THE STORE AND OUR HISTORY
The first thing you’ll notice when you walk through our front doors is "we are different"! Not your normal fare you expect to see at the beach. Although you will find those necessities you need to help you stay comfortable when you are playing in the sun and sand, what you will also find is a unique and funky collection of local art and antiquities all sorced locally from pickers and artists.
We have one of a kind post cards, handmade bracelets and necklaces, custom t shirts, handmade art made from shells and refuse found on the beach. You will also find funky chairs, tables, lamps , odds and sods, that you cannot find elsewhere. These artists and pickers are the heart and soul of Ginny's and Jane E's. We hope you find that item that calls your name.
We have to thank Ginny and Jane for their inspiration. These are two sisters that brought their two strengths together. Ginny had a antique shop at Holmes Beach, but wanted something more. Jane was not involved in a business, but worked on a farm with her family. She loved cooking and baking. The two got together and took a big step forward. They decided to go into business together, but the question was where? They started their search for a large enough location to give them both what they needed. That was not going to be easy here on the island. They needed a large enough space, to amply load in the art and antiquities that Ginny wanted to show. Jane needed space for an entirely different pupose. She needed a kitchen large enough to have a baking area, plus refridgeration and lots of ovens.They came upon the Old IGA Store in the city of Anna Maria. Now this was an iconic location with a tremendous connection to the community. An IGA that had seen Ernie Cagnina own and operate very successfully for 48 years. Ernie Cagnina was an entregal part of Anna Maria for years, but before opening the store in 1946, he was part of the US Army force that invaded Normandy on D Day that helped shape the world we live in today. He had before that taken a stab at baseball, a sport that remained a favorite his entire life, but a career that ended after an arm injury. He ran his store successfully for many years, but always focused on giving back. He was the first to help a family in need, someone who had fallen on a tough time in their lives. He also entered local politics, when he saw a need for it much later in his life. In fact he was 66 years old when he decided to enter local politics for the first time. After all, he was encouraged to run for mayor by Anna Maria citizens when they were worried for their local community. When they saw what was happening in other beach communities around Florida, the erecting of huge condo's, the loss of residential areas. He entered the mayors race when his beloved City Pier, one that he had played on as a kid was falling apart. The local Police force was in disarray.He had decided a long time ago as a local business man to stay clear of local politics, that it was hard to take sides of issues in a small community. But things were changing in a way that did not lay out a good future for the town he loved, so he entered the Mayors race in the fall of 75. He won and was mayor for Anna Maria from 1976 to 1988, 6 consecutive terms. He corrected the policing issues, raised money to repair and add a restaurant to the City pier and the residential community we live in today is the community Ernie envisioned for the future. A residential community that visitors and fulltime residents can enjoy together. Ernie was always known to have a cigar in hand or mouth. Some of the longtime residents say they can still see him, standing with cigar in mouth, talking about what was happening in Anna Maria that day. Ernie passed away on August 23rd, 1994, but left all of us a legacy of how one can impact those in his community in such a positive manner. All residents in Anna Maria can thank Ernie Cagnina and other same minded leaders of his day, for the community they live in today.
After a short unsuccessful attempt of the new owners to keep the IGA up and running as Ernie had done for so long, the building sat empty. Now this was the location that the girls had sought after. But was it available?, that was the question. Would this be something that Ernies son John and his wife Carol, would agree to see in the location that John had grown up in. I am sure this was a tough decison for them to make, so much history, so many family memories. We assume the the conversation was a good one for the sisters, as they were given the green light by the Cagnina's to start a new chapter in this storied location. In January 2009, Ginny and Jane retired. Jane moved back north and Ginny lives in Bradenton. The concept of what they started thrives on, and will hopefully remain here for the next 50 years, keeping this location with it's long storied history in this community, alive.
Here are some links about Ernie.