The Tampa Bay Times traces its origins to the backroom of a pharmacy in 1884, when the bay area was a sleepy backwater. In those days, only 480 people read the four-page journal. But over the course of the next 50 years, cadres of plucky, adventurous businessmen, including W. L. Straub and Paul Poynter, oversaw an unprecedented expansion in the newspaper’s circulation and prestige as they promoted the region’s booming growth in business and population. Paul’s son, Nelson Poynter, took over as editor in 1939, establishing a reputation for journalistic integrity that led admirers to revere him as a patriot and genius and detractors to denounce him as a muckraker, a communist, or a delirious sleepwalker.
Readers of the Tampa Bay Times witness Nelson Poynter’s legacy for sober, detailed analysis in the pages of today’s publication, which has claimed nine Pulitzer Prizes—including one in 2013, and two won in 2009, one of which was awarded to its nationally renowned PolitiFact.com fact-checking operation. In addition to informing subscribers with journalism scaling in scope from local to national, the Times’ bureaus extensively cover hyperlocal news with hometown papers for each of the Tampa region’s distinct cities and districts, where reporters publish stories on sports, entertainment, government, and politics.
Lace tablecloths, decorative flowers, and china cabinets filled with ornate teacups and saucers lend A Corner Of England the ambience of a vintage parlor. In these whimsical digs, Danielle Bruning and her mother, Julie Hicks, brew certified organic tea leaves harvested from two century-old gardens in Assam, India. The women pour fragrant brews of black, green, and antioxidant-loaded white tea into teacups, along with concoctions of their own devising that they flavor onsite. Their Green Tea Delight blend, for example, marries the classic potable with chamomile, mint, ginger, and fruit peel.
During the bistro’s signature high tea, guests snack on housemade scones and cakes or savory bites of sausage rolls, quiche, and croissant sandwiches. Parents can stop in with children for a kid-friendly tea experience as tykes dress up in faux-fancy hats and gloves while sipping from cupfuls of a juice-tea blend. Quenched cross-cultural caperers can relive their high-tea hijinks or recreate the boston tea party in the neighbor’s pool with bags of dry tea and teacups, available for purchase.
The all-female staff at Milagros, who proudly believe in “long, hot baths” and high-quality ingredients, routinely handcraft half-pound bars of Sister Agnes soap from glycerin, a natural humectant that deftly draws moisture and magnets to the skin. Their selection of soaps evokes innumerable essences, from the intoxicating musk of a wine cellar to the homespun nostalgia of the linen closet. The friendly instructors happily impart their squeaky-clean art to budding soapsmiths, teaching them to create with a variety of shapes, colors, and scents during 90-minute classes.
Kalamazoo Olive Company supplies a venerable variety of gourmet goods ranging from luxuriously smooth olive oils to tangy tapenades and gastronome-gratifying dips. As you jauntily peruse the open storefront, stop at each tasting station to sample one of Kalamazoo’s opulent oils. A mildly fruity yet peppery Chilean arbequina olive oil ($14.95 for a 375 ml bottle) tastes heavenly atop fresh, warm bread, while the basil-infused Tunisian chemlali olive oil ($15.95 for a 375 ml bottle) adds a nice zip to homemade hummus and pasta dishes. The roasted garlic oil ($15.95 for 375 ml) will help you determine which guests at your next dinner party are secretly vampire gourmands, and the small-batch pressed walnut olive oil ($12.95 for 200 ml) adds a nutty decadence to the dull sanity of everyday dishes. Decadent dips include the sesame-honey-mustard dip, the champagne-garlic-mustard dip, and the roasted-pineapple-and-habanero dip (all $9.95), the latter of which packs the sweet-and-spicy balance of a mama's-boy punk rocker. Otherwise, splash a taste of tart with a traditional 18-year aged balsamic vinegar ($19.95 for 375 ml) or attempt one of the fruit-fused white balsamic varieties such as peach, coconut, or pineapple (all $11.95 for 375 ml). Pasta sauces and cheese balls are also available to try on a daily basis.
For the staff at Uniquely Yours Boutique, fashion doesn’t mean exotic runway costumes; instead, they treat clothing as an everyday means of stylish self-expression. With that in mind, they curate a boutique filled with feminine dresses, blouses, handbags, and handmade jewelry as wearable as it is chic. They also welcome visitors to create artful fashion of their own during one of the shop’s painting workshops, which cover the art of painting silk scarves, pillow covers, and portraits depicting customers as a member of the House of Windsor.
Feet First is a specialty shop dedicated to running and walking—that’s why rows of athletic shoes line its walls. Working under this niche’s umbrella, the staff tends to a selection of shoes, athletic apparel, and accessories from brands such as Asics, Merrell, New Balance, and Nike. Customers can visit the Tampa or St. Petersburg location and peruse insoles and socks that are designed to help reduce the wear and tear on both human and shoe heels.