Favorite Local Shops & Small Business

May 7, 2023
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Local shops and other small businesses are the lifeblood of any town and help give communities such as Lakewood Ranch and Bradenton their uniqueness. Some shops are mom-and-pop operations, while others employ entire families. Whether they are restaurants, clothing stores, or boutiques, local shops and small businesses provide jobs and help boost the local economy.

Once you’ve purchased one of the many luxury homes for sale in Lakewood Ranch, a great way to get to know the community and its members is to patronize these local businesses.  Not only will these small businesses help fill your every need, but you’ll be able to start putting names to friendly faces of the owners and employees. Soon, these will become your favorite places to shop and dine!

Work with an agent

If you want to move to the neighborhood, the first step is to hire a licensed real estate agent with extensive experience helping new residents find homes for sale in Bradenton or Lakewood Ranch. Once you’ve closed a deal and moved in, you can get to know some local merchants as you purchase furniture, décor, and other items to make your new house feel like a home. It’s also time to have a celebratory meal at some great local restaurants!

Speaks Clam Bar

Speaks Clam Bar is a great place for new homeowners to have a celebratory dinner, which offers the best seafood and Italian dishes. Speaks is a fun, vibrant restaurant that captures the spirit of the clam bars in New York’s Little Italy at the turn of the 19th century. Menu items include the freshest clams, shrimp, lobster, and the best Italian dishes in the area. The highlight of these dishes is the pasta, made fresh right on the premises, along with traditional clam bar sauces made with the best local ingredients. Diners looking to quench their thirst have a large selection to choose from — wine by the glass, several beers on tap, or a tasty craft cocktail are all on the menu.

The Bungalow Design Co.

The Bungalow Design Co.
is a charming home décor boutique filled with unique pieces that are constantly changing. Located in a restored 1911 bungalow in the heart of Bradenton, the shop is owned by longtime friends Shawna Taylor and Stacie Pardue, who also run a design company specializing in residential renovations and new construction. If you just need a few pieces for your new home, the Bungalow is the place to go. The Bungalow has curated partnerships with many local vendors to sell furniture, art pieces, rugs, draperies, linens, and small pieces, such as candlesticks and pottery.

Forest to Finish Designs

Forest to Finish Designs
is another unique interior design business focusing on custom hand-crafted woodworking pieces that add atmosphere to any luxury Lakewood Ranch real estate. All products are handmade in the Village of the Arts in Bradenton, making them as unique and local as possible! Owner David Gay pivoted from the construction industry to custom woodworking that wows customers looking to fill their homes with gorgeous pieces. All products are handmade to fit customers’ specific design preferences. They include dining room tables, coffee tables, and powder bath vanities. Forest to Finish can even add handcrafted, customized architectural beams to your home to give it a stunning look. Forest to Finish Design’s motto is, “Woodwork as unique as the tree,” and it delivers time and time again.

Massage & Facial Retreat

Let’s face it, buying a home, and unpacking can be stressful and tiring, so why not treat yourself to a rejuvenating visit to one of several local spas? One of the best ways to get to know the area and support a small local business is to visit Massage & Facial Retreat of Lakewood Ranch.

This spa offers comprehensive massage therapy, facials, and many other wellness services. The small, friendly, experienced staff provides customized services for each customer’s needs. Your first visit for a massage or facial includes a comprehensive assessment of your goals and treatment options to meet them. The small boutique setting allows the staff to provide these individualized services in a peaceful, serene atmosphere that refreshes both the body and the mind.

The Lucky Pelican

After a long day of shopping, golfing, or visiting local attractions, residents who’ve recently purchased Lakewood Ranch condos should stop by the Lucky Pelican for a bite to eat and to catch the vibe of the Gulf Coast. The Lucky Pelican is a neighborhood fish house with a menu full of seafood standards and offers the only raw bar in the area. The chefs put their New England culinary flair to work while creating dishes using a large selection of Gulf Coast seafood, including oysters, shrimp, lobster, and scallops. Among the favorites are the fish tacos, the freshly shucked lobster roll, and the chefs’ local twist on the New England Clam Bake. A full bar and extensive wine list are sure to quench any thirst.

Friendly City Flea

An excellent way to spend a fun Saturday afternoon and help support locals is to visit the Friendly City Flea, a curated market for local arts and crafts held one Saturday every month in downtown Bradenton next to Oscura Cafe. You never know what high-quality items you’ll find at Friendly City Flea, and all your purchases help support local artists' dreams and visions.

Partner with top-ranted agents

Here is just a sampling of favorite local shops and small businesses in the neighborhood. When it comes to real estate needs, you’ll always get the best results when working with Steve Slocum and the entire 941 Team. Contact them to get started with your next home purchase in southwest Florida!

*Header photo courtesy of Unsplash

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