SOUTH TAMPA — Simon Horsey and Rusty West's fish tale began with a casual friendship, a night out and spirited talk about how good seafood tastes when it's fresh off the boat.
Horsey and West found themselves lamenting the lack of a dedicated seafood market in South Tampa. So, they decided to open one.
West, who has a background as a commercial fisherman, and Horsey, who has had careers in both real estate and restaurants, opened Fish Tales Seafood Market in April at 4807 S Himes Ave., just north of Gandy Boulevard.
Their motto, according to Horsey: "If we won't eat it, we won't sell it."
The shop specializes in local, fresh fish (brought in with head and skin still on) and offers other types of fish from around the country. The eight to 14 daily selections often include as many as four or five types of local grouper.
"We bring to you a quality of fish that has probably been off the boat for a day or so," Horsey said. "We get to pick what we want and if it's not up to our standard, we send it back."
Fish Tales also smokes and sells mullet, amberjack and salmon daily and stocks shrimp, clams, mussels, lobster, king crab and snow crab.
In recent weeks, the shop has expanded its line of prepared foods to include items like clam chowder, seafood gumbo and crab cakes. Beer and wine package sales will be coming soon, Horsey said.
Hours at Fish Tales Seafood Market are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Boutique Rosa Linda opens on MacDill
An artist and art teacher at Academy of the Holy Names, Stacy Rosende long had pondered opening a little shop of her own, but full-time teaching always got in the way.
Then, a bit of inspiration: The 400-square-foot space next to her private art studio at 3407 S MacDill Ave. became available. Why not open up an arty gift store as a way to subsidize her rent at the studio?
That's the practical reason for Rosende's new Saturday-only boutique, Rosa Linda. The colorful, handmade aesthetic of the store is inspired by a trip Rosende and her family took to central Mexico several years ago, especially a stop in San Miguel de Allende, a town known for its tinwork.
"I connected with that whole culture, the color," Rosende said. "Everything was so beautiful. … I wanted a shop that connected with the vibe of that whole place."
The store doesn't display Rosende's own work (mostly painting and printmaking) because of her long-standing relationship with Creighton Galleries nearby on S MacDill. Instead she sells linens, home décor, giftware, textiles and specialty items such as oilcloth, handmade pueblo dresses and Day of the Dead collectibles. About 60 percent of inventory comes from Mexico.
"The funny thing is my work is very contemporary and modern," she said. "I feel like I'm playing out my feminine side in the store."
Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays but "in the summer I'm opening more because I'm around," Rosende said.