Eat, Drink & Shop Local: Guide Rallies Businesses
The guide, now in its second edition, highlights businesses in Seminole Heights.
It's known for its central Tampa neighborhoods dotted with colorful bungalows.
Now, residents in Seminole Heights hope to put the area's small business community on the map using the "Eat, Drink & Shop Local" guide.
The beige foldout features a map of the business corridor in addition to the name, website, address and pertinent information regarding what the business sells, from antiques to costume jewelry. Free copies of the guide, which includes about three dozen businesses, are available at stores featured in it.
Greg Curtis - who opened Cleanse Apothecary on Florida Avenue in 2010 with partner Terry Bellamy - helped spearhead the idea to provide residents and visitors with a way to locate specialty stores and restaurants in Seminole Heights.
We talked to Curtis about how the idea came about.
On the purpose of the guide: "The main purpose is to make Seminole Heights residents aware of all the gems and the local shops within their own community. Besides directing new people and visitors driving through to other shops, or my customers to another store, it’s a marketing tool for all of us."
How the idea came about: "When we opened our shop in 2010, around August, a lot of my furniture are from Debra (Vallejo) of D&D Antiques. People would come in and say, 'I love your table. Where did you get that?' Or a desk. And I would say, 'D&D Antiques.' This is when they were on Nebraska.
I would send people to her, and she would tell her customers about my store. After awhile, we would start talking and share our customer base. We got customers from all over. We started sharing that information, and Debra suggested we created a guide. She came to me with a map she picked up somewhere else. It was going to be the antique stores. This was before Health Mutt and Kaleidoscope. For our community, this is awesome."
On the next step to create the guide: "We figured we should include all the restaurants. I went through and made the first guide and sent it to a printer. We printed 6,000 for $20 per business. Each business got 100 or more. We ran out. It led us to talk to other businesses opening who wanted to join."
What residents should get out of the guide: "The whole thought process is, before you go to a big box retailer, whether it's Publix or Ikea or Target for soap or dog food, look at the guide and see where you can put your dollars locally. If you support local businesses, it draws more business to open and brings up home values and makes people want to live here. It's about creating a destination and making this a better place to live."
For more information, or to get your business in the guide, go to the Eat, Drink & Shop Local Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Eat-Drink-Shop-Local-Seminole-Heights/262859970424577?ref=ts&fref=ts.