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Florist to blossom in Wilcox Nursery expansion

By CHRISTINA COSON, Times Staff Writer
Published August 24, 2007


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LARGO - Locals who regularly buy their plants, fertilizers and pottery at Wilcox Nursery and their flowers at the florist in the same building will notice big changes are afoot.

For one thing, the florist is undergoing a complete renovation, and the nursery office has moved to make way for an expansion of the nursery's merchandise.

All this activity is the work of Bruce Turley, who bought the nursery business seven years ago and now has purchased the florist business, the building and the nearly 2-acre nursery property for $1.5-million.

The nursery has been operating for more than 50 years under the Wilcox name at 12501 Indian Rocks Road in Largo. That won't change, said Turley, who began working at the nursery when he graduated from Florida State in 1977.

It was a logical move for the Florida native.

"I was propagating and growing trees when I was a kid," said Turley, 51. He studied visual arts in college and put it to use in landscape design.

During the past seven years, Turley has focused on building the nursery's Florida native plant business and has added organic garden supplies, environmentally friendly mulches, plants for wildlife, rain barrels, birdbaths, bat boxes and fountains.

His expansion plans include larger trees for ordinance requirements on new properties and more pottery and wild bird supplies.

But the biggest changes will be to the flower shop.

"We're bringing a new look to the store," Turley said. "We're installing a new display cooler, new computer technology, a new phone system and electrical upgrades."

Turley has 14 full-time florist and nursery employees and two landscape designers.

To learn more about the nursery, visit www.wilcoxnursery.com. For more about the florist, visit www.wilcoxfloristfl.com.

MarineMax rated 16th among top 100 retailers

STORES Magazine, a monthly publication of the National Retail Federation, has listed MarineMax among the nation's top Hot 100 Retailers in its August issue.

The recreational yacht and boat retailer based in Clearwater placed 16th on the list of publicly held companies with $100-milion or more in revenues and a substantial growth by the end of fiscal year 2006.

By Aug. 30, 2006, MarineMax revenues grew to $1.2-billion, a 28.1 percent increase over the previous year, according to MarineMax chairman and chief executive officer Bill McGill.

The company, at 18025 U.S. 19 N, Clearwater, has 88 retail operations in 22 states.

Area homes included on luxury homes tour

Among the 15 luxury dwellings on this season's Tampa Bay Luxury Home Tour are a home in Palm Harbor and a condo on Indian Rocks Beach.

A two-story, 4,079-square-foot Mediterranean-style stucco home by Catenac Custom Homes, a franchise of Arthur Rutenberg Homes, will be featured on three weekends starting Sept. 28. The $1.5-million home is in Palm Harbor in the Grand Cypress community overlooking Lake Tarpon.

The four-story Bella Capri condominium developed by Terra Nova Ventures is on the beach in Indian Rocks Beach.

The 24 condominiums are priced from $1-million to $2-million and range from 2,046 to 2,305 square feet. Four homes are in St. Petersburg's Snell Isle and Shore Acres and the others are in Pasco and Hillsborough counties. For more about the homes and tour, visit www.luxuryhometour.net.

Business seminars, classes and assistance

- A seminar for roofing contractors, "How to Succeed and Thrive in Today's Market," from noon to 4 p.m. Thursday at the InterContinental Tampa Hotel, 4860 W Kennedy Blvd., Tampa.

Monroe Porter, president of Proof Management Consultants, is the featured speaker. His presentation will address the fallacies of per-square pricing, the benefits of good-better-best quoting, the basics of production management and techniques to improve close ratios. Cost is $25 a person. The program is sponsored by Gulfeagle Supply, a distributor of roofing supplies.

For more information or for reservations, call Ron Haddad at 813 636-9808, ext. 219.

- Pinellas County Business Development Center, 13805 58th St. N, Suite 1-200, in the Icot Business Center near Largo. Programs are free and meet from noon to 2 p.m. To speak with a business counselor or register for classes and seminars, call (727) 453-7200.

Small-Business Lending Fair: Tuesday. Meet more than 25 loan officers experienced in small business. Lunch will be provided.

How to Start a Business meets every Wednesday. The introductory workshop offers information on how to conduct feasibility studies and develop business plans, how to obtain licenses and permits to be a legal business in Pinellas County and more.

Understanding Entrepreneurship meets the first Thursday of each month. Find out if you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur and discover the challenges and rewards of owning your own business. Evaluate your business acumen.

Understanding Accounting and Tax Procedures meets the second Thursday of each month. The seminar is designed to help small-business owners understand proper record keeping and accounting methods to satisfy federal and state requirements for taxes and payrolls.

Marketing Your Small Business meets the third Thursday of each month.

Financing Your Business meets the fourth Thursday of each month.

- Business Assistance Center at the Palm Harbor Library, 2330 Nebraska Ave. Meets from 1 to 3 p.m. every Tuesday and also from 5 to 7 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month. For an appointment, call (727) 784-4287.

The center provides information on starting and growing a business in Pinellas County.

Assistance includes business plan development, permitting, zoning, government-regulations information and more.

The business assistance specialist also provides information to assist local companies looking to export their products and foreign companies wanting to establish operations in Pinellas County.

News of businesses and business people can be faxed to the Business Digest at 445-4119, e-mailed to cosdon@sptimes.com or mailed to Business Digest, 710 Court St., Clearwater, FL 33756. We are interested in new and unusual businesses, promotions, expansions, commercial sales and major new contracts. Photos can be mailed or e-mailed by jpeg file.

[Last modified August 23, 2007, 22:11:47]


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