Formerly the site of Sweet Tea Celebrations, 5325 Gulfport Blvd. is now home to Sail Market Studio and Boutique is Gulfport Boulevard’s newest spot for local gifts.
Owners and marketing duo Sarah and Eric Laracuente opened the mostly locally stocked store early September with a soft step into the community. The Laracuente’s plan to throw a grand opening in November.
“We actually had our soft opening a little early because someone wanted to come in,” Sarah said.
Sarah, who is the public information officer for St. Pete Beach, opened Sail Market alongside her marketing firm, Sail Marketing LLC.
The space is stocked with merchandise from local artists, such as Muddy Walrus mugs, as well as a selfie station with a ring light for the “pizazz.”
A portion of the shop’s profits go to St. Vincent de Paul’s Cares for homelessness in Tampa Bay.
“I’m excited to get involved with Gulfport; there’s such a great local scene,” Sarah said.
More at fb.com/SailMarketStudio.
Previously only in food truck form, Sara Fludd’s Pop Goes the Waffle is coming to Gulfport as a brick-and-mortar business at 5004 Tangerine Ave. S.
Fludd’s teal waffle truck opened to the road in 2017 and has “popped” its sweets into sit down spots such as Kahwa Coffee and the Blind Tiger Cafe in Tampa.
Fludd, who has been “utterly besotted with waffles since she took her first bite of an Eggo in kindergarten,” according to her website, says the Gulfport location will be a production zone as well as a small sit-down space for guests.
Find more waffle-goodness at popgoesthewaffle.com.
Fabric Smart’s New Home
After the pandemic prompted Fabric Smart, at 5401 Gulfport Blvd., to move to online, the shop has moved again – to St. Petersburg, at 6798 Crosswinds Dr. N.
This last relocation was the result of owner Karen Donnelly’s landlord selling the Gulfport building.
“The actual space is much nicer. There’s better parking and more space for retail,” Donnelly said of her move in August.
Visit or shop Fabric Smart at etsy.com/shop/fabricsmart.
A Year of Letting It Be
Owners of Let it Be Ice Cream in Gulfport, Tina Grello and Janet Impastato, started their creamery with a tiny walk-up window in 2019; last year, they moved to their 50s-style ice cream diner at 3127 Beach Blvd. S. and held an anniversary party to thank the community on September 12 with live music and a sock hop on Beach Boulevard from 12 to 8 p.m.
“There’s no comparison, this is what we envisioned doing all along,” Grello said. “The community is so supportive of us…we’ve done better than expected.”
More at fb.com/letitbeicecream.
22 South Food Hall at Last
Nestled in St. Petersburg’s historic Deuces neighborhood, 22 South Food Hall faced closure after losing its main owner, former Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver Vincent Jackson, who passed away in February.
Now the concept of a multiple-restaurant, multi-use space at the Historic Manhattan Casino, 642 22nd St. S., is back on with eight new investors and will hold a grand opening on September 30, from 1 to 4 p.m.
The revitalization of the restaurant-style food hall came with the partnering of Urban Collective and original owner, The Callaloo Group.
“We’re giving business owners a chance by providing them a space to sell goods and learn their craft,” said Urban Collective member and Gulfport Little League President Trevor Mallory.
The location is also currently hiring bartenders and servers.
More at fb.com/22southfoodhall.