Gulfport has been home to produce and deli shop the Funky Flamingo, 1418 58th St. S., for one year as of the store’s ribbon cutting on Saturday, October 2.
Owner Anita McLaughlin says the milestone that she shares with her 60th birthday is bittersweet.
McLaughlin originally opened the shop with son Christopher Clark and his husband Thomas Clark in August of 2020. The two died within weeks of each other in February of this year.
“I’m not the one who should be speaking here today,” McLaughlin said on Saturday, “rather, Chris and Tommy should have been. Unfortunately we were dealt lemons, so today those lemons are now pink lemonade.”
Despite facing some financial hardship, the colorful market has maintained its reputation as a cornerstone for fresh, local food.
“We’re picking up for sure, but we had a couple of scary months,” McLaughlin said. “I get a lot of people my age, people from the neighborhood. They trust us.”
In fact, much to her surprise, the Funky Flamingo’s been getting a lot of attention for its tomato stock.
McLaughlin even refers to herself as the “tomato queen.”
“They come in fresh from Tampa,” she said, holding a basket of the produce.
More at fb.com/FunkyFlamingoGPFL.
For Caffeine Addicts
Just up the street from the Funky Flamingo, Gulfport’s newest to-go coffee shop, Addicted to Joe, 1402 58th St. S., opened September 1 with a menu of hot brewed coffee and dessert-centric drinks.
Owner Marion Davis, who previously owned Blessed by the Best Hair Salon in St. Petersburg, says the walk-up is a chance to bring generational wealth to her family, starting with her son, Joshua.
“When I told my son he jumped right into it,” Davis said. “He started learning to make coffee, coming up with the names…if you go in, he’s the barista.”
Eventually, Davis plans to convert the shop into a sit-down diner, but for now she’s renting the area to anyone who needs a space until the time for renovation comes.
In just the last month, there have been plans for a pop-up market and a podcast studio.
“We’ve got fresh beans and we’re Black-owned,” Davis said. “The coffee industry is like a family, and we’ve just run with it.”
See more at addictedtojoecoffee.com.
Just a Crumb
Chilean bread connoisseurs and St. Petersburg business owners Pablo Mardones and Felipe Zaval opened an artisan bread bakery, The Crumb Factory with fresh loaves in mind.
The 2,400-square-foot bakery opened at 5701 Central Ave. in August and serves a variety of classic French pastries, breakfast bites and of course, fresh bread.
In Chile, bread culture has a strong influence on the local foodie scene.
Mardones and Zaval say they opened the quaint shop in a pastry-saturated market because of St. Petersburg’s lack of bakeries that specialize in baked loaves.
More at instagram.com/crumbfactorybakery.