DOWNTOWN — People are already quacking about the new and improved Duckweed Urban Market, relocated June 25 to the southwest corner of the Element condominium on Tampa Street, next to Kahwa Coffee.
"It was important to pick the perfect location, and they were very eager to have retail," said Michelle Deatherage, co-owner with husband Brent. The couple outgrew the tiny spot on Polk Street they opened in October 2011.
Beyond basic groceries like bread and eggs, fruit and cheese, now there will be room for locally sourced and organic products.
"Things you don't see at Publix and Whole Foods," Michelle said, listing herbs and spices, hot sauces, Buddy Brew coffee and Halo dog food, all made in Tampa.
By August, the store will have added a kitchen to prepare an "eclectic" menu of wraps, sandwiches and salads. Also, a juice bar and a loft area "to lounge, surf the Net or drink a beer."
"It's totally different now," she said. "Not just a grocery store but a community place, with seating inside and out."
Besides pleasing customers, the Deatherages, avid travelers just back from Peru, want to keep employees happy. They pledge to give a portion of sales to their staff to "pay a museum admission or some travel experience."
Duckweed Urban Market, at 803 N Tampa St., is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, 365 days a year. Find the market on Facebook or call (813) 221-3825.
Salad, Nathan's dogs in one downtown spot
Combining Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs and the Tampa Salad Company in downtown Tampa covers all bases. No need to wait for a baseball stadium to fill up on frankfurters.
"It's the real deal, the 100 percent beef product selling on Coney Island since 1916," said Rob Szasz, who also owns Tropical Smoothie a few doors north, also on Tampa Street.
"Everything is shipped from New York — chili, cheese, buns and fries. The fries are the real stars of the show." Since opening in mid June, he said, they fry four cases of potatoes a day.
Not hankering for hot dogs, cheeseburgers or Philly steak sandwiches? Then step to the salad counter and make selections to fill a 48-ounce bowl for $6.99. A salad artist will pile on greens, proteins, fresh vegetables and 18 kinds of Ken's Steakhouse dressings.
Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs and Tampa Salad Company, 200 N Tampa St., is open from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Visit tampasaladcompany.com or call (813) 225-4277.
Invitation Consultants moves and expands
Retail/online Invitation Consultants recently moved to Henderson Boulevard near Lois Avenue, enlarging the operation originally based in Westchase.
The new showroom has more space to meet with consultants to design wedding, graduation, bar and bat mitzvah and other invitation orders, said Kaity Eagle, spokeswoman. "Every kind of event for every budget. No appointment necessary."
Or customers can create their invitations and announcements online, to be picked up at the store or shipped. Choose from "thousands of options, and more added every day," Eagle said.
A "grab-and-go" gift selection offers travel mugs, luggage tags, note pads and such, sold with or without personalization.
Invitation Consultations, at 4062 Henderson Blvd., is open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Visit invitationconsultants.com or call (813) 879-3748.
New Orleans cafe owner has a vision
It will be more challenging to start the morning with beignets or end the day with jambalaya since the closing of Second Line Café, formerly NoLa Café. Owner Louis Robert Jr. featured a New Orleans menu for nearly nine years at the restaurant behind Walgreens on Platt Street.
"It's always been an awkward location," said Robert, who shut down on Father's Day. "It's bittersweet from my end. My concept was sound, other than a few tweaks here and there, but first and foremost, we were missing visibility."
But he's not gone for good.
"My intent was always to develop and franchise," Robert said. "Put that out there. I am looking for other locations and also investors."
Reach Louis Robert Jr. by email at [email protected]
Do you know something that should be Everybody's Business? Email [email protected] or call (813) 226-3332.