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Shop local for Valentine’s Day with these Tampa Bay gifts

Plus, check out a Black History Month African Fashions popup.
Posies Flower Truck will be making the rounds in the Tampa Bay area over the next few days. [Photo by Oxford Creative Studio]


Valentine’s Day is Friday. If the same old gifts are feeling stale, let this guide help you jazz up the holiday.

Flowers: In lieu of the usual dozen red roses, make flowers more personal by creating your own bouquet with Posies Flower Truck. The traveling flower shop has varieties you won’t find at the grocery store. Posies will host an in-store bouquet bar from 1-4 p.m. Thursday at Nordstrom at International Plaza in Tampa. Then from 5-7 p.m., the truck heads to Starkey Market, 3460 Starkey Blvd., Trinity. The truck pops up again at Hyde Park Village from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday and will be in the center of the village from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. 1509 W Swann Ave., Tampa.

For something more permanent, visit Florida CraftArt for a selection of artist-made blown glass flowers that will spark memories of love for years to come. 501 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. (727) 821-7391.

These blown glass flowers are among the selection available at Florida CraftArt in St. Petersburg. [Courtesy of Julia Collver]

Candy: Here are two new opportunities to mix it up from the customary box of chocolates. Rocket Fizz Soda Pop and Candy Shop has every candy one could dream of and crazy soda flavors including bacon and buffalo wing. Plus, they have tons of nostalgic items and gag gifts. 668 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, or 309 Coronado Drive, Clearwater.

Or be like Snoop Dogg, Ice-T and Coco Austin and check out Sugar Factory at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. (They were at the grand opening in December.) The restaurant serves all kinds of sugary concoctions and has a retail store of candy, including blingy, refillable “couture pops.” 5223 N Orient Road, Tampa. (813) 609-4417.

Snoop Dogg, Ice-T and Coco Austin at Sugar Factory's grand opening at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tampa on Dec. 29. [Courtesy of Ralph Notaro]

Gifts: Tokens of love don’t always have to be so serious. Zazoo’d is the place to pick up something fun and cheeky. Check out the shop’s selection of found painted plates with hand-lettered sayings including “Lez Be Friends” and “I can’t quit you," a nod to the epic Western love story Brokeback Mountain. 531 Central Ave., St. Petersburg.

Zazoo'd in St. Petersburg carries these cheeky plates. [Courtesy of Julia Collver]

Cards: Think outside the box for cards. The Dunedin Fine Art Center’s gallery shop has artist-made cards that double as frameable keepsakes. Paper artist Moonie Garcia’s anatomical heart cards are quite literal. 1143 Michigan Blvd. (727) 298-3322.

Moonie Garcia's anatomically correct heart card is available in the gallery shop at the Dunedin Fine Art Center. [Courtesy of Danielle Conte]


African Fashions’ Black History Month sale will help you celebrate in style. The Michigan-based business is returning with stacks of colorful African fabrics, original designs and handmade jewelry. Teens can take this opportunity to get their prom looks together. Free. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday. Embassy Suites Tampa, 3705 Spectrum Blvd. Reserve a spot on Facebook.

African Fashions will return to Tampa with fabric, original designs and jewelry for the Black History Month sale on Feb. 15. [Courtesy of African Fashions]