By Kyle LoJacono
The spring version of the Lutz Shop & Stroll met organizers expectations.
“It was a big success for the businesses and people of Lutz and the surrounding area,” said former Lutz Guv’na Michele Northrup. “It was wonderful and all the people that came by said how good of a time they were having.”
The idea for the event came from Northrup and current Guv’na Suzin Carr. When she became Guv’na last July, Carr said she would do everything she could to support Lutz businesses.
“I thought the day was a great success in highlighting local business,” Carr said. “The shoppers were excited, the vendors were generous and had great deals, and I am certain this event will only continue to grow with the support of the community.”
Northrup’s booth for her business, Intensity Academy, was set up at the Old Lutz Schoolhouse. The business makes all-natural hot sauces.
“I released a new flavor at the Shop & Stroll,” Northrup said. “It’s called Garlic Goodness and it has 100 pounds of garlic in each batch (50 gallons).”
Another business set up at the schoolhouse was The Barking Lot, a full-service dog boarding kennel.
“I didn’t participate in the winter Shop & Stroll, but I read about the spring one in The Laker and Lutz News,” said Barking Lot owner Laura Vinogradov. “I contacted Suzin Carr and told her we were on board.”
Praise for the current Guv’na came from most at the event.
“Suzin is phenomenal,” said Eleanor Cecil of the Lutz Civic Association. “She cares about the community and puts her heart and soul into it. I went to all eight stops on the Shop & Stroll route and every single vendor said they had good people traffic coming by. Suzin did a great job putting it together and getting the word out. She’s a tremendous asset to the Lutz community.”
One of the highlights of the day was a dancing carrot at the schoolhouse, which was played by Northrup’s son Sebastian.
“I was the entertainment at the old schoolhouse,” Sebastian, 12, said. “I entertained the kids that came by while the parents shopped at the booths.”
Those who visited at least five of the eight stations along the stroll where eligible to win one of five gift baskets, which were full of items from the vendors and were worth between $400 and $1,400.
In addition, the Shop & Stroll raised $209.41 for the Lutz schoolhouse.
“That will help us pay for the lights, insurance and we are planning on doing some work on the front porch soon,” said Phyllis Hoedt of the Lutz-Land O’ Lakes Women’s Club. “Suzin has done a great job with the Shop & Stroll. The event is great for Lutz.”
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