Shop Locally in Tampa Bay on Small Business Saturday and Beyond—Here’s How

Shop locally in Tampa Bay on Small Business Saturday and beyond—here’s how

Photo courtesy of Zens Toyland - Carrollwood Facebook page

By Tyler Francischine

November 22, 2023

From family-owned toy shops to independent bookstores to custom electronics boutiques, the Tampa Bay area has plenty of small businesses to support this Black Friday and Small Business Saturday

When you purchase holiday gifts at a small business near you instead of at the closest big-box store, you’re practicing the very reason for the holiday season: the spirit of giving. Buying local means you use your resources to give back and support your own community.

This Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, Tampa Bay-area shoppers have their pick of local businesses to visit while searching for the perfect holiday gifts for their loved ones. Below are just 10 small businesses dotting Tampa and St. Petersburg this holiday season.

Tombolo Books, St. Petersburg

Shop locally in Tampa Bay on Small Business Saturday and beyond—here’s how

Photo courtesy of Tombolo Books Facebook page

Its brightly painted façade will draw you in, but it’s Tombolo Books’ artfully and thoughtfully curated selection of fiction and nonfiction works that will win you over. At this independent bookstore in St. Pete’s Grand Central District, you’re sure to find this winter’s most popular titles, like Britney Spears’ memoir, “The Woman in Me.”

You’re also bound to see many books written by authors of marginalized backgrounds and works from small, independent presses the world over. Tombolo’s children’s section offers young readers an array of graphic novels, activity books, young adult fiction, and nonfiction books, including holiday-themed titles.

Vintage Modern St. Pete

Shop locally in Tampa Bay on Small Business Saturday and beyond—here’s how

Photo courtesy of Vintage Modern St. Pete Facebook page

Vintage Modern St. Pete, located just a block away from Tombolo Books, curates a collection of vintage clothing, décor, antiques, and collectibles that proves some trends don’t go out of style for long. As the resident music lover in your family will tell you, listening to music on vinyl, CDs, and even tapes is cool again among young ears.

Wow your favorite audiophile this holiday season with a hi-fi setup on a shoestring budget from Vintage Modern’s eclectic selection of pre-loved audio equipment. Vintage Modern’s cases of curious antiques will please any collector of unique lamps, wall art, cameras, art objects, and sculptures—even typewriters.

Vintage Post Marketplace, Tampa

Shop locally in Tampa Bay on Small Business Saturday and beyond—here’s how

Photo courtesy of Vintage Post Marketplace Facebook page

Surprise your loved one this holiday season—and celebrate Florida’s short-lived period of chilly weather— with the gift of new patio décor for your family home. Vintage Post Marketplace in Tampa has fire pits, sofas, chairs, and tables with just the right amount of retro flair to fuel your family’s next s’more-roasting session.

This Tampa small business’s 9,000-square-foot inventory of consigned and vintage furniture items also includes items for the bedroom, kitchen, and living room.

Silly Dilly’s at The Enchanted Spot, St. Pete

Shop locally in Tampa Bay on Small Business Saturday and beyond—here’s how

Photo courtesy of Silly Dilly’s at The Enchanted Spot Facebook page

At this storybook-inspired gift shop owned by a St. Pete-based children’s book author, visitors will find a treasure trove of carefully curated gift options for both the young and young at heart. Silly Dilly’s at The Enchanted Spot specializes in thoughtful children’s gifts, including Danish-designed, heirloom Maileg toys, which are hand-crafted to last generations; and LeToyVan, a line of sustainable and eco-friendly toys.

Bananas Records, St. Pete

Shop locally in Tampa Bay on Small Business Saturday and beyond—here’s how

Photo courtesy of Bananas Records Facebook page

For the past 46 years, St. Pete husband-and-wife duo Michelle and Doug Allen have been building a collection of vinyl records so tirelessly, it’s now one of the biggest aftermarket record stores in the world. With three separate locations totaling 20,000 square feet, Bananas Records is a can’t-miss St. Pete small business to support this Black Friday or Small Business Saturday. Their retail outlet on 22nd Avenue North regularly hosts performances and events, so shopping at Bananas, if timed right, comes with a bonus concert treat after a long day of gift hunting.

Oxford Exchange, Tampa

Shop locally in Tampa Bay on Small Business Saturday and beyond—here’s how

Photo courtesy of Oxford Exchange

When shopping for the perfect gift to wow the person on your list who fancies the finer things in life, you only need to visit one longstanding Tampa institution: Oxford Exchange. This European-inspired complex contains a restaurant, a bookstore, and a coffee shop, but their lifestyle gift shop is its true hidden gem. Here, a shopping concierge can help you sift through elegant bath products, soothingly scented candles, upscale barware, and luxury jewelry to customize a gift tailored to your loved one’s wishes and whims.

Runrun Kids store, St. Pete

Shop locally in Tampa Bay on Small Business Saturday and beyond—here’s how

Photo courtesy of Runrun Kids Store Facebook page

Opened by a local parent, runrun kids store is a small business in St. Pete that aims to provide the community with quality-made children’s clothing and toys, all crafted for kids ranging from newborns to 9-year-olds. Its brick-and-mortar location on Central Avenue—where it claims its spot as St. Pete’s only toy store—has been open a couple months, but runrun has already built a devoted following after a successful run as a kiosk along the St. Pete Pier.

Mazzaro’s Italian Market, St. Pete

Shop locally in Tampa Bay on Small Business Saturday and beyond—here’s how

Photo courtesy of Mazzaro’s Italian Market Facebook page

Every family has its picky members for whom no gift ever feels quite right. It’s cases like these that require gifts reflecting some of life’s most universal pleasures: food and drink. Opt for robust wines, indulgent desserts, or a loaf of fresh, handmade bread like the kind you’d find at Mazzaro’s Italian Market. If your visit to this St. Pete small business has your mouth watering to try more of their delicacies, Mazzaro’s Market is taking orders, subject to availability, for their December holiday catering menu. That way, the entire family can taste the sweetness of their signature rum cakes, chocolate mousse cakes, or chocolate cassata cakes with chocolate and vanilla layers soaked in marsala wine.

Zen’s Toyland, Tampa

Remember the days before smartphones were invented when families huddled together in their living rooms to play games and utilize their imaginations? Zen’s Toyland in Tampa suburb Carrollwood is a toy- and game-filled emporium filled to the brim with throwback favorites ranging from model train sets to wooden puzzles to Barbies. You won’t be able to miss their overflowing selection of plush toys, and their crafts section contains kits to make jewelry, nail polish, or string art.

Rick’s Electronics Boutique, St. Pete

Shop locally in Tampa Bay on Small Business Saturday and beyond—here’s how

Photo courtesy of Rick’s Electronics Boutique Facebook page

Every extended family contains at least one electronics aficionado who takes pride in ensuring your home theater system operates in peak condition. At Rick’s Electronics Boutique in St. Pete, you’ll be greeted by knowledgeable staff who can walk you through selecting the best hi-fi audio system, home theater set-up, or even one-touch systems to streamline all of the technology throughout your home, guaranteeing your gift will impress even your most tech-savvy loved one.

Author

  • Tyler Francischine

    Tyler Francischine is a journalist who writes about travel, arts, culture and community. She's passionate about social justice, the Atlantic Ocean and live music.

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