Make us your home page

Kokua Lima thrift store puts focus on community

SEFFNER — DVDs have returned to the old Blockbuster location at Parsons Square Village and you can own them for only $1.99.

But it's not another video store that moved into the corner retail spot adjacent to Beef 'O' Brady's, it's a community thrift store.

Kokua Lima offers house wares of all kinds at rock-bottom prices.

Sparked by the widening of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Kokua Lima moved from its location a mile away on Lakeview Avenue, to a more visible location three times the size of the original store that built a reputation for $2 clothes during its first 10 months of operation.

The opening also puts to rest, at least temporarily, the idea favored by local Beef's patrons: an expansion of the family restaurant. Dellenna Wilson, who owns Kokua Lima, says she does not have a long-term lease, but that is her goal.

Wilson, who grew up in Polk City, moved to Hawaii with her husband, David, but returned last year to help care for her father who is battling cancer. The name Kokua Lima means "helping hands" in Hawaiian.

"We want to do something for the community," she said.

Wilson welcomes all donations, just not those large, old televisions that nobody wants. Those who donate receive an additional 20 percent off their purchases. While $2 outfits serve as the staple, including a wedding dress valued at $150, shoppers also will find books for 25 cents, baby clothes for 12 cents and children's books for 10 cents.

For the big spenders, there's an entire bedroom set for $250 and even a Volkswagen engine block for $250, if you happen to have an MK III model car in need.

Kokua Lima also has a pair of tables set up near the door. The first one displays free items for the taking, because Wilson says they don't sell.

"People love it," she said. "It's a way to give back to the community. People always complain that bigger places throw too much stuff away. It's somebody else's treasure."

The other table is a showcase for new local businesses. The first business on display is called Party at My House. Owner Jaime Gukeisen, a Brandon resident, makes banners and party accessories.

Check out Kokua Lima Community Thrift Store on Facebook to see an up-to-date list of items it offers and needs.

Old friends take over car rental at Sears

The path that led to Giovanna Bravo and David Ferrer opening a business at Westfield Brandon extends well into the past. The couple dated as youths, then went their separate ways. Nearly 30 years later, they are business partners and the newest owners of the Avis and Budget Rent-a-Car franchise inside the Sears Auto Center.

"We dated when we were young and found each other almost 30 years later," Bravo said. "And that changed everything. Now, we have a lovely relationship and a business together."

When the couple took ownership in December, it became the third car rental location they have managed for the Avis Budget Group. They formerly operated a location on Gandy Boulevard and currently own one on Fowler Avenue.

Ferrer has been in the car rental industry for 22 years and says that because they are family operated, customers can expect a less corporate, more relaxed atmosphere. One of the specials the Brandon location features is "pick-of-the fleet," where upgrades are discounted so renters can drive cars they haven't tried before.

Stay tuned for their new satellite radio package option, where they estimate 60 percent of the fleet will feature Sirius radio without the need for clumsy free-standing units in the vehicle.

Call (813) 653-0033 for more information.

If you know of something that should be Everybody's Business, email Eric Vician at [email protected]

Kokua Lima thrift store puts focus on community 02/05/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 5, 2014 3:16pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Seminole Heights restaurants face struggles amid killings, post-Irma

    Food & Dining

    SEMINOLE HEIGHTS — The neighborhood's hip circle of popular, well-regarded restaurants is feeling the squeeze in the wake of a recent killing spree. And the timing is rough.

    Ella's American Folk Art Cafe. Times files
  2. St. Pete-Clearwater holding food, supply drive for hurricane refugees


    CLEARWATER — St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport and Allegiant Air are holding a food and supply drive for the Hispanic Outreach Center in Pinellas County. The event, which will benefit refugees displaced by Hurricane Maria, will be held Tuesday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the airport at 14700 Terminal Blvd.

    St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport and Allegiant Air are hosting a food and supplies drive Tuesday for refugees displaced by Hurricane Maria. | [Times file photo]
  3. Tallest building in Pinellas County in search of a new name

    Real Estate

    ST. PETERSBURG — The name "Priatek" is gone from Pinellas County's tallest building, perhaps to be replaced by that of a much better-known company new to the Tampa Bay area.

    The Priatek name is off of downtown St. Petersburg's tallest building.
 [LARA CERRI  |   Times.  2015]
  4. Estuary wins pier design contest for the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway extension

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — And the winner is… Estuary.

    Voters overwhelmingly supported a pier design called Estuary for the $200-million extension of the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway in Tampa.
[Courtesy of AECOM]
  5. Amazon receives 238 proposals from places eager to become its 2nd headquarters


    NEW YORK — Amazon said Monday that it received 238 proposals from cities and regions in the United States, Canada and Mexico hoping to be the home of the company's second headquarters.

    Earlier this month, an Amazon employee gives her dog a biscuit as the pair head into a company building, where dogs are welcome, in Seattle. Amazon says it received 238 proposals from cities and regions hoping to be the home of the company's second headquarters. 
[AP Photo/Elaine Thompson]