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Bulk Nation shoppers can bag savings

Alida Farhad of Lithia bags some red rice at Bulk Nation, a new kind of grocery store that opened two weeks ago at Regency Square. The store offers more than 400 bulk items by weight.

ERIC VICIAN | Special to the Times

Alida Farhad of Lithia bags some red rice at Bulk Nation, a new kind of grocery store that opened two weeks ago at Regency Square. The store offers more than 400 bulk items by weight.

BRANDON — Spry moviegoers have stopped in to line their pockets before catching a flick.

The lunch crowd has been known to nibble. And bakers and ethnic food lovers enjoy the variety and the customization found at Regency Square's newest tenant, Bulk Nation.

Two weeks after opening at 2426 W Brandon Blvd., locals have found the store to be part grocery and part fun. With more than 400 bulk items to choose from, candy and nuts have proven the most popular, but the store also offers cereal, beans, gluten-free pasta, soup mix, dried fruits, spices and more by the scoop.

Alida Farhad of Lithia came to pick up some red rice and basmati rice to make a traditional dish for her husband, Roma, who is from Afghanistan. She also told her daughter, Rachel, a baker, about the 100-plus theme-shaped cake pans you can rent for $1.99 a day.

"It's a very good way to cater to multiple cultures," said Farhad, who is Puerto Rican and also fills bags with staples from her heritage.

Brandon's Bulk Nation is just the second opened by president Clay Donato. A Canadian-born former pro tennis player and product of Bradenton's IMG Academy, Donato opened the first store nine months ago in Sarasota. He's seen the concept work in Canada for companies such as Bulk Barn.

"The uniqueness of our store, we thought would be a great fit for Brandon," Donato said. "Buying in bulk is an increasingly popular trend."

The bulk pricing, that aims to save consumers money by avoiding packaging costs, ranges from 25 cents per four ounces of peanuts up to $7.80 for a quarter pound of pine nuts. The average cost for bulk items is from $1 to $2 for four ounces of goods.

Bulk Nation also offers pinatas you can fill with candy, along with chips and drinks for your parties. Donato said he hopes to turn the concept into a franchise and open more stores throughout Florida and the East Coast next year.

Bulk Nation is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. On Tuesdays, seniors and students receive 10 percent off their purchase. The store is planning a grand opening celebration Jan. 2. Visit bulknationusa.com for more details.

'Letter Lady' looks to help businesses

Melody Jameson puts a premium on the written word. The local writer and photographer, has launched a new service called the Letter Lady to assist residents and business owners where she says social media can't.

Whether resolving disputes, enhancing sales or even penning an old-fashioned love letter, Jameson wants to help.

"There are some important communications between human beings that email and Instagram cannot properly manage that require the well-targeted letter, often in hard copy," Jameson said in a press release. "Frequently, this is the best way to resolve disputes with companies, for example, or hit various professional business correspondence goals, and the articulate love letter always is a keeper, preserved sometimes for generations."

If you need to find the right words for a task, write Jameson an email at Mchinnae@AOL.com or call her at (813) 634-7775.

If you know of something that should be Everybody's Business, email Eric Vician at ericvician@yahoo.com.

Bulk Nation shoppers can bag savings 12/04/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 4, 2013 3:58pm]

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