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. Pinellas licensing board asks Sen. Jack Latvala for $500,000 loan

    Local Government

    The troubled Pinellas County agency that regulates contractors wants Sen. Jack Latvala to help it get a $500,000 lifeline from the state to stay afloat.

    State Sen . Jack Latvala, R- Clearwater, is being asked to help the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board get $500,000 from the state so it can stay open beyond February.  [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  2. In advertising, marketing diversity needs a boost in Tampa Bay, nationally


    TAMPA — Trimeka Benjamin was focused on a career in broadcast journalism when she entered Bethune-Cookman University.

    From left, Swim Digital marketing owner Trimeka Benjamin discusses the broad lack of diversity in advertising and marketing with 22 Squared copywriter Luke Sokolewicz, University of Tampa advertising/PR professor Jennifer Whelihan, Rumbo creative director George Zwierko and Nancy Vaughn of the White Book Agency. The group recently met at The Bunker in Ybor City.
  3. Tampa Club president seeks assessment fee from members


    TAMPA — The president of the Tampa Club said he asked members last month to pay an additional assessment fee to provide "additional revenue." However, Ron Licata said Friday that the downtown business group is not in a dire financial situation.

    Ron Licata, president of the Tampa Club in downtown Tampa. [Tampa Club]
  4. Under Republican health care bill, Florida must make up $7.5 billion


    If a Senate bill called the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 becomes law, Florida's government would need to make up about $7.5 billion to maintain its current health care system. The bill, which is one of the Republican Party's long-promised answers to the Affordable Care Act imposes a cap on funding per enrollee …

    Florida would need to cover $7.5 billion to keep its health care program under the Republican-proposed Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017.  [Times file photo]
  5. Amid U.S. real estate buying binge by foreign investors, Florida remains first choice

    Real Estate

    Foreign investment in U.S. residential real estate recently skyrocketed to a new high with nearly half of all foreign sales happening in Florida, California and Texas.

    A National Association of Realtors annual survey found record volume and activity by foreign buyers of U.S. real estate. Florida had the highest foreign investment activity, followed by California and Texas. [National Association of Realtors]