Lazy last days of summer give Bradenton shop good sales

BRADENTON BEACH — It was a typical day on lazy, sun-washed, oil-free Coquina Beach, home of picnics, beach life and touristy shopping on the southern tip of Anna Maria Island near the Longboat Key bridge.

Sandy Howes, a clerk in One Stop Shell Shop, just a few steps from Coquina on Gulf Drive North, was putting the wooden snakes backs in their bins Sunday.

Customers hide them all around the store, presumably for the scare value when a shopper finds one under a towel.

But after years of selling children;s toys as well as fancy pieces of coral, large shells and jewelry made out of items from the sea, Howes just takes the snakes in stride.

"We have great people who come in, including locals and tourists from Germany, England and many other countries," said Howes, who visited from South Carolina one year and decided to move down forever.

The economy might be ailing now, but regulars have kept One Stop Shell Shop clicking along for more than 20 years, said Howes, who has worked there two decades.

Read more: