SUN PHOTO/LOUISE BOLGER
Patty and Larry Geist named their store after their
new granddaughters nickname.
By Louise Bolger
sun staff writer
If something is sweet, its pleasing to the taste,
to the mind and can also create pleasurable feelings.
If you like sweets (who doesnt?) and if you like
wine (its always 5 oclock somewhere), a new
shop in Holmes Beach may just be what you and your taste
buds are craving.
Patty and Larry Geist opened Sweet Peas Samplings
in December of last year, cutting short their early retirement.
After a year of walking Anna Marias beaches, they
decided to put their years of business ownership experience
to good use by opening a local business reflecting the
Florida lifestyle they love. They rented space near the
Holmes Beach Post Office before they knew exactly what
type of retail store they wanted. The only thing Patty
Geist knew for sure was that she wanted fresh bulk candy
you could purchase by the piece or the pound, something
she herself had been looking for on the Island.
Eventually they found a company in St. Petersburg specializing
in fruit wines made with 100 percent Florida fruit. After
sampling the unique wines made with blueberries, oranges,
grapefruits, mangos, raspberries, guavas, key limes and
other Florida fruits, they were convinced these wines
were the perfect companion to other sweets. The Geists
say fruit wines are more of a personal taste, similar
to personal preferences in food, and their flavors explode
in your mouth when combined with different cuisines. In
order to introduce their wine selections, which range
between $16 and $26 per bottle, they offer samples at
their wine tasting bar to individuals and groups.
In addition to quality chocolates made in Tampa and fruit
wine, the Geists have stocked their attractive shop
with sweets of all kinds with a Florida theme. If you
like key lime you can purchase key lime cookies, key lime
honey with key lime oils, key lime pie filling, key lime
candy and key lime juice. They also carry hand cut Moravian
cookies, the worlds thinnest cookies, in a variety
of flavors and sizes. Longing for pecan pie? You can buy
the filling at Sweet Peas and make your own, or
satisfy your sweet tooth with saltwater taffy made in
Clearwater, truffles or toffee, all shipped fresh to Anna
And in keeping with the Florida theme, Sweet Peas
carries Keller-Charles palm tree dishes, glasses, pitchers
and napkins in addition to a nice selection of wine and
champagne glasses. Organic teas and Costa Rican coffee
are available, as well as mugs and tea bag holders, salad
dressings and pepper jelly.
Sweet Peas Samplings is a great place to pickup
a hostess gift, have a gift basket designed or grab a
unique bottle of wine for sunset. And bring the little
ones who will enjoy the decorative carousel horse and
For luck, Patty and Larry Geist named their new business
after their new granddaughters nick name, and based
on the number of customers theyve been serving,
its working. A plaque on wall of the shop may say
it all, "wine improves with age the older
I get the more I like it." Sweet Peas Samplings
is a work in progress that will also undoubtedly improve
Sweet Pea's Samplings
5350 Gulf Dr. Holmes Beach
Open every day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.