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2014: Hyper-Local Business Highlights

Sunday, December 14, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Ester Venouziou
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Also see related story: LocalShops1 Year in Review

The past year was a stellar one for local businesses here in Tampa Bay, particularly so for LocalShops1 members. Here are just a few highlights of businesses that opened, expanded and celebrated in 2014:


Local businesses that opened this year:

  • The Haus Coffee Shop, Largo. Rhonda Bartz Reed took a leap and left the corporate world as a rehab director in November and opened The Haus with her son. In addition to locally roasted coffee, the shop on East Bay Drive offers baked goods that are fresh-made daily, deli sandwiches, soups and more.

  • Hyde & Seek Baby Boutique, St. Petersburg. New mom Alexandria Ohanian of St. Pete opened her shop on 22nd Ave. N across from Tyrone Square mall in December. Hyde & Seek is a trendy upscale resale boutique for moms and babies. The shop buys, sells, trades and consigns. 

  • Radiant Reflections, St. Petersburg. Kimberly Abbes recently moved from St. Pete to Orlando, where she ran a successful skincare business. Kim's new shop inside Bayfront Towers on Beach Drive offers the finest in professional skincare, hand and foot treatments (Kim has 18 years' experience!), as well as homecare products.

  • Evoke Strategy, LLC, South Tampa. Tampa couple Devon & Elizabeth Vocke have almost 30 years combined experience in marketing and public relations, and early this year they launched their own, full-service communications firm specializing in small to mid-sized businesses.

  • Shannon's Web, St. Petersburg. Shannon Kelly may be one of St. Pete's youngest entrepreneurs. She opened her candle and soap shop in the Grand Central District while still attending classes at USF St Petersburg. The shop in the past year has grown to include hand-crafted products from more than a dozen local artists and crafters.

  • La Creperia Cafe, Gulfport. Lori Rosso, owner and innkeeper of Sea Breeze Manor Bed & Breakfast in Gulfport, helped an Ybor City icon expand into Pinellas County. La Creperia, housed at Sea Breeze along Shore Blvd, features more than 100 savory and sweet crepes and beautiful views of Boca Ciega Bay.

  • Stash, a Place for Yarn, St. Pete. Lifelong knitter Kristin Lohr opened her shop on the 600 block of Central Avenue, and it was an instant hit. The knitter's paradise features more than 30 types of yarn in dozens of colors, plus classes and gatherings for beginners to experts.

  • Ron MacDougal, aka "Ron from the Don" in his 11 years as the top concierge at the Don Cesar in St. Pete Beach, has opened At Your Service, which offers concierge, marketing, event, consulting and other services.

    And two getting ready to open over the next few weeks ...
  • Ashe Couture Boutique, St. Petersburg. The perfect shopping spot "for the boho babe who loves comfort, textures and unique pieces" announced it is opening its brick-and-mortar location in St. Pete's Edge District in early 2015. 

  • The Peaceful Warrior Massage in St. Petersburg announced it is opening a second center, The Peaceful Warrior Fitness, 2748 25th St N in St. Pete, offering TRX suspension straps and other equipment.


Local businesses that moved, expanded and/or are offering new products and services

  • Brew D'Licious moved to a larger, standalone location on the 600 block of Central in St. Petersburg. In addition to locally roasted No Name Java Coffee, the shop carries pastries, honeys and dozens more items from other locally owned businesses.
  • Captain Joe Fishing purchased a storefront on US Hwy 19 this year, expanding their business into a plant nursery, in addition to fishing tackle, equipment, excursions and classes. The company also owns Fish-On Lures and Silly Willy Jigs. 

  • Fashion Scrub Depot in St. Petersburg's Grand Central District is celebrating its anniversary in a big way. The shop is expanding to a much bigger location a block away and adding a new collection of chef's wear, in addition to all their fashion scrub lines.

  • Three Birds Tavern in St. Petersburg launched its line of bottled artisan dressings, Out of the Weeds, bottled by fellow LocalShops1 member The Sauceology Group in Clearwater.

  • Funky Town Boutique moved, but stayed in the neighborhood. The new location, 5114 Gulfport Blvd., offers better space for the vast selection of new and gently used clothing, custom jewelry and other accessories.

  • Gigi's Gourmet caramel dips are about to get some major national attention. The Tampa company's products will be featured on HSN!

  • Fab Fiber more than tripled its space with its new location, 5401 Gulfport Blvd. The shop offers hand-spun yarns, unique knitted, crocheted, woven clothing & accessories, leather craft supplies, classes and workshops. Co-op space is available for other artists.

  • Petya Galleria is introducing a new collection of stainless steel and enamel jewelry with semiprecious stones and freshwater pearls.

  • Scents from the Harts in Tarpon Springs celebrated its first year by moving into a new, higher-profile location, in the Sponge Docks District

  • Dean Liston took over full ownership of Central Oddities in St. Pete's Grand Central District and opened a new venture, Funk Living, with designer Dustin Van Fleet. In December they added designer Jennifer Camillo, formerly with All Things Change, to the Central Oddities & Funk Living teams.
  • ZK Dezigns in Gulfport added an online marketing expert to their staff and now offers online marketing through the use of custom built landing pages designed to convert visitors into customers.

  • Growing Up, a St. Petersburg shop that features eco-friendly products for babies and moms, doubled its space and added a Learning Center.

  • Historic Shed, based in Brooksville and serving the entire Tampa Bay region, has added two-story buildings to its collection of custom cottages, sheds and storage solutions.

  • Your Travel and Cruise Concierge in Brandon entered into a partnership with Travel Planners International, allowing them to offer deals with Royal Caribbean International, Princess Cruise Line, Grayline Tours, RIUPalace Resorts and more than a dozen other affiliates.


Local businesses that received awards or celebrated milestone anniversaries:

  • Backyard Getaway, Myakka City, celebrated 10 years AND received two awards in 2014: Outstanding Innovative Project of the Year award from the Sarasota County School District Volunteer & Partnership Program for the Colorfalls Water Feature at Lakeview Elementary and Best of Houzz Customer Satisfaction award

  • Scents from the Harts: Best of Tarpon Springs Home Good Store

  • Being, St. Petersburg: 13 years!

  • Domain Home Accessories & Gallery, Gulfport: 13 years for Domain and 2 years since they expanded with the "& Gallery."

  • Brandi Gabbard, Realtor with Smith and Associates' office on Fourth St N in St. Petersburg, is wrapping up her term as Chairman of the Board for the Pinellas Realtor Organization

  • Thirteen businesses took home awards during LocalShops1's sixth annual Birthday Bash and Best in Biz AwardsBananas Music, Sunshine Automotive, Moorman Photographics, Northstar Realty, Bellezza Tan & Spa, Growing Up, Wine Madonna, Shubee Shack, The Kind Mouse Productions, Smokin’ J’s BBQ, Time Systems, C1 Bank and Sea Breeze Manor Bed & Breakfast.



About LocalShops1's Shop Talk

Shop Talk brings business news, expert tips, marketing opportunities and other information tailored for entrepreneurs in the Tampa Bay region.

The blog is produced by LocalShops1 is the region's most active voice for small businesses. Our mission is to offer advocacy, promotion and support to small businesses throughout Tampa Bay. The company was founded in August 2008.