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Building doubles jeweler's space

K.K. Smith Jewelers, in business in Clearwater for 41 years, has a new home. Brothers Kenny and Norris Smith, who own and operate the business, purchased a 3,450-square-foot building at Rogers Street and Missouri Avenue.

With the move, the business has more than doubled its space, Norris Smith said. The previous location, at La Belle Plaza on Highland Avenue, had 1,400 square feet, he said.

The purchase also included an adjacent 80- by 100-foot lot that will be used for parking, said Jason Smith, son of Kenny Smith. The store currently has six parking spaces. The property was a $250,000 investment, he said.

"Our family has been in the jewelry business for over 100 years," Jason Smith said. The century-old family store, Kaller's Jewelers in Patchogue, N.Y., closed last year, he said.

The younger Smith said his great-grandfather Harry Smith moved here from Long Island and started the Clearwater operation. The business is named after Harry's son Kenneth K. Smith, he said.

Jason, 25, is the fourth generation of Smiths to become a jeweler and work in the family business. "I went to school in West Palm Beach to study diamond setting and jewelry design," he said.

The new location is at 1204 Rogers St. and is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and is closed Sunday.

Company notes

John A. Sabetta has been promoted from executive vice president of operations to chief operating officer of Arthur Rutenberg Homes Inc. at 13922 58th St. N, near Largo. In his new position, he will be responsible for day-to-day operations of the corporation, which generated gross sales of more than $200-million in 1997. He will supervise a corporate staff of 50 people and be responsible for working with the company's 31 franchises in Florida, Alabama and Louisiana.

Sabetta has 20 years' experience in the building industry and previously owned and operated a residential construction firm in New Jersey. He joined Rutenberg in 1992 and lives in Palm Harbor.


Creative Contractors at 620 Drew St., Clearwater, has completed a $6.5-million construction contract at W.D. Sugg Middle School in Bradenton. The 14-month project was for interior renovations and improvement of indoor air quality.

Health care

Palm Garden of Pinellas, a 140-bed rehabilitation and nursing care center at 200 16th Ave. SE, Largo, has received the highest certification in excellence given by National HealthCare Corp., which operates the center.

The president's excellence certification is awarded to centers that obtain and maintain the highest rating in both state and National HealthCare surveys, excel in patient care criteria and pass the personal inspection of corporation president Andy Adams.

Palm Garden is one of 47 centers around the country to receive the president's certification.

National HealthCare Corp., with headquarters in Murfreesboro, Tenn., operates more than 150 health care centers, programs and specialty units and rehabilitation services.

New business

Cameron Boyd has opened Video Products Repair at 3114 Alt. U.S. 19 in Palm Harbor. The business services televisions, VCRs, camcorders, stereos, amplifiers, receivers, boomboxes, tape decks and compact disc players. Estimates are free and Boyd said he guarantees parts and labor for six months.

Boyd moved here last year from Decatur, Ill. He has 16 years' experience in repair of home and industrial electronics and taught electronics at private schools for two years in Los Angeles.

Restaurant expansion

Gilda Peterson has renovated and expanded her restaurant at the Icot Center at 13575 58th St. N, near Largo, and given it a new name.

The former Summit Cafe, which was open only for lunch weekdays for the past three years, has been transformed into Jillian's bistro and piano bar, serving both lunch and dinner with seating for 120.

Peterson, who also has the Ambiance Caterer on the Lake catering business, said she invested $100,000 in the renovations.

"I tore down lots of walls and put in new fixtures _ contemporary with smoky glass _ new drapes, cast-iron window decorations and a border of mahogany around the room," she said. The decor features "warm copper and gold colors and black leather," she said.

One side of the restaurant is all windows with a veranda that overlooks a green area with a pond and trees.

Peterson, who moved here three years ago from Chicago, said, "I wanted to create a warm Chicago ambience where people can eat good food and don't want to leave _ that's what I miss most about the city."

She said she hired as the restaurant's chef Robert Masson, who previously owned Masson's of Tarpon Springs.

Jillian's is open for lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m Monday through Friday and dinner from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

_ News of businesses and business people can be faxed to the Business Digest at 445-4119 or mailed to Business Digest, 710 Court St., Clearwater, FL 33756. We are interested in new and unusual businesses, promotions, expansions and major new contracts. Photos can be sent, but not all will be used and they cannot be returned.