Buy Beaches First
If this sounds familiar, that’s because it is. Buy Beaches First is not a new program. Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber of Commerce has relaunched Buy Beaches First, a shop local movement, to bring shoppers back to smaller beach businesses after the pandemic.
Buy Beaches First began in 2015 as a social media contest, to show local businesses how much an online presence would help their companies. Whenever shoppers were at a local beach business, they would snap photos and check in with the hashtag #BuyBeachesFirst. In turn, each week the TBBCoC randomly selected one lucky shopper to receive a prize donated by one of the chamber members. The prize isn’t still valid but the campaign is still active.
“The response we got in 2015 was incredible, to say the least,” said TBBCoC Marketing and Member Support Jessica Morrow. “Locals and visitors from all over were using the hashtag and were proud to mark themselves as a beach community supporter. What started as a short, holiday-season campaign turned into a movement.”
The Stinger Bar isn’t going anywhere, Gulfport. It’s small but mighty.
The little bar off of Gulfport Boulevard and 49th Street South was forced to close – as were all bars in the state – after COVID-19 cases skyrocketed in June.
The Stinger Bar and Pepperz, across 49th Street South, are the only two Gulfport bars outside of the downtown area. On Monday, September 14 bars were able to open up at half capacity.
“We’re open and the owner has no plans to close the doors again,” said Stinger’s bartender Verena Alvarado.
Hats off to the little bar for making it through a time of uncertainty.
Rumbles Bakery Pop-Up
Looking for a late-night treat?
Perhaps you’d like a dessert infused with valerian root, said to help with anxiety, restlessness and insomnia; or a date-night sweet infused with blue lotus, thought to be a calming aphrodisiac that illuminates social skills.
If those sound enchanting, visit Pastry Chef Renata Augaitis of Rumbles Bakery. She’s got a pop-up shop every Tuesday morning in the Art Village Courtyard, 2902 Beach Blvd. S.
Augaitis studied Culinary Arts and Baking & Pastry Arts in Lake Tahoe, CA. She went on to be the head chef for an award-winning vegan and gluten-free restaurant in her hometown of Chicago.
Two years ago, Augaitis found her way to Gulfport and opened Rumbles Bakery, a unique wholesale bakery with custom infusions of CBD and a variety of healthy mix-ins and herbs.
Augaitis plans to eventually open a brick and mortar establishment in the city.
Along with her herb-infused delicacies, Augaitis is known for her specialty rum balls. All of her items can be made with or without any of the infusions she offers on her website, rumblesbakery.com.
Try desserts by Augaitis prior to her pop-up debut at SumitrA Espresso Lounge, 2838 Beach Blvd. S.