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Who we are.

LocalShops1 is the area’s most active advocate for local, independently owned businesses in the Tampa Bay area. We work with businesses, charities and other cool groups to come up with creative ways to make our neighborhoods better. Shopping locally has the economic advantages, of course: Money spent locally is more likely to stay locally. But it's not just about money. These are the businesses that link us to the past, and ensure our communities will have lots of character in the future.

LocalShops1 grew out of a list founder Ester Venouziou kept on a scrap piece of paper at home, to help her parents find cool shops and restaurants when they were visiting from New Jersey. Ester then started a group on Facebook, asking for suggestions on shops and restaurants to add to the list. Soon LocalShops1 was born.

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We launched in August 2008 in St. Petersburg and Gulfport and just two years later were voted the Best of the Bay: Best Voice for Small Businesses by readers and editors of Creative Loafing magazine in the Tampa Bay area. has also been honored by the Tampa Bay Business Journal, Sustainable Florida, Small Business Influencer Awards and various regional Chambers of Commerce.

LocalShops1 has been selected as the Tampa Bay network for BALLE, the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies, one of the nation's most respected non-profit organizations that focuses on sustainable communities.

LocalShops1 has been featured in several publications and news outlets, including Tampa Bay Times, Tampa Tribune, Creative Loafing, Bay News 9, 10 News, Fox News, and more.

LocalShops1 hosts monthly educational workshops, networking socials, store promotions,  shopping expos, evening socials business seminars and community events. In 2009 we introduced Shopapalooza, the local alternative to Black Friday, which has now become one of the signature holiday annual events in St. Petersburg. In 2010, we brought Top Local Chef, now a much-anticipated event that highlights local chefs every spring; and the Best in Biz Awards, which spotlight the best of the best. More recently we launched our new printing & design division, I Print Local; and this year we started our new magazine, Live Local!

If you have an idea, we want to hear it! Please contact us through the "Contact Us" form up top.


Words that Inspire Us.