Shopping Whole Foods Market Center

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First Street, Whole Foods Market Center Luxury shopping in a compact square. First Street’s Whole Foods Market Center proves that good things do indeed come in small packages. With the nation’s yuppie natural foods emporium as its anchor, this tiny new retail district is steps from downtown’s upscale condos, opera house, theaters and Main Street. […]


First Street, Whole Foods Market Center
Luxury shopping in a compact square.

First Street’s Whole Foods Market Center proves that good things do indeed come in small packages. With the nation’s yuppie natural foods emporium as its anchor, this tiny new retail district is steps from downtown’s upscale condos, opera house, theaters and Main Street.

Set within First Street, Lemon and Central Avenues, the market center offers a compact, easy shopping experience geared to discerning tastes in food, fashion, and home. The chic, well-edited selections here rival those in the most sophisticated shopping cities of the world.

Amuse-Bouche Now you can taste la dolce vita the way Italians do: in your toothpaste. Celebs are hooked on the luxury packaging and flavors ($8.50) from Marvis of Firenza. (InStyle’s favorite is Ginger Mint). Simply Spoiled, 100 Central Ave., (941) 364-3337.

L.A. Confidential Former Los Angeles fashion stylist Lissa Murphy’s new shop offers celebrity-hot emerging designers with a twist: The clothes flatter every age and body type. Pick up a classic Yumi Kim silk top ($138) and your new image here. Jane Boutique, 1409 First St., (941) 951-5263.

Coffee, Tea or Sea? View the ocean’s treasures as you dine on L’Objet’s Limoges porcelain. The new Oceania collection features 14-carat gold edging on pieces adorned with shells, sea horses and this stunning anemone-tentacled teapot ($600). Envie Home Decor, 1411 First St., (941) 366-7027.

Sherlock Hound From bespoke British tweeds to signature-embossed Italian leather leads, Petropolis has all the fashion statements for hip pooches, including this tailored houndstooth hunting jacket ($32.95) with fanny pack. Petropolis Pet Boutique; 1407 First St., (941) 955-5015.

Trophy Chair Beauty is more than skin deep with the Marga chair ($755). It’s made from environmentally friendly plantation-grown teak and won the American Society of Furniture Designers’ Pinnacle Award for 2006. Box Furniture Boutique, 1417 First St., (941) 366-8164.

Major Majolica There’s enough majolica here to rival shops in any Tuscan village, and the owners’ passion for the craft is infectious. They’ll show you how Italians use a 29-inch bowl ($875) to make a coffee table, and recount the lore of each centuries-old design. Florentine Ceramics, 1405 First St., (941) 355-8783.

Trompe L’Oeil At first glance you’d think Ashley Avery’s is a gift shop. But step inside and you’ll find couture jewelry like this amethyst, crystal and freshwater pearl necklace ($285). Everything is artisan-crafted and sinfully affordable. Ashley Avery’s for Gift & Home, 1425 First St., (941) 955-9593.

Lost and Found Remember the pencil case, monogrammed stationery, and the glide of a fountain pen? They’re all here, including Montblanc’s special edition Greta Garbo pen ($470) with Akoya pearl. Write-On Sarasota, 1423 First St., (941) 953-2800.

Pino Noir? When in doubt about the perfect wine to accompany his recipes, let Chef Pino personally select one from his incredible stash, including this 1997 Novecento Chianti Classico ($150) from Tuscany’s enchanted valley of Dievole. Pino’s, 100 Central Ave, (941) 955-3739.

Don’t Forget To…

- Pick up a dozen cut hydrangeas ($10 a stem) at Green Thumb Florist/Colonial Flowers; neighborhood condo dwellers prefer them to roses. (941) 365-3212.
– Try the Tuscan rib eye steak ($27) grilled with Chef Pietro’s heavenly rosemary and garlic marinade at Bacco’s Ristorante. (941) 365-7380.
– Get a Starbucks rush without leaving home. The First Street store has Starbucks-brand coffee grinders ($125) and espresso makers ($399). (941) 955-0273.
– Take home a monthly calendar of tastings and classes at Whole Foods Market, all geared to a healthier lifestyle. (941) 955-8500.

INTO THE WOOD

Faux or real, natural crafted wood surfaces are hot.

Unhinged? Don’t sweat the small stuff: Stow it away in an artisan-crafted box like this sculptural piano-hinged gem ($199), hand-tooled from oak with insets of blood wood, ebony and walnut. Giving Tree Wood Gallery, 5 N. Boulevard of the Presidents, St. Armands Circle, (941) 388-1353.

Forest-Fired Hand painted with a faux wood finish that’s undistinguishable from the real thing, these ceramic pitchers offer tabletop form and function. Collection includes pitchers ($45, 75, $105), bar and serveware. Madison Park, 80 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota, (941) 953-9176.

Arc de Triomphe The subtly curved base of this contemporary split-bamboo table lamp ($420) is a triumph of woodworking and geometric form for the home: It’s 11 inches wide but less than two inches deep. Cameron Harrod Home, 506 S. Pineapple Ave., Sarasota, (941) 365-3888.

Tree House The darling of Hollywood designers, Elle D├ęcor and Met Home, Jamie Young creates inventive lighting that’s completely custom. Just choose a base (this “tree” is carved mango), select a shade, then pick one of 50 fabrics. $1,050 at Box Furniture Boutique, 1417 First St., Sarasota, (941) 366-8164.

Pure and Simple Exemplifying the essence of Danish design, Hans J. Wegner’s three-legged Shell Chair (c.1963) is a masterpiece of wood craft, yet simple to its core. Shown in walnut ($2,327); prices vary by wood choice. dkVogue, 1830 S. Osprey Ave., Sarasota, (941) 952-9351.

Who’s In Store

The fanny-packed walls of Vinny Sizemore’s happening new Stitch Boutique are creating a buzz among local fashionistas who’d be hard-put to track down jeans this hot anywhere in the world.

A fashion insider who spent the last nine years at Saks Fifth Avenue (both in Sarasota and New York City), Sizemore dotted his trophy wall with jeans-bearing tushes that show off exclusive labels like William Rast (created by Justin Timberlake and his buddy, Trace Ayala, last October) at $180 to $210 a pair; Diesel jeans ($140 to $216) and a slew of other celebrity-endorsed names.

But that’s not all. Sizemore nabbed exclusive rights to Bogosse and Niformis men’s shirts in Sarasota, and he’s the only one in town with local designer Natalia Lucci’s sexy, strappy sandals.

“Anyone can wear our shirts or silk tops,” Sizemore says. “A young attitude is all you need.”

Can’t Live Without a Bogosse shirt. Owned by Patrick and Fabrice Tardieu, the company’s name means “handsome man” in French, and that’s how Ryan Seacrest and a host of other celebs look in the European-cut shirts with signature square buttons ($150 to $175).

Tattoo Parlor? Sizemore has exclusive dibs on the new Ed Hardy vintage tattoo-wear worn by the likes of Chris Brown, Madonna and Robert Downey Jr. Created by legendary designer Christian Audigier, these baseball caps are flying out the door at $55 to $75.

No Ifs, Ands or Butts: The sexiest, star-studded jeans brand is William Rast, Justin Timberlake’s new line that Paris Hilton and Cameron Diaz have worn to show support.

Stitch Boutique, 1636 Main St., Sarasota (941) 366-7268.

Shoptalk

Summers’ House Design (and former real estate) guru Judi Summers has outfitted her new shop with furniture and home accessories as sophisticated as the homes she decorates. We love the cocoon torchiere (yes, they’re real silkworm cocoons), and just about everything else in Uptown Downtown, 711 S. Osprey Ave., Sarasota (941) 957-1188.

Cupboards Unbared This kitchen furniture is full of style, courtesy of Naples-based Flair Cabinetry, which just opened shop in Southside Village as Sarasota’s exclusive dealer of custom designer Grabill cabinets. Flair Cabinetry, 1931 S. Osprey Ave., Sarasota (941) 955-5205.

Gather No Moss Owner Karen Jastemsky’s vintage clothing and home antiques are so popular she keeps moving to bigger and better locales. See for yourself at her new, expanded sweetheart of a shop. Gathered Treasures, 416 Burns Court, Sarasota (941) 365-2211.

Singular Sensations
The one-piece bathing suit is back, and it rocks.
By Jill Obrochta Dambro

Aquafina
Make a splash in this poolside head-turner. The scoop neck, with snug fit under the arms, makes it perfect for the serious swimmer, yet oh-so chic. Two sumptuous Venetian glass beads adorn the tie-back neckline. Maryan Mehlhorn. $192. Swim City, 1960 Stickney Point Road, Sarasota (941) 922-4545.

Tie one on
This ties like a bikini on top while providing coverage below. A colorful Italian knit pops off a muted, milk-chocolate background. Cosabella of Italy. $108. Metro Mix, 8223 Cooper Creek Blvd., University Park (941) 355-2120.

Mono-poly
Monopolize the attention at the beach or pool in this sexy cut-out “mono-kini.” Retro olive spiral art on tropical blue provides an interesting contrast. Cosabella of Italy. $112. Metro Mix, 8223 Cooper Creek Blvd., University Park (941) 355-2120.

String me along
With ties in all the right places, rings that hold special things, and a hip houndstooth pattern in a stretch knit, this suit gives “string theory” a whole new meaning. Rampage. $78. Swim & Sport, Westfield Southgate, 3501 S. Tamiami Trail #124, Sarasota (941) 953-9655.

Brown bombshell
You’ll have a blast wearing this chocolate brownie. A tantalizing, rich, chocolate knit-blend with signature designer “T”’s. TNT—definitely dynamite. Trina Turk. $138. Swim & Sport, Westfield Southgate, 3501 S. Tamiami Trail #124, Sarasota (941) 953-9655.