Published on: June 7, 2018

APOLLO BEACH: Bark & Purr drawing winner

Sales Associate for The Observer News Desi Ferreira, left, with Jill Scott, the owner of Bark & Purr Pet Emporium.

Jill Scott, the owner of Bark & Purr Pet Emporium, gave a basket of canine goodies to Sales Associate for The Observer News Desi Ferreira, the winner of the free drawing. The drawing was held during the ribbon-cutting celebration and Open House in the Waterside Shops of Apollo Beach at 6138 U.S. 41 N., Apollo Beach.

Bark & Purr features a colorful assortment of sturdy, yet comfortable, leashes, collars and harnesses for dogs; interactive play toys; and safety items like booster seats for automobiles with their own seat belts. The store also carries an array of healthy chews, treats, puppy starter kits, the complete line of Fromm foods and some Zignature products, plus specialty items like Park Hill candles, Bark n Bag carriers, urns, ThunderShirts, hemp products, greeting cards and more.

Don’t let the name fool you — they also offer Market Fresh, Almo Nature and the complete line of Fromm’s cat foods, Meowijuana products, bed trees, kitty starter kits and interactive toys.

For more information on the store, call 813-773-7553.


RIVERVIEW: Home2 Suites by Hilton now open

Photo by Ed Booth, Huth and Booth Photography

Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce (GRCC) members celebrated the opening of Home2 Suites By Hilton Brandon Tampa. They were joined at the pirate-themed event by members from Greater Brandon Chamber as well as representatives from Home2 Suites and Vista Host, developer for this location. The crowd was entertained by a pirate, a DJ, a pirate-themed photo booth, hand-rolled cigars, food, drink and a scavenger hun

Home2 Suites is a relatively new concept from the Hilton brand of hotels. They include such amenities as pet-friendly rooms, inviting communal spaces and fully-equipped kitchens. They even come with modular furniture so that guests can customize their room to their needs and preferences. When you stay at Home2 Suites you will want to be sure and visit their Spin2 Cycle area where you can work out while the washer/dryer spin your clothes clean. 

The 125-suite hotel is at 10323 Palm River Road, Tampa. To make reservations, call 813-612-5950.  Read more about Home2 Suites by Hilton at and


GIBSONTON: Rowdy’s Pet Resort opens

Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce (GRCC) and their members welcomed Rowdy’s Pet Resort, LLC to their family and to the community. Several chamber members along with Rowdy’s staff and many members of the community showed up to partake in the ribbon-cutting ceremony and to learn about this new resort for their pets. 

Owner, Danielle Judge, was thrilled to welcome everyone to this new facility, and tell them about what Rowdy’s offers. They feature interactive boarding that includes playrooms, interaction with other pets and staff and plenty of potty breaks. For those pets staying overnight, they will have an individual suite with their own raised bed and plush blanket.  Rowdy’s also features a self-wash station and full-service baths.

To book a stay for your dog, call 813-512-7192 or email Rowdy’s Pet Resort is at 13141 Kings Lake Dr. in Gibsonton, and their business hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week, with self-wash available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

APOLLO BEACH: Gypsy Mermaid Day Spa, Shabby Shack moving to new location

South Shore’s Gypsy Mermaid Day Spa & Boutique opened its doors less than a year ago on July 8, 2017. After 10 months at the Flamingo Drive location in Apollo Beach, owners Dallas and Jill Smith have decided to expand and relocate to 210 Apollo Beach Blvd.

They have added hairstylists and a nail tech to the existing massage therapy, skin care and South Shore’s only salt room and halotherapy spa.

The soft opening is scheduled for Friday, June 15, at the new location. Come meet the staff, and enjoy light refreshments and giveaways. The official grand reopening and ribbon-cutting will be announced soon.

Dallas, Jill and daughter, Meagan Begley, are natives of the South Shore area (Riverview), moving to Ruskin in 2009. Dallas opened his first business in 2014, South Shore Shabby Shack, a vintage furniture makeover and home décor shop, where he also instructed DIY/paint classes. Repurposing furniture has been his hobby for many years, so opening a shop was a logical next step.

The Gypsy Mermaid Day Spa & Boutique followed at the same location through a friendship made with an employee and vendor.  Jill’s autoimmune diseases and need for a more natural and healthier alternative to pain management, led to the opening of the day spa.

For more information, call 813-296-1788. The spa will be open Tuesday through Saturday.

APOLLO BEACH: Keller Williams Realty South Shore office named #3 in the world

The President and CEO of Keller Williams Realty International, John Davis, has announced that the local Market Center in Apollo Beach was ranked number three in the world in year-to-date agent growth for the entire Keller Williams system.

Davis said, “The growth of the three offices in Apollo Beach, Riverview, and Sun City Center has been extraordinary over the last three years with the addition of so many productive sales partners, and their hard work has established Keller Williams Realty as the number one office in residential sales in the South Shore area.”

Earlier this year, Keller Williams Realty became the number one real estate franchise in the United States in agent count, closed units, and closed sales volume. “We’re proud to be in business with associates who are focused on growing big businesses so they can fund their lives and create opportunities for their families,” broker Gary Kaukonen said.

Since 1983, Keller Williams has grown exponentially and continues to cultivate an agent-centric, education-based, technology-driven culture that rewards agents as stakeholders. Keller Williams also provides specialized agents in luxury homes, commercial and farm and ranch properties. For more information, call Gary Kaukonen, at 813-641-8300.

VALRICO: Tide Dry Cleaners opens

The Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce (GRCC) was invited to celebrate the opening of Tide Dry Cleaners on Bloomingdale. The GRCC members were joined by Valrico FishHawk Chamber members along with representatives from the Proctor and Gamble corporation to partake in the official ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Tide Dry Cleaners is the locally owned and operated franchise of Berry and Sharon Wright.  The facility uses an environmentally friendly cleaning process to take the best care possible with your clothes. The store is open seven days a week and offers an outside automated kiosk which provides 24-hour drop-off and pick-up service for their customers.

Tide Dry Cleaners is at 1928 Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico. The doors are open Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and don’t forget the 24-hour pick-up and drop-off service. To learn more about their cleaning services and practices, visit