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Florida’s largest network of local, independent businesses and independent-minded shoppers.

Plus: recipes, green gardening, business profiles and lots more!

Gift guide!

12 finds

from Local Shops

The 25-cent Shopping Tour Finding Paradise... here at home!

Dear neighbors, R I ecently I learned about what might be one of the worst work policies around. In certain county government offices, someone who gets tapped to be laid off has the option to keep his or her job by “bumping off” a co-worker in a similar job but with less seniority. I asked some friends what they would do in such a situation, and about half said they would take advantage of the policy. Even if it meant bumping off a close friend. Even if it meant bumping off a close friend who’s a single parent, or a close friend who’s caring for a terminally ill parent. “Each man for himself,” was one typical, immediate reaction. I can understand how someone who’s desperate, someone for whom getting laid off would be catastrophic, would respond that way. But this response came from friends of all economic backgrounds, all ages, both genders. Some are from dual-income, no-kids families; some are people who have substantial savings, who could ride it out for quite a while. Surely, getting laid off would likely still require some lifestyle changes. But these people wouldn’t be left hungry or homeless. “Why should I have to sacrifice anything if I don’t have to?” one friend asked. Because loyalty is important and friendship means more than material possessions? Because we don’t want to be hated by everyone else in the office? Because we don’t want bad karma? A friend in Tampa said it best: “There are always other jobs out there, but friendship can never be replaced.” The point in all this is not to suggest all of a sudden we all become selfless saints, but to think about the overall impact of our decisions. At the end, doing whatever it takes to keep our jobs might be the best decision, but if we want to get our communities out of this economic mess, we need to start thinking a little beyond ourselves.


A positive, perhaps unexpected, side effect of the recession is the networking that’s popping up. Not the traditional, 30-second elevator pitches and business-card-collecting kind, but networking in which we make connections and figure out ways to work together. At LocalShops1, we are constantly brainstorming with our member businesses and with other groups in the area and coming up with events to bring people together. Check with us for the latest community parties, networking chats, business seminars and more.

Ester Venouziou founder

don’t know if it’s an addiction or if it’s just because it’s the right idea for the right time. But being local business-oriented has become part of my main interests. I went on a road trip with three friends in September. We drove from Orange County, Calif., to the Redwoods, stopping in many places along the way, including Sonoma Valley for wine tasting, of course. We were amazed when we realized that we barely saw any big chain stores the entire week we were driving. “Lack of development,” some say. Choosing a better lifestyle, I think! Getting to know small business owners and different local personalities became an interesting part of our trip. We would jump in the car and talk about what we learned about that community from each person we met. That’s how we got information, went to people’s favorite places in the next town, and, most importantly, let our money for coffee and snacks stay local! One of our favorite stops was a family-owned winery called Caparone, in Paso Robles. Besides the excellent wine, the coolest thing was to have the owner giving the wine tasting. He is in constant contact with his customers’ taste and feedbacks, and the customers are certainly grateful for his knowledge.


Now, coming back to our local shops. Recently I talked to Mike Harting, owner of Bella Brava restaurant in St. Petersburg, who used to work at Outback Steakhouse. I asked him if there were lessons he learned in the corporate world that could help local businesses. “I think it is the other way around,” he said. “It’s a lot more challenging operating a local business. You have to order everything and be in contact with customers and vendors all the time.” And we think we are becoming a comprehensive venue for local business facing any challenges. It’s part of our addiction, too! LS1 magazine is growing, and that’s probably because it is the right time to be around and helping local businesses. We hope you enjoy reading our magazine and check out the shops that are part of LocalShops1. We hope LS1 inspires you to be “locally minded” addicted as much as we are. Enjoy!

Marisa Barbosa LS1 Magazine Editor


 ®1-®"1/®"  ®/

  š " for all the upcoming events, grand openings, latest reviews and up-to-date entertainment listings, along with money-saving coupons. PICK IT UP AT OVER 1,000 LOC ATIONS

SINCE 1991 Serving the South Pinellas Beaches from Tierra Verde and Isla del Sol, Pass-A-Grille/St. Pete Beach north to Indian Rocks Beach, and Surrounding Communities of Pasadena, Gulfport, Tyrone Area, Bay Pines, and Downtown St. Petersburg

Interested in advertising? Call 727-367-9538 or email


LocalShops .com

LS1 Magazine

Ester Venouziou, Editor & publisher Marisa Barbosa, Magazine editor Natalia Galbetti and Sara Palmer, contributing writers

staff Ester Venouziou, founder Pat Largo Jennifer Steele Brenda Smoak LaToya Brown Marisa Barbosa

3. Letters from the Editors: Marisa and Ester | 6. Amazing LS1 Girl’s Tour | 7. Have you seen LS1 Girl? | 8. 12 Local Shops

Gift Guide | 14. Finding Paradise: Safety Harbor Resort and SPA | 17. Guest Blogger: Amanda Davis

18. Sharing recipes!


| 21. The 25-cent Shopping Tour | 24. Guest Blogger: Hilton Kean | 25. Business Profile: Twice as Nice | 26. The Nature of Art | 27. Guest Blogger: Leah Dallaire | 29. Going green gardening tips | 30. Three types I won’t follow | 31. Talk to LS1 girl!

This publication is fully funded & supported by friends & members of, Florida’s most comprehensive network of local, independent businesses. Save money, shop happy, support the community! To advertise here, call 727.637.5586 or e-mail is the Web site of Local Shopper, LLC. We can be reached by phone, 727.637.5586, by e-mail,, or by retro mail, P.O. Box 530144, St. Petersburg, FL 33747 | |

Have you seen LocalShops1 girl? Spot LS1 Girl and win!

LS1 Girl is always shopping around and looking for cool places. If you see her, make sure to say hi, and take a picture with her. You never know when she’ll have prizes for you! For more information check in every day on or follow LS1 Girl on Facebook, Twitter and on her blog!

Gulfport! LS1 Girl loves wandering around Gulfport, and she always makes sure to drop

by the Outpost, to see the latest art and jewelry owner Leslie has in stock. And a bonus: LS1 Girl also gets to see her buddy Kurt, of Kayak Adventures, who shares space

in the Outpost. And next door, Botiki! 1Card in hand, and LS1 Girl is ready to go!

St. Petersburg! It’s true, LS1 Girl had a date ... with the Maddux Business Report Gnome. Love match? Not quite. They both love big sunglasses, and they both love the Globe coffee lounge, below ... but that’s about where their similarities end. Still, they plan to stay friends. You can read more about her not-so-hot date on her blog, blog.

Tampa! LS1 Girl makes herself at home

at Historic Shed’s new installation recently. Historic Shed is based in Brooksville, but install sheds all over Tampa Bay.

Safety Harbor!

In Safety Harbor, where she likes to

drop by Taste cafe for a large latte with three Splenda packets.

Great Finds Local Shops

Edited by Marisa Barbosa Photos by LocalShops1 business owners

Looking for some gift ideas? We’re here to help. We went around town asking local businesses owners for suggestions and we came up with 12 great finds for your favorite people and pets.

And here’s one more bonus idea, straight from our cover: Glass art from the Industrial Arts Center in Gulfport. So what are you waiting for? Grab your 1Card* and go shopping! * Don’t have the 1Card? See page 12 for details. It’s free!

Looking for a gift that will last a lifetime? This coffee table album is a beautiful way to display 20 of your favorite images. Available in eight colors with an inscription on the cover. Great as a gift for parents and grandparents. “My mom and dad cried when I gifted them with this one Christmas, filled with images of my children. An amazing keepsake, forever cherished and shared!” writes photographer Tanya Sharkey of St. Petersburg. Regularly priced at $499, but only $350 when you go in with your 1Card or mention Tanya Sharkey Photography 2720 Fourth Street N., St. Petersburg 727.424.0236

The “Balancing Act” features crystal quartz rounded teardrop beads, adorned by Sodalite chips all the way up the neck and finished with sterling silver beads. Sodalite is said to stimulates the third eye chakra and deepen meditation. In simple terms, the stone brings emotional balance and can help people who suffer from “sick building syndrome,” says artist and psychic Debby Polis Carter of St. Petersburg.Plus, “Crystal Quartz is the most powerful healing and energy amplifier on the planet and boosts the properties of whatever stone it is used with. Quartz stimulates the immune system, harmonizes all of the chakras and brings the body into balance,” she says. This set includes 19” necklace and a pair of earrings, and is available for $55.

Bright Eyes Family Vision Care in Westchase is one just a few locations in west-central Florida that carries Tiffany & Co. Eyewear. Tiffany has created eyeglass and sunglass styles inspired by their exclusive designs, hand-set with sparkling crystals and sterling silver. Most frames can be made into prescription eyeglasses or sunglasses, too. And of course, every pair comes with a case enclosed in the much-coveted robin’s egg blue Tiffany box. Prices start at $300. Bright Eyes Family Vision Care 10108 Montague St., Tampa 813.792.0637

Jennifer Steele, owner of Spinderella’s Steals Resale Boutique in St. Pete, creates hand-painted, one-of-a kind designs on jeans, bags, shoes .. even cowboy boots. Prices vary depending on the design. For jeans, it’s about $25 for a painted pocket to $100 for a full leg. Each design is completely custom, based on the colors & styles you like. For extra sparkle, designs can include crystal beads and other embellishments. Spinderella’s Steals 6393 Ninth Street N., St. Petersburg 727.522.3325

This pondless water fountain — or, in designer-speak, a “disappearing water feature,” is a perfect gift for your zen friends or to help soothe the more scattered ones! The kit ($139.95) includes fountain, pump and basin. The fountains come in many sizes and styles, so it makes a great addition to every yard. Shipping and installation, if needed, are extra. Backyard Getaway 941.752.POND (7663)

One of the spiciest gifts we could find is Intensity Academy’s Gourmet Sauce Basket! “Perfect local gift for all those hard-to-buy-for friends, family members, customers, or anyone you want to share some Saucy Goodness!” writes Saucy Queen Michele Northrup of Lutz. Locally developed, locally packaged, and a set of these award-winning sauces is only $20 through December if you mention LS1. Regular price is $25. Intensity Academy 813.299.3600

For a truly one-of-a-kind gift, you can “cast a memory” in glass. Award winning glass artist Owen Pach creates a sand mold of your child’s hand, and then turns that into a glass masterpiece. Glass casting of a pet’s paw is also available. Cost varies, depending on mounting ($75 one beveled glass base, $100 on round stone base. Or you can get it unmounted for $45). The Industrial Arts Center 2902A Beach Blvd., Gulfport 727.289.9365

Most of us know at least one person who is impossible to shop for, because he has just about everything already. But if that friend happens to be a wine lover, we can help: the Philip Stein® Wine Wand uses natural energy to aerate wine, enhancing flavors and aroma in minutes, instead of the two or more hours it would take by just leaving the bottle open. Prices vary. Diamonds Direct 5085 34th St. S., St. Petersburg 727.867.4006

Give the gift of authentic home improvement to the owner of a historic home on your gift list. Historic Shed in Brooksville offers traditional screen doors, wood window screens, gates that complement and enhance bungalows, Victorians, colonials and other historic home styles. They’ll even work with you for surprise installations, all over west-central Florida! Prices vary.

For the fashion-savvy doggies, the hand-crocheted Daisy’s Party Collars feature “fur” trim. They’re washable, easy to put on, soft and comfortable. Available in a ton of colors, and in all sizes. From $5 to $14. Adventures in Bradyville 1100 4th Street N, #101, St. Petersburg 727.821.6700

Mi-Sa Rings, which you might have read a little about in the Nature of Art business profile on page 26 — are made of sterling silver and include an accent stone or bead. They come in a variety of sizes and colors. $26 each. The Nature of Art Gallery 1100 4th Street N., St. Petersburg 727.821.6700

Historic Shed

Body Elan Foot Care Pack, handmade with shea butter and aloe, includes a highly concentrated balm, lotion, a foot scrub bar and foot soaks. It all comes packaged in a reusable mesh, zippered pouch. Premium essential oils, no petroleum, 100% vegan. Regular price is $17.95, but if you go in with your 1Card or mention, it’s yours for just $14.95 Eclectic Ave 2436 Central Ave, St. Petersburg 727.452.8701

Save money, shop happy! Use your FREE 1Card and save money at dozens of participating businesses, including ...

Web sites (that’s us here! Local Shopper, LLC) 727.637.5586 813.503.4129 941.363.1607


Alchemy 941.746.3508 1215 12th St. W. Backyard Getaway 941.752.7663 Blue Room Studios 941.718.0114 1019 10th Ave. W.

Charisma Cafe and Art 941.748.8203 1004 10th Ave W. Hearts Desire 941.302.1069 1221 12th St. W.

Morr Services Inc. 727.422.5970 6304 Georgia Ave.


Historic Shed 813.333.2249 1212 Ponce de Leon Blvd.


My Favorite Things 727.738.1277 330 Main St. Twice As Nice 727.734.1401 674 Douglas Ave.


Safety Harbor

A & E Mobile Detailing 727.320.5497

Taste Safety Harbor 727.723.1116 500 Main St.

007 ComputerWeb Services 727.388.9442 2408 53rd St. S.

Complexions Skin Care Spa 727.729.9069 2908 Beach Blvd S. Industrial Arts Center 727.289.9365 2902A Beach Blvd. S.

Kayak Nature Adventures 727.418.9728 3007 Beach Blvd. S. O’Maddy’s Bar & Grill 727.323.8643 5405 Shore Blvd. S. The Outpost 727.439.1485 3007 Beach Blvd. S.

Sea Breeze Manor Bed and Breakfast Inn 727.343.4445 5701 Shore Blvd.

Land O’Lakes

Savvy VA — Virtual Assistant 813.500.7975


White Leopard Treasures 727.244.4954 State Road 54

New Port Richey

Pat Largo Comedian/Entertainer/Host 727.946.0548


911 editing 727.798.8186 6504 64th Drive E.

Safety Harbor Resort & Spa 727.726.1161 105 N. Bayshore


Evolving Wellness 941.921.3831 3627 Webber St. Suite B


Advertising at MADHouse 813.503.4625 Ehrlich Road Apple Blossoms Floral Designs 813.985.6409 3627 West Kennedy Blvd. Bellisimo Ristorante 813.792.7595 10102 Montague St.

Bright Eyes Family Vision 813.792.0637 10108 Montague St. Life Reflections video services 813.833.1642

Papergirl Press: Photography & Design 813.777.7751

Treasure Island

Nail Treasures by Cheryl 727.360.5881 7777 Bayshore Drive

St. Petersburg

Adventures in Bradyville 727.821.6700 1100 Fourth Str. N, Suite 101 Banyan Scapes 727.323.5484 932 49th St. S. CoCo’s Couture 727.289.7122 1614 Central Ave. Diamonds Direct 727.867.4006 5085 34th St. S. Eclectic Ave 727.452.8701 2436 Central Ave. Enchanted Forest Photography 727.209.2306 529 Central Ave. Florida Lifestyle Pools 727.519.5999 Image Creations of Florida 727.522.7662 3025 44th Ave. N. Nature of Art Gallery 727.821.6700 1100 Fourth St. N, Suite 101 The Pier Aquarium 727.895.7437 800 Second Ave NE Spinderella’s Steals Resale Boutique 727.522.3325 6393 Dr. MLK St. N. Starbaby Readings 727.244.4281 Talk of the Town Fashion & Accessories 727.896.5400 111 2nd Ave. N.E. Sharkey Photography 727.424.0236 2720 Fourth St. N.

Businesses interested in joining the 1Card program may e-mail or call 727.637.5586

Getting away from it all doesn’t have to mean leaving Tampa Bay. The Safety Harbor Resort and Spa takes you to another world with its 175 guest suites, 50,000-square-foot spa and fitness center amid 22 acres overlooking the bay. This historic resort — Florida’s only natural mineral springs resort spa — certainly knows how to pamper its guests. It all started back in 1539, when Spanish explorer Hernando DeSoto discovered the natural mineral springs. The landmark spa came about a few centuries later, in 1944, when Dr. Salem Baranoff, a naturopathic physician from New York, bought the land and the springs and created one of the first true destination spas in the United States. Known as the place “where healing waters flow,” this resort spa has welcomed guests to its waterfront location on Tampa Bay for more than 60 years. Olympia Development Group took over the resort in December 2004 and has since been working on a multi-million dollar plan to revitalize and restore the historic property. Part of the plan is the multimillion dollar Spa Sanctuary,

Meet us at spa!

Holiday gift cards and special packages are available .. and the prices will pleasantly surprise you!

Here’s a recent offer for a minispa vacation: your choice of 25minute facial or massage, lunch and all-day access to all the resort and spa amenities is just $49/per person or $89/couple.

Safety Harbor Resort & Spa photo

The Spa Sanctuary is part of a multi-million dollar renovation plan at the resort. It offers more than 20 spa and salon services: steam rooms, whirlpools and award-winning aquatic fitness programs; and pools — two outdoor, one indoors.

in which visitors enjoy beautiful artwork in private rooms with the latest comforts for spa treatments. A lushly landscaped Tranquility Garden and

waterfront views of Tampa Bay help create a relaxing sanctuary where guests can indulge in a sensory journey combining massage and facial treatments.

Want more? You can spend the weekend there, for just $129 to $149/night (two-night-minimum stay), and that includes your choice of spa treatments and full use of the resort! For more information: 1-800-BEST SPA The spa is at 105 North Bayshore Drive, in Safety Harbor.

Safety Harbor Resort & Spa photo

The Safety Harbor Resort & Spa also includes 30,000 square feet of meeting and social space, including a new ballroom and outdoor venues.

Bayshore Pets is a family-owned little pet store in Bradenton. The store has been in business for more than 15 years; for the past two, it has been owned by Kelle and Ron Robichaux. They sell lion-head rabbits, fish, birds, ferrets, guinea pigs, frogs, large black sharks, comet goldfish, boas, pythons, and much more. “We sell everything but dogs and cats,” Kelle said. The shop does have supplies for dog/cat owners, though. Near the counter, there are products such as flea medication for

dogs and cats, shark tooth necklaces, dog cologne, dog treats, and training whistles. The store has started to breed some of their snakes and lizards. Owners Kelle and Ron have two kids, Ronnie, 26, and Jeremy, 16, who help their parents maintain the store. Mom is the one who started to get the pets when her kids were little. She loves animals. “Well, they all do!” Kelle told me. “The thing that makes us unique is that we all genuinely love working here. We truly live our passion!” They also have an employee named Mike, who is sort of the store’s reptile guy. Mike is like a walking, talking computer on

reptiles. With Jeremy it’s the spiders; Ronnie loves his snakes, but is kind of the fish expert of the store. At home, it’s like a mini pet shop. They have four cats, one dog and a tank of saltwater fish. Here is a quick story for you. Ronnie started to catch snakes at the age of 10. He brought a rat snake home when he was 11. Kelle was fine with it. She loved it. If that were me, I wouldn’t have let him in the house. An interesting tidbit, Kelle says: “I have been bitten by almost every animal we have, but Ron hasn’t been bitten by any. Not one!” Yours truly,


Bayshore Pet Shop

6041 14th St. W., Bradenton 941.870.0661 bayshorepets@gmail. com

About our writer

Amanda Davis is a sixth grader at Thurgood Marshall in St. Petersburg, and is in the school’s gifted magnet program. Amanda enjoys baking, reading and, of course, writing for LS1 magazine.

Impress your guests

LocalShops1 Girl has great friends who share their great recipes! Here, coconut macaroons from Taste in Safety Harbor (500 Main St.; 727.723.1116; and party dip from Michele Northrup of Intensity Academy (www.

Coconut Macaroons

2/3 cups flour 1/4 teaspoon salt 5 cups shredded coconut 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk 2 teaspoons vanilla 1. Preheat oven to 350. 2. Grease two cookie sheets. 3. Sift flour and salt into a bowl. Stir in the coconut. Pour in the milk. Add vanilla and stir from the center to make a very thick batter. 4. Drop by heaped tablespoonfuls of batter 1 inch apart on prepared sheets. 5. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Cool on rack.

Saucy Holiday Crab Dip

3 tbs butter 2 shallots minced 2 tbs flour 3/4 cup milk 1/2 tsp salt 1/4 cup whipping cream 2 tbs Green Tea Gourmet 1-2 tbs Chai Chipotle Hot Sauce (to taste) 1 lb lump crabmeat 1. Melt butter in sauce pan on medium heat with shallots until tender. 2. Add flour & stir three minutes. Add remaining ingredients minus crab. Cook until it thickens. 3. Add crabmeat & heat through. Serve hot

Comfort food for chilly nights

JoEllen Schilke, owner of the Globe Coffee Lounge (532 First Aven. N., St. Petersburg;, shared this recipe, adapted from her mom Clair Schilke. First, go shopping! • 2 lb bag of dry northern beans (cover by 2 inches with filtered water and soak overnight) • 1 lb Hungarian Sausage, or Kielbasa, chopped • 1 large or 2 small bone marrow chunks • 1 large white onion, chopped • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped • 2 tbsps oil • Large pinch of paprika • Pinch of mustard seed • Pinch of dried rosemary • Salt and pepper to taste • 2 bay leaves • 2 carrots, chopped • 1 large sweet or baking potato, chopped • 1 stalk celery, with leaves, chopped

Hungarian Sausage Soup • Start heating oil in a large

stock pot over medium heat. Your garlic, onion and sausage should already be chopped. (You can chop the rest while things are heating up) • When the oil is hot (if you drop a piece of garlic in, it will sizzle), put in the paprika, mustard seed and rosemary, and black pepper. • Swirl around bottom, and add the onion and garlic. • Let cook for a few minutes, and add the sausage. Stir, and let cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. • After 10 minutes, add a little water, stir, and cook for another five.

• Remove

the sausage (leaving as much onion and garlic in) and add the chopped potato, carrots and celery, and the bay leaves. • Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add an inch of water, and let cook for a few more minutes. • Drain (if necessary) and rinse the beans, and add to pot. Stir well, and cover with water (about an inch or two above the beans). Turn the burner up to high.

• Bring to a boil. Let boil

hard for about 7 or 8 minutes, and reduce the temperature to medium. Stir well. • Let the soup cook at a very light boil for about 40 minutes. Fish out a piece of potato and see if a knife will easily pierce it. If so, add sausage & its juices back in. If not, cook for another 5 or 10 minutes until it does. • Stir well, turn off the stove, add salt/ pepper to taste, cover the pot, and let it sit for a while covered, with you occasionally stirring. • The soup will gradually thicken. • Serve with bread if you want, add chopped scallions to the top, or just plate it as is. (makes a big pot of soup with 8 or more servings. Total time is about two hours)

The 25-cent Shopping Tour By Sara Palmer Contributing Writer Photos by Marisa Barbosa

At, we think shopping should be fun, not just an errand. For us, shopping means exploring, getting to know the local shops, the business owners, the neighborhoods. We don’t like wasting time in long lines at the chain stores, or fighting crowds at the Big Box stores. And driving in circles looking for a parking spot? No way. From Sarasota to Hernando, there are tons of great shopping possibilites. This time, we explore downtown St. Petersburg. Park your car, hop on the Trolley (it’s only a quarter), and let’s go shopping!


he holidays can be stressful, especially when we are fighting with other drivers just for a spot, way in the very back of the mall’s parking lot; or when we are pushing our way through the crowds to get to Nordstrom’s last light pink cashmere sweater. Here at LocalShops1, we can make things easier for you. We’re lucky to have so many interesting neighborhoods, with unique and exciting shops. One great shopping district is downtown St. Petersburg. Here, we don’t have to battle our way through crowds or parking lots. Instead, we ride a quaint trolley, learn a little bit of history and shop at one-ofa-kind boutiques. The Looper Trolley is a little jewel. For just a quarter, we can ride in an air-conditioned, oldfashioned trolley. The driver narrates as he navigates through town, telling a little about old St. Pete along the way. There are many shops along the Trolley route, so we can park and traverse the city without having to trudge a long way back to your car, laden with shopping bags. ••••• One popular stop is the Salvador Dali Museum. We found beautiful

Dali-inspired jewelry, including watches, pendants and earrings, from $24.95 to $130. There were also prints of Dali’s most famous works, sold as posters, framed canvases or matted works, for $10

to $445; and all the usual gift shop fare: Tshirts, ties, mugs, journals and a lot of Dali themed kitsch, all reasonably priced. Hopping back on The Looper, we enjoy a waterfront ride as we pass St. Petersburg’s Albert Whitted Airport. This airport is a national historical landmark: The first scheduled commercial flight took off from this airport in 1914. As we ride farther into the heart of downtown, people constantly get on and off the trolley. “It’s a melting pot,” trolley driver Jerry Byrd said. “We see everyone on here. Tourists and locals alike.” ••••• Another popular stop along the route is BayWalk, which, though in transition, still has some shops and restaurants worth checking out. Good place for a movie break, too. ••••• A block or so away is

Talk of the Town, a

boutique that lives up to its motto: “Upscale Style at Downtown Prices.” The shop offers unique jewelry from rhinestone-encrusted watches to hand crafted Indonesian necklaces. Most of the jewelry, including earrings, watches and necklaces is under $20. Owner Elena Minton helps complete the atmosphere with a friendly smile and boisterous laugh, making shopping

fun. Originally from Moscow, Minton has spent the past 10 years in St. Petersburg working in the finance and accounting field. “I decided I wanted to do something more fun,” Minton said. “So I got this store.” Minton’s store offers a variety of fashion handbags for under $50. Betty Boop, zebra prints or jewel-encrusted peace signs are just a few of the designs you will find. ••••• A few steps around the corner is Hooker Tea Co. As we enter the shop, the

fresh aroma of teas and scones is almost intoxicating. “The idea was to open a place where men felt comfortable going into,” owner Shawn Hooker says. “Tea is just something that should be comfortable to everyone — man, woman, young or old.” The shop has free wireless Internet access, an assortment of board games and soft chairs that you can sink into while enjoying an invigorating cup of tea. Hooker makes all of his own tea blends, more than 100! They can be purchased by the cup or by the ounce to recreate that relaxing feeling in your home. But it’s not just tea. Hooker has lots of gift possibilities, too: eclectic teapots with beautiful Asian-inspired or simple minimalistic designs from $30 and up, for example. The store also sells the Timolino Tea Maker for $19.99. You place loose tea inside, pour in hot water and let it steep. After a few minutes you place the tea maker on top of your cup and push a lever, pouring the tea from the bottom. ••••• Now, as any pro shopper knows, shopping isn’t just about buying stuff. It’s also about dining. So next we head a few doors down, to

one of our favorite restaurants.

The Moon Under Water is a

British style pub that offers indoor and outdoor seating with a beautiful view of old Banyan trees offset by the harbor of the Renaissance Vinoy Resort. The menu includes traditional British favorites including shepherd’s pie, curry dishes and a variety of salads including a tasty Moon Cobb salad. ••••• After lunch, we’re ready for more shopping. Our next stop is In Search of Balance. This store is the perfect place to pick up something for the eco-friendly person on your holiday list. “We do as much organic and recycled materials as we can,” store owner Julie Meyer says. “A lot of companies we deal with use natural fibers.” The Meyers lived in St. Thomas for more than 10 years and when they moved to St. Petersburg they took a little time off from work for themselves. “We knew we needed to go back to work, but we loved playing, It’s a balance,” Meyer says. “That’s how we came up with the concept.” In Search of Balance sells designer brands including Patagonia, Simple shoes and Horny Toad. Many prices start at $70, but there’s usually also a nice selection of sale items, many from 25 to 75 percent off. They also offer fair trade goods, including purses and messenger bags from Gecko Traders, which are made from 100 percent recycled rice and feed bags. The owners created a collection of one of a kind T-shirt with clever metaphors recognizing that life requires work, but play is also a necessity. From balancing a life with high heels and flip-flops or beer and exercise, the shirts ($22) have a motif that will fit anyone’s lifestyle. •••••

For another quarter, we hop back on the trolley and head back to our car ... well, except if we decide to stop back on Central Avenue for more shopping! ••••• Fashion and home decor at Accents by Josie, set appointments for holiday portraits at Enchanted Forest Photography ... maybe another snack, this time at Bella Brava?

Often we get caught up with deadlines and shopping becomes an errand. Riding the Looper around downtown St. Pete puts things in perspective, and reminds us what shopping really should be all about: fun! Accents by Josie 531 Central Ave. 727-895-6010 Bay Walk 151 Second Ave. N. 727-895-9277 Bella Brava Restaurant 515 Central Ave. 727-895-5515 The Salvador Dali Museum, 1000 Third St.S. 727-823-3767 Talk of the Town, 112 Second Ave. N.E. 727-896-5400 Hooker Tea Co., 300 Beach Dr. Suite 124. 727-894-4832 The Moon Under Water, 332 Beach Dr. N.E. 727-896-6160 In Search of Balance, 300 Beach Dr. Suite 135. 727-823-0320

Story and photo by Hilton Kean Jones, About once a week, I come here to eat lunch, replenish my supply of cheese and wine, and order something from the deli or meat counter to take home for supper. Sometimes I go just to loiter over espresso and soak up the ambiance. I think it’s the overwhelming sensory input of Mazzaro’s ( that brings me out of whatever doldrums I might be in. That much information, that much detail, simply must be attended to with all of one’s being. In the process, worries vanish … along with hunger. Mazzaro’s has several long aisles crammed with gourmet packaged foods plus numerous presentations tucked away in corners, along passageways, and in side rooms. But, the food’s not just on shelves, it’s cured meats and garlic chains hanging from the ceiling and fresh meats and seafood of every variety piled behind room-long glass deli counters. You’ll also find refrigerators of homemade pastas and bins of bulk foods such as olives and coffee. One of the dominant smells — and there are as many smells as there are sights — is from the coffee they roast right there.

outdoor area, the patio, for eating lunch as well. The deli, where you can order prepared food to take home or eat there (heated if you wish) has sandwiches and gourmet entree-style dishes. The vegetables are al dente and plentiful. A side room specializes in wine and cheese. Here you can find a really good bottle for under $10. Of course, there are bottles much more costly, but Mazzaro’s imports some in bulk. I try one of each of several of the less expensive bottles and when I find one I especially like, if I can afford it, I return later and buy a case of it (at a discount) because the inventory on these deals doesn’t repeat. Mmmmmmm. This same room has workers The espresso bar is one of the busily slicing and packaging areas to eat lunch ordered from imported cheeses. They also the deli. There’s another semi- make their own fresh mozzarel-

la right there. The workers will give you a sample of anything you ask for. I don’t know if the bakery has the same policy. I’m afraid it might! While sitting at the espresso bar, I spent one entire lunchtime watching a baker there make a cannoli cake. Of course, it’s tough to choose between Italian sweets and the gelato they also make and sell there. But the bakery doesn’t just make sweets. Their baguettes are world-class. I’m especially fond of their wholegrain baguette. Of course, if you buy one of those, while you’re at that counter, you might as well buy the tiramisu, right? Mazzaro’s is at 2909 22nd Ave. N., St. Petersburg; 727.321.2400. The market is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

HILTON KEAN JONES, composer and keyboard recording artist of commercial and classical music, is published by Kendor Music, Dabash Kephim, Concordia, Logia, SKQ, Hope, and WTM. Mr. Jones was music director of the NFL Super Bowl Pregame Shows from 1992 through 2001, and music coordinator/video director for Super Bowl XXXVI (2002) Pregame Show. He was recently appointed Professor Emeritus at the University of South Florida School of Music (Tampa), where he taught music composition, computer applications in music, and orchestration. He publishes two blogs: inkwatu. com and

Boutique feel, bargain prices

Twice as Nice in Dunedin helps shoppers mix and match the perfect outfits. It’s like having your own personal stylist, one customer says. By Natalia Galbetti Contributing Writer

She didn’t pick the store’s name, but she’s definitely living up to it. Four years ago, Leticia Estep took money from her recent divorce and bought Twice as Nice, a consignment store in Dunedin, with her best friend-turned-business partner, Andrea Garzon. The two took over the barn-like house on Douglas Avenue, painted it white and hot pink, and turned it into one of the town’s go-to destination for clothes, accessories and friendly talk. “I always thought consignment was so neat, but I wanted to open a boutique, something quaint, nice,” says Estep, 40. “You get more of a personal feeling when you come in here. I want to make my customers feel special.” The 100-year-old house is divided into nine rooms, each with a theme such as business clothing, name brands, accessories, plus size, formal wear and sales. Each week, Estep carefully organizes and styles the rooms. When a consigner brings in a new piece of clothing, she first checks for stains, rips or loose threads. If it passes the test, Estep decides if it belongs in the store, by considering what items in her store would best complement the new addition. The selection process is meticulous and fashion-savvy, as if she were shopping for her own personal closet. “She doesn’t only sell things. She has the flare to put it together,” says Marlene, Estep’s friend and customer. “She’s like your

own personal stylist.” And that’s a role she assumes every time someone walks in. Like those boots? They would look great with skinny jeans, Estep says. And that bracelet, it would look so cute with the white shirt over there ... She takes into consideration the person’s size, skin tone and style and suggests what will fit them best. “She’s very customer-oriented,” says Jean, one of the store’s most loyal customers . “I come in every other day. I may come back tomorrow.’” The store has very much a personal feel. Estep knows her customers, and she knows where each of thousands of items in her store came from. “That one is from my girl Alessandra. She brought it from Nepal,” she says, pointing to a colorful beaded necklace. “And this one over here is from my girlfriend Dominique. Isn’t it beautiful?” Among the precious finds in the store are a sequined Oleg Cassini dress for $69.50 and a L.A.M.B. bracelet for $17.50. The clothes stay at the store for 90 days while Leticia “babysits” them. Every 30 days items go unsold, the price tag is lowered. And if those weren’t recessionista-friendly enough, on Fridays some of the skirts, shorts and pants are sold for $1; shoes, purses and tops for $2; and dresses, jackets and two-piece sets for $3. Love an item, but can’t afford it until next month’s paycheck? No problem. Estep offers her customers a sort of philan-

thropic lay-away. “Sometimes a customer wants to buy something, but it costs $10 and they only have $5. I tell them, give me the $5 and you can come back later with the rest. Never did someone not come back,” she says. “They trust me and I trust them. Once you give someone a chance, it’s unbelievable how they come around.” And what she gives, she gets back. Friends and other local business owners are always ready to help. Twice as Nice frequently hosts VIP fashion nights, in which groups of five or more get the stores to themselves for an after-hours party. Other local businesses pitch in so she can offer drinks, snacks, live music, special sales. She also hosts fashion shows, and professional make-up and hair stylists offer their services. It might be good karma, with a splash of good business sense and a great flair for fashion. The combination makes Twice as Nice, well, even more than twice as nice.

Twice as Nice 674 Douglas Ave. Dunedin 727-734-1401

t r A f o e r u t Na ... It’s all in the family

At a St. Pete gallery, a mom, a daughter and a dashing lab combine their love of nature and pets. By Sara Palmer Contributing writer Photos by Marisa Barbosa For Sandy Williams, 72, and her daughter, Kathy Crotts, 43, art and life go hand in hand. The two women, owners of The Nature of Art gallery in St. Petersburg, not only promote art,

Kathy Crotts’ pets pose to her handmade cards!

but also a sense of community. When we walk into the gallery, we are greeted by Brady, a dashing young lab and pointer mix who has his own corner in the store. But more on that later. Nature of Art is packed with color and excitement. But it’s also a relaxing atmosphere, complete with the soothing sound of running water from a fountain, which doubles as a water bowl for thirsty pups. The gallery moved from Passa-Grille to St. Petersburg a year and a half ago. It features work from about 30 artists, mostly local, as well as the work of the owners themselves. Williams’ art includes paintings, such as national Paint the Parks award winner of an elk; and Mi-Sa rings, named after her 15-year-old rescue cat. Crotts’ works include photographs and handmade greeting cards, inspired by Brady and the other furry members of her family — Daisy and Maggie. One card shows Brady wearing a party hat and handkerchief, looking more than a little put out. On the

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Co-owner Sandy Williams shows off some of the merchandise.

front: “No animals were harmed in the making of this card.” Inside: “But one dog was made to feel like a complete idiot.” Other art we find here: Scuba Fish, made of metal and hanging from the ceiling, by artist Ron Lemoine; funky and earthy jewelry, made with copper, beads and other materials, by designer Tara McLane; a great selection of pottery, including cheese bowls and decorative angels, by artist Nancy Phelps. Next to the terracotta are exquisite glass blows by artist Steve Schramek. Holding up a latticework glass bowl to the light, you can watch as reds morph into blues, almost like an optical illusion. The store offers a great selection to fit all budgets. Lots of items are under $50, including jewelry, journals and printed art.

Now, Brady’s corner

When Williams and Crotts are not working, they spend much time working with dog rescues and animal shelters. Their love for animals carries into their work. Often they host fundraisers at the store, for exam-

ple. Also, they donate a portion of sales proceeds to cat rescues. Here, dogs are welcome. In fact, the Humane Society of Pinellas has certified the gallery as animal friendly. As for Brady, he has claimed his own corner at the gallery. Adventures in Bradyville features gifts for canines and felines: tuxedo harnesses, party collars, custom tags, pretty bowls and more. For their human companions, Brady offers pet-inspired jewelry and accessories. Brady donates a portion of sales to rescue groups and shelters. The Nature of Art

727.821.6700 1100 Fourth St. N, Suite 101, St. Petersburg Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday to Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Closed Sunday and Monday. Extras: You can stay in the loop by friending Brady on Facebook. He’ll even invite your dogs — and you, if you behave — to his Yappy Hour.

But you can’t smell a Kindle ... By Leah Dallaire 911 Editing

Recently, I went into one of my favorite local places in the world, a little second-hand book nook in Palmetto, geared up for a comforting eight-hour browse on a rainy afternoon. This little place is hidden behind another shop that sells old tires and refrigerators and small appliances. You almost can’t see it behind the graveyard of washing machines and old hot water heaters, and I found it quite by accident a year ago. It’s sort of attached there as an afterthought. I walked in, coffee in hand, ready to crawl around the stacks and sneeze in the dust and find a few hidden masterpieces. I wasn’t surprised to see the lady behind the counter curled up and reading herself. Things are

slow when it downpours. What I was surprised to find, though, was that she was reading on a Kindle! Scouring an e-book in the middle of all of these stacks of forgotten treasures. Interesting juxtaposition. The Kindle is a curious little gadget. It can download (for a fee) and hold about 1,500 books. The new version will even read to you, if you are so inclined. It plays MP3s in the background if you need tunes to read by. There’s even a Kindle app now for the pretentious iPhone. (iPhone, by the way, is going on the list of things I never want to hear again at the end of the year. ‘Swine Flu’ is also on it.) I must admit, I just don’t get the whole e-book thing. OK, it’s convenient and it’s quick and it may even be a bit cheaper than paying for the physical

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book, and it saves trees, I’m certain. I’ve edited a few for clients. But what happened to holding a book in your hands? Feeling the paper, smelling the ink? Cracking the spine? Call me kooky, but I love that visceral feel of a new book. And I love the dust and mold from an old book, too. I like to be in my quiet home office, surrounded by the noble look of shelves and shelves of books. I also wonder what this slide in the industry will mean for our local book places. Do they have business slip off to the Kindle? Or are their still crazies like me who want to spend all day in their stores, drinking coffee and browsing and spending a small fortune on books I

don’t need but absolutely must have or I’ll die? I have yet to have a book published. But I am certain I want to see my work in the tangible, be able to walk into one of our local shops and see it displayed. I just don’t think having it read on a Kindle would give me the same thrill. I know I’d have a tough time signing it. My friend that runs the dusty old book nook that has become my second home had this to say, though: “The story’s the same, no matter where you read it.” Good point. Leah Dallaire is a copywriter, editor and consultant with more than 20 years experience. Her web site is She wrote this article as a blog for

V illageofthe A rts . com

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GoingGreen By Lisa Burns, Backyard Getaway

It seems simple, plant a garden and your helping the environment. The truth is what you plant will determine how much you will need to water, fertilize and spray for pests. It is important to know how your landscape and gardening practices can have both positive and negative effects on Florida’s environment. Below are several sustainable gardening tips you can adopt that will help you conserve and protect our natural resources. Mulching

Zap invasive plants

Water conservation

Reducing lawn areas

Mulch helps to keep water in the soil, rather than evaporating into the air and that cuts down on watering needs. As mulch breaks down, it provides nutrients to the soil, and that can help reduce the need for fertilizing. Make sure you use mulches that are from sustainable forestry practices, like Melaleuca Mulch, instead of Cyprus mulch. Melaleuca or Punk Tree is an invasive tree in Florida.

To conserve water, you should water only on your designated day, with a soaker hose or a drip irrigation system. You will have less water evaporation than you would with a sprinkler, and it will provide targeted watering. Also, use a timing device with your watering system. Another great way to conserve water is to install a rain barrel and catch rainfall from your roof. This water can then be used to water your garden.


Xeriscaping is an approach to landscaping that minimizes outdoor watering while maintaining soil integrity through the use of native, drought-tolerant plants. It’s the best way to have a beautiful yard without the need for daily watering. Xeriscaping is especially handy when we have watering restrictions.

Exotic and non-native plants can upset the delicate balance of our local ecosystem, and sometimes they push out native plants to the point of extinction. Wildlife benefits when native plant communities are restored to their natural habitats, providing the best source of food for wildlife. Nonnative plants also require more work than native plants. This is my favorite tip! Lawns require frequent maintenance: mowing, fertilizing and chemicals to kill weeds and pests. Planting native wildflowers, bushes and trees to replace lawn areas will reduce the need to mow. Another option is to replace the lawn area with a water garden. A pond provides food, water and cover for wildlife and plants. Having native plants in your garden will help you maintain a healthy, natural ecosystem and reduce your time working on the lawn. Which means, more time to enjoy it! Lisa Burns and her husband, David, own Backyard Getaway, which offers pond supplies and installation. For more information, you can find them online at Use your 1Card and receive free pond consultation ($35.00 value) and save 25 percent off your first online purchase (enter coupon code LS125 at checkout & the discount will be calculated).

Michelle Donner Photography

Water features are a great way to enhance your yard while also reducing your lawn area.

LocalShops1 Girl is here. As you know, I’m all about networking, and I especially love meeting friends through Twitter. But sometimes those “friends” turn out to be spammers. Here, our real friend Kevin tells us how to quickly spot them. And when you do, unfollow or block them immediately. No use wasting your time with these people …

By Kevin McNulty NetWeave Social Networking Look like a spammer

Use a profile picture I’ve seen before or that TwitBlock has on file, or better yet, use no profile picture at all and then pair that with a string of alphanumeric characters that make no sense for your username. Or you could be slightly less subtle and use a picture with a wad of cash, a pile of coins, or a plethora of dollar signs. And if any subtlety whatsoever is just not your style, use a nude picture.

Act like a spammer

Repeatedly demonstrate a complete lack of understanding of Twitter’s most basic etiquette: Putting a hashtag in front of every word of your tweet would be a good start here. You could also post an endless

Sound like a spammer

Send me a tweet asking if I have a “system” for making serious money on the Internet. You could also ask if I’d like to see your naughty pictures or your “adult” profile (be sure to use the quotation marks to make sure I don’t miss it). Alternately, use any of the following terms in your tweet or bio: • affiliate • MLM • cash • AMAZING • MIRACLE • GUARANTEED (be sure to use ALL CAPS).

Expires Jan. 31, 2010

string of tweets (22 in a row is the current record) mere seconds from each other so you completely blot out anyone else from the news feed – oh, and be sure every message somehow promotes your product or service. For good measure, you could make fun of how lousy some other person is at social media.

Kevin is president and co-owner of NetWeave Social Networking, a firm in Manatee County that combines the power of social media with face-to-face networking. They provide online social media campaigns, consulting, event planning & promotions. He can be reached at 941.677.8538.

Save money, shop happy!

LocalShops1 Girl asks .... Why do you shop locally? “It’s too much of a pain to park at the mall. Wish we had some small shops in the Feather Sound area. Especially a consignment shop.” Jackie L. Simpson, The Gold Lady, Personal Gold Buyers, Clearwater

“There are so many opportunities to find really unique gifts and treasures for yourself or others. The personalized service is all worth it!” Debby Polis Carter, owner, StarBaby Gems, St. Petersburg

“I love shopping locally because I get to meet fellow business owners.” Toni Spagnoli, president, Florida Lifestyle Pools, St. Petersburg


LS1 magazine Fall issue  

Winter 2009: LocalShops1 is Tampa Bay's most active network of local, independent businesses and independent-minded shoppers. LS1 magazine i...

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