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Everybody's Business in Tampa: Schiller's sells salvage; a Thai food truck sets up on Howard; specialty soaps find home in salon

NORTH HYDE PARK — In 35 years of collecting "stuff," Larry Schiller's hobby turned into a salvage business that has outgrown its current location.

Saturday, Schiller's Architectural and Design Salvage will open in a warehouse on Rome Avenue that spans 14,000 square feet, nearly five times the size of its former building across the street.

Schiller's vast hodgepodge of salvaged items — reclaimed wood, vintage furniture and outdoor elements — has overflowed from the building on Cypress Avenue that opened in 2009.

"And we might outgrow that soon,'' said Schiller, a builder who also operates Schiller Contracting with his wife, Charlie, an interior designer, in the new location on the corner of Cypress Street and Rome Avenue.

"I have to buy everything that I see,'' he said, not exactly exaggerating. "I travel all over, wherever someone tells me there is cool junk."

Customers include restaurants and shops looking for eclectic artwork, do-it-yourselfers and art project enthusiasts.

"Most people understand architectural salvage as old doors, windows, moldings and columns,'' he said. "Design salvage would be accessories and things that can be repurposed for a home or business."

On Saturday, the Schillers will host a grand "reopening" featuring drinks and a food truck, "and lots and lots of stuff."

Schiller's Architectural and Design Salvage, 1002 N Rome Ave., is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday "and most Saturdays." For more, visit schiller or telephone (813) 443-4641.

Kombo Kitchen truck at I-275 near Howard

Look to the left on northbound Howard Avenue to find Kombo Kitchen, a food truck parked one block south of the Interstate 275 N on-ramp. Drive slowly, it's easy to miss.

J.J. Jaratsri brought her native cooking skills from Thailand six years ago and worked at several local restaurants since arriving in Tampa. When she bought the food truck, her plan was to park and cook on or near MacDill Air Force Base.

As she awaits clearance from base officials, Jaratsri rolled onto Howard a month ago. Thai favorites fill the menu starting with egg rolls, pot stickers and crab rangoon appetizers. Entrees include pad Thai, spicy drunken noodles and various daily specials, such as fried rice with choice of beef, chicken or shrimp.

Early birds will find several breakfast sandwiches and wraps. Hamburgers and hot dogs are also available.

Call ahead to have your order ready to pick up. The truck accepts cash only at this point; catering is available.

Kombo Kitchen, 1308 N Howard Ave., is open 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday; and 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. Call (813) 215-1656.

Sweet Harvest Farm soaps, more expands

Cynthia Jennings is a familiar figure at various outdoor markets, selling her own brand of Sweet Harvest Farm soaps, lotions and lip smoothies, including downtown Tampa (Fridays); Hyde Park (first Sunday of the month) and Seminole Heights (second Sunday of the month). She also sells her products wholesale to stores across the country.

Now find her two afternoons a week at Salon Lofts on Swann Avenue near Tampania Avenue.

"It's my own all-natural, patented recipe,'' Jennings said. "Vitamin E and rosemary extract are the only preservatives I use." A bar of soap lasts four to six weeks, she said.

Sweet Harvest Farms, 2511 Swann Ave., is open 2 to 6 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday or by appointment. Visit sweetharvest or call (813) 244-6025.

Do you know something that should be Everybody's Business? Call (813) 226-3332 or email

Everybody's Business in Tampa: Schiller's sells salvage; a Thai food truck sets up on Howard; specialty soaps find home in salon 03/22/12 [Last modified: Thursday, March 22, 2012 4:30am]
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