Marco Island Florist Home and Gifts takes on a slightly different feel on the last Wednesday of each month.
Walk through the business’ doors between 3 and 5 PM and you’ll find more than just the varied assortment of items that are the shop’s stock-in-trade. There will also be live music, visual artists displaying their creations, and appetizers from local chefs and restaurants, such as Chef Mike Duncan from Marker 8.5 and Chef Laura Owen from CJ’s on the Bay, paired with an appropriate vintage of the fermented grape.
For almost two years, the S. Barfield Drive business has utilized its Wine Wednesdays to show appreciation to patrons, as well as attract newcomers who aren’t familiar with what it has to offer.
“We wanted to say thank you to our existing customers and hopefully gain some new customers with the opportunity to come in and see that this is not just a florist,” said Tracy Bower, the shop’s marketing director. “This is a gift store with home décor and unique items. You can come in and see our flowers and plants, but also see a wonderland of other items.”
Aside from a vast array of flowers and floral arrangements, Marco Island Florist Home and Gifts also carries greeting cards, birthday cakes, Norman Love chocolates and other sweets, fruit baskets, balloons for special occasions, wedding accessories and much more.
Included in that “much more” are beer, wine and gourmet foods that can be combined to create personalized gift baskets.
“It’s fun to get new people in here and excite them because we’re pretty unique for the island, given what we what we have and do,” said Nancy Carrington, who has owned the business, along with her husband Joe, since 1988.
Nancy Carrington said Wine Wednesdays have broughtpeople into the shop who’ve ended up becoming Marco Island Florist customers.
The work of a different artist is featured each month, although installations are sometimes carried over for a second month. “Whether it’s a photographer, a potter or a painter, we try to get some of the local artists from the island and Naples in here and feature them,” said Bower.
The ambiance is often enhanced by the stylings of a live guitar or piano player. “Especially in-season, we try to make it really fun and make it interesting,” Bower added.
Naples photographer R. Clark Lindberg was the featured artist at a recent Wine Wednesday where he brought mounted photos displaying scenes from Ireland, Italy, France and Big Cypress Swamp. “A little variety,” said Lindberg of his display. “The principle objective is to make it natural. No computer gimmickry.”
It was the first time exhibiting for Wine Wednesday for Lindberg, who is president of the Marco Island Foundation for the Arts and has a gallery in the Shops of Old Marco.
“It’s excellent,” he said. “It’s a beautiful floral and gift shop, and they do an excellent job with their own displays, so it’s a good venue. It’s a good opportunity to meet people. So we’re happy to be here and meet new people.”
It was also the first time that Darlene Meadows of Marco had stopped in at Marco Island Florist.
“I came for the wine and (her friend) Tracy Bower,” Meadows said with a laugh. “I knew that when I walked in the doors there would be some beautiful things. I’ve been wanting to come and I’m so glad I’m here. It’s just beautiful.”
For more information about Marco Island Florist Home and Gifts, call 239-394-8141 or visit them at 178 S. Barfield Drive, or online at www.marcoislandflorist.com.