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By CHRISTINE COSDON
© St. Petersburg Times, published November 6, 2000
A mockingbird sings somewhere high in a tree and two squirrels chase each other around an old oak. Nearby, a big black cat sleeps on a "welcome" mat.
"I look forward to coming here, it's so peaceful," said Mary Hiley, standing outside her new Hiley's Antiques & Collectibles shop in a little cottage on a dirt road a block off busy West Bay Drive. "What brings you back to reality is the UPS driver pulling in and beeping his horn."
Mrs. Hiley opened the business last month at 206 13th St. SW. The property has two former orange grove cottages owned by Pamela and Stuart Opp and includes the Opp's Amish Country Store. The cottages are divided by a courtyard with tables and chairs for customers to use while eating sandwiches from the store.
Every available space in the Hiley cottage is filled with china and pottery, glassware, lamps, candelabras, furniture, old tools and fishing equipment, jewelry, vases, linens, old books and needlepoint that once covered chairs.
The kitchen has drawers full of old rolling pins and cooking utensils. Cabinets and shelves offer more china, pottery, a collection of coffeepots and Mrs. Hiley's favorite Blue Ridge china made in Erwin, Tenn.
A 1940s-style wooden highchair has a price tag of $70 and a pine chest of drawers is marked at $330. A beaded cigarette case has a $22 tag and a hobnail Depression-era glass pedestal creamer and sugar is marked at $10.
Most everything in the store was in storage for the past three years, Mrs. Hiley said. She had been in the business a decade when some family obligations required that she close.
But early this year, she saw the little cottage and decided it was time to get back into circulation. She signed a lease in April and she and her husband Ron, vice president of marketing and sales at H&S Swanson Tool Co., began renovations.
"It was more elbow grease than anything," she said. "I had the fabrics for the draperies and wallpaper borders. I had sold all my showcases, so we had to stock those. My husband built some of the wooden cases for the plates."
Because she already had the inventory, Mrs. Hiley said it only took an investment of $2,500 to do the cosmetic work and get the cottage ready for business.
The Hileys moved to Pinellas County 271/2 years from Barbertown, Ohio, and have lived in the Largo area for 20 years.
Store hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, closed Sunday and Monday. Call 585-9021.
Dr. James H. Steg is the new medical director of Wright's Health Care and Rehabilitation Center, 11300 110th Ave. N, Seminole. He is a board-certified geriatrician and practices at the Diagnostic Clinic in Largo. He is affiliated with Largo Medical Center, Morton Plant Mease Hospital and Sun Coast Hospital.
He graduated from Boston University School of Medicine and did his residency in primary care internal medicine at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.
Wesley Mengay has joined Companion Care Service, 24195 U.S. 19 N, Clearwater, as chief executive officer. He has lived 20 years in the Palm Harbor area and worked in hospice care. The business, which has its headquarters in Ohio, provides homemaker care and companionship to seniors and the handicapped.
Creative Contractors has been hired to build Sun City Center Hospice House. The 7,800-square-foot, one-story building will have eight bedrooms with every two rooms sharing a screened porch with French doors. This is a first-time hospice project for the contractor. The architect is FleischmanGarcia Architects. The project is to be completed in May 2001.
Price Donoghue Ridenour, certified public accounting and business consulting firm, last month acquired Lash & Associates, a company specializing in sales tax audits. The 15-year-old company and its three employees moved to Price Donoghue Ridenour's offices in the Criterion Centre at 29605 U.S. 19 N, Clearwater, bringing the firm's total employees to 30.
Gerald A. "Jerry" Youngs, executive vice president of First National Bank of Florida's trust department, last month was elected vice president of the National Association of Estate Planners and Councils at the organization's national convention in Boston. He previously served as the organization's treasurer.
Youngs has more than 35 years of trust experience and manages a trust department that oversees more than $100-million in trust assets. First National's main offices are at 1150 Cleveland St., Clearwater. It has 10 branches in Pinellas County.
Honey Rand, owner of Communications Solutions, will talk about the importance of clear communication at the Nov. 14 dinner meeting of the Contractors & Builders Association of Pinellas County. The program will be at Bon Appetit Restaurant, 148 Marina Plaza, in Dunedin. Cost is $24 for members and $30 non-members. Deadline is Friday. For reservations, call 545-5536.
- News of businesses and business people can be faxed to the Business Digest at 445-4119 or mailed to Business Digest, 710 Court St., Clearwater, FL 33756. We are interested in new and unusual businesses, promotions, expansions and major new contracts. Photos can be sent, but not all will be used and they cannot be returned.