Can’t wait for a French Quarter Cuban

Sarasota’s first seasonal residents were Cuban fishermen, who set up “fish rancheros” on the coast to catch and preserve the fish that teemed in the bays here. And it was a mark of distinction to 19th century Sarasotans to import their fine furnishings from the elegant shops of New Orleans.

So a French Quarter Cuban sandwich on Saturday, at Continue reading

Rag rugs, stuffed cats, Florida tote bags (everyone need to tote Florida in a bag, right?) and more….

Shop local at the Historical Society of Sarasota CountyThe public is invited to the Grand Re-Opening of the Historical Society of Sarasota County’s Gift Shop, which is literally filled to the rafters in the detached kitchen of the historic Bidwell-Wood House (1882). The shop will celebrate its opening for the new season with a

Wine & Cheese Reception
Fri., Oct. 5th from 5 – 8 p.m.

The Historical Society’s shop, as portrayed by Ginger Mermin, renowned artist and past Board member of the Society

on the Back Porch of the Bidwell House, where many “Classes on the Back Porch” will be held this upcoming Season.  You’ll find the Historical Society at 1260 12th Street (between N. Trail and Cocoanut Ave.) in Pioneer Park.

Normal business hours for the Gift Shop will be 10:00 – 2:00 Mondays – Fridays and one Saturday per month, beginning on Nov. 17th, during the 2nd Designer Tag Sale held next door in the Crocker Memorial Church (1901).  Each 2nd Tuesday of every month through April, the Shop will also be open from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. preceding the monthly “Conversations in the Crocker” meetings which are also open to the public.

Sarasota’s ”Best Kept Secret”, the Gift Shop, for the past 3 years, has been selling the art, crafts and books of over 75 local artisans, who fashion one-of-a-kind creations using timeless methods, such as hand-woven rag rugs and book marks and hand carved wooden items. But you’ll also find garden art assembled from recycled treasures, soft stuffed cats and Christmas ornaments, shell mirrors for every décor, festive Florida tote bags, photo cards of Sarasota clowns and environs, water colors, and Vintage looking home décor items, books by local authors and much more!

Historical Society of Sarasota County: Locally-crafted birdhousesProceeds from the Gift Shop help support the Historical Society, but up to 70% of the sale prices go to the Artisans, who volunteer their time one day per month in the shop.  If you are ready to sell YOUR artistic, well-made creations, stop by the shop.  We are always looking for new creative vendors.  For more information, please call: 941-364-9076 or email