Page 1


Spring 2010

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

Also in this issue Exploring Gulfport Business profiles iPhone vs. Google Charity spotlight & lots more!

Why local shopping matters


 ®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

ere we are, with the third issue of LS1 magazine. It’s hard to believe that a year ago I found out through Craig’s List that needed an intern. I applied for my first internship, and Ester called me back and we met at the Globe, a coffee shop in St. Petersburg. I was hired to write one store profile a week and contact some businesses. Less than two months later I had to come up with a magazine concept for a magazine design class at USF and asked Ester if she would mind if I did the first LS1 magazine. Of course she didn’t mind! After that, there is no need for more explanation ... here we are on the third issue. By the time I graduated in December, I had a part-time job and a title, as a magazine editor! I’m responsible for writing, editing and design, as well as coordinating a team of student writers and photographers. During my years at USF-St. Pete as a mass communications major, professors didn’t know what to say to students about the journalism market! “It’s hard” ... “the papers are going to die” ... “everything is going online.” We are all watching what’s happening to journalism. While watching, I’m here, gaining experience and giving opportunities to the other students and recent graduates, or whoever is interested, to contribute. Whether this might become my full-time job or not, only time will tell. But some creativity can keep our hands full! There is a phrase in Portuguese that says “Not knowing it was impossible, he went and did.” Maybe this is a nice thing to meditate during “tough times!” I hope you enjoy this issue. Our contributing writers and photographers did a great job profiling great local shops. I hope you drop by and visit the shops. And bring your 1Card with you. Together, we can grow even more than we did this last year!

Marisa Barbosa, LS1 magazine editor Bragging corner! is tops! In the social media world, our page on Facebook is among the top 20 percent Facebook fan pages WORLDWIDE. Interns wanted! We’re looking for journalism & business students to join our internship program. For info, e-mail us at We want to hear from you. It’s all about brainstorming. Call 727.637.5586


hanks for being here, everyone! It has been an amazing year so far in LocalShops1-land! Because of you, we’re now the largest network of local, independent businesses and independent-minded shoppers in the Tampa Bay area! You’re in good company (3,000+), with the area’s top business leaders and the area’s most conscientious shoppers. Here are some of the highlights from our first quarter: • More than 100 businesses are participating in our discount shopping program, the 1Card (see pages 15-17). The card is free. E-mail us at & we’ll send you one. • Partnership with Grand Central District in St. Petersburg. This is a natural match. Afterall, Grand Central is a great, diverse neighborhood, full of local shops. The partnership means we’re now offering a joint membership for businesses, to give them double the marketing power. It also means a lot more events, including business seminars and networking gatherings for businesses and shopping parties and restaurant tastings for shoppers. We’d like to thank GCDA president Jim Longstreth and former president Mona Burrows — and all the businesses in the neighborhood — for making this possible. • LocalShops1 Girl is, officially, a diva! She’s launching her own line of perfumes, with the signature scents Spicy Shoppermaniac, Frisky Frugalicious and more. • LS1 Girl’s Street Patrol: Join us for tasting at restaurants and for private shopping parties. We get invited to all the best parties! For details, check out our fan page on Facebook. • We have a swanky new Web site, thanks to our amazing developers at Big Sea Design: Andi Graham and her team — Brendan Rehman and Dave Rau. You can now add reviews & rankings, and more easily browse for the best shops in town. Make sure to also check out LS1 Girl’s date book (a.k.a. “Events”) and her diary (a.k.a. “Blog”).

A quick shoutout

Recently we posted a contest on Facebook, asking people to vote for their favorite charity. The one with most votes would be featured in the magazine. We were overwhelmed at the passionate pleas for so many great causes. The winner was Treats for Troops (see next page for their feature); runners-up are Pet Pal and Imagine School, both in St. Petersburg. For more information, please check their web sites, and Please help if you can.

Ester Venouziou, founder | 3

W elc o m e !


Dear neighbors,

Charity spotlight

Supporting the troops

Recently we asked our Facebook friends to vote for a local charity most deserving of a full-page ad. Supporters of many great groups came forward, but the overwhelming votes were for Treats for Troops, which sends, every week, about 300 69-pound care packages to American troops in remote war zones. The boxes include everything from home-baked cookies to microwaves; crock pots to coffee makers; snacks, toiletries, cards and letters. This isn’t about politics, it isn’t about how you feel about the war. It’s about helping our neighbors, while they’re in remote lands. Karin King, Treats for Troops founder, explains more. — LocalShops1 Girl

Most of these soldiers do not have access to a PX (store on base) and if they do, it can be a 5 hour helicopter ride away, accompanied by gun ships. It happens all too often that the (American) hospitals don’t have bedding or that the Doctors don’t have scrubs and we are asked to pitch in. If you take into consideration that it costs approx. $1.00 a pound to ship these boxes, it might not be a surprise that our postage bill runs about $60,000 a MONTH. We launched “Operation Pocket Change” on Jan. 1, 2010 to ask the community to spare us their ‘pocket or loose’ change to help offset the costs for shipping. Reach out by putting a donation jar in your office, helping collect everyday items, helping bake cookies. Until they ALL come home. God Bless!

4 |

If you can help, please contact Karin King at or 813-746-1517 www.Treatsfortroops.INFO

LS1 LS1 Magazine

staff Ester Venouziou, founder

& LS1 Girl’s team: Latoya Brown Pat Largo Jennifer Steele Brenda Smoak Save money, shop happy, support the community!

Welcome letters, 3 |

Charity Spotlight, 4

Ester Venouziou: Editor & publisher Marisa Barbosa: Magazine Editor (writer/designer/ photographer) LS1 Girl’s USFSt. Pete team: Doug Watkins: Amy Blanton and Zachary Hall

Why do you shop locally? PAGE 7

Jen’s Blog, 6 |


Cover story, 7 |

In your words, 11 | Social media tips,


| LocalShops1 Girls, 13

| The best part of running your own business, 14 | Shopping directory! (1Card program), 15 | Gulfport, 19 | Biz profile: Bright Eyes Family Center, 22 |

Restaurant profile: Belissimo

Ristorante, 23 | Chef Profile, 24 | Biz Profile: Charisma Cafe,

26 | Biz Profile: Craftsman Gallery, 27 | i-Phone vs. Google Phone, 29 | The health blog, 30

This publication is fully funded & supported by friends & members of Tampa Bay’s most comprehensive network of local, independent businesses. Save money, shop happy, support the community! To advertise with us, 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 | | 5

E X P E R T ’ s c o r n er : Fa S H I ON

High heels

A love-hate relationship By Jennifer Steele Marketing Diva


love high heeled shoes. Absolutely love them! But they do not love me anymore. Well, yes, they do take off a few pounds and my legs do look a mile long, but my back and my toes scream at me before I even get them on my feet. It’s like my toes know that torture is coming and they start going into spasms before I even put that beauty on my foot. UGH! To be young and high heeled shoe-oriented once again… I used to live in heels. All the time. I didn’t realize that I was 5′6” until my dad measured me

6 |

— at age 29 — and told me the honest truth. “You are no more 5′8” than the man in the moon,” he told me. I tried to debate the subject by pulling out my driver’s license and showing him that YES I was in fact 5′8” and I had a license to prove it! But no, right there in the kitchen, my dad cut 2 inches off my life. 2 inches! Can you imagine? In my head, in under 10 seconds, I went from being a highfashion model to being just a cute girl. Darn it! But at least I still had my tall swanky shoes to help me out.

So, for 10 more years after that day in the kitchen with my dad, I traveled the planet in gorgeous high-heeled shoes, and I remained well over 5′8”! But as I approach 40, I hate the darn things. I don’t hate the way they look — Geez, that, I still LOVE! But I can’t stand what happens to my hips, my back and my feet when I am done being beautiful for the night. Do I sound like a promoter of the Easy Spirit shoe now or what? I still go through the trial-anderror process of finding the right high heeled shoe: one that won’t pinch my pinky toe, or rub my heel the wrong way, or hurt my arch … blah, blah, blah. The truth is, I can’t get away from them! High heels are so sexy, so until they make a sexy orthopedic shoe, I guess we’ll all be crippled together! (This was meant to be funny and to make you all laugh… don’t take the fashion suggestions in this one too seriously! Stay in the light, sisters!)

♥♥♥♥♥♥ • I can dance like a graceful movie star! • I have long, long, mile-long legs! • I look thinner! • I am tall! • I can even run in them! (well, I could, once)

But ... • I run better in Nike. • No matter how long my legs are, there is still the hereditary cellulite that is coming to the surface of the back of my legs — no help for that! • I am no longer a stick. I am juicy and there is just no trading that in… I like myself like this! • In high heels, it seems I’m too tall for most men.

About our writer

Jennifer Steele is founder of Two Haute Chics, an online store with vintage and one-ofa-kind fashion. It’s for women who are Haute (“fashionably elegant”) and Chic (“Adopting or setting current fashions and styles; sophisticated”). Two Haute Chics is at www.twohautechics. com, and also on Facebook, Twitter and Etsy. Jen can be reached at twohautechics@gmail. com.

We know shopping locally makes economic sense, because money stays local. One study we read recently said that of every dollar spent locally, 70 cents stayed locally. Of every dollar spent at a chain, less than 40 cents stayed in town ... But is that all there is? We went around town and talked with neighborhood leaders, business owners, shoppers & diners. Here is what we found out. | 7

Cover story

Why do you shop locally?

Cover story

This is why local s Mary Metraux Coyle & Durella Rodriguez, shop owners • Tanya Sharkey, photographer

Story & photos by Marisa Barbosa, LS1 magazine editor


n our quest to report on why local shopping matters, we first stopped at BoTiki, a boutique & gift shop in Gulfport. Here is what they had to say: We shop locally “for the sake of taste, style and pleasure of getting to know local business people,” said Tom Laitinen, a tourist from Michigan. “It is a way to expand your friendship at the places you visit.” “I believe in small business and community,” said Sara Sincell, visiting from New York. “You can find more choices. It’s a better taste of life!” Bo-Tiki’s owner, Maddy Guenther, agrees. “It is a way to find unique things that they can’t find anywhere else,” she said.


Our next stop was at RoCo Traders, in St. Pete’s Grand Central neighborhood. The store specializes in Mexican art, furniture and jewelry. Co-owner Durella Rodriguez travels to Mexico three or four times a year and hand-picks merchandise for her shop. Rodriguez goes from store to store, meeting merchants and artists. She picks unique artwork and furniture that blend the traditional with the modern. She digs through folk art, and through sterling silver pieces. Each piece has a story, each piece is personal. That helps build relationships, says Mary Matraux Coyle, Rodriguez’s partner. It’s something you won’t get by shopping at the mall, she says. “It’s a unique buying and selling level when you buy from a local person,” Coyle said.


A few blocks away we met with James Longstreth, president of the Grand Central District Associaiton and owner of Your Neighborhood Realty.

“I shop locally because the local dollars remain local,” he says. “I shop at independents so the community can survive. It stimulates the economy.” In Grand Central (, the growth in the past few years has been tremendous. New shops and restaurants are popping up, turning the neighborhood into a destination. Streetscaping, lighting, plants and banners line the district, which stretches from 16th to 31st streets and along First Avenue South, Central Avenue and Central Avenue North. This is Longstreth’s third time as district president. He held the post in 2002 and 2003, and was elected again last year. He has grand plans for Grand Central, which is part of the Florida Main Street Program. He wants the district to be self-sufficient. Money from the city helps (one of the perks of being designated a Main Street), but with looming budget cuts, he would prefer that Grand Central is able to thrive even if funds were to run out. He is looking for new projects (monthly Trol-

More information about the businesses in this story: RoCo Traders

2115 Central Ave, St. Petersburg Phone: 727.895.8922 | Fax: 727.895.8913 1Card discount: 10% off all regularly-priced merchandise 8 |

Tanya Sharkey Photography

2720 4th St. N, Saint Petersburg Phone: 727.424.0236

1Card discount: 50% off session fee (yours for only $49) and free 8x10 with any print order.

Maddy Guenther, shop owner; Jim Longstreth, realtor; Linda Schuch & Elizabeth Moch, restaurateurs ley Hoop, for one) and partnerships (including one with us to help bring more business.

••••• A few blocks away, we stopped to talk with Linda Schuch, co-owner of Island Seafood Market and Bistro, also in the Grand Central District. Schuch and her partner, Elizabeth Moch, opened Island Seafood in June 2009. The plan was to have a fresh seafood market and a little bistro on the side, cooking the seafood the customers picked out. They built the market for the community: Being in Florida, it seemed odd that the area lacked a local fresh seafood market, Schuch said. Most of what they sell is from local waters: mussels, clams, ahi tuna, salmon, mahimahi. Word around town spread quickly, and the market took off. More and more, customers wanted to sit down and eat, though, not just bring seafood home. So a neighbor built a bar, and Schuch and Moch hired a chef. Now Is-

land Seafood is a full-fledged restaurant, complete with wine and about 30 kinds of beer. “During this economic downturn, local businesses are not able to rely on corporate money. It is important to support them,” said Tim Ward, a regular at Island Seafood. Ward himself also works at an independent business, over a block or so, at Haslam’s Bookstore, which has been around for about 75 years.

• • • • •    Next we went to 4th Street and talked with Tanya Sharkey, owner of Tanya Sharkey Photography. “I shop locally because it’s the right thing to do!” she says. Sharkey describes herself as a true life portrait artist who specializes in pet photography. She likes to capture natural interactions and true expressions and emotions. One day late last year Sharkey was driving home and had an idea to help bring her neighborhood businesses together. “I was thinking about how there are fan pages on Facebook

Your Neighborhood Realty

2440 Central Ave, St. Petersburg Phone: 727.321.1734

1Card discount: 0.5 percent lower commission or 0.5 percent of price for closing costs (sale 100K or higher.)

for St. Pete Beach, downtown St. Pete, etc,” she said. “I thought, well, 4th Street needs its own page, too!” The next morning, Tanya created a page on Facebook called Friends of 4th Street. Sharkey is also bringing her neighboring businesses together in real life, for a fundraiser to benefit the Children’s Dream Fund. This year’s theme will be Taste of 4th Street, and Sharkey partnered with Matt McClellan of Tour de Pizza and Jon la Budde of Reno Beach Surf Shop to work toward bringing as many 4th Street restaurants as possible to participate. Other business are invited to display and participate as well. The fundraiser, aptly called 4th Street Sweet Dreams, takes place April 7.   


In the next page, we bring you even more reasons why shopping locally matters. Are you a local shopper? We’d love to hear from you. Please e-mail us at marisa@localshops1. com, and you might see your name here next time!

Island Seafood Market and Bistro

2057 Central Ave., St. Petersburg Phone: 727.821.8181

1Card discount: free soda with your meal | 9

Cover story

shopping matters!

L O C A L S HOP S 1 . c o m s u r v e y

Why do you shop locally? Here is some of what our Facebook & Twitter friends say. “Shopping local is like paying it forward. You aren’t just supporting your local restaurant. You are supporting your local baker, grower, florist, etc. Shopping at a local children’s resale shop like Ollie’s Treehouse not only supports my Mom, but it supports all the wonderful families that choose to sell their gently used items to Ollie’s. Local shops also know local shops. So at Ollie’s you may learn about other wonderful local businesses like Thomas Bruce Photography, StrollerFit St. Pete or about LocalShops1!!” Tricia Schmitz, Ollie’s Treehouse, St. Pete

“There’s no place like home… and without independent small businesses, home wouldn’t be the same. (They) are the backbone of our community. As shoppers, we feel it is important to shop locally to support our local economy & to keep the small mom & pop businesses, like ourselves, in business. As business owners, we feel that it is important to show our customers that we appreciate them by giving back to the community with our yearly charity pond tour ... free educational classes and fun events.” David & Lisa Burns, Backyard Getaway, Bradenton



“Local businesses are cooler, harder-working, and more likely to benefit me and my friends in the long run. That is why I shop locally.” Dr. Nate Bonilla-Warford, Bright Eyes Tampa

••••• “I love to support local artists, and local merchants. It helps build a strong local economy. If I need a gift for someone and don’t make them something, then I want to buy them something from another local artist.” Christina Lee, Lee Shore Gallery, Bradenton

“Local, independent businesses add charm to our neighborhoods & keep the local economy going strong!” LocalShops1 Girl

Consignors Everyday by Appointment Speed dating • speed networking • murder mystery parties • & more.

Go online for a complete schedule. 10 |

A new Walmart is going up in Tampa. We asked Facebook friends: Do we really need another one? Here is a sampling of the answers: Susan Sampaio, Tampa, Sticky Multimedia Marketing & Design Solutions: There are way too many the way it is.

3/17/2010 St. Patrick’s Day


Every Friday & Saturday

Live entertainment

Weekend brunch

Sat & Sun, 11-3

Pairing dinner 2nd Monday of every month

Janis Kay, Palm Harbor: With the economy as it is, as much as I like local shops to get their money in sales, when you don’t have money or out of work, Walmart is the best place to shop. ... I am used to seeing a CVS, Walgreens, Publix, Winn Dixie, Albertson, etc etc. get the picture, in closer radius than a Walmart, I never understand that argument. To me it’s all about location and demand, and apparently there probably is one. I also know that if every item people pick up is cheaper....I can’t blame them for shopping at Walmart. I do the same thing. When I try to shop at other stores and see the prices, guess where I return. Yep you guessed it....Walmart. And personally I like the convenience of the location being closer to save gas. JMO Justin Lauffer, Sarasota, student: Come to Sarasota, not too many here. :) Lisa Chillura, St. Petersburg, Sweet Somethings: I haven’t shopped in a Wally World in over 7-8 yrs, maybe longer ... It is the largest retailer in the world with as much greed to count with it. I don’t think Sam Walton had today’s Wal-Mart in mind when he created his company. What people don’t realize is that the lost costs associated with Wal-Mart end up costing them more in the long run. i.e, Higher taxes, health care costs, public assistance, etc. Then there is the fact that when a WM rolls in, local businesses are forced out and have to close down. Kim Carlisi, Tampa, Miss Go Getter: I’m not working FT and I’ve been forced to shop at Walmart, just based on prices. When the economy turns around, I’ll frequent local shops almost entirely. Jessica Barnett, St. Petersburg, student: If people wait until they have “enough” money to buy locally (or at LEAST somewhere other than WalMart), there may not be any stores left to shop in.

1492 4th Street North St. Petersburg, FL 33704 727.895.2049

Peter Vasquez, Seminole, Tampa Empire computer services: Wal-Mart thrives on this economy. It is amazing that the city of Tampa does not go out of their way for local businesses as they do for these retail giants. It was very nice to read that many residents within that community attended the meeting to state their grievances but all that is provided in the end is pacification. ... Any city that allows a Wal-Mart within their communities should somehow assist or have a purse set aside for small businesses. How many small businesses have gone under due to Wal-Marts? Dawn L., Tampa, Elite Travel: The problem is, the huge advertising they do creates the perception that you will save money when that truly may not even be the case. My husband doesn’t shop the ads, compare prices or even look much at quality. I’m sure he is thrilled he will have another Wal-pit to shop in. Join us for daily games, surveys & more! | 11

L O C A L S HOP S 1 . c o m s u r v e y

In your words

Our poll on Facebook & Twitter!


Using social media to promote business By Andi Graham Guest LS1 correspondent


mall business owners spend a lot of time on social media. Facebook fan pages, Twitter conversations, maybe writing a blog or posting photos of new products to your Flickr page. (If you’re not doing these things, you should be. Call me.) It’s how you build your tribe. Amass your followers. Alert your friends. How often do you log on, though, and feel aimless? Feel underwhelmed and lost on what to post, why to post it or where to post? There are four tenents of social media strategy (you do have a strategy, right?) that help to keep your aim on target. I call them the FAIL method. Keep FAIL in mind next time you post, and you’ll find it easier to target your messages and keep your brand on track in the social media space.

12 |

The FAIL method

F: Focus. Keep your business-related media browsing focused. Ask, “What is my strategy in this space?” and then make sure your posts and updates reflect those objectives. A: Alignment. Make sure you social media activity is aligned with your overall brand, your business image and goals. If community activism is important to you in your every day business, show that through your posts. I: Interact. Respond to your fans and friends. Comment on their posts, retweet and reply. Be a part of the community for the sake of it – not just to promote yourself. Availability is required and expected. L: Listen. It’s ok to lose control of the conversation. Adapt to what your fans and friends are asking for. Take their comments to heart and use them to make your business and social media presence stronger.

About our contributor

Andi owns and runs Big Sea Web Design & Development in downtown St. Pete. (www. bigseadesign. com) You can also reach her through Facebook, Twitter or e-mail her at (Yes, she’s the awesome LS1 web developer!)

Think you’ve never seen the Local Shops Girl? Look around you. There are a lot of shops out there, and a lot of blondes, and floppy hats, and Jackie O sungasses. She’s gained quite a following in theTampa Bay area. Send us photos with your own LS1 Girl look, and you might see your face here next time. E-mail photos to

LocalShops1 Girl hangs out with the super-awesome Dairy Inn family, at 1201 Dr. Martin Luther King, St. Petersburg. Two-for-one beignets with the 1Card! Angela Maria Yates, NU Skin Business Builder, from Tampa.

National Public Radio diva Laurel Dalrymple, visiting from Virginia.

Journalist extraordinaire Candice Bosworth, St. Petersburg.

Delma Sweazey, owner of Sunshine Geriatric Services.

Lorrie Johnson, educator, visiting from Jacksonville. | 13


Wherever there’s shopping, she’ll be there

L O C A L S HOP S 1 . c o m s u r V E Y

Best part of having own biz? Yeah, it’s nice being your own boss!

“Working together with my wife!” Sebastian Huber, Paddy Burke’s, St. Pete

••••• “Meeting some of the grooviest, sweetest people in Saint Pete!” Sheri Kendrick, Enchanted Forest Photography, St. Pete

••••• “Not having a boss breathing down my neck!! Plus, looking forward to going to work and enjoying what I do.” Aura Mina Brinkey, Bohemian Vintage, Tampa

••••• “Helping people, especially in this market.” Gavin MaGrath, Remax Realtor

••••• “Meeting so many great people.” Barbara Eisenman, Minuteman Press, St. Pete

14 |



“Working with my S.O. and not having a boss. The best part is being surrounded by dogs every day!” David Hill, Two Poodles And A Mutt Salon & Boutique, St. Pete

“Our customers — We’ve met so many wonderful people who come into our shop. Maybe because buying perfume is such an intimate and personal thing, by the time they leave, we’re all friends.” Christy Sestile Bebeau Fragrance Notes, Tampa

••••• “I love being in a business partnership with my husband, Rob Sigman. We love being able to create something that gives others pleasure!” Toni Spagnoli Florida Lifestyle Pools, St. Pete

••••• “Being there to photograph the special events in my customers’ life. We are blessed to be able to share those moments such as a birth or a wedding,maybe anniversary or opening of a new business and many more.” Rob Moorman Rob Moorman Photographics

••••• “The smiles our flowers bring to everyone. It’s amazing how flowers can affect people. I just love knowing that what I do brings so much joy to so many.” Scott Darhower, Apple Blossoms florist, Tampa

••••• “Helping clients turn their houses into their dream homes.” Isabel Lomba, IL Staging & Décor, Tampa Bay


“Seeing other women entrepreneurs achieve the success they deserve!” Sherry Sexton Image Coaching, Tampa Bay


“Working in my P.J.s and some travel.” Jackie Lynn Simpson, aka “The Gold Lady,” National Fitness Marketing and First National Recover

••••• “Watching a customer’s face when they see their custom/ non-template website go live, or when they hold their corporate identity (business card brochures, etc) in their hands for the first time. Creativity is my life.” Deb Kelley The WriteOne Creative Services Join in on the fun! Find us on Facebook for daily games, surveys & more!


941.746.3508 | 1215 12th St.

Blue Room Studios

941.718.0114 | 1019 10th Ave.

Backyard Getaway 941.752.POND (7663)

Charisma Cafe and Art

941.748.8203 | 1004 10th Ave.

Hearts Desire

941.302.1069 | 1221 12th St.

Do you have your 1Card?

Shoppers: The 1Card

is completely free. You can pick up one at participating businesses, or e-mail us at & we’ll get you one!

Businesses: Join the

1Card program & we’ll send shoppers your way! Membership is only $199/ year and includes a ton of perks, including online ads, free networking meetings and more. E-mail us at or call 727.637.5586.

Brooksville Historic Shed

813.333.2249 | 1212 Ponce de Leon Blvd.

Dunedin My Favorite Things

727.738.1277 | 330 Main St.

Suzzy Gal Treasures

727.738.1538 |

Twice As Nice

727.734.1401 | 674 Douglas Ave.

* For a complete list and updated offers, go to | 15




Intensity Academy

007 Computer & Web Services

727.388.9442 | 2321 49th St. S, Suite A


727.498.8757 | 3015 Beach Blvd. S.

Complexions Skin Care Spa

727.729.9069 | 2908 Beach Blvd. S.

Ecco Bistros and Tapas

727.381.9797 | 3121 Beach Blvd S.

Industrial Arts Center

727.289.9365 | 2902A Beach Blvd. S.

Kayak Nature Adventures 727.418.9728

Pia’s Trattoria

727.327.2190 | 3054 Beach Blvd. S.

The Outpost

727.439.1485 | 3007 Beach Blvd. S.

Sea Breeze Manor B&B Inn

727.343.4445 | 5701 Shore Blvd.

Illuminated Publishing

813.453.5256 | 813.299.3600 |

Vistra Communications

813.961.4700 | 15961 N Florida Ave.


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.

Ginger, Mary Kay rep 813.841.3313

Life Reflections video services 813.833.1642

Meals on Heels 954.536.9084

Papergirl Press Photography 813.777.7751

Wines for Humanity


813.732.2048 | 4835 Pond Ridge Drive

727.418.4826 | 1088 Kapp Drive

Evolving Wellness

Natural Path Massage


Dr. Holly Furlong

941.921.3831 | 3627 Webber St. Suite B

727.386.4004 | 9225 Ulmerton Road

Safety Harbor Safety Harbor Resort & Spa

727.726.1161 | 105 N. Bayshore

Taste Safety Harbor

727.723.1116 | 500 Main St. 16 |

New Port Richey Pat Largo, comedian 727.946.0548

Treasure Island

Nail Treasures by Cheryl

727.360.5881 | 7777 Bayshore Drive

Friends of Fourth Street

Even more in St. Pete!

727.821.6700 | 1100 4th Street N.

727.323.5484 | 932 49th St. S.

Adventures in Bradyville

Banyan Scapes

Bowled Restaurant

Dairy Inn

Grand Kitchen & Bath

Insurance Underwriters & Assoc.

Nature of Art Gallery

Diamonds Direct

Tanya Sharkey Photography

Junky Jewelry

727.895.BOWL | 3451 4th Street N. 727.327.3007 | 2600 Fourth St. N. 727.821.6700 | 1100 4th Street N. 727.424.0236 | 2720 4th St. N.

Three Birds Tavern

727.895-2049 | 1492 Fourth St. N.

727.822.6971 | 1201 Dr. MLK St. N. 727.384.0096 | 2100 5th Ave. N. 727.867.4006 | 5085 34th St. S. 727.452.8701 | 5601 66th St.

Enchanted Forest Photography 727.209.2306 | 529 Central Ave.

Grand Central District

Florida Lifestyle Pools

A-1 Accounting

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China Finders

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Paddy Burkes

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The Pier Aquarium

727.895.7437 | 800 2nd Ave NE

Island Seafood Market & Grille

Two Haute Chics

On Pointe Dancewear

Starbaby Readings & Gems

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Roco Traders

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Your Neighborhood Realty

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Sweet Somethings 727.512.3913

Talk of the Town Fashion

727.896.5400 | 111 2nd Ave. NE * For a complete list and updated offers, go to | 17

L OCA L S H O P S 1 . c o M S H O P P I N G D I R E C T O R Y


Neighb o rh o o d s tr o ll

Here, the pace is slower, the people are friendlier, the scenery is prettier. But this isn’t just another sleepy town. Gulfport is a vibrant, thriving community, packed with art, shops & restaurants. Lots for the nature lovers, too: nature trails, birding trails, kayak rentals. To learn more, we talked with Gulfport expert Lori Rosso, owner of Sea Breeze Manor & president of the Gulfport Chamber of Commerce. | 19

Neighb o rh o o d s tr o ll Story by Lori Rosso & LocalShops1 Girl| Story Photos by Marisa Barbosa


ulfport is an eclectic “Authentic Florida” fishing village that is truly unique in modern-day Florida. There is a wide-open waterfront views and more than 30 dining and shopping options, all within walking distance.  This distinctive community is home to artists of all genres, many of whom are showcased at the First Friday and Third Saturday Art Walks.  Gulfport also boasts several things most small towns don’t: a Casino Ballroom that offers dancing five nights a week;  a professional 170-seat theater (with two local theater groups in residence); a small historical museum, with photos and artifacts  from the early 1900s; an arts center that offers classes in glass-blowing ... Plus, the city  also is home to Stetson University College of Law! Gulfport is, truly, a community.

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The city, established in 1910, is home to 13,000 residents and 1,500 businesses. This waterfront treasure is tucked in between St. Petersburg and St. Pete Beach, perched on the beautiful shores of Boca Ciega Bay. The beachfront is very family-friendly with a playground, white sandy beach and entertainment in the pavilion. There are walking paths all along the waterfront with bench swings to watch for dolphins.  Throughout the year, Gulfport puts on elaborate celebrations for all to enjoy.  A sample of events include: December: Holiday Boat Parade and Tree Lighting concert January:  New Year’s Gala at the Casino Ballroom March: Springfest street festival July Fourth: Parade, floats, fireworks September: Geckofest.  Get out your lizard paraphernalia for this festival of fun. November: Pink Flamingo Home Tour Residents and visitors compare Gulfport to “the old Key West,” before cruise ships and booming tourism.  Both small artist towns evolved from old Florida fisherman

villages, yet Gulfport retains an untainted, classic character. Think cobblestone streets, 1920 bungalow cottages, welcoming residents. You might be a tourist, but you’ll feel like a local.   Enjoy Pia’s Italian cuisine under an authentic tiki hut, or check out its beautiful new indoor dining rooms. Or head to Ecco’s for an eclectic menu of tapas and fine dining. Just down the street is the historic  La Cote Basque, and for more casual dining, there is O’Maddy’s Grille (and stay late for karaoke). There’s also La Fogata, Peg’s, Domain,  Yummy’s and the newest business in town, Stella’s. Other award-wining restaurants include Habana Café, which  offers authentic Cuban cuisine; and Backfin Blue, which has some of the best crab cakes in the area.  Dine at the Historic Peninsula Inn and Spa’s Six Tables Restaurant.  For after-hours, go to Gulfport On The Rocks and see where Jimi Hendrix used to play, a rumored hangout of Jack Kerouac. Or head to the very swanky Bellini’s, for a caipirinha or martini. Aside from food and fun, Gulfport’s

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(people and businesse) blend together into a

welcoming bohemian atmosphere. We’ve

managed to retain that

elusive feeling of smalltown character that

has all but disappeared uniqueness lies in its collection of artists. Historic with a bohemian flare, downtown consists of art boutiques, clothing stores, and a courtyard coffee shop.  There is an old antique and general store (The Beach Bazaar, with a post office in the back) and a bookstore housed in a bungalow (Small Adventures). Every first Friday and third Saturday of the month the community holds “Art Walk” on Beach Boulevard.  The stores stay open late and local artisans and musicians line the street to showcase their talent.  From paintings to jewelry, and drums to stone candles, Art Walk is a must, a great place to buy gifts or souvenirs. And every Friday and Saturday night and during special events, Gulfport offers free trolley rides.  Gulfport is a great place to visit, but once you’re here, you might not want to leave. “I asked the first person I met here how long he’d been in Gulfport,” Rosso says.  His response? “ ‘I stopped here to have a beer on my way back to Georgia in ’88,’ he said. ‘And I never left.’ ”  

Botiki 727.498.8757 3015 Beach Blvd. S. 1Card offer: 10 percent off any purchases Complexions Skin Care Spa 727.729.9069 2908 Beach Blvd. S. 1Card offer:  $5 off manicure or pedicure Ecco Bistros and Tapas 727.381.9797 3121 Beach Blvd S. 1Card offer: 10 percent off any purchase

in much of Florida.

Industrial Arts Center 727.289.9365 2902A Beach Blvd. S. 1Card offer: 10 percent off first class (for new clients)

Lori Rosso, Gulfport Chamber of Commerce

Kayak Nature Adventures 727.418.9728 1Card offer: Rent single kayak for the day for $30; double is $45

Come see us!”

Finding Gulfport

Just five minutes off Interstate 275, but a world away from the traffic and chaos. By car: Take I-275 to 22nd Ave. South, and head east. Left on Beach Boulevard. By boat: Look for the historic green casino building. To learn more, please see:

Pia’s Trattoria 727.327.2190 3054 Beach Blvd. S. 1Card offer: 10 percent off Tue through Thu The Outpost 727.439.1485 3007 Beach Blvd. S. 1Card offer: 50% consignment clothing and 20% off jewelry Sea Breeze Manor Bed and Breakfast Inn  727.343.4445 5701 Shore Blvd. 1Card offer:  10 percent off any stay 2 nights or longer | 21

Neighb o rh o o d s tr o ll

LocalShops1-member businesses

B U S IN E S S s p o t l i g h t

Clear passion

Story by Doug Watkins, USF-St Pete contributor Photos by Melanie Alvarez, Papergirl Press


r. Nathan Bonilla-Warford, aka “Dr. Nate,” has a vision — pun intended — to ensure that everyone enjoys the gift of sight. But his passion is children’s eyecare. “To ensure that adults enjoy good sight, we must first do good diligence to pediatric optometry,” Dr. Nate says. “This begins with studying the most current research in the field, then providing training to our staff to work with children. I keep abreast of the latest research, but it’s being on the front line working with the kids and their parents that I get the most satisfaction.” Dr. Nate graduated from the University of Florida in Gainesville, and received a doctorate of optometry degree from the Illinois College of Optometry in Chicago. He spent an extra year concentrating on children’s vision. He opened his own practice,

22 |

Bright Eyes Family Vision Care in Tampa’s West Park Village, in 2006. The office is very childfriendly: The waiting room is colorful and resembles a preschool play area. An examining room includes specialty instruments to detect children’s preventable optical disorders and eye diseases. “We suggest that parents first have their babies’ eyes examined between 6 months and 1 year of age,” says Dr. Nate. After that, he recommends examinations at 3 years old and then annually, once the child starts school.  Bright Eyes participates in the national InfantSee program, and offers free services for children younger than 1 year old. “We can prevent so many problems at this early age that very well otherwise may go undetected,” he says. Of course, it’s not just children who need eye care. Bright

Eyes cares for the whole family, with routine eyecare services and treatment of diseases. Dr. Nate’s vision goes beyond the office. In fact, it has a global reach. In 2002, as a member of the Volunteers in Optometric Service to Humanity, he traveled to Diriamba, Nicaragua, where he helped examine and distribute glasses to more than 2,000 people. “You come back home so thankful for what we have,” he says. “It increases your awareness of how important it is to improve each others lives through our work and service.” What’s in the future for Dr. Nate? “We live in such a fast-paced world,” he says. “To connect with people you have to be proactive and reactive almost simultaneously. And you don’t have time to interact eyeball-to-eyeball. That’s where social media

Bright Eyes Family Vision Care 813-792-0637 10108 Montague St. Tampa 1Card ofer: Various savings available. Please call for information on the latest deals. comes into play: blogging, text messaging, tweeting, Facebook and such. It is my goal to create an online community for parents of kids with vision problems by converging all the various social media programs. “It’s a huge project. I’ve been working on it for months, but I’m still laying the groundwork. When I’m finished I foresee Bright Eyes as being the dominate eyecare provider – particularly in children’s eyecare – in the Tampa Bay area.”



Bringing Italy


Story by Doug Watkins USF-St Pete contributor Photo by Melanie Alvarez, Papergirl Press


eing in the restaurant business makes perfect sense for Ron Salerno. He remembers, back when he was a child, being inspired by his grandparents’ dedication to preparing and serving food that was, in his words, “Fit for a king!” These days, Salerno, who is half Sicilian and half Calabrezie, has his own restaurant, Bellisimo’s Ristorante in the Westchase neighborhood in Tampa. Bellisimo’s serves Northern

Italian fare and New York-styl pizza by the slice or pie. But it’s his specialty dishes – his recipes and those of his parents and grandparents – that put the restaurant on the map. “One of my favorites is seafood pescatore: made up of clams, muscles, shrimp and other crustaceans, in a spicy fradiavalo sauce,” he says. “We use only the freshest meat, fish and produce... from the market to our door every morning.” We met up with Salerno.

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Tell us about your job. Oh my ... it’s 24/7. I start paperwork like paying bills and a myriad of other administrative chores at home at 7:30 in the morning. I’m in the restaurant by 10:30 and go over the menu for the day, check with kitchen staff, go over wait staff schedules, and such before we open for lunch. After lunch I run errands. Then it’s back for “The Show.” Dinner. The fun part of the job. I love working out front, being face-to-face with the guests. I’m usually back home by 11:30. But it’s not over then. That’s when I connect with others to let them know what’s going on at Bellisimo’s. Not eye-ballto-eyeball -- with this job there’s no time for that -- but connecting through social media like our blog, Facebook, and Twitter. What’s your favorite part of the job? It’s twofold: creating recipes and being with our guests. Chatting with them, enjoying a few laughs. And I try to convince them to opt into social media. It’s today’s way of staying in touch. The least favorite part? The administrative chores. I’m a “people person.”

Bellisimo’s Ristorante

813.435.8340 10102 Montague St. Tampa’s West Park Village 1Card offer: Varies, so call for the latest special. What’s your favorite ‘food’ movie?  Oh, there’s been so many. But I really liked No Reservations with Catherine Zeta-Jones. She’s a perfectionist chef whose life is turned upside down when she inherits her 9 year old niece. It’s a very funny movie. If you had a million dollars to give away, what charity would you give it to?  That’s an easy one for me. American Cancer Society’s Racing Against Cancer. I’m a cancer survivor and have so much empathy for others who suffer its terrible consequences, especially children. We must find cures. | 23

B U S IN E S S s p o t l i g h t

Classy cooking Story by Elizabeth Dougherty • Photo by Carol Gallagher Guest correspondents


rive along Beach Drive in St. Petersburg and two locations stand out: Parkshore Grille and 400 Beach Seafood and Tap House. The man behind the menus (and the stove) is part-owner and executive chef Tyson Grant. Chef Tyson is a native of St. Petersburg. “Born and raised,” he says. He grew up here, went to high school here and began working through the ranks of local restaurants. His first job wasn’t a chef or even a prep chef. He was a dishwasher. Tyson dedicated himself to working hard. As he worked his way up the ranks at places including Fancy’s in St. Petersburg and Bentley’s in Clearwater, he learned skills in the kitchen the old-fashioned way. He was taught how to use proper knife skills in cutting produce, how to butcher meat, how to make soups and stocks. He learned what the different cuts were used for. Along the way, he worked through the entire Larousse Gastronomique, making sure he didn’t miss any needed expertise along the way. The process took many years of intense labor and extra study.

••••• Tyson met Steve Westphal, and together they came up with a concept of “finely crafted American cuisine, with a twist.” Tyson wanted to be on Beach Drive, even though it was an ambitious move. Parkshore Grille opened three years ago and has helped to raise the bar of excellence

24 |

for other restaurants in the area. It was a dream that was a long time in the making for Chef Tyson. “As I look back, I probably should have gone to culinary school,” he says. “I would have moved up faster, and I also could have taken time to study food abroad.” In his kitchens today, he has several graduates from notable schools including the Culinary Institute of America. All of them look to him for the “realworld” education of cooking in a bustling restaurant kitchen with high quality standards.

••••• If you spend some time at Parkshore Grille or their second venture, 400 Beach, you will notice the loyalty and admiration his staff has for Tyson. In the restaurant world of 100 percent turnover rates for workers, one can tell that their staff is unique not just in St. Pete, but in the industry as a whole. Many of Chef Tyson’s current employees have been on his staff since his restaurants first opened. His family is equally revered. Tyson’s wife, Sommer Grant, is a labor and delivery RN at Bayfront Medical Center. They have a son, Tanner, 3. Their second child was born in April 2009, but died when she was only 24 days old. The tragedy inspired the Grants to help Bayfront Medical Center start a new program called Life 24. The name comes from their daughter’s

name (Zoe, which means “life” in Greek) and the all-too-short time they had with her (24 days). Each month, Parkshore Grill auctions off a meal at the Chef’s Table to benefit this program. They have already raised a total of $9,760 toward their $25,000 goal for the hospital.

What does the future hold for Chef Tyson? In the new Albert Whitted building, the Hangar is scheduled to open in April 2010. The Hangar will serve fast, casual food for breakfast and lunch. Dinner will run $10 to $12. Along with the Hangar will be Albert’s Flight Lounge, which will serve small plates overlooking the concourse and boast outside seating. They will offer live music several nights per week.

About our correspondents

Elizabeth Dougherty is founder of Eat St. Pete!, which provides food news and information on events in and around St. Petersburg. Her Web site is at and she can also be reached through Eat St. Pete on Facebook. Carol Gallagher is founder of Downtown Carols Photography, which specializes in events, portraits and artsy photography. She can be reached at

Carol Gallagher Photography

“As I look back, I probably should have gone to culinary school,” Chef Tyson says. “I would have moved up faster, and I also could have taken time to study food abroad.” | 25


Looking ahead

business spotLight


CAFE HAS REAL Story by Amy Blanton USF-St Pete contributor Photos by Brenda Smoak Bradenton director


ucked in the art district of the Village of the Arts in Bradenton is a coffee & art shop. Walk toward the bright, spring- color painted structure and something draws you in. Maybe it’s the iron archway, maybe it’s the glass windows ... but there’s something magnetic about Charisma Cafe and Art. Kim and Harvey Hoffman opened the shop in October 2007. The couple had moved to Sarasota from Boston more than 20 years before, never with an intention to open a coffee shop. So how did it come about? Kim Hoffman tells us her story. “I’ve been serving coffee since I was 12. I’ve worked at bakeries, doughnut shops, coffee shops, as well as my sister’s coffee shop in Sarasota for 12 years,” Hoffman says. But opening her own shop was never in the plans. Hoffman was actually out looking for an investment property. “Our family doesn’t have a lot of funds because my husband is paralyzed, (but) we had equity in the house and the bank was able to loan us the money. The idea was to have a family come in and rent the house for five years or so at a time and then later give it to our kids. “I didn’t know about the Village of the Arts until my realtor friend, Jonie, from Sarasota brought me here,” she says. “We were shown a piece of property that was very promising and we put a back-up bid on it.” On the way back to Sarasota, the realtor drove by a house she had sold a year earlier. “An eerie feeling overcame me when the car stopped,” Hoffman says. “I saw the place and said, ‘I

26 |

hope that’s not the place that you wanted to show me.’ There were citations posted, parts of the chimney were knocked off.” The realtor called the next day. Turns out the house they had seen, the one falling apart, was for sale. The owner had called the night before and aid he was dying and needed to sell the house. Hoffman said she wanted the house. The night before she had prayed for a sign, for something to send her in the direction she was meant to go. She figured this was it. She asked the realtor to write the contract. She refused to even go look at the house from the inside. “We signed the papers at Sarasota Memorial Hospital because (the seller) was going in to surgery and they didn’t think he would make it,” Hoffman says. “In a sense, I did a bad thing of not looking at the house first. There was practically no floor. In the back, it wasn’t complete. Half of the back wall was gone.” For the next few months, Hoffman worked on the house. She wasn’t even close to done when, one day, she was driving around the Village of the Arts with an artist friend. “I told her ‘I bet in about a year or so someone is going to open a coffee shop here.’ She turned to me and said, ‘And why can’t that be you?’ A few moments later she says, ‘We do know how much you love food.’” They talked about the house. Hoffman said she knew it still looked bad, but after she painted it would be better. “It just has some charisma,” she told her friend. “That’s your name,” her friend said. “Charisma.” And in that short conversa-

Charisma Cafe and Art 941.748.8203 1004 10th Ave West Bradenton 1Card offer: 10 percent off lunch or dinne r

tion the Hoffmans’ property went from being a rental home to a coffee shop/gallery. She didn’t tell her husband until months later, after the business was created, the supplies had been purchased. At the time, the Village of the Arts was a transitional neighborhood, an up-and-coming arts

district. Today, it is a thriving community filled with colorful homes, art galleries, restaurants and other businesses. And the coffee shop is packed with charisma. Besides the coffee and food and local artwork, it’s also a place for tea parties, for children and grown-ups, too.


CRAFTS Story and photos by Zachary Hall USF-St Pete contributor


o you find roped-off exhibits and “no touching” signs suffocating? No worries here, because the Craftsman House Gallery is anything but that. “A lot of gallery environments are uptight and unwelcoming,” says Stephanie Schorr, who owns the gallery with her husband, Jeff. “Nobody is going to size you up coming in here.” Having food helps, she says. The gallery, in a 1918 arts-andcrafts bungalow in St. Petersburg’s Grand Central District, also includes a cafe that features a menu with many locally grown items and fair-trade coffee and tea. Craftsman House recently won Niche magazine’s 2009 Top Retailer Award for “Best New Store,” beating out 600 nominees. The magazine features craft art galleries, main street stores and small retail

businesses.The publicity attracted attention from artists all over the country, hoping to display and sell their work there. But it won’t be easy. “We’re really selective,” Jeff Schorr says. “It has to be something we both really love. We get the male and female, the artist and the non-artist perspective. And it can’t be in any other gallery in St. Pete.” Many galleries base their art choices on in-depth consumer research on what buyers want. The Schorrs take a more personal approach. “We have to feel really good about who it is making [the art],” Stephanie Schorr says. “It’s more

Craftsman House Gallery 2955 Central Ave. St. Petersburg 727-323-2787

of a personal thing for us, rather than just buy and sell. We have to have a connection with the piece, the artist and the story behind it.” On site is an old carriage house that has been converted into a pottery studio. That is where Stephanie and two other resident potters work. “We offer community-minded events

to try and get people involved with what we do,” Stephanie Schorr says. On kiln-opening days, the gallery invites the public to help unload and have first pick of the finished works created on site. “The pots are still warm and it creates that buzz when people help unload,” she says. “It’s exciting because you never know what you’re going to get.” Craftsman House also offers pottery classes and community events, including concerts. Recent performers have included the Ryan Montbleau Band, Cliff Eberhardt and John Gorka. | 27

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By Joel Bigham Guest correspondent Dateline: June 29, 2007. The much anticipated Apple iPhone finally goes on sale to the public. A truly revolutionary device, the iPhone changed the way we expect our mobile devices to perform. It handles tasks that were previously exclusive to our laptops and desktop computers. Fast forward to January 2010. Three versions of the iPhone later, it remains the ubiquitous device for communication. While it is not the only device that you can use to text, tweet, call, browse and send pictures, it remains the most popular. But now there is a challenger.


Enter Google’s Nexus One. It runs on Google’s own phone operating system, called “Android.”

The Nexus One isn’t an iPhone killer (yet), but there is finally a device that executes the same tasks the iPhone does with equal speed and utility; and it does this quite well. It is also the most equivalent device to the iPhone because it also offers only a “soft” on-screen keyboard as well as a similar screen size. For years, there have been many other “smart phones,” which do everything the iPhone does. The iPhone maintained an upper hand because of application availability, speed, screen size or simply ease of use. The iPhone’s store is full of applications, but now the Android Marketplace is growing rapidly and certainly offers most of the func-

About our contributor

Google’s Nexus One, left, might be the biggest challenge to the Apple iPhone. tions the iPhone can perform. The Nexus One (N1, in nerdelite circles) is a game changer in a few ways. For one, it’s fully backed by Google. That means more software releases and the ability to adapt as the market wants it to. Also, it brings a much faster, snappier user experience

Formerly chained to his desk in Corporate America, Joel Bigham is the owner/operator of Tampa Tech Solutions, LLC, (dba Digital Visage; dba The Computer Valet) and cofounder of the Westchase Area Business Association. Joel is a hard-core technologist with a passion for social media and future tech. He can be reached at or on twitter @joelbigham.

than most other current Android platforms offer. The N1 excels in Google’s Gmail, Voice, Calendar, Maps, etc. Certainly it has much more to offer, but the coup de grace is that these Google applications function almost better than they do on the Web. Google has made tweaks to the user interface that are quite attractive, such as active wallpapers. But the Android OS remains both a blessing and a curse. The blessing is that Android is offered on many platforms, from cheap (see Verizon’s HTC “Droid Eris”) to elite (the forthcoming Dell Mini 5) that make for diversified affordability across many carriers. But this same blessing is also the curse: Because Android is available on multiple handsets, the performance, layout and user interface difers from device to device. In time, Android will mature and could make for an iPhone killer. In the meantime, the iPhone still has the upper hand (albeit slight), but the gap is quickly narrowing. | 29

E X P E R T ’ s c o r n er : c o n s umer n ew s

iKiller?Not yet

E X P E R T ’ S CO R N E R : H E A LT H

Proprioception ... Proprio Who? By Dr. Holly Furlong Guest correspondent


hysical therapists, chiropractic physicians, and other health practitioners that help to rehabilitate musculoskeletal conditions are constantly talking to their patients about retraining and strengthening their muscles after they have experienced trauma to a specific part of the body. If you are like most patients, you do the exercises only until you start feeling better. But not finishing that round of exercises can cause greater complications. Many people suffer from chronic low back pain and accept that every six months they will have a “back pain episode.” They take to bed rest, medication, physical medicine, and perhaps

even start doing those exercises that their physician taught them to help alleviate pain. They get better in a couple of days and head back to their normal routine.


There are ways to break that cycle. One of them is proprioceptive rehabilitation. Webster’s Dictionary defines proprioception as the reception of stimuli produced within the organism. That means your ability to balance and navigate through the day has to do with your ability to perceive your surroundings in relation to your muscles and ligaments. Take, for example, your abil-

ity to balance on one foot. Some people topple after a few seconds while others could stand all day. The people who can stand longer have trained the appropriate muscles and reflex patterns in their brains to keep them standing. That is why when you first try a new position in yoga, you topple over. The muscles that are supposed to be doing the work are not strong enough. With practice, you can master the moves. What does this have to do with rehabilition? People usually focus on rebuilding strength in the area due to the fact that they have been limiting activity. As this is very important to the process, you must also “retrain” your body to interpret its surroundings again and to be able to properly maintain your balance. When you can’t properly balance, you end up putting more strain on your muscles, ligaments and joints. That means strength training will not help prevent further injuries. You need to train your brain to do the work properly. Otherwise when you think you are using the right muscles to pick up the heavy load of laundry, you actually are putting extra stress on muscles that are not strong enough to do the job.

How to increase proprioceptive input • Balance Boards • Use of resistance

bands in maintaining posture positions • Kinsiotape — a tape that provides stimulation to the muscles and the brain • Chiropractic manipulation • Yoga, Pilates or any isometric exercise program • Core (abdominal) exercises Any new rehabilation program should be overseen by a health care practitioner to determine the correct program for the patient.

About our contributor Dr. Holly Furlong, a chiropractic physician, can be reached at 727.386.4004. Her practice is at 9225 Ulmerton Road, No. 306, in Largo.

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We’re a small, local business just like you, but in 2009 we won a marketing competition The prize: a $250,000 ad campaign!

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In the past year, we have been featured on 10Connects, BayNews 9, St. Pete Times, Bradenton Herald, WMNF ... and on lots of the local papers and popular blogs in the area! We also have a column in BeachLife and on Sticks of Fire.

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LS1 -- spring 2010  

Spring 2009: LS1 is the quarterly magazine for, Florida's largest network for local, independent businesses and independent-...