Crate & Marrow is Striving for Healthier Pets

Crate & Marrow is Striving for Healthier Pets

Owners Sean Julian and Karen Quillen opened their first location of Crate & Marrow almost five years ago in Charlottesville, Virginia, after an extensive 20+ years in dog training. After moving to Venice last year, they saw a need in town for a second location and opened up shop on West Miami Avenue.
Crate & Marrow offers a wide array of dog and cat products, including food, treats, toys, shampoo, cleaning products, supplements and handmade collars. They pride themselves on selling mostly organic and all-natural products and make their own cookie treats.
“Shopping for pet food can be overwhelming and misleading,” said Quillen. A majority of the well-known dog food brands on the market contain chemicals and glyphosate. “I believe that a real food diet is important. Feeding raw is easier than you think and could mean a longer lifespan for your pet.”
A raw diet, including real bone, is a good source of minerals for dogs, especially calcium and phosphorus. “Adding some sweet potato […] or a premade meal mixer can help stretch your meat and make feeding raw a more affordable option.” Crate & Marrow stocks various meal mixers, as well as beef bones, turkey necks and chicken and duck feet. In February, Crate & Marrow hosted a Raw and Cooked Food Workshop in which they made a small demonstration and answered questions from attendees. “People come to us looking for information and we offer them transformation,” said Quillen. They plan to host another Workshop in mid-April.
Dogs that eat a poor diet have “sweet blood” from all the unnatural additives in most dry foods, which attracts parasites like fleas and ticks. A real food and raw diet also benefits an animal by preventing tooth decay.
Crate & Marrow is located at 235 W Miami Ave in Venice and is open Monday through Saturday from 10am to 6pm. Call the store at 941-218-6770 for more information or visit them on Facebook. If you’ve found a product you love but are headed back home for the summer, don’t fret – Crate & Marrow also offers shipping! Visit their website,, for product listings and information about shipping.


Fat Tuesday: Venice Style

Fat Tuesday: Venice Style

Mardi Gras, which translates to “Fat Tuesday” in French, is a celebration of the last gluttonous day of eating rich, fatty foods before the religious season of Lent begins. The first Mardi Gras event in America occurred over 300 years ago when two explorers from France landed in what is now New Orleans and held a small celebration. In 1827, several students dressed up in vibrant costumes and danced through the streets replicating the festivities they experienced in Paris – which has become the traditional parade that Mardi Gras is now known for.

Historic Downtown Venice is gearing up for the Second Annual Fat Tuesday Mardi Gras Crawl… Venice style! The Fat Tuesday Crawl will take place on March 5, 2019 from 5pm-8pm. This year there will be two 2nd line Marching Bands; just like those in New Orleans. Beads galore, hurricanes and even special New Orleans inspired food dishes. Dress up and follow the bands down the sidewalks in Downtown into the shops, restaurants and pubs.

Venice MainStreet has proudly partnered with the South County Jazz Club to produce this evening of fun and music. The South County Jazz Club is dedicated to the presentation and preservation of mainstream jazz, and has produced more than 400 Venice-area events since its founding eight years ago. It regularly features our area’s deep pool of resident talent, plus a sizable group of internationally-acclaimed artists. Nate Najar, Don Mopsick, Dick Hyman, Ken Peplowski, Harry Allen, Veronica Swift, Wycliffe Gordon, Chuck Redd, Ira Sullivan, Marlene VerPlanck, Larry Coryell and the Four Freshmen are just a few of the jazz greats the club has brought to the area. More details can be found at

The Crawl Route*° is as follows:

Bourbon St. Band
Old Venice Pub, 100 W. Venice Ave., 5:00-5:15
Bonnell’s Boutique and Winery, 101 W. Venice Ave., 5:15-5:30
Café Venice, 101 W. Venice Ave., 5:30-5:45
Spice and Tea Exchange, 101 W. Venice Ave., 5:45-6:00
Made In Italy, 117 W. Venice Ave., 6:00-6:15
Sunbug, 141 W. Venice Ave., 6:15-6:30
Gazebo, Centennial Park, 6:30-6:45
Venice Wine and Coffee, 201 W. Venice Ave., 6:45-7:00
southeast salt, 213 W. Venice Ave., 7:00-7:15
Crate and Marrow, 235 W. Miami Ave., 7:15-7:30
Parlor Barbershop, 227 W. Miami Ave., 7:30-7:45
Down Island Way Boutique, 225 W. Miami Ave., 7:45-8:00
Laurie Jean & Co., 219 W. Miami Ave., 8:00-8:15
After Party at Made In Italy starting at 8:15pm

Frenchmen St. Band
DP Fitness and Wellness, 210 W. Miami Ave., 5:00-5:15
Mother’s Cupboard Spice Shoppe, 208 W. Miami Ave., 5:15-5:30
Venice Trading Company, 211 W. Miami Ave., 5:30-5:45
Island Gift Nook, 227 W. Venice Ave., 5:45-6:00
TJ Carney’s, 231 W. Venice Ave., 6:00-6:15
Shirt Stop, 247 W. Venice Ave., 6:15-6:30
Gazebo, Centennial Park, 6:30-6:45
Venice Ave Creamery, 249 W. Venice Ave., 6:45-7:00
Dick’s Shoes, 251 W. Venice Ave., 7:00-7:15
Daiquiri Deck, 300 W. Venice Ave., 7:15-7:30
Seaside Chic Boutique, 310 W. Venice Ave., 7:30-7:45
Ciao Gelato, 317 W. Venice Ave., 7:45-8:00
Ristorante San Marco, 305 W. Venice Ave., 8:00-8:15
After Party at Daiquiri Deck starting at 8:15pm

*Route schedule and times are subject to change. Follow us on Facebook or keep checking for the most up to date information.
°Please note: alcohol may only be consumed inside of each individual serving establishment. Alcohol is NOT permitted in the streets or sidewalks of Downtown Venice.

Call to Artist: Historic Downtown Interactive Mural

Call to Artist: Historic Downtown Interactive Mural

Venice MainStreet, Inc. is holding a contest for an interactive mural in Historic Downtown Venice. The mural will be located predominately downtown for hundreds of thousands of yearly visitors to see. Work must be completed by June 14, 2019. A Visit Florida grant will pay for a portion of this project.

Purpose:  To create an interactive mural that encourages people to take a picture with the image and share on social media. It must fit in with the ambiance of Historic Downtown Venice and advertise Venice, FL.
Theme: “3-D action image fitting to Venice in the time period of 1920s and the 1930s”


  • The wall is located at 303 W Venice Avenue Venice, FL 34285. The total wall space is 25’ by 7.5’. The entire wall does not need to be used for the mural. Because of the road location a space of 13’ by 7.5’ can be captured within one picture. The area would allow for up to two photo ops. See the attached diagram.
  • Concept and this completed form must be delivered to the Venice MainStreet office (101 W Venice Ave #23 Venice, FL 34285) by March 29, 2019
  • Concept should include details on scope of pay, maintenance expectations, artist bio with images of past work and the materials to be used.
  • A committee will choose the winning artwork by April 5, 2019
  • Once approved by the City of Venice work can begin. All work must be complete and billed to Venice MainStreet by June 10, 2019.

Artist Information:





Entry Title:_________________________________________________________

Cost to produce: ____________________________________________________

Materials to be provided by Venice MainStreet: ___________________________


Release:  If the design I have submitted is selected as the winning entry, Venice MainStreet has the exclusive right to reproduce, sell and distribute images of the work.

Venice MainStreet, a Brief History and Overview

Venice MainStreet, a Brief History and Overview

As we look ahead at the future of Downtown Venice, it is important to remember our past. In 1987, the Downtown Venice Association, a merchant’s organization, formed a non-profit corporation, Venice Main Street Association, enabling them to apply for the Florida Main Street Program. Venice City Council committed to contributing $15,000 per year in support for three years if Venice was accepted into the Florida Main Street program. In March 1988, Venice was chosen as a Florida Main Street City and selected its first Main Street manager. Today Venice MainStreet celebrates 32 years as an accredited Main Street program.

Florida Main Street is an assistance program administered by the Bureau of Historic Preservation, Division of Historical Resources, and Florida Department of State focusing on traditional historic commercial corridors. The Bureau conducts statewide programs aimed at identifying, evaluating and preserving Florida’s historic resources. Main Street, with its emphasis on preservation, has proven to be an effective strategy in achieving these goals in Florida’s historic retail districts. In the past, the word “downtown” brought to mind an image of a bustling center of commerce and activity. Too often, however, many small Florida downtown districts provided images of vacant, deteriorating buildings and struggling businesses. Communities have now discovered that with help from Florida Main Street, downtowns can thrive again. Venice MainStreet strives to develop and maintain strong relationships with its Business and Community Partners. Downtown Venice is testimony to the success of these relationships and the importance of common goals.

Today, Venice MainStreet is a volunteer driven non-profit dedicated to enhancing the quality of life in our Venice community. Venice MainStreet strives to collaborate with the City of Venice and other community groups to preserve and enhance the historic character, while also promoting and encouraging the economic and community vitality of Historic Downtown Venice. This goal is achieved by bringing engaging and entertaining events attracting visitors and enhancing the lifestyle of our local residents, and also investing in amenities, marketing and infrastructure for Historic Downtown Venice. To learn more about Venice MainStreet find us on Facebook or go to

Next to Bat: Braves on Miami

Next to Bat: Braves on Miami

Batter up! Venice MainStreet, Atlanta Braves Spring Training and the West Villages have teamed up to bring you Braves on Miami (Ave) Block Party! On February 9th from 5 to 10pm West Miami Avenue will close for a block party Atlanta Braves style. While the Braves team will be away preparing for Spring Training, Braves Alumni, Bob Horner and Brian Jordan, will be in attendance for a meet and greet. Bring the family for a fun evening under the lights.

The City of Venice Mayor, John Holic will start off the event a proclamation to the Atlanta Braves Spring Training Organization. The event MC’s Maverick and Lulu of 92.1 CTQ will kick off the fun onstage and keep it going all night. Two bands will play at the corner of West Miami Avenue and Nokomis Avenue. The Johnny Holiday Band, will be on stage from 5:30 to 7:30pm and Sugar and Spice Revue will headline from 8:00 to 10:00pm. There will be fun, baseball themed activities for the kids. Adults can visit the Braves bar for beverages for purchase, along with vending and non-alcoholic beverages from the Braves food truck.

Admission is free and parking is within comfortable walking distance. Lucky participants will receive a free event t-shirt donated by Gulf Breeze Apparel Company. A special thank you to our sponsors Budweiser, the Venice Gondolier Sun, Venice Sign Shop and Dockside Waterfront Grill. This event is sure to be a Home Run! For more stats find Venice MainStreet on Facebook or go to

Downtown Beautification – Here’s the latest

Downtown Beautification – Here’s the latest

By Jennifer Dorning
January 10, 2019

The Venice Beautification Project is moving forward in full force! Over the holidays the contractor opened all areas of downtown while the crews took a much-needed break and spent time with their families.

Crews continue installing landscaping and pavers on West Venice and Miami Avenues with the streets and sidewalks open. Some single lane closures may be needed for crews to safely do this work. All the major parking lots are open and on-street parking not effected by the current work is open. For now, the majority of streets received only one layer of asphalt due to heavy equipment and trucks that still need to drive on it, which could cause damage. At the end of the project, the contractor will return to install the final layer of asphalt on all streets except for eastbound West Venice Avenue which was paved with full depth asphalt.

Last week work began on the 200 and 300 blocks of Tampa Avenue (between Nokomis Ave. and Harbor Dr.) and Nassau Street (north of W. Venice Ave.). Tampa Avenue is currently closed from St. Augustine Street to Nassau Street and is open to LOCAL TRAFFIC ONLY from Nassau Street to Harbor Drive to allow access to the post office and business parking. To complete the work on Tampa Avenue, scheduled for January 16th, St. Augustine Avenue will temporarily return to a two-way street so that customers can access the KMI Building/Venice Centre Mall from the parking lot on St. Augustine Avenue. Harbor Drive will remain open throughout the project.

The contractor will be completing underground drainage work on Nassau Street and Tampa Avenue. No trees are anticipated to be removed from Tampa Avenue at this time. Additional trees are scheduled to be planted to complement the existing trees. Pavers will be added on the 200 block and the sidewalks will be replaced. Crews will also install irrigation and electrical conduit on Tampa Avenue.

On January 3, 2019 a third public meeting was held for this project to provide a project update and to discuss the planned sequence of work for Tampa Avenue. The construction team met with property owners and/or their representatives on Tampa Avenue to discuss individual needs and to coordinate access. The anticipated completion for this work is March 2019. The downtown businesses are open and accessible and there is plenty of parking so please support them. If you have project questions, please contact Jennifer Dorning, Project Public Information Officer at or at (239) 338-7723.

The Gazebo Starlight Cinema

The Gazebo Starlight Cinema

By Michael T. Hartley

I have often marveled at how members of our community come together to enjoy the company of their friends, neighbors, and friends they haven’t yet met at programs held at the gazebo in Centennial Park. The foresight of the City of Venice officials to create this popular resource and enhance it with an earth bermed amphitheater surrounding a traditional Victorian-style gazebo near the popular water park and community restrooms is admirable.

One day I was parked on Tampa Avenue across from the gazebo and I imagined what it would look like if one side of the gazebo was a video projection screen. At that moment I could see dozens of adults and children sitting on folding chairs, on blankets, and just walking by while a family-friendly movie was playing.

As president of the Venice Institute for Performing Arts (VIPA) at the Venice Performing Arts Center (VPAC) I knew that we had the equipment that could be used to create such an event. Further, by rear-projecting video images from inside the gazebo we could overcome some of the problems of traditional outdoor cinemas that have become so popular in other cities, those being the complexity of setting up and securing a blow-up screen and keeping the projection and sound equipment safe from unforeseen weather events.

With this configuration in mind I proposed the idea to the VIPA board and staff and they thought it was worth pursuing. We wanted to make this a free event designed to encourage the citizens of Venice to come together once a month at sundown to have fun and fellowship. We also wanted to use the event to promote the programs at the VPAC, and even the existence of the VPAC since many of our seasonal visitor would not likely know of this fabulous, but mostly hidden, venue for the performing arts on our special island.

As we considered this project we also thought about strategic partnerships. We approached Erin Silk at Venice MainStreet and asked if they might want to collaborate on the development and promotion of the Gazebo Starlight Cinema as any event that prompted people in the area to visit the downtown was clearly in their mission.

The second strategic partnership we considered was with the Interclub Council at Venice High School (VHS) developed by Dr. Shari Valencic. This organization comprised the officers from several dozen clubs at VHS and serves a coordinating function. We thought that members from the various club represented by the Interclub council might wish to provide volunteer service to help setup the cinema each month in exchange for an opportunity for the clubs to promote themselves and their missions and projects to the audiences of the Cinema.

Our first event exceeded our expectations as families and groups of friends gathered with tables, chairs, crockpots, and dishes of food to enjoy a starry evening together. We invite you to join us the first Friday of month next year for a family friendly movie, many of which will be much loved classics. Two exceptions to the schedule will be in February and April. Check the VIPA or VMS Facebook for the most up to date schedule of events.

We’re Hiring! Community &  Engagement Coordinator

We’re Hiring! Community & Engagement Coordinator

40 hours a week, Monday-Friday 9-5pm
Reports to CEO

Work for a fun, dynamic and innovative nonprofit! Venice MainStreet Inc is a 32-year-old nonprofit dedicated to preserving and promoting Historic Downtown Venice. Our small but mighty staff and 100 volunteers work to market the district, produce great events, attract visitors and invest in infrastructure above and beyond what the city can do.

This position will fill two roles:
1. Marketing duties include managing social media accounts, managing, creating newsletters, writing newspaper articles and press releases, creating and distributing fliers.
2. Assist the CEO and Events Coordinator by undertaking daily tasks to ensure the functionality and coordination of the office, including answering phones, accounts receivables, mailings and membership procurement.

Proven experience managing large social media accounts
Good understanding of office management and marketing principles
Demonstrable ability to multi-task and adhere to deadlines
Well-organized with a customer-oriented approach
Exquisite communication and people skills
Experienced with Facebook, Twitter, Hootsuite, Word Press, Quick Books, Microsoft Excel, Outlook

Pay: $30,000/yr
With opportunity for commission

Email resume and cover letter to

Give A Gift to Your Community – Shop Local

Give A Gift to Your Community – Shop Local

‘Tis the season for family, friends and holiday gifts. This year make your holiday shopping extra special by supporting a local business while you do it. With over 100 locally owned small businesses Historic Downtown Venice has something unique for everyone on your holiday list. You’ll find great toy stores, ladies and men’s boutiques, home décor and much more!

Today, shopping priorities are shifting towards convenience and savings. Holiday shopping online is tempting. Sites like Amazon make it easy to click and have it at your door the next day. Clicking the mouse may be saving money and time in the short run, however it is costing our community in the long run. It is depriving our community of important tax revenue and denying our local workforce income.

Local businesses mean local jobs that support local families. A study done by the Andersonville Development Corporation of Illinois found that locally owned businesses, retail and restaurant, generate 70% more local economic impact per square foot than chains. If you spend $100 at a locally owned restaurant, $73 is recirculated into the local economy, while spending $100 at a chain produces only $30.

The study concluded, “In every case, the findings have been unequivocal: independents bring substantial benefits to their local economies… The extra dollars in the local economy produce more jobs for residents, extra tax revenues for local governments, more investment in commercial and residential districts, and enhanced support for local nonprofits.”*
In a study closer to home, Venice MainStreet found that annually 44% of the participating downtown businesses give more than $2,000 a year to local charities, with the highest donations up to $25,000 in money, products and services.

Simply put, locally owned businesses create better communities. In a quickly changing retail environment every dollar counts, so let’s give a gift to our community by shopping local this holiday season

*Source: Civic Economics – Andersonville Study of Retail Economics.