This homey shop, which just celebrated its 20th anniversary, was founded by Polish immigrants Jan and Krystyna Milewski, who somehow manage to work hours on end under the same roof and then head home as husband and wife. That sense of family permeates the shop the two hold court, joking and telling stories at the checkout counter (whenever Jans not schlepping kegs or slinging his handtruck around). The Mart might not have as much shelf space as its chain counterparts, and it might not be as well-labeled, but the selection is extensive and eclectic, and has all the basics covered. The stores prices are easily competitive with, and often cheaper than, what youd find at larger establishments. More than anything, the Milewskis have that special touch that makes stopping into their shop like an intimate, small-town experience.
Gift this: Svedka Vodka from Sweden. According to Jan Milewski, it compares in quality to Absolut. Its certainly a lot cheaper: $19.99 for a 1.75 liter bottle, as opposed to $37.99 for Absolut. 7208 4th St N, St Petersburg, 727-522-5372.
Photos by Larry Biddle
See other stops on CLs Indie Holiday Shopping Spree here.