Celebrating Downtown Pensacola’s Female Entrepreneurs
Posted: Oct 15, 2019 4:18 PMUpdated: Nov 27, 2019 8:10 PM
 October is more than a time for getting into the Halloween spirit and preparing for cooler fall days; it’s also the National Women's Small Business Month. According to recent statistics, women own 42 percent of U.S. businesses which generate $1.9 trillion and employ 9.4 million workers, making female-owned businesses an essential part of the economy. In Downtown Pensacola, many of your favorite businesses are owned and managed by local female entrepreneurs whose efforts and expertise make Pensacola a great place to live, work and play! Dress up with downtown shops offering fashionable and functional clothing and accessory choices as well as home décor. Shop and get styled at Scout, founded and owned by fashion designer Julia Ussery with her unique and individualized clothing selections. The Market and Mainly Shoes is a shop for women, by women offering trendy clothes and timeless accessories. Owned by two sisters, Anne Frechette and Peggy Woolverton with their mother Tish Childs, this downtown staple has been a thriving business for over 35 years. Check out Susan Campbell Jewelry for truly unique pieces, exhibiting her artistic flair and business acumen. Stop by Rusted Arrow Mercantile, where owners and founders Ruth Rose Cornelius and Samantha Breedlove offer a plethora of furniture, home décor and boutique gifts perfect for your home or loved one. And, if you’re looking for contemporary home appliances, lighting and décor, Urban Objects is another ideal option, locally owned by Sarah Gillette. If you’re looking to dress down and have a relaxing night, you’d be remiss to forget about Belle Ame’, owned by Yvette Crooke-Avera, this vibrant store offers many bathing and shower products to help you feel pampered and relaxed. Satisfy your hunger with food offerings from female bosses. Start with Carmen’s Lunch Bar, known for its cozy interior and menu full of savory and electric flavors. Owner and founder Mari Carmen Josephs began her restaurant after winning the 2012 Pensacola Business Challenge, growing Carmen’s into an integral part of the Downtown Pensacola experience. South Market is another woman-owned dining spot for delicious options. The contemporary American restaurant offers a range of appealing classic dishes from the award-winning market meat loaf to shrimp and grits. Get a taste for Bluejay’s Bakery’s Instagrammable offerings that are as delicious as they are expertly crafted. Trained at the International Culinary Center, owner and founder Justine Gudmundson-McCain’s culinary creations include cupcakes, tarts, cake pops, macaroons and wedding cakes. For late night drinks, wind down at Old Hickory Whiskey Bar. Owned by Katie Garrett, this spot that boasts more than 650 whiskeys and cocktails in a location inspired by Pensacola’s past with past President Andrew Jackson. Be sure to try the newly opened The Kennedy, another of Garrett’s businesses inspired by American leadership that serves classic drinks from the past infused with the flavors of today. The recently opened Asher & Bee, Apothecary and Tea House is owned by Marni Woodson and is the perfect place for some natural healing with their various teas, food and herbal offerings.  As Downtown Pensacola continues to thrive, you can be sure that these real estate professionals are working to make our downtown a more vibrant place. NAI Pensacola CEO DeeDee Davis has created a powerful team of sales and marketing associates to best serve their commercial real estate clients. Downtown Pensacola historian and realtor Deborah Dunlap has also invested heavily in and managed properties in the downtown area for more than 20 years and has been at the forefront of downtown development and growth while serving on various community boards including Downtown Improvement Board. Since 1982, Realtor of the Year recipient Sandra Ward has also specialized in commercial and high end residential real estate across the Pensacola area from her downtown office.                                                                                    Shopping at Palafox Market is a great opportunity to support local women-owned businesses as well. Taste your way to hummus heaven with Hummus Lady and try Kelly Peraino’s organic creations with flavors such as Roasted Grape & Jalapeño and Citrus & Date with spicy walnuts, available at the market and local groceries. We also encourage you to try Mrs. Jones Coffee, a concentrated brew which originally began for founder Stephanie Jones as a way to quickly and conveniently prepare coffee in the early mornings. Over time she perfected her recipe and began to share with friends and family what is now a regular fixture at Palafox Market and sold locally across many Pensacola groceries.  With Pensacola being such a strong destination for talented female leaders, we’re certain we've missed  a few people from our round-up and our local leaders show no signs of slowing down. So, here’s to the ambitious women of Downtown Pensacola. You’ve taken risks and earned success in making Pensacola a better place for everyone and continue to inspire our future leaders.
Your Literary Guide to Downtown Pensacola
Posted: Sep 26, 2019 4:40 PMUpdated: Oct 2, 2019 9:11 PM
Turn the page to some of Downtown Pensacola’s renowned authors, whose writings are sure to keep you engaged. Whether you’re a fan of fictional thrillers or looking to improve your coastal culinary skills, you’ll find a wide variety of locally authored books in the downtown district.  Local author and historian Deborah Dunlap’s many books cover Pensacola’s history as an emerging vibrant community. Drawing from her private Historic Pensacola photographs and her private collection, Dunlap has published multiple titles such as Remember When… and Then & Now, offering a strong visual glimpse into Pensacola’s unique past and present.  Another local historian, Margo Stringfield is not only an author, but an authority on Pensacola’s past. Her book Historic Pensacola written in collaboration with John J. Clune Jr. gives an in-depth look at Pensacola from its colonial beginnings. From the earliest European settlement to the five flags that have flown over Pensacola since it was founded, Margot and John use archaeological records and research to paint a vivid picture of this city’s earliest roots. From the coast to the kitchen, executive chef of Jackson’s Steakhouse, Irv Miller has years of experience whipping up some of Downtown Pensacola’s most iconic dishes and has published two cookbooks featuring Gulf Coast-inspired ingredients and recipes. Gulf Coast Oysters and Panhandle to Pan are full of mouth-watering recipes such as “Oyster, Bacon & Caramelized Onion Tartelette” and the many ways to prepare your Gulf Coast produce. Feeling hungry yet? Grab one of Miller’s books from the shelf and get cooking! Why just read about what Pensacola has to offer when you can also see it? Laura Bogan’s stunning shots of different parts of Pensacola and the U.S. Navy Blue Angels in action are perfect for those who like to immerse themselves in beautiful visuals. Experience the best of Pensacola with Homecomings and Upside: An Aerial Perspective of Pensacola, Florida. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words, and these books speak volumes. Local lawyer and media personality, Mike Papantonio has published several works on law-related issues as well as several fictional legal thrillers. Learn more about the fascinating field of law and read biographical backgrounds of famous American lawyers with Papantonio’s works. If you enjoy reading about legal fight against corruption, Papantonio’s fictional Law and Disorder may be just the thriller for you. Speaking of thrillers, Rick Outzen’s City of Grudges dives into corruption, mystery and local politics in a Pensacola setting. City of Grudges tells the story of a newspaper publisher on a mission to fight against injustices, corrupt officials and escalating rumors that could lead to his downfall. Owner and publisher of Pensacola Inweekly and former Gulf Breeze city councilmember, Outzen has resided in the Pensacola community for many years and is known for his editorials on local and national politics. Looking for the perfect story to read to your children? Browse the works of Anna Whibbs Theriault, granddaughter of one of Pensacola’s mayors and author of three children’s books that center on what make Pensacola so special. Goodnight Pensacola focuses on famous local attractions and was inspired by the original classic children’s book Goodnight Moon. For little ones learning their letters, P is for Pelican: The ABCs of Pensacola teaches the alphabet while tying it in with Pensacola landmarks. You can also spend the most wonderful time of the year reading Pensacola Night Before Christmaswith your young ones. Local businessman and philanthropist, Quint Studer is a man of many talents. One of which is sharing his business and leadership expertise in his numerous books. Regardless of what stage you are at in your career, it’s important to foster a passion for learning and professional development. Whether you’re looking to become a more effective leader, or get better results, you can’t go wrong with some guidance from Quint’s books. Last and certainly not least, another iconic Downtown Pensacola author is local historian and storyteller John Appleyard. You may have read his weekly history lessons in the Pensacola News Journal or heard one of his regular talks at the Appleyard Storytelling Cottage in Historic Pensacola Village. Over the years, Appleyard has published more than 100 books, plays and radio performances inspired by Pensacola history, including titles such as Fifteen Mysteries of Pensacola 100 Years Ago, De Luna: Founder of North America's First Colony and Pensacola A City Under 6 Flags. Nurture your love of literature and Pensacola by picking up some of these fantastic reads at the newly opened Bodacious Bookstore and Café in Downtown Pensacola.
We've Got The Belmont Blues
Posted: Aug 28, 2019 2:12 PMUpdated: Aug 28, 2019 2:13 PM
There are many shades of blue in Pensacola. Our blue water provides a panoramic view of color, the Blue Angels flawlessly soar through the sky and the Blue Wahoos bring the community together for sporty celebrations. But we have an additional blue component to be proud of as of January, 2019. Pensacola’s Belmont-DeVilliers neighborhood was officially added to the historic Mississippi Blues Trail – a true testament to the musical legacy of the area.  The Mississippi Blues Trail is a cultural pathway to music’s soul. Historically, Blues music, combined with jazz and Americana folk, served as the roots for rock & roll and the inspiration for an array of artists. Did you know that Elvis’s signature song “Hounddog” was actually originally recorded by rhythm-and-blues singer Big Mama Thornton? Or that “Crossroads” performed by Eric Clapton was written by an early Blues legend named Robert Johnson? These Blues artists created a style of music that showcased the hardships of life through powerful lyrics and stompable beats.  Scattered across the south are more than 200 Blues Trail markers that tell the stories of legendary musicians and the places that inspired Blues music. Howlin’ Wolf, John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters – known as the Holy Trinity of the Blues – all have their own plaques describing their contribution to Blues music and culture.  But, how does Pensacola fit within the musical mecca of the Mississippi Delta? The answer is found on the road, specifically with the coastal highway 90. Before the interstate system, highway 90 was a direct route to New Orleans, where Blues culture was buzzing with every bass guitar in the city. Musicians would travel to Pensacola and perform in the Belmont-DeVilliers neighborhood, which was the historically black cultural and business center of town. This neighborhood was part of the “Chitlin’ Circuit,” a collection of music venues across the southeast and midwest that promoted black musicians during times of segregation. Touring blues and jazz acts, including legends B.B. King, Junior Parker and Sam Cooke, drew large crowds to the neighborhood’s Belmont Theatre and Abe’s 506 Club. The Pensacola blues marker is located on the corner of Belmont and DeVilliers Street, and describes how the area and the musicians that performed there contributed to the development of the Pensacola Blues scene. Go pay your dues to the men and women of Blues by visiting the marker in Belmont DeVilliers, and enjoy Sunday Jazz Brunch at 5 Sisters Blues Café to get the full experience! [PHOTO: Visit Pensacola]
International PARK(ing) Day: Transform Parking Spaces into Public Places
Posted: Aug 19, 2019 3:15 PMUpdated: Aug 19, 2019 3:16 PM
For a second year, Pensacola’s Downtown Improvement Board is partnering with Gallery Night and inviting the local community to submit designs to turn parking spaces into temporary “parklets” to celebrate International PARK(ing) Day. The event takes place during the “Pigskin and Paint Tailgate” themed Gallery Night on Sept. 20 and the deadline to submit applications with a parklet concept is Friday, Sept. 6, 2019.  International PARK(ing) Day is an annual event, created in 2005 by art and design studio, Rebar as a way to encourage community members, students and designers to take metered parking spaces and liven up city streets. Motivated by the desire to activate the metered parking space as a site for creative experimentation and cultural expression, PARK(ing) Day offers a fun opportunity for members of the community to create temporary installations, with a mission to encourage people to imagine the positive impacts of green spaces in urban areas. “We are excited bring International PARK(ing) Day back during the upcoming Gallery Night event and challenge our local community to reinterpret our typical parking spots into creative spaces,” remarked DIB Interim Executive Director, Lisa Dees, “Whether you want to create a giant chessboard, install an interactive sculpture or host a croquet tournament, our aim is to have some fun with these spaces and rethink our relationship with parking.” On Gallery Night, guests will be able to enjoy the 10 parklets and cast a vote for their favorite. The call for submissions is FREE and open to all and can contain sketches or a brief description of the idea for transforming the parking space into a parklet. The competition is limited to 10 designs and qualifying design teams will be notified once selected. While branding is permitted, parklets are intended for non-commercial use only. Email submissions to: [email protected]
Eat Around the World in Downtown Pensacola
Posted: Aug 1, 2019 2:07 PMUpdated: Aug 1, 2019 2:07 PM
Pensacola is a melting pot of cultures and cuisines that relate to our vibrant history. Enjoy these opportunities to indulge in some worldly cravings without going across the pond… or ocean! Experience the posh delight of sweet treats at Olde English Creamery, inside a refurbished 1870’s cottage in Pensacola’s Historic District, directly across the street from Old Christ Church. Enjoy an afternoon on the wooden, baby blue painted porch as you try a selection of light snacks and sip English style teas from delicate earthenware. Try it out: Full palace tea with dainty sandwiches, sausage rolls and scones Restaurant Iron offers a fine dining experience influenced by the delicacies of southern and French cuisine. Sweet and savory pairings are beautifully presented by award-winning Executive Chef Alex McPhail, who strives to bring together the finest flavors of local and international ingredients. Try it out: Black garlic butter escargot with house cut truffle fries The exposed brick arches of Wine Bar are reminiscent of european architecture and the cultural plazas scattered throughout Barcelona and Madrid, Spain. Choose from a generous menu of crisp and zingy white wines to rich and bold reds. Indulge in the chef’s selection of smoked and cured meats and gourmet cheeses with a charcuterie board as the night air blows softly through the quaint alleyway. Try it out: Charcuterie board featuring manchego cheese and prosciutto with a Mas La Chevalier Pinot Noir “Ciao” down on some authentic Italian dishes at V. Paul’s Italian Ristorante on Palafox. Selections of traditional antipasti, premier seafood and specialty wines are finely prepared and presented in true Tuscan style. Join wine enthusiasts at Vino Magnifico, the restaurant’s monthly wine tasting event held on the second Tuesday of each month. Try it out: Bruschetta trio with venison cannelloni and gelato dessert  Travel across the mediterranean with Skopelos and their grecian inspired menu. Award-winning Executive Chef Gus Silivos, who is also a renowned Pensacola Celebrity Chef, has shown his culinary expertise by creating a fine menu of fresh seafood, prime cuts of meat and innovative vegan dishes. The exposed brick and lamp-lit courtyard provide a quaint outdoor dining experience, perfectly capturing an ethos of mediterranean romanticism. Try it out: Filo baked spanakopita with a saganaki plate and gyro sandwich If you head north on Palafox, you can experience the authentic Southeastern Asian cuisine of Khon’s. This narrowly-designed bar and eatery provides an intimate dining experience with a full menu of delicious foreign flavors. Practice your chopstick skills as you enjoy creatively displayed sushi, pineapple panang curry and premier ramen in a sleek, modern setting.Try it out: Coconut curry soup with ramen pad thai and a specialty saki cocktail Where will your tastebuds travel to first? Let us know by tagging #DowntownPensacola in your foodie photos! [PHOTO: V. PAUL'S ITALIAN RISTORANTE]