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Shopping Gulf Gate Marketplace From national chains in the Sarasota Pavilion to mom-and-pop stores in the ever-evolving Gulf Gate Marketplace, shopping the district bordered by Gulf Gate Drive and Stickney Point Road off South Tamiami Trail is a mix of down-home discoveries, discounted name brands and gourmet surprises. We shopped ‘til we dropped and sampled […]


Shopping Gulf Gate Marketplace

From national chains in the Sarasota Pavilion to mom-and-pop stores in the ever-evolving Gulf Gate Marketplace, shopping the district bordered by Gulf Gate Drive and Stickney Point Road off South Tamiami Trail is a mix of down-home discoveries, discounted name brands and gourmet surprises. We shopped ‘til we dropped and sampled everything from Polish to French cuisine.

Turquoise Redux Dig into your jewelry box: Native American turquoise jewelry is de rigueur with celebs like Sarah Jessica Parker (ring, $89), while Cameron Diaz and Hillary Clinton prefer clunky new necklaces ($149). Turquoise Sky, 2609 Mall Drive, (941) 923-6633.

Star Struck? Dancing with the Stars set off a nationwide craze, so if you think you can dance head over to Daisy’s for everything from shoes and workout gear to dresses by Capezio ($60) and Motion Wear (from $68). Daisy’s Dancewear Boutique 2635 Mall Drive, (941) 924-8222.

Do the Twist Sarasota’s newest ice cream shop already has a new twist—the Arctic Twister, that is. Their homemade frozen custard is made fresh and blended with your choice of candy, cookies and more. Strickland’s Homemade Ice Cream, 6593 S. Tamiami Trail, (330) 329-5303.

Doctor’s Orders PerriconeMD Cosmeceuticals, Dr. Nicolas Perricone’s skincare line with much-touted products like Ceramic Skin Smoother ($75), is now available in Sarasota at Ulta. Faithful followers are lining up for bimonthly consultations by experts who eliminate the guesswork of buying online. Ulta, 6515 S. Tamiami Trail, (941) 923-5700.

Run-dezvouz New Balance is the place for breathable 1224 sneakers ($149.99) with shock absorbers to return energy with every step; it’s also the only place for Lace Up for the Cure hats ($14.99) and hoodies ($59.95). New Balance of Sarasota, 6573 S. Tamiami Trail, (941) 921-3696.

Out of Africa Gary Stern hails from South Africa, and he scours the continent for hand-crafted decor, art and the designer’s favorite: Kuba cloth in pillow covers, table runners and this 13-foot-long wall hanging or throw ($495). Nontando, 6578 Gateway Ave., (941) 929-7844.

Market Watch Check out Chef’s Marketplace, where Morton’s former customer service manager/buyer Cindi Shoe is filling the gap left by Annabelle’s demise with tabletops like artist Richie Watt’s Good Earth Pottery. Mugs, $17; pasta bowl, $229. Chef’s Marketplace, 6552 Superior Ave., (941) 922-3748.

Good Catch! You can catch the gingerbread man ($6 each) at Thompson Cakes, where Gail Thompson, known as the queen of cakes, also bakes and hand-decorates old-fashioned gingerbread houses ($75) with the help of daughter Jamie—the roofer. Thompson’s Cakes Inc., 6609 Superior Ave., (941) 926-2253.

Family Style Old Navy has fun budget finds for the entire family and a hip new direction for fall 2008. From $5 flip flops to sexy sweat suits (tops $20; bottoms $15), it’s fashion fit for a down economy. Old Navy, 6503 S. Tamiami Trail, (941) 926-9211.

Don’t forget to….

- Customize a gift pack of eight chocolate bars ($56.25 gift-wrapped) with your choice of flavors from Dark Chili Pepper to Milk Chai at Chocolates Nuts & More, 2114 Gulf Gate Drive, (941) 925-1111.

- Get ready for holiday parties with sparkling sterling silverware, pewter and more courtesy of high-end metal cleaner/restorers at The Brass Knocker, 2611 Mall Drive, (941) 924-6838.

- Take a shopping break at Word of Mouth, 6604 Gateway Ave., where the muffins and biscuits are superb.

Shopping for Day Planners: the right agenda is better-looking than a Blackberry.

Mom Phenom Touted by Oprah, the Mom Agenda ($42) became an overnight sensation for its unique day-on-a-page format that shows Mom’s every appointment plus those of up to four children at a glance. Designed in mini daily agenda and desktop sizes with lots of cover options. Write-On Sarasota, 1423 First St., Sarasota (941) 953-2800.

Power to the Pattern Agendas from Vera Bradley are easy to spot in the deepest handbag and available in four new prints this fall including Puccini, a play on the iconic designer’s stylized colorful swirls. Large, $26.95; small, $18.95. Persnickety Cat & Co, 2300 Bee Ridge Road, Sarasota (941) 923-8340.

The Write Place Sarasota’s stationer par excellence Eileen Hayes says sales of planners never skipped a beat even with the advent of electronic planners. You’ll find luxury agendas by Mont Blanc, fun designs by Kate Spade and, for the man in your life, this sexy leather model by Nava of Milan ($160). Write-On Sarasota, 1423 First St., Sarasota (941) 953-2800.

Time to Recycle? Resolve to protect the environment and improve your organization skills with an eco-friendly Day-Timer ($51.99), made exclusively for Staples with starter pages made from 30 percent post-consumer paper and faux bonded leather cover (called Bayou Gator) of 75 percent recycled fibers. Staples, 8199 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota (941) 923-8275.

Best Laid Plans Though it looks like a book, this tapestry-patterned engagement calendar with weekly planner format is specially bound to lie completely flat for ease of use. Elastic band place holder plus room for notes and addresses belie the $10 price tag. Books-A-Million, 6591 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota (941) 922-7804.

Stocking Stuffers Made by Silver Lining, these pocket-sized agendas are the perfect little gift at $12.95; they come in myriad fashion tones with their own sleek silver pen. Just part of an extensive collection of affordable leather planners (some with zips to keep paper snippets safe) at Barnes & Noble, 4010 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota (941) 923-9907.

La Place Vuitton Fun and fabulous, nearly every Louis Vuitton design is available in these purse-sized agendas, and yours to order from Marilyn Goldfarb at the Saks Fifth Avenue Collection. Among the newest designs is [Jeanette to pick from photos] ($340). Saks Fifth Avenue Collection, Westfield Southgate, Sarasota (941) 364-5311.

Who’s in Store

Marathon mom Pat Jones and her daughter, Mackenzie (who hopes to compete in an Ironman triathlon), opened Fleet Feet Sports in Sarasota last summer and became the first mother/daughter owners in the 87-store franchise’s 30-year history.

"Mackenzie came up with the idea," explains Pat, a registered nurse. "We’re both runners and loved Fleet Feet’s pride in providing the right fit for everything from bras to shoes." The pair also likes the focus on training for all levels and fun programs like No Boundaries, which gets couch potatoes walking their first 5K within three months.

Pat has completed several marathons, half marathons, and 5Ks and 10Ks (many with 26-year-old Mackenzie). She created a big buzz with Sarasota’s runners by becoming director of the Galloway Program, bringing Olympian Jeff Galloway to the store in October to celebrate the kick-off of his renowned marathon training system in our city.

What this town needs "Is our boob expert and a good sports bra (Enell, $60)," Pat says. "We’ve helped so many large-cup women who formerly had to wear three bras at once for support while running."

Can’t live without "My Garmin watch ($299)," says Pat. "It hooks up to the GPS system for accurate mileage tracking; I use it for interval training. It does everything but make coffee!"

Runway best-seller? "We can’t keep the Adidas Supernova Sequence control running shoe in stock ($95)," Pat explains. "It’s comfortable and has motion control to ensure soft touchdowns with every step."

ShopTalk

Oktoberfest. It’s time to celebrate the October opening of Davinci Kitchens’ new location and the coup they’ve scored in becoming the first and exclusive dealer, from Jacksonville to Fort Myers, of Alno—Germany’s sexiest kitchen cabinet brand. Design magazines say it’s the Mercedes 500 or the Porsche 911 of European Kitchens. Davinci Kitchens, 7222 Tamiami Trail, Sarasota (941)922-6300.

Homecoming Queen Trained chef Karis Lynch grew up in Sarasota (her family ran the Eager Beaver car wash chain), left town for 22 years, returned home and purchased 30-year-old Sarasota Brides. Her new iteration carries bridal couture and a whole lot more, from stunning prom and homecoming dresses to one-of-a-kind European evening fashions by Spain’s Promovias and Paris’ Ugo Zaldi (shown). Sarasota Brides & The Karis Collection, 4051 Clark Road, Sarasota (941) 927-4969.

Labor of Love That’s the inside joke at Bloomin’ Bellies, a hip new shop for baby gear, maternity wear and an ingenious collection of chic (you’d never believe they’re for nursing) dresses. Owner Jennifer Topjun opened the store last December while pregnant with her second child, so she could have kids in tow while she works. Even those past the child-bearing years will flip for the Prada-like diaper bags by Stork Sak ($150-$295). Bloomin’ Bellies, 3604 S. Osprey Ave., Sarasota (941) 316-1500.

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