Venice MainStreet receives $15,000 sponsorship from Neal Communities

Venice MainStreet receives $15,000 sponsorship from Neal Communities

Photo: Kara Morgan (above left), CEO of Venice MainStreet, accepts a check for $15,000 from Neal Communities, which was presented by Carlos Puente (above right), Vice President of Sales and Marketing, at the gazebo in Centennial Park in downtown Venice.

Neal Communities donated $15,000 to Venice MainStreet to sponsor its Friday night concert series and marketing efforts. It is the first annual sponsor for this popular entertainment series in downtown Venice.

For 35 years, Venice MainStreet has supported the city of Venice’s historic downtown district by hosting special events like the Friday night concert series. On the second and fourth Fridays of each month, free music performances take place from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in Centennial Park. The series, which is open to the public, has an annual average attendance of 10,000. It helps attract both tourists and residents downtown and stimulates economic spending in dining, shopping and recreational activities.

“Venice MainStreet is grateful to Neal Communities for supporting our mission through sponsorship of our annual concerts in the park series. The funds will be used to pay local artists to perform and support marketing efforts for downtown” said Kara Morgan, CEO of Venice MainStreet. “We look forward to an exciting roster of performers throughout the summer months and we hope everyone will try to catch a concert downtown this year!”

Venice MainStreet is an accredited Main Street organization through the Florida Main Street Program and Main Street America. Its mission is to preserve and enhance the character, beauty and economic vitality of historic downtown Venice. The organization achieves its goals through marketing, promotions, special events and historic preservation advocacy.

“We are proud to support an organization dedicated to economic development and business vitality in the Venice community,” said Pat Neal, founder and chairman of Neal Communities.

During the company’s 50-year history, Neal Communities has built over 18,000 new homes in more than 90 acclaimed communities from Tampa to Naples. As a prominent builder in the area, Neal Communities has a core belief that “Where You Live Matters.” The private homebuilder has given more than $7.5 million to local charities throughout Southwest Florida and is committed to supporting the communities where it builds.

For more information about Venice MainStreet’s concert schedules, performers, or to join the Venice MainStreet e-newsletter visit For more information about Neal Communities, visit or call (941) 229-0630.

About Neal Communities
Neal Communities, based in Lakewood Ranch, Florida, is Southwest Florida’s largest and most established locally owned and operated private builder. During the company’s 50-year history, it has built over 18,000 new homes in more than 90 acclaimed communities from Tampa to Naples. The company consistently ranks among the nation’s top 100 home builders and has earned numerous awards including the prestigious Builder of the Year from Professional Builder in 2015 and America’s Best Builder in 2012 from BUILDER Magazine. With a core belief that “Where You Live Matters,” Neal Communities has given more than $7.5 million to local charities throughout Southwest Florida and is committed to the communities where they live, work and build. Company sales in fiscal year 2019 were $410 million. 

Christmas in July 2022

Christmas in July 2022

Friday, July 15th and Saturday, July 16th from 10am-4pm
Get ready for the biggest sale of the season on Friday, July 15th and Saturday, July 16th from 10am-4pm at 40+ participating locations presented by Venice MainStreet! Enjoy Christmas-themed windows and great discounts*, register to win one of several gift baskets, ride the trolley both days from 11am-3pm, and meet Santa. There’s no place like Venice to celebrate Christmas in July!

Trolley pick-up signs located on Tampa Avenue W (100 and 200 blocks), West Venice Avenue (100, 200 and 300 blocks), Miami Avenue W (100 and 200 blocks), and at Elephant’s Trunk Thrift Shop on S. Tamiami Trail.

11am-3pm- Riding on the trolley or in his “Florida sleigh” (golf cart)
3pm-4pm- Meet Santa at Venice Locale, 121 Miami Avenue West
10am- Visiting Venice Farmers Market
11am- Riding a fire truck downtown
12pm- Eating lunch at Bodrum Restaurant, 225 Miami Ave. W, #5
1pm-3pm- Riding on the trolley or in his “Florida sleigh” (golf cart)
3pm-4pm- Hanging out at Venice Locale, 121 Miami Avenue West

Shop and dine at these participating Venice MainStreet Partner Businesses:
**Venice MainStreet gift basket raffle locations

MIAMI AVENUE WEST (listed in order by address)
Venice Locale (121)- 25% off select merchandise
Engel & Völkers Downtown Venice (201)- Stop by for treats!
The Island Bookshop (206)- 10% off all new books, 30% off select book titles, fun giveaways with purchase
**Mothers Cupboard Spice Shoppe (208)- 40% off spice rack; gift basket raffle 
Nest Venice (223A)- 15% off storewide
Island Way Boutique (225, #2)- Wall to wall 20%; special rack 50%; cool drinks
Bodrum Restaurant (225)- Saturday at 12pm Santa will be at Bodrum for lunch

Collectors Gallery & Framery (114)- Selected items on sale
**Pier 22 Home Décor & Furnishings (201)- 10%-15% off select items; Venice MainStreet gift basket raffle location

OZA Essentials (109)- 10% discount on all products and services with in store purchase only! We will offer customers who purchase products and services in store value of $99 pre tax gift certificate in the amount of $25
**Tri Healthy (248, in San Marco building)- 15% off of Coast or Happy Joe products; gift basket raffle

Elephant’s Trunk Thrift Store (595)- 50% off storewide; bake sale, raffle, Venice Region AACA car show, and Herman’s Hot Dogs stand

WEST VENICE AVENUE (listed in order by address)
100 BLOCK:
Venice Island Gallery & Gifts
(100A)- Meet the artists in person, enjoy wine, chocolate and raffles
Bonnell’s Boutique & Winery (101, #3)- Free samples of a selection of wines
Venice Olive Oil Company (101, #5)- 20%-50% off select items
Made in Italy (117)- Drink, food and gift card specials
**Patchington (136, #138)- Up to 25% off and redline clearance is an additional 50% off; Venice MainStreet gift basket raffle location
Twist Boutique (137)- 20% to 60% off storewide
Eyes on You (140)- 20% off in store merchandise
SunBug (141)- 20% to 60% off storewide

200 BLOCK:
Venice Wine & Coffee Company
(201)- $3 iced coffee special
Luxurious Interiors (205)- 15% off entire store. Selected clearance lines 50% off.
Kristine Grace Resort Wear (213B)- 30% off entire store
Nana’s A Children’s Shop (223)- 10% off everything
Scarlet Macaw Resort Wear (225)- 20% off storewide
Island Gift Nook (227)- 10% off storewide special. Not valid with any other discount or sale item. 
DanaTyler (233)- $10 off of $49 purchase
The Boutique by the Beach (237)- Select items on sale
St. Marco Boutique (239)- 50% off entire store
Captain’s Landing (243)- See store for details
Shirt Stop (247)- See store for details
Venice Avenue Creamery (249)- Exclusive holiday flavors!

300 BLOCK:
Daiquiri Deck
Celebration Corner (303A)- Everything in store (including sale items) is 10% off
Lisa’s Classic Rose (303B)- 20% off entire purchase including sale items
Things I Like (307)- 10% off everything
Venice in Vogue (310, #102)- 10% off entire store
Tangi & Jess (310, #103)- 20% off your purchase of $50 or more (exclusions may apply)
Coldwell Banker Realty (331)- Cookies and refreshments
Heitel Jewelers of Venice (347)- Please note Heitel Jewelers is unexpectedly, temporarily closed due to electrical issues during this event.
**Gulf Shores Realty (351)- Live music by George DeJong, 11am-3pm both days; Venice MainStreet gift basket raffle location

*Exclusions and changes to discounts may apply; are at the discretion of each business; and are while supplies last. Listings are for July 15-16, 2022 only.
**Venice MainStreet gift basket raffle locations

Venice MainStreet works on ecommerce business plan

Venice MainStreet works on ecommerce business plan

Venice MainStreet Inc., along with three other regional nonprofit organizations, have joined Margin & Mission Ignition, an entrepreneurial endeavor of The Patterson Foundation designed to build organizational capacity, boost revenue and strengthen mission impact. Venice MainStreet’s participation will unfold over a 30-month process in which the nonprofit will develop and implement an ecommerce website as an earned-income strategy in partnership with downtown businesses. It will serve as a sales continuation tool for those businesses to reach a broad online market. The project is under the guidance of No Margin, No Mission, a social enterprise and national consulting firm.

The Patterson Foundation created Margin & Mission Ignition to give nonprofits the opportunity to explore, develop and execute earned-income strategies that can help sustain and enhance the impact of their missions in the community. Since 2015, Margin & Mission Ignition has generated these 30-month consulting engagements to help organizations throughout our region strengthen their thrivability.

“Venice MainStreet has learned some hard lessons in the last four years. The take-aways from these lessons are to prepare for the future because business interruptions are inevitable,” said Tracy Silver, President of Venice MainStreet and owner of Venice Wine & Coffee Company. “We are deeply grateful to The Patterson Foundation for this opportunity. The effects of the last four years are deeply personal to our community and MainStreet wants to position itself as a leader for our local businesses to help them thrive now and in the future.”

Venice MainStreet demonstrated the leadership, willingness, readiness, capacity, and culture for success, along with fellow nonprofits Charlotte County Homeless Coalition, Resilient Retreat, and Selah Freedom. All participated in a series of learning labs with No Margin, No Mission prior to opting into the 30-month process to evaluate their readiness to engage in earned-income planning. Throughout the process, No Margin, No Mission will convene the cohorts and create opportunities for the organizations to learn and share their experiences in creating and implementing their earned-income plans. Margin & Mission Ignition is part of The Patterson Foundation’s Nonprofit Thrivability initiative. This initiative connects nonprofits with expertise and resources to learn concepts like strategic decision-making while adopting and implementing entrepreneurial principles to generate enough revenue to support and eventually grow their operations.

We will continue to post about our progress along the way and will be excited to share the launch of the new Venice marketplace website once it is complete. Please check back on our News Blog. To learn more about The Patterson Foundation and Margin & Mission Ignition, visit or join the conversation using #TPFMarginMission on social media.

Photo: Tracy Silver (left), President of Venice MainStreet and owner of Venice Wine & Coffee Co.; Ronnie Fernandez (center), Venice MainStreet Treasurer and owner of Venice Florida Tours; and Rod Nafziger (right), Venice MainStreet Economic Vitality Committee Member and former owner of Ciao Gelato are part of the team working with The Patterson Foundation on the Margin & Mission Ignition project, along with MainStreet staff.

City of Venice names new Farmers Market manager

City of Venice names new Farmers Market manager

The City of Venice has awarded Independent Jones with a one-year license agreement, renewable annually, as the new market manager for the Venice Farmers Market, effective July 2.

The Venice Farmers Market operates year-round, Saturday mornings, April – September, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and October – March, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Venice City Hall, 401 W. Venice Ave.

Vendors at the market offer an array of fresh baked goods, wild-caught seafood, Florida-grown produce, boutique cheeses, locally roasted coffee, handcrafted soaps, and fresh-cut flowers.

While supporting local vendors, guests can enjoy music and art from the community, coordinated by Independent Jones. Venice Farmers Market current manager Lee Perron shared, “After five years managing the Venice Farmers Market on behalf of the Friends of Sarasota County Parks, I plan to retire and spend time traveling. Finding a replacement that best met the needs of the City was no easy task, but the voting committee felt confident that Independent Jones was the right team for the job. I know I will be leaving the Venice Farmers Market in good and safe hands.”

City of Venice Special Events and Marketing Coordinator Carly Roderick stated, “I can’t wait to see what our partnership and collaborative efforts will become with Independent Jones, the City of Venice, and the Farmers Market! We are excited to be able to include more community partners and grow our market during the upcoming season.”

Independent Jones has collaborated with local farms like Honeyside Farm, Frog Song Farm, and Geraldson Community Farm, numerous nonprofits including Realize Bradenton, the Manatee Performing Arts Center, merchant associations, master-planned communities like Schroeder-Manatee Ranch, and local bands. Within the region Independent Jones has coordinated various markets in Manatee and Sarasota counties, including the Farmers Market at Lakewood Ranch, Bradenton Public Market, Rosemary Night Market, Sarasota Farmers Market (interim market manager), and now the Venice Farmers Market.

Independent Jones Chief Executive Officer and owner Morgan Bettes stated, “Independent Jones will officially take over operations of the Venice Farmers Market on Saturday, July 2, 2022, and we can’t wait to be able to build upon the success and support that the local community has shown so far. We have plans to further the development and community collaboration by giving back and partnering with more local nonprofits in the region.”

Independent Jones Chief Events Officer and partner Antonio Hernandez added, “As a North Port native and residing in Venice for the past two years, the Venice Farmers Market has been a community staple! I am excited to be able to support the growth and future of the market for vendors and patrons. As a partner in Independent Jones, we value giving back to our community and providing the support they need to be as successful as possible, from our local farmers, artists, musicians and nonprofits.”

Become a Vendor |

Social Media |

Follow Independent Jones on Eventbrite for the latest events |

About Independent Jones |
Independent Jones is a privately-owned, premier events and entertainment company pushing the envelope and the standard of community events along the Gulf Coast of Florida.

About Venice Farmers Market |
The Venice Farmers Market’s mission is to promote local Florida growers and agriculturally related products focusing on four core values of nutritional health, education, sustainability, and a sense of community.

Photo: Independent Jones Chief Events Officer and partner Antonio Hernandez, and Chief Executive Officer and owner Morgan Bettes.

Thank you, 2B Kind Thrift Store, for joining!

Thank you, 2B Kind Thrift Store, for joining!

We are happy to welcome 2B Kind Thrift Store as a Nonprofit Partner! 2B Kind makes “lives better, one animal at a time.” 2B Kind engages with the local community to create animal outreach programs, such as finding solutions for animals and owners in need of medical assistance, medicine, or prescription food. They are investing in partnerships with local veterinarians to provide vaccinations, checkups, spaying, neutering, and other pet ownership items at reduced rates. 2B Kind’s goals are to provide assistance to keep companion animals in their homes and build a community of professionals, workers, volunteers, and donors.

2B Kind’s Thrift Store provides a means to construct its rescue for dogs and cats in Venice. Besides providing these much needed funds, the Thrift Store provides a fun space for people to shop and share their pet stories, pictures or pet needs.

2049 South Tamiami Trail, Venice, Florida 34293
Open 10am-4pm, Mondays through Saturdays; Closed Sundays
(269) 908-9311

Welcome, DND Cleaning Company!

Welcome, DND Cleaning Company!

Venice MainStreet is happy to welcome DND Cleaning Company as a Business Partner! DND Cleaning Company, a home cleaning service, is dedicated to providing an outstanding customer experience with every visit. A team of trained professionals will make your home clean and fresh. “I have been running my business with integrity and honesty for about 6 years. I am responsible for my work and the work of my employees. If you choose our service you’ll receive a team of trained professionals at your door, ready to get your home back into tip-top shape in just a few hours. Your home deserves only the best,” says Daria Vernydub, Owner of DND Cleaning Company.

Contact DND Cleaning Company
(425) 577-0778

29th Annual Downtown Venice Craft Festival

29th Annual Downtown Venice Craft Festival

The annual tradition continues! The craft festival will return to beautiful, charming Miami Avenue West (in the 200 block) in historic downtown Venice this June. For more information about Howard Alan Events/American Craft Endeavors and to view examples of participating crafters, please visit This event is presented in partnership with Venice MainStreet. We hope to see you there!

Thank you, First Baptist Church of Venice, for joining!

Thank you, First Baptist Church of Venice, for joining!

Venice MainStreet thanks First Baptist Church of Venice for joining as a Nonprofit Partner! This historic church has been located on beautiful Miami Avenue West in downtown Venice since the 1930s. Sunday morning services are held at 11:00AM. Programs are available for children, students and connection groups including Bible study. For a calendar of upcoming events, CLICK HERE.

First Baptist Church of Venice
312 Miami Ave W
Venice, FL 34285
(941) 485-1314

Thank you, Venice Gulf Coast Living Magazine, for joining!

Thank you, Venice Gulf Coast Living Magazine, for joining!

Venice MainStreet is happy to welcome Venice Gulf Coast Living Magazine as a Business Partner! The magazine is an award-winning lifestyle publication reflecting the fine art of coastal living. As you peruse the magazine’s pages, you will discover stunning photography and outstanding articles that are designed to inspire creativity, offer valuable information, and provide an avenue for showcasing ideas on enjoying a coastal lifestyle. To subscribe, CLICK HERE.

Venice Gulf Coast Living Magazine
P.O. Box 459
Nokomis, Florida 34274

Welcome, Venice Community Orchestra!

Welcome, Venice Community Orchestra!

Venice MainStreet thanks the Venice Community Orchestra (VCO) for joining as a Nonprofit Partner! VCO is a multigenerational orchestra whose mission is to promote musical participation, education, and enjoyment in the Venice area community through its weekly rehearsals and periodic performances. The VCO was started in 2011 by John Mabardi, an amateur cellist who formed a group of string players who wanted to get together to make music in a friendly environment. The group now includes a small number of professional musicians, who also enjoy playing just for the fun of it.

The orchestra is open to anyone who can read music and enjoys playing classical, symphonic and traditional repertoire. There are no auditions; all levels are welcome to join. The repertoire includes the full range of classical music, from the Renaissance to the 21st century, and an equal portion of popular music, from the Beatles to highlights from the great Broadway musicals. For the last four years, VCO has focused on presenting a public concert each April, with proceeds from freewill offerings going to local charities. In the fall, it performs several holiday concerts for community dinners at the Salvation Army and local churches.

For More Information