2019 Holiday Window Decorating Winners

2019 Holiday Window Decorating Winners

Downtown Venice is all aglow with holiday lights and festive décor. Be sure to check out the winners of the storefront decorating contest awarded by members of Venice MainStreet’s Board of Directors and the Design Committee. Thank you to all the merchants who participated in bringing holiday cheer to downtown Venice and congratulations to the 2019 winners!

Most Creative:
1st Place- Luxurious Interiors
2nd Place- Art Escape Gallery

Most Elegant:
1st Place- Heitel Jewelers
2nd Place- St. Marco Boutique

Most Traditional:
1st Place- Croissant & Co.
2nd Place- Ristorante San Marco

Most Creative Use of Merchandise:
1st Place- Island Gift Nook
2nd Place- Mother’s Cupboard Spice Shoppe

Most Whimsical:
1st Place- Tangi & Jess
2nd Place- Sirene Coastal Interiors

Best Use of Lights:
1st Place- Sunbug
2nd Place- Old Venice Pub

Volunteer “Downtowners” Serve as Venice Ambassadors

Volunteer “Downtowners” Serve as Venice Ambassadors

The Venice MainStreet volunteer “Downtowners” are a combination of goodwill ambassadors, educators, public relations experts and an invaluable resource for Venice area tourist information. Beginning in November and ending during mid-April these Historic Downtown Venice volunteers can be readily identified by their green shirts and “Ask Me” name badges.

All the volunteers share a common pride and dedication to provide a positive image of Venice while at the same time supporting our local businesses. A key volunteer goal is to make certain that visitors and locals alike depart Venice with a positive impression to ensure the continued vibrancy of its downtown.

The volunteer teams are split into two distinct roles. The “walkers” maintain a roving presence from the 100-300 blocks of West Venice and Miami Avenues. This strolling army of smiling, approachable volunteers provides on-the-spot answers and directions. The conveniently located West Venice Avenue information kiosk in Centennial Park engages a busy volunteer staff ready to answer questions and disseminate useful tourist information of what to explore in the historical downtown district, as well as in the immediate area.

Both teams maintain a schedule broken into two hour shifts from Monday-Saturday, 10:30am-2:30pm. Volunteers are asked to commit to four hours each month based on their own schedule. Anyone interesting in becoming a Venice volunteer ambassador can contact Venice MainStreet, Inc. at info@venicemainstreet.com. 

Local Shop Owners Nurture Creative Crafters

Local Shop Owners Nurture Creative Crafters

Two local shops—Needlefish Yarns of Venice and Deborah’s Quilt Basket—are cultivating a love of crafting across generations. Fueled by a passion for their craft and a desire to create friendly, supportive learning environments, these shop owners are inspiring patrons to begin their own special knitting, crocheting, or quilting project.

Needlefish Yarns of Venice, established in 2016, offers a wide selection of natural fibers—linen, cotton, hemp, and wools—in a variety of weights and styles plus accessories and tools to meet all your knitting and crocheting needs. In addition, classes are provided to all skill levels on a range of projects and designs. And every Thursday evening crafters gather for Open Craft Night, where they learn from each other and foster a sense of community. Nancy Broughton, owner of Needlefish Yarns of Venice, says “our goal is to make everyone feel welcome and inspired. We feel fortunate to be part of such a great community.”

Deborah’s Quilt Basket, the oldest quilting shop in Sarasota County with 35 years in the business, carries more than 2,000 bolts of cotton fabric to create quilts, clothing, tote bags, and home decorations plus an assortment of books, patterns, and gifts for quilters. A variety of classes for all skill levels are offered during winter months. The shop also is a drop-off site for Ryan’s Case for Smiles, an organization founded to create and distribute whimsical pillowcases to give children in hospitals an emotional boost. Deborah Iversen, owner of Deborah’s Quilt Basket, says “we collect pillowcases that are hand-made and then give them to hospitalized children in the Tampa Bay area. Many thanks to my customers for the past 35 years.”

For more information on these crafter destinations, contact Needlefish Yarns of Venice, 258 West Miami Avenue, at 941-486-1584 or visit needlefishyarns.com; and Deborah’s Quilt Basket, 337 West Venice Avenue, at 941-488-6866 or visit debsquiltbasket.com.

 

Cafe Longet: Fine Cuisine with a French Touch

Cafe Longet: Fine Cuisine with a French Touch

As Cafe Longet is approaching its three year anniversary in downtown Venice, chef and owner Steve Longet and wife Jessica continue to fall more in love with Venice. Moving from their native country of France three years ago, they never imagined the community and opportunity they would find in Venice. Selling everything they owned and moving their two daughters to a new country with a dream of opening a French fusion restaurant has proven to be a success.

At Cafe Longet you will experience a modern French menu with an American fusion, inspired by fresh seasonal organic produce. As Chef Steve hand-selects his produce, meats and imported French wines, he is able to ensure the best quality available. A delicious range of options is available, from the traditional American classic beef burger with his French touch and naughty french fries, signature burgers, one-of-a-kind Florida shrimp burger, the best asparagus scallop risotto, or European sea bass to imported, unique cheese accompanied by his house-made jam and French baguette. “There is something fresh and amazing for everyone. You are sure to have a unique food experience unavailable anywhere else,” says Chef Steve.

Location: 239 Miami Avenue W., downtown Venice
Summer hours: Mondays-Fridays lunch from 12:00pm to 2:30pm and dinner 5:00pm to 8:30pm; Saturdays dinner from 5:00pm to 9:00pm
Reservations: cafelonget.com

Welcome Butterfly Family Chiropractic

Welcome Butterfly Family Chiropractic

Venice MainStreet is excited to introduce one of our new partners, Butterfly Family Chiropractic. As a teenager, after being involved in a car accident, Joe Indelicato visited a chiropractor. He left the office pain-free and with a new career ambition. He wanted to be a Chiropractor! “It worked wonders for me and I developed a passion for natural healing,” Dr. Indelicato said. “So, I wanted to continue with that passion and use it to help others.” Dr. Indelicato and his wife, Elyse, recently brought their 30-plus year practice to Venice with the opening of Butterfly Family Chiropractic Center in April.

After graduating from New York Chiropractic in 1984 and opening his practice that same year, Dr. Indelicato moved to Florida in 2014 and opened the practice in Nokomis. The new location in Venice, which is on East Venice Ave and includes a parking lot behind the office, was attractive to the Indelicatos because of the neighborhood’s town feel. “Venice has such a great vibe and sense of community. We just love it!” says Elyse, who has run the business operations of the practice since it first opened.

Dr. Indelicato utilizes Activator technique, which he describes as an extremely gentle and specific approach to treating pain. Additional services include applied kinesiology, therapy, nutrition and exercise. During his career, Dr. Indelicato has treated children, families, athletes in high school, college and the pros. He now hopes to help the residents of Venice just as his chiropractor once helped him. Dr Joe says “It’s important to treat every patient as an individual. Each patient presents with different needs and health history, hence each requires their own customized treatment, wellness plan and protocol.”

Butterfly Family Chiropractic is located at 645 East Venice Ave., 941 484-0008.

Venice MainStreet Receives Visit Florida Grant

Venice MainStreet Receives Visit Florida Grant

Venice MainStreet was awarded a Targeted Marketing Assistance Grant from VISIT FLORIDA. The grants are made available to 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporations that are marketing to promote tourism advantages of the State of Florida through advertising. Venice MainStreet submitted the grant request for funds to update our popular website visitvenicefl.org. The grant awarded was $2,450.

These funds, plus matching funds from Venice MainStreet, will be used to create an online, interactive directory of our business partners, restaurants, parks, beaches, and parking in/near historic downtown Venice. The new directory would utilize Google Maps as an interactive platform for visitors and their mobile devices to explore easily and quickly where ever they chose to go. The ‘app-like’ feature is also meant to aid the large void in our community’s awareness of available parking. The funding and project components also include new photographs for the website for the City of Venice’s recently completed beautification project.

The new website features are expected to be in place by the end of the year, with availability to the public after January 1, 2020.

COLAB Fostering a Collaborative Community

COLAB Fostering a Collaborative Community

Opening its doors just a few weeks ago in Venice, the COLAB coworking space is ushering in a new era of opportunities for individuals trying to start a new business, freelancers, remote workers, and other independent professionals. Conveniently located on Miami Avenue, COLAB is a one-stop shop for entrepreneurs, providing a spectrum of communication services—web development, social marketing, photography, business cards, logos, signs, and other business literature—as well as a sleek, professional coworking space with state of the art technology.

Andre Carrero of the Venice Sign Shop, creator of the COLAB space along with Ken Wagner of Shine Media, says “we want to be the Mercedes-Benz of the communication world for entrepreneurs. Many new entrepreneurs can’t afford infrastructure start-up costs, but with COLAB they can look like a Fortune 500 company without the headaches and high costs.” It is hard for Carrero—a challenge-seeker by nature—to contain his enthusiasm and energy when describing his vision for COLAB. Looking to tap into the growing creative, artistic community in the Venice area and the changing demographics in Southwest Florida, he is passionate about “bringing collaboration to communities and seeks to nurture a new generation of entrepreneurs, hoping to be a part of their success stories.”

COLAB offers a variety of membership options to meet your business needs as well as a host of networking opportunities to grow your network. Among the many perks, members can receive 24 hour key access to the coworking space, private parking, a downtown Venice mailing address, placement in COLAB’s website directory, and access to freshly brewed coffee and cold drinks all day long. For more information or to view their spaces, contact COLAB, 250 Miami Avenue West, at 941-786-1596 or visit colabvenice.com. The office is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

The Beautification of Historic Downtown Venice is Complete!

The Beautification of Historic Downtown Venice is Complete!

The beautification of historic downtown Venice is complete. The roads are paved and open. The sidewalks are wide and inviting. New trees, potted plants and hanging flower baskets adorn the avenues adding charm and a pop of color.

Venice MainStreet, Inc. is lucky to have a home in the 100 block of West Venice Avenue and the staff has the pleasure to be a part of historic downtown interacting with visitors. The month of June has been a wonderful rejuvenation and we have seen an increase in foot traffic. This past weekend, June 15 and 16, the craft festival and farmers market saw an increase in attendance of 30%, stated by Lee Perron with the Venice Farmers Market. Venice MainStreet CEO, Kara Morgan, encourages everyone to come and see the improvements and spend the day in Venice. “There is something for everyone here; varieties of restaurants, stores and services,” said Morgan. “There is also the opportunity to spend time outdoors with family and children in Centennial Park, the Intergenerational Children’s Fountain and of course our brand new interactive art mural on the corner of Nassau St and W Venice Ave.”

City Engineer Kathleen Weeden added, “We want to thank the voters who passed the road bond referendum in 2016, as well as the Florida Department of Transportation and the state Legislature, which provided funds along with the 1-cent sales tax to complete this important project. This combined funding effort allowed us to do major improvements. We worked hard to keep the charm of downtown while rehabilitating the infrastructure so it will last for decades. Come see this beautiful gem!”

The City of Venice is celebrating all of the accomplishments of the beautification on July 8th at 11am with a short ceremony in Centennial Park, followed by a ribbon cutting on West Venice Avenue to officially present the downtown improvements to the citizens and visitors of the city. The City of Venice welcomes the public to be a part of the celebration. We can’t wait to see you in Venice!

Greetings from New CEO, Kara Morgan

Greetings from New CEO, Kara Morgan

Dear Friends,

It is with great pleasure and excitement that I extend this greeting to you and recognized the privilege I have been given to serve as the Chief Executive Officer of Venice MainStreet. MainStreet is proud to have served our community since 1987, and has rapidly met the growing needs of the community through high quality marketing, special projects, and preservation efforts. It has become a leader in the State of Florida Main Street Districts. For these reasons, and my passion for Venice as a resident for four years, I am thrilled to be joining this team.

The work done by Venice MainStreet, its partners, and friends has impact. As we get to know one another, I will demonstrate that the work we now share is not only professional, but also personal. Preservation and beautification of historic downtown Venice are critical to the character and vitality of this area. These assets, which lie at the heart of our mission are critical tools for remaining a destination, place of business, and home.  

As part of our commitment to our community, and with the help and support of our staff, board of directors and volunteers, we continue to expand our services, receive numerous accolades and recognitions. Although Venice MainStreet appreciates these awards, we are most honored and grateful for the opportunity to serve the community.

Our focus now is to continue to distinguish historic downtown Venice as a leader in the MainStreet community. We’re committed to continuously search for new ways to improve our quality and make Venice the best place for visitors, residents, and business owners to live, work and play. On behalf of your Venice MainStreet staff, I extend our sincere thanks for all your support. This is a proud day for me and I look forward to learning from all of you and working alongside you.

Sincerely,

Kara Morgan
Chief Executive Officer
Venice MainStreet, Inc.