Make us your home page

Area companies win 'retailer of the year' honors

ORLANDO — The owners of two homegrown Tampa Bay area and one Orlando store owner were honored Thursday as "retailers of the year" by the retail industry's largest statewide trade group.

Craftsman House Gallery in St. Petersburg, owned by Jeff and Stephanie Schorr, topped the field among shops with revenue less than $1 million. Dave and Karen West and their Rolling Pin Kitchen Emporium in Brandon led businesses in the less than $10 million category.

Kira Powell, Florida regional vice president of Hard Rock International in Orlando, won the award in the larger than $10 million category for running retail shops in Hard Rock cafes, hotels and casinos.

In four years, Craftsman House, located at 2955 Central Ave., grew into a gallery selling the works of 300 artists. The Schorrs added a restaurant and a night spot with scheduled live music. Next door to the vintage 1918 arts and crafts bungalow is a carriage house that doubles as a classroom and working pottery studio.

One of the reasons the Schorrs were selected was their ability to generate business at a destination with minimal walk-in traffic, as well as their active roles in the neighborhood and small business communities.

The Wests, a kitchen gadget merchandise buyer and a onetime McDonald's executive, founded Rolling Pin in 1995 as a store for foodies that eventually became two stores Then in 2006 they moved it all to Brandon so Dave, a trained chef, could add a cooking school and bring in cookbook authors and top chefs for appearances. The Wests are now trying to add all 18,000 items stocked in their store to the 2,000 available at their online store,

Area companies win 'retailer of the year' honors 06/24/10 [Last modified: Friday, June 25, 2010 11:01am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. PolitiFact Florida: How would Florida fare in Graham-Cassidy health care bill?


    Following a sharp rebuke by late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., hit the airwaves to defend his bill that would undo much of the Affordable Care Act.

    Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La.
  2. Whatever happened to the Zika epidemic?


    Remember Zika?

    The last time Gov. Rick Scott warned Floridians about the potential threat of the mosquito-borne virus was in July, when he urged residents to still be vigilant against bug bites and standing water. At the time, doctors and researchers were bracing for what was supposed to be another active summer …

    Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are responsible for transmitting Zika. Cases of the virus are down dramatically in Florida.
  3. Pinellas licensing board needs cash. Will the county give it any?

    Local Government

    LARGO –– The grand jury that said Pinellas County should not take over the troubled construction licensing board also said the county should bail out the agency before it goes broke in 2018.

    Pinellas County Commission chair Janet Long isn't keen on the idea of the county loaning money to keep the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board afloat. The county has no say over the independent agency, which could run out of funding in 2018. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  4. Is the Bundt cake back? How retro baked goods are becoming trendy again


    Once there were grunts and slumps, buckles and brown betties. Oh, and pandowdies and sonkers. In the olden days, people routinely made angel food cakes, tomato soup cakes and hummingbird cakes. These were not Duncan Hines mixes, but rather confections made from scratch following yellowed and stained recipes in your …

    Nothing Bundt Cakes in Tampa offers a variety of options, from tiny “bundtinis” and 10-inch cakes that serve 18 to 20 people. Core flavors include lemon, marble, red velvet and chocolate-chocolate chip, with featured flavors like confetti.
  5. Pinellas construction licensing board needs to be fixed. But how?

    Local Government

    LARGO –– Everyone agrees that the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board needs to be reformed. But no one agrees on how to do it.

    Rodney Fischer, former executive director of the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board Rodney, at a February meeting. His management of the agency was criticized by an inspector general's report. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]