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Cereceda opens new shop in Santini Plaza

December 13, 2017
Jessica Salmond - News Editor ( , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

Council member and entrepreneur Anita Cereceda is now managing three stores. She opened up her newest, The Islander, Dec. 5.


Because her mother told her to.

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Anita Cereceda opened Local Color in 2003 and is on to her second store, The Islander, in Santini Plaza. Her parents opened the Pier Peddler in 1985.

"Pier Peddler is my father's store. Local Color is very much me. This is very my mother," she said.

Her parents opened the Pier Peddler in Times Square in 1985. Cereceda opened her first store, Local Color, in 2003.

Cereceda's venture into opening a new store on the south end of the island started with a dream she had in January, while away at a trade show.

She dreamt she was sitting at her patio table with her mother, Jo, who died in 2008. She was telling her mom about wanting to open a new store, but was unsure. Her mother told her: "Use driftwood and beach glass. It will work out."

So, that's what she did.

The Islander is filled with references to that dream - driftwood serves as a hanger for glass bobbles, the floor color is reminiscent of the beach, and the walls are a soft blue.

"Her favorite color was blue," Cereceda said.

Even the logo of The Islander is a nod to Jo and Jose, her father: the shop's name is framed by a beach scene with two pelicans.

The store is filled with tasteful beach-chic home dcor items, jewelry, art, clothes and accessories. Touches of furniture, including Cereceda's patio table featured in her dream and her grandmother's classy sofa, add a comfortable, cozy feel to the large space.

"I wanted to capture who an islander is - interesting, anything but ordinary, and a little sophisticated even if no one would expect it," she said.

She wants the store to be geared toward people who live on the island, who might be shopping for themselves or searching for a gift for a friend. Some people may think of her as a "Times Square" person, she said, but The Islander is different because the south end is different.

The Islander was already bustling in her first few days, but before she opened, Cereceda said she had a lot of people stop in because they had loved the previous store, Discovery Bay, and wanted to see what had replaced their favorite spot.

"They told me how much they loved it, and they were happy to see it was another nice store," she said. "It was a really nice tribute to them."

Her fellow retailers in Santini Plaza have also welcomed her. Coming into a new place where there are existing businesses can be a challenge, but so far they have been enthusiastic for her, she said.

The Islander is open seven days a week, from 9 9 p.m. During the holidays, hours may be extended.

"My mother was an islander. Everything I know about owning a shop is from my parents," Cereceda said. "It's filled with all the stuff she liked, colorful and artsy but not too much."



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