ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The St. Pete Pier Marketplace opened Friday, just days after the grand opening of the pier itself.
The Pier opened on Monday, July 6. It's a 26-acre, wide-open space.
The Marketplace features 17 small businesses that are based in the Tampa Bay area. The vendors are located in featured market stalls and pop-up tents in the entryway to the new St. Pete Pier. They provide a variety of goods and services from pre-packaged specialty food to art and accessories.
- Lily Rose Jewelry Co: locally made handmade jewelry.
- Craft-Tee: custom T-shirts while you wait.
- Gulf Planks: locally made signs featuring area landmarks.
- The Merchant – Purveyor of Local Goods: a local collective of St. Petersburg-inspired souvenirs and handcrafted items.
- 1Pier by One Community: a collective of various vendors.
- Hey Mon Caribbean Cooking Magic: authentic Caribbean specialty sauces.
- Sunshine City Arts: an art collective of various handmade items.
- Flamed Copper: heat-treated copper jewelry and accessories.
- Hats at the Pier: specialty hats.
- Flaming Pearl: tie-dyed custom-printed apparel and accessories.
- Koshien Chanterell: custom clothing, shoes, jewelry, handbags from Ghana.
- Land of Gaia: wood art-fashion-home decor from around the world.
- Goofy Faces Caricatures & Face Painting: caricatures.
- Ancient Herbal Care: organic, plant-based skin care products.
- 7 Sins Blood Caesar Mix: Bloody Caesar mix and rim salts.
- McTavish’s Highland Cookie Shack: locally made cookies, Scottish shortbread and scones.
- Son’ni Boi and Petal: locally made gourmet cashew brittle.
It will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Eventually, the space will feature up to 30 vendors.
“We’ve done local markets for a few years, and we were ready to expand,” said Darren Crew, founder of Gulf Planks, a Marketplace vendor that sells locally made signs featuring area landmarks. “For a local entrepreneur, this is a great opportunity for our business to be seen by a whole new – and large – audience. As a native of St. Pete, I’m very excited to be part of the new pier. I’ve been coming to the pier since I was a little kid.”
St. Petersburg city leaders whittled down from a list of 70 applicants who wanted a spot at the marketplace.
Stephanie Addis, with Colliers International Retail Services was excited to see the project come together after working on it for more than 5 years. “I think it’s critical in a time like this. We have such a great small business community in the Tampa Bay area. They need our support now more than ever,” she explained.
With local events and fairs canceled because of the pandemic, many of the mom and pop shops tell ABC Action News they’re just barely scraping by.
Dianna Bishop, of Hey Mon Caribbean Cooking says many vendors were too small to qualify for state or local grants. “We survived. We didn’t get any of the big money so we just had to let our employees go and work the stand ourselves,” she added.
The plan is to swap vendors out periodically which should help the city assist as many small businesses as possible.
Michael McAleenan, the owner of Craft-Tee is excited to have the opportunity to promote his unique local shirts. “It’s been tough to get new clients so I am super excited to get this opportunity to get that exposure again and be in front of more people,” he elaborated.
There are still spots available to check out the new pier. You can RSVP for a spot at www.stpetepier.org. City leaders are asking you to bring a mask if you come to check out the pier. You’ll also find several hand sanitizer stations spread all throughout the pier district.
Click here for more information.