Last Updated: Thursday, February 02, 2012
A spread in a national magazine is giving a big boost to Anna Maria Island businesses.
Rhonda Grote's store, Relish Vintage and Artisan Boutique, opened its doors six months ago. Despite being so new, her "recycled" clothing shop is extremely busy.
"Definitely -- [up] by 40 percent," Grote said. "My sales have increased in one week."
Grote points to the inclusion of her shop and four others on Pine Avenue in a three-page article in Southern Living Magazine. Relish, The Anna Maria General Store, Island Cabana, Anna Maria Olive Post and The Pink and Navy Boutique are included in the article.
Southern Living featured the businesses because of the unique shopping experience they offer to visitors.
The article caught the attention of Bradenton resident Suzanne Dittrich and her friends.
Dittrich said she came to Pine Avenue specifically to shop at the stores after reading the magazine.
"I picked it up at [a] news stand, and I was so shocked to see Pine [Avenue] in that. I never expected that," she said.
The employees at the featured shops said they are thankful for the recent recognition. "I think it's amazing I'm so proud of Pine Avenue," Traci Dextraze, with Pink and Navy Boutique, said. "I'm so thankful, I'm very grateful Southern Living saw we are a unique store," Grote added.
The shops on Pine Avenue are featured in the February issue of Southern Living Magazine, on news stands now.