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Katherine Snow Smith, Times Staff Writer

Katherine Snow Smith

Katherine Snow Smith has been at the Times either fulltime or parttime since 1995. She started as a business reporter then spent a decade writing the Rookie Mom column with stories from her own family and advice from other average moms and the experts. She now covers business in south Pinellas County. Katherine has a degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina and is married to Times political editor Adam Smith. They have three children, two dogs and still feel like rookie parents much of the time.

Phone: (727) 893-8785


  1. Hofbrauhaus a hit in early going in St. Petersburg


    ST. PETERSBURG — Hungry, thirsty, excited and patient diners have been waiting three and four hours to eat at Hofbrauhaus St. Petersburg during its first two weeks of business.

    There are 300 names on the waiting list for a stein locker.

    German pretzels have been rushed up from Miami as supplies run short. The restaurant added another walk-in cooler less than a week after opening to make storage room for all the food needed to serve nightly crowds of 500 to 700....

  2. Aldi and Thorntons scheduled to open on 34th Street in St. Petersburg


    ST. PETERSBURG — Discount grocery store Aldi and Thorntons, a gas station with a high-end convenience store, are scheduled to open within a year at 1301 34th St. N, according to a developer buying the property.

    Belleair Beach-based Win Development is planning the retail project on 6 acres in front of the Times Publishing Co. printing plant. It is buying the land from Times Publishing, the parent company of the Tampa Bay Times, for $3.8 million....

  3. A shopping event to kick off fall


    You mean to tell me it's the first day of October and you haven't even started your holiday shopping?

    Don't panic. One of the first shopping events of the season is tomorrow.

    The Chic Boutique at LCC Day School in St. Petersburg is open to all from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Friday. It's at 4400 Chancellor St. NE. near Snell Isle and 38th Avenue NE.

    The school's fifth and biggest holiday shopping market features local vendors, including one of our favorite Central Avenue boutiques, Ashe Couture. Infinity Headbands offers everything from cute bows for kids to beaded bands for the older, hipper set....

    Ashe Couture will be on hand selling fun clothes and jewelry like this...
  4. For the love of Mary-Kate and Ashley don't pay $100 for a scrunchie


    Twelve years ago Sex & The City's Carrie Bradshaw proclaimed to her soon to be ex-boyfriend, Berger that: "no stylish woman in Manhattan would be caught dead wearing a scrunchie," unless maybe she was in the bathroom washing her face. He had written a novel about a N.Y. fashionplate and mentioned she wore one of the '80s trademark fabric-covered elsastics....

    Nordstrom sells silk scrunchies for $24 to $54.
  5. Chipotle opening another location on Fourth Street in St. Petersburg


    ST. PETERSBURG — The demand for burritos must be high on Fourth Street. A Chipotle Mexican Grill is opening at 3540 Fourth St. N next to El Cap Restaurant. The Chipotle 28 blocks away at 780 Fourth St. N isn't closing.

    "I guess that one really caters to downtown," said Bill Karns, owner of William Karns Enterprises, the general contractor on the project. He said he was surprised at first to learn the older store is staying open but he since has found out downtown employees and residents tend not to venture north of 22nd Avenue. So the new Chipotle will serve a different market....

    Chipotle restaurant workers fill orders for customers at the counter service eatery. [JOE RAEDLE | Getty]
  6. Innovative work space helps St. Petersburg tech company lure talent



    One of the latest corporate relocations to town didn't land in a tall office building with marble floors, a glass elevator or concierge services. And the employees aren't toiling away in cubicles or corner offices with views of Tampa Bay.

    The 50 people working at GeniusCentral software developer sit at desks made of metal and plywood, on lime green and orange pillows and inside a 1957 shiny, silver Spartan brand trailer....

    GeniusCentral CEO John Miles says all ages like the building’s vibe.
  7. Her cat doesn't flush, but she lets it flow


    ST. PETERSBURG — Elena Cano's cat mastered potty training faster than a lot of people's kids. This is not a joke.

    It took the European shorthair fewer than eight weeks. Now when 10-year-old Kali needs to relieve herself she hops up on the toilet and does her thing.

    No, she doesn't flush. But the orange feline does sound off a special "meow" right before she goes so Cano knows she'll need to go flush....

    Portokali, a 10-year-old female European shorthair cat owned by Elena Cano of St. Petersburg, has been trained to use the toilet instead of a cat litter box in her St. Petersburg condo. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  8. China City location in St. Petersburg up for sale


    ST. PETERSBURG — China City Restaurant, a landmark on Fourth Street for 61 years, is on the market for $929,000. Owner and founder Mar Fee Moon is 91 years old and ready to leave the restaurant business.

    "He retired about 10 years ago but he still came in here every day. He would go in the kitchen and cook," said Moon's son, Jim Moon.

    There has been strong interest on the newly listed property at 1221 Fourth St. N but no offers yet, said Jim Moon, who is handling the sale with his company, Future Home Realty....

  9. YMCA preschool offers St. Petersburg neighborhood innovative teaching methods



    In the teaching garden, students learn soil is another name for dirt. In the demonstration kitchen, they make yogurt parfaits with foods they've never tried before. In the community room, they rise like the sun with outstretched arms during yoga. In their classroom, they color Curious George's balloons with the touch of a finger on a Smart Board, make numbers out of wooden craft sticks and work out frustrations by shaking a bottle filled with oil and glitter....

    The school is housed in the 64-year-old building that was the Immaculate Conception Early Learning Center for decades.
  10. Are Uggs uggh?


    It took me about two weeks to open the door to her vacated room. I knew seeing the empty, unmade bed, the dirty T-shirts left on the floor and the once beloved, abandoned stuffed animals with permagrin faces would make me cry. They did.

    My oldest daughter left for college in mid August. She was loving it and we were so proud and happy. But the stillness she left behind takes some getting used to. Even with two other great, busy kids, there's a hole in our home....

    About the only thing my college freshman left behind was her Uggs.
  11. Albertsons die-hards support Tampa Bay's last store


    LARGO — And then there was one.

    Seven years ago, there were close to 100 Albertsons grocery stores in Florida, many of those in Tampa Bay. Now, there is just one left in the area, in Largo Mall at 10500 Ulmerton Road.

    There are two other Florida stores: in Altamonte Springs in Seminole County and Oakland Park, north of Fort Lauderdale.

    Though it seems to defy the rule of economies of scale, Albertsons is keeping its three Sunshine State stores open and even remodeling them....

    Karina Craveiro and her son Moses like the familiarity at Albertsons in Largo.
  12. Detangle your jewelry, detangle your life


    A few years ago I saw how one of my best friends organizes her jewelry and my life was forever changed.

    As necklaces started making bigger and bigger statements and bracelets got chunkier why was I still trying to fit them in the same velvet-lined jewelry box? Why was I leaving them alone in a dark dresser drawer to comingle and get all tangled up? And that ugly metal stand from Claire's, not worthy of even my worst costume jewelry....

    Etsy has 250 pages of wall hooks for $9 to $40.
  13. St. Petersburg's tallest office tower gets a new name: Priatek Plaza


    ST. PETERSBURG — It's been five years since its former namesake tenant moved out, but the tallest office building in Pinellas County will soon have a new name.

    One Progress Plaza, formerly downtown's Bank of America tower, is becoming Priatek Plaza.

    Priatek is a young, interactive advertising company that occupies the 23rd floor of the 386-foot-high building at 200 Central Ave. It attracts an advertiser's potential customers with digital games on mobile devices or kiosks at malls, airports, theaters and other public venues, according to the Priatek website. The potential customers play a free game for a chance to win a product or a discount and enter information about themselves....

    The tallest building in St. Petersburg is now named Priatek Plaza after a 15-employee tech startup that occupies space in the tower. JAMES BORCHUCK  |   Times
  14. $1M robot helps the medicine go down



    The robot reads a barcode and extends its long yellow arm toward bins holding 300 different pills. Tiny fingers pick pills from some of the containers, using lasers to detect the size, shape and color of each. The robot ignores decoy pills and drops the pills it has selected into 28 small plastic "blisters" embedded in a page of cardboard. There are four blisters for each day of the week....

    Engineer Eddy Kames, one of the inventors of the M5000, fills a multidose blister pack by hand at MTS in St. Petersburg. He says the robot is not only faster, but “it’s very accurate.”
  15. Deal Divas proclaim: "We have a great Rack."


    Taylor Swift and the Bad Blood girls may have ruled the VMA red carpet, but the Deal Divas, and about 300 other early bird shoppers, were shown quite a good time in the welcome line at the new Nordstrom Rack at Westfield Countryside Mall.

    We were met with a barrage of plastic, clapping hands and lots of "thank yous" when we entered the doors after waiting for an hour or two outside....

    This adorable Marimekko dress will look even cuter on my cousin's new baby girl, Willow,