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Best in Biz 2014 Winners Announced

Friday, August 8, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: LocalShops1
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Ester Venouziou

AUG. 8, 2014

ST. PETERSBURG, FL -- Twenty-six local businesses were honored Thursday Aug. 7 during LocalShops1’s sixth birthday bash and annual Best in Biz Awards, presented by C1 Bank.


Winners were selected in four categories: Most Community-Minded, Best in Grassroots Marketing, Best New Business and Best Established Business. Winners were chosen through an online poll, in which more than 2,000 people participated; and by an independent panel of media judges based on the finalists' written applications. The winners were announced by Amy St Hart, vice-president and branch manager at C1 Bank; Robin King, co-owner of Three Birds Tavern; Lauren Davenport, owner of Symphoni and I Love DTSP; and Rui Farias, executive director of the St. Petersburg Museum of History.

Best Established Business
Popular Vote (tie): Bananas Music & Sunshine Automotive
Judges’ Choice (tie): Moorman Photographics & Northstar Realty

Best New Business:
Popular Vote: Bellezza Tan & Spa
Judges’ Choice (tie): Growing Up and Wine Madonna

Best at Grassroots Marketing
Popular Vote: Shubee Shack
Judges’ Choice: The Kind Mouse Productions

Most Community-Minded Business
Popular Vote: Smokin’ J’s
Judges’ Choice: Time Systems


During the banquet celebration LocalShops1 also presented its annual Floppy Hat Award for Community Service, which goes to a community member who goes above and beyond to support local businesses and the Buy Local movement. This year there were two recipients: Lori Rosso, owner of Sea Breeze Manor Bed & Breakfast and president of the Gulfport Merchants Association; and C1 Bank, a community bank headquartered in St. Petersburg with branches throughout Florida.

In addition to the business awards, the event featured the annual Best Decorated Floppy Hat Contest. St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman and First Lady Kerry Kriseman crowned the winner, Lucinda Johnston, executive director of the environmental nonprofit Chart 411 in St. Petersburg. Runner-up was Barry Rubin, owner of Time Systems in St. Petersbug.

Keynote speaker was Tampa Bay Times performing arts critic Stephanie Hayes. In addition to covering arts for the Times, Stephanie is also the author of a novel, Obitchuary, and writer for the Times' Deal Divas shopping blog.

More than 100 people attended LocalShops1's event, held at the St. Petersburg Museum of History. Best in Biz 2014 was presented by C1 Bank with sponsors Moorman PhotographicsPia's TrattoriaI Love Downtown St. PetersburgSt. Petersburg Museum of HistoryImpulseClics and Sunshine Automotive. Table decor provided by Simple with Style Events.

Here is a wrapup of all the finalists and winners in the Best in Biz awards: 

Best Established Business
Bananas Music, St. Petersburg
Bell Contracting & Design, Seminole
Eagle Datagistics, St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg
Moorman Photographics, St. Petersburg
Northstar Realty, St. Petersburg
Sliding Door Roller Replacement, Lutz 
Sunshine Automotive, St. Petersburg

Best New Business
Beach Haus, Gulfport
Bellezza Tan & Spa, Seminole
Growing Up, St. Petersburg
Scents from the Harts, Tarpon Springs
Shannon’s Web, St. Petersburg
St. Pete Music Factory, St. Petersburg
Wine Madonna, St. Petersburg

Best at Grassroots Marketing
America’s Disaster Relief, St. Petersburg 
Shubee Shack, North Redington Beach
The Cupcake Spot, St. Petersburg
The Kind Mouse Productions, St. Petersburg

Most Community-Minded
C1 Bank, branches throughout Tampa Bay
Fazio’s Pizza & Subs, Gulfport
Sea Breeze Manor Bed & Breakfast, Gulfport
Smokin J’s Real Texas BBQ, Gulfport
Sunset Appliance Service, Clearwater
Tampa Bay Natural Health, Seminole
Time Systems, St. Petersburg

For sponsorship information on the 2015 Best in Biz Awards, please email Presenting sponsor is C1 Bank.

About LocalShops1

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.