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News & Press: LocalShops1 in the News

2012 Business and Shopper Winners

Thursday, August 09, 2012   (3 Comments)
Posted by: Ester Venouziou
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What: LocalShops1 Small Business & Shopper Winners Announced
When: Aug. 8 at the St. Petersburg Museum of History
Why: To spotlight the contributions small businesses have on the local
community and to honor businesses and shoppers who go above and beyond
to make Tampa Bay a better place. The event is open to the public.

For information: or 727.637.5586.


AUGUST 9,  2012

ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. --  Eight businesses, one shopper and one politician received "Best Of" honors during LocalShops1's annual Business and Shopper Awards Wednesdsay at the St. Petersburg Museum of History.

The winners were presented in five categories:

  • Best New Business (T and Me, Gulfport; and The Peaceful Warrior Massage, St. Petersburg)
  • Best Established Business (Being, St. Petersburg; and Domain Home Accessories, Gulfport)
  • Most Community-Minded Business (Gulfport Tuesday Market and St. Pete Community Acupuncture)
  • Grassroots Marketing (Hartley Chiropractic Center, St. Petersburg; and St. Pete Bagel)
  • Local Shopper: Sandy Hanna-Duffy, Gulfport

St. Petersburg City Councilman Karl Nurse also was honored at the LocalShops1 Awards, with the first-ever Floppy Hat Award for an elected official who shows commitment and dedication to small businesses and to the Buy Local movement.

The awards were presented by James Daniel Scott, Susan Robertson, marketing director of the St. Petersburg Pier; and past winners Michele Northrup (Intensity Academy), Suzin Carr (Illuminated Publishing) and Linda Evans (Linda Evans Jewerly & More). The winners were chosen by a panel of judges that included representatives from USF St. Petersburg and Tampa Bay Times.

The event, coinciding with LocalShops1's fourth anniversary, was attended by more than 120 community and non-profit leaders, business associations and local business owners. The goal was to spotlight  the contributions locally owned businesses make to the community.

Event sponsors were Island Flavors And Tings, Gulfport; Three Birds Tavern, St. Petersburg; and Moorman Photographics, St. Petersburg. The night's emcee was LocalShops1 board member Ebony Grimsley, founder of Above Promotions in Tampa.

"We're excited to honor the businesses that are doing so much for the
community," said Ester Venouziou, LocalShops1 founder. "This is a time
to celebrate all their accomplishments and thank them for leading the
way to a prosperous, vibrant economy here in the Tampa Bay region."


We were looking for businesses that launched in the past five years, and are already the talk of the town! Businesses that are innovative, creative and daring. Afterall, these are businesses that launched during the recession. Most of all, we're looking for living proof that dedication pays off. Past winner: Three Birds Tavern, St. Petersburg

Winner, Popular Choice: T and Me, Gulfport
Winner, Judges' Vote: The Peaceful Warrior, St. Petersburg


The Ale and the Witch, St. Petersburg

ARTPool Gallery, St. Petersburg
Kozy Kazual Wear, Gulfport
Lux Magazine, Palm Harbor


Lasting power is what this one is all about. Despite the economic ups
and downs, these are shops, restaurants and other businesses that have
carried on and continue to make our neighborhoods happier and
brighter! Past winner: Write One Creative Services, Tampa

Winner, Popular Choice: Domain Home Accessories, Gulfport
Winner, Judges' Vote: Being, St. Petersburg


Grand Kitchen and Bath, St. Petersburg
Island Flavors And Tings, Gulfport
Pipo’s: The Original Cuban Cafe, St. Petersburg
Simply Caprine, Floral City


These business owners go above and beyond to help local charities and other local businesses. These are the ones who organize fundraisers, donate to silent auctions, help tech-challenged neighbors and give shoutouts to emerging entrepreneurs. Why? Because they care. Past winner: Illuminated Publishing, Lutz

Winner, Popular Choice: Gulfport Tuesday Fresh Market
Winner, Judges Vote (tie): Gulfport Tuesday Fresh Market and St. Pete Community Acupuncture


Absolutely Beautiful Flowers, St. Petersburg

Life Improvement Radio, St. Petersburg
Marion’s, St. Petersburg
No Name Java, St. Petersburg


There’s no huge advertising budget, but this business doesn’t need giant billboards to get the message out. Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, email marketing, cross-promotions, and good old-fashioned word of mouth bring in customers. Past winner is Intensity Academy, Lutz

Winner, popular choice: St. Pete Bagel
Winner, judges' vote: Hartley Chiropractic Center


Backyard Getaway, Manatee County

Bo-Tiki, Gulfport
ShoutOut Tampa Bay, Indian Rocks Beach

We're looking for LocalShops1 Girl's BFF, the conscientious shopper who likes to support his or her neighborhood shops and restaurants. Now, we're not saying this person NEVER goes to the chains and Big Box stores. But this Shopper makes an effort to support the Mom & Pops whenever possible, and loves telling the world about the cool places around. Past winners: Linda Evans of Tampa and Holly Furlong of Clearwater.

Winner, Popular Vote and Judges Choice:
Sandy Hanna-Duffy, Gulfport

The finalists:
Courtney Caton, St. Petersburg

Dawn Termani-Lawrence, Tampa
Karen Lanigan, St. Petersburg
Susan Leonidas, Brandon
Terry Foster, St. Petersburg


LocalShops1 is a coalition of hundreds of independently owned
  businesses and tens of thousands of energetic shoppers with the mission of advocating, promoting and offering support services to companies throughout Tampa Bay. 
Founded in August 2008, LocalShops1 is the region's most active voice for small businesses.


ShoutOUT Tampa Bay says...
Posted Thursday, August 09, 2012
What a fantastic night last night! Lots of great friends, delicious food and coffee, fantastic energy, and incredible businesses! Thanks for all the hard work that went into last night, another round of congrats to the finalists and special ShoutOUTs to the winners! Fantastic evening! Happy 4th birthday, LocalShops1! Keep up the great work, Ester, Mo, Mario, Billie Jo, Thompson and gang!
LocalShops1 says...
Posted Thursday, August 09, 2012
Glad you could be there, Elizabeth! Great meeting you! Thanks for sharing your art with us.
Elizabeth Neily, Elizabeth Neily, Artist says...
Posted Thursday, August 09, 2012
Go Gulfport! Many thanks for a great evening and the opportunity to meet local businesses and artists.