard Thiesen, who had opened the shop back in 1993.

When he’s not working, Markus Thiesen can often be found with a camera aimed at his kitties. He and Eden have two—Mimo, short for Mimosa, and Zuri, short for Azura. “We’re very proud of them,” he said. They were rescued from an abandoned house by his sister-in-law who has some veterinary experience.

Thiesen also enjoys sports. Football is a favorite pastime. “I’m a big Jaguars fan! Unfortunately, it’s very painful. But I’m not a fair-weather fan. I’ve been with them from the start,” he said.

Though he is a diehard football fan, Thiesen is not out on the field much anymore, though he did play for four years while a student at Paxon School for Advanced Studies. Rather, he heads to the basketball court, usually at the YMCA in Riverside or at Fishweir Park.

In addition to being a sports enthusiast, Thiesen is a coffee connoisseur. “I love coffee. A lot!” he said. He’s a big fan of small businesses in general, and he is particularly fond of craft coffee shops. He frequents certain ones in the area, like Bold Bean Coffee Roasters on Stockton, The Flamingo on Edgewood, and Social House on Herschel. For most of his life, Thiesen had been a loyal patron of Starbucks in Five Points. “Until one day they were closed. I found Bold Bean, and I’ve never gone back,” he said. That was in 2011.

Eden Erickson and Markus Thiesen
Eden Erickson and Markus Thiesen

Thiesen has a heart for charity as bold as his taste for coffee. That is why, for his 31st birthday in May, he tended the coffee bar at The Flamingo and donated all his tips to White Harvest Farms, established by the Clara White Mission. Its goal is to target food desert residents; low-income, homeless veterans; and the disadvantaged who lack education and skills for employment.

Thiesen calls himself a people-person who likes networking and making connections. He has a prominent following around the community, both virtual and actual. He has close to 1,300 Instagram followers, and the flower shop has nearly 3,000. Thiesen enjoys socializing at the coffee shops, getting to know local folks in his age range, 25-35, who are as enthusiastic as he is about small business matters. “We really like collaborating with other small businesses,” he said, speaking on behalf of his wife as well.

Thiesen is a Riverside-Avondale guy through and through. “I’ve always lived within a mile of where I live now, and I don’t really need any other part of Jacksonville. I love it here!” he said.

By Mary Wanser
Resident Community News

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