Pensacola, Florida
Tuesday April 24th 2018


Best of the Coast ’13: Shop

One-Stop Shop
Some places just feel cozy and welcoming as soon as you step through the door. For many people, Apple Market is one such place. “First of all, we have great people that take care of great customers,” said owner David Apple. “We always have an eye on customer convenience.” Apple Market’s ready to go meals, side dishes, and desserts, combined with their deli and meat counters, Drowsy Poet Coffee Shop right up front, and selection of groceries reinforce their moniker of being “The Biggest Little Store In Town.” As an independent, Apple Market keeps up with the evolving needs and wants of consumers without a problem—case in point being a sushi counter and a range of gourmet and gluten-free offerings that rivals that of larger stores. “We provide a unique product and service in a market filled by big boxes and corporations,” said Apple. “We’re trying to provide a unique and nostalgic experience.” 1021 Scenic Hwy.,

Live Beautifully
Aqua—it’s the color of nature, happiness, abundance, calmness and so much more. For owners of Aqua Pool and Patio, Vince and Shawna Fisher, what started with helping Shawna’s daughter plan a wedding, turned into a partnership with interior designer Liz Taylor, and a vision in bloom that resulted in the serendipitous opening of a full-fledged warm and welcoming showroom, Aqua Décor & Design. This home décor boutique is dedicated to helping individuals live beautifully both indoors and out through a display of furniture, lighting, accessories and gifts. Thanks to moveable walls, things in the showroom are always changing shape—literally. “We’re not just a furniture store. We’re a living store,” said Shawna Fisher. “I think that’s what sets us apart. And we’re affordable.” Not only does Aqua Décor & Design offer the perfect gifts for weddings, everything ranging from linens to dinnerware, they even provide the option and added convenience of a bridal registry. Of course, if you can’t decide, they encourage gift cards. In case you weren’t quite sold, there is even a complimentary coffee bar, so you can sip while you shop. 1320 N. 9th Ave.,

Bottled Up
“I’ve always loved wine. Growing up, my father’s advice was to work at something you love, so the wine store seemed a perfect fit for me,” said Charlotte Gordon, owner of Aragon Wine Market. “What I didn’t realize is how much I would love meeting the people that come in the store and helping them find wine.” Open since 2008, Aragon Wine Market not only offers a vast selection of wines, but also wine tastings—including regular Thursday night events. An independent proprietor, Gordon has relationships with distributors and often hosts representatives from wineries who pour during the tastings. “Mostly, I have wine distributors come to the store to sample different wines for me to consider. Sometimes I find a wine that I just love and bring it into the store,” said Gordon. “When I’m sampling wines I often purchase something because I think a specific customer will like the wine.” For those who have a hard time making their mind up, Gordon also offers case discounts in case you get swept up in the rows of wine offerings, which you likely will. 27 S. 9th Ave.,

Shine On
Fans of glittering, sparkling things know that Beré Jewelers is one of the most well regarded jewelers in Pensacola. “I believe there are many reasons we have been so fortunate over the years,” said owner Barry Cole, “A few of which include our vested interest in our community, employees that love what they do, and carrying many of the top brands in the world that people love.” In business since 1985, Beré has built a reputation on providing beautiful pieces for a variety of occasions. “The most rewarding aspect of the jewelry business is definitely helping people celebrate special moments in their lives. Every day of the year someone is celebrating a birthday, anniversary, birth of a child, graduating, getting married, and many other wonderful occasions.” Another key to Beré’s success? The company is constantly improving. “We are always changing and evolving,” Cole said. “In business and in life, we must constantly look for ways to improve everything on a daily basis. From the latest and hottest trends in the jewelry industry, to educating our employees, and continuing to support the community we live in.” 4421 Bayou Blvd.,

Blue Notes
“The main thing is the bonds that we create with our customers,” said Jim DeStafney, who co-owns Blues Angel Music with wife Nan. “Many customers aren’t just customers, they’re our friends.” In business for 16 years, “the selection of products we carry is somewhat different than other stores,” said DeStafney. Blues Angel, having expanded into band and orchestra instruments, can now set customers up with anything but acoustic pianos according to DeStafney, “People looking can come in here and find something that meets their needs.” The repair services offered—there are full time repair specialists for guitars, amps and electronics, and orchestral instruments on staff—combined with online sales and used instrument purchasing reflect the many ways in which Blues Angel has specialized and adapted to the changing needs of customers in an increasingly online world. Add to that regular in-store performances and the store’s recent appearance on Animal Planet’s “Tanked,” and you have one of the most multi-dimensional stores in town. “We have a great time,” said DeStafney, “And that keeps people coming in.” 657 N. Pace Blvd.,

Spice Up Your 
Looking to spice up your fall fashion but not break your bank, or perhaps clean out your closet so you can make room for that new coat you’ve been eyeing? Owner of Elite Repeats & Boutique Lisa Compton seeks to give both consignors and shoppers alike a welcomed, atmosphere, and a truly unique boutique experience, so they can walk away feeling—and looking—their best, and refer a friend to follow suit. “My goal is to give customers a friendly shopping atmosphere where they can find everything from high design to $1 Last Chance Room items,” said Compton. Plus, she assures her customers they will never see the same store twice. “We just never know what great find will come through our doors. Additionally, we never know what someone may find as their perfect treasure,” she said. While stopping in, be sure to check out the “Bling Boutique” featuring a mix of firsthand jewelry hand-picked by Compton herself, so you can pair your purchased repeat item with a dashing new accessory. 913 Gulf Breeze Pkwy. #27,

Good Food, 
In business for over 40 years, Ever’man Natural Foods has made a name for itself as a source of healthy and responsibly sourced food. Complete with grocery, deli, and vitamin departments, the cooperative is unique in its location—in the heart of downtown—and in its mission. “At Ever’man, our members are able to run for the Board of Directors, our shoppers are encouraged to submit suggestions and product requests, and we offer a wide range of educational enrichment opportunities for our community members to empower themselves as savvy food consumers,” stated marketing manager Kate Scanlan. The store is currently undergoing an expansion that will increase its retail space by 33 percent. “The new space will also allow for the addition of sustainable meats and seafood, as well as new cheese and dairy items, expanded beer and wine, an expanded deli, and more bulk items,” said Scanlan. The expansion is expected to be complete in early 2014, meaning new space in the New Year. 315 W. Garden St.,

Hometown Style 
“Our goal is to offer a boutique shopping experience by providing personalized attention to our customer and delivering quality merchandise at an affordable price,” said Katie Rozier, co-owner of downtown’s Indigeaux Denim Bar & Boutique. After working for three years in a boutique in Orange Beach, Rozier said she realized that downtown Pensacola needed and was ready for the personal styling and customer service provided by a small boutique. “Being locally owned allows us to work directly with our customers to know what they like and don’t like,” said Rozier, who adds that touches like a television tuned to football games to entertain spouses and notifying regulars of new pieces that fit their style are all part of the experience that draws in customers. “Putting our business together and the dream becoming a reality has been the greatest achievement for me and my mom. However we could have never done it without the support of a wonderful downtown Pensacola family.” said Rozier of the success of Indigeaux, which will celebrate its third anniversary in November. 122 S. Palafox,

Open since 1956, Jewelers Trade Shop serves as a gleaming example of Palafox Street staying power. “We are able to build relationships with customers, and in turn we become familiar with their tastes. This type of friendly relationship allows us to better serve them when they visit our store,” said Jewelers Trade Shop’s Jennifer Hinson. “Jewelry is a personal and emotional purchase. The most rewarding part of our job is being able to assist customers with a custom design or shop for items for their loved ones.” A popular spot for engagement ring shopping, the store clearly knows something about assisting with significant decisions. Sparkling displays show off designs by Rolex, Tag Heuer, David Yurman, Roberto Coin and Mikimoto, but the store is also known for its custom designs—both jewelry and, since 2006, Christmas ornaments. “We strive to offer customers the latest designs from leading international designers as well as professional in-house custom jewelry design and repair work,” Hinson stated. “With a staff of four GIA Gemologist and five full-time jewelers, Jewelers Trade Shop is devoted to ensuring each customer is provided the finest service.” 26 S. Palafox,

Coastal Flair
“Our goal when we first opened and today is to provide unique gifts with a quick turn around and personalized service,” Pizzaz co-owner Courtney Weir Henderson stated of the business’s focus. Based in Gulf Breeze, Pizzaz offers a colorful variety of jewelry, home accessories, holiday items, and children’s clothing, which have made it a favorite among locals shopping for unique and personalized gifts. “Our favorite part of our day is seeing our customers find that perfect gift, either personalized or just wrapped up in our signature teal paper.” Items that can be monogrammed are among the most popular at the store, as Henderson has seen most people appreciate being able to personalize gifts. Focusing on coastal-style, Henderson says being locally owned and knowing what their customers like helps them bring in pieces that people will enjoy. “We love going to different markets and finding products that we just know customers will go crazy over.” Pizzaz is also in the final stages of setting up an online store via its website, which will allow shoppers all over to enjoy their distinct and carefully selected merchandise.  832 Gulf Breeze Pkwy.,

We Run Wild
Fueled by their own innate love for running, dynamic husband and wife marathon-warrior duo Paul and Cherie Epstein of Running Wild are equally dedicated to helping others find their happy running place. “We help encourage all through the many different programs that we have and the different events that we produce and sponsor,” said Paul. Between offering programs, training classes, seminars and conducting races, Running Wild has both feet planted in every part of the local running community. Of course, in order to be suited up for success, there are the shoes and apparel you can rack up on in the store. As an added incentive, Running Wild offers a loyalty program so you can earn points every time you shop. Meaning the more shoes you buy, the more you can afford to buy. Or something like that. When they’re not fitting shoes or cheering others toward the finish line, the entire Running Wild staff can be found, well, running of course. 3012 E. Cervantes St.,

Drive My Car
With a strong and committed sales staff and an extensive inventory of new and pre-owned vehicles, Sandy Sansing is the only stop you’ll need to make when car shopping. “Sandy Sansing treats the needs of each individual customer with paramount concern,” reads the dealership’s website. Beyond a showroom, the dealership can help you find the exact car you’re looking for through their CarFinder form. Simply fill it out online and you’ll be notified when a matching car arrives. In the service center, you’ll meet highly-qualified technicians who can keep your car in tip-top shape from oil changes to transmission replacements. Not only will Sandy Sansing help you find the perfect car, but the dealership’s finance team is committed to finding you the loan that fits your needs. “We know that you have high expectations, and as a car dealer we enjoy the challenge of meeting and exceeding those standards each and every time,” the website says. “Allow us to demonstrate our commitment to excellence.” Sandy Sansing Nissan, 5705 Pensacola Blvd., Sansing Chevrolet, 6200 N. Pensacola Blvd., Sandy Sansing Mazda, 6105 Pensacola Blvd., Sandy Sansing MINI & BMW, 186 W. Airport Blvd.,

No Bones About It
“A typical day at The Spotted Dog Pet Boutique and Bakery starts off with our regular clients coming in for food or treats,” said Ashley Dickerson. “Throughout the day we get a lot of people from out of town, new customers, and doggie customers during the lunch hours. We love our four legged customers and they always get spoiled when they come in.” When Dickerson and her mother Sandy aren’t mingling with pets or their owners, helping them pick out their newest chic accessories, or decide what bag of health food they want to take home and munch on for dinner, they can be found hosting weekly in-store Yappy Hours, or in the case of Saturday mornings, just up the street at Palafox Market—with their freshly made, baked puppy cookies and treats in hand. Speaking of desserts, if you are planning a birthday party for your furry children soon—boy are you in luck. “We have a lot of customers ordering birthday cakes, cupcakes, and more for their pups’ birthdays and for dog b-day parties.” said Dickerson. As if this doesn’t keep the all-star mother-daughter duo busy enough, they are now extending a dog walking service to downtown and surrounding residents. 124 S. Palafox,

Love Stones
What started years ago as a project for a friend’s wedding—handcrafting cake pull charms—became the foundation for one of the businesses at the fore of the recent Palafox Street revival. “Several years ago, I started my personalized charm collection, SAM Collection. It is reminiscent of those cake pulls, with a much more educated hand. It’s now a complete line of personalized jewelry at Susan Campbell 
Jewelry,” said Susan Campbell. Open since March 2006, Campbell and her husband relocated from post-Katrina New Orleans to invest in the promise they saw in Pensacola. The store features Campbell’s original work and that of a range of designers, some Campbell has known for 15 years, others she has sought out on her travels. From $35 copper earrings found in New York to the black diamonds and 30-carat aquamarines in Campbell’s own Private Label collection, the store has something for everyone. “We are very specific on craftsmanship, fashion and creative integrity,” said Campbell. “We keep it fresh. We are always bringing in new and different offerings. I think we keep our customers entertained and inspired.” 32 S. Palafox,

Boyz will be Boyz
Waterboyz is more than a retail stop. Surfers and skaters have been loitering outside of the store since it first opened in 1989 and that’s okay with owner Sean Fell. “We work hard at providing a clean and safe environment for skaters to come skate,” he said. “All year long, we offer surf and skate lessons. During the summer, we have surf and skate camps. We also have an indoor skate park in our facility and it is a great venue for birthday parties.” While also carrying the tradition of custom building surfboards and screenprinting t-shirts, Waterboyz has all of the essentials to surf, skate, skim and sup, which is stand up paddleboard for those on land. “We are a full service outfitter, selling watches, backpacks, hats, even Go Pro cameras,” Fell said. Shaping surfboards since the 1980s, Fell has proudly grown his business into the store/hangout it is today. Waterboyz has managed to stay a favorite even with the non-extreme sports people because they “strive hard to deliver high-quality products and top-notch customer service,” Fell said. 380 N. 9th Ave.,

Mindful Thrifting
When shopping, many of us look to thrift stores first to try and save a buck, or 50. Shopping at a Waterfront Rescue Mission bargain center for all your thrift needs not only allows you to save money, it gives you the opportunity to help save lives. “Approximately 50 percent of the Mission’s programs are funded from the revenues generated through our stores at no charge to the homeless,” said James Robbins, Retail Services director. This includes providing food, shelter and clothing to the homeless, plus offering addiction recovery programs, career development and educational opportunities, and individual counseling. All shopping at the bargain centers is tax free and they even offer donation pick up. “We focus on providing a great shopping experience, which means every detail is important to us,” said Robbins. On your next thrifty outing this fall, consider purchasing a Meal Ticket for $1 that will help fund the Mission’s annual Thanksgiving and Christmas Day Community Feasts. 380 W. Herman St.,