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Home and Garden show offers ‘one-stop shopping’

By Staff | Feb 15, 2010

The annual Cape Coral Winter Home and Garden Show offered a range of home improvement products and services in one convenient location this weekend.
The show, held from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Coralwood Shopping Center, featured local businesses specializing in flooring, roofing, counters and cabinets, air conditioning and heating, storm protection, windows, kitchen and bath remodeling, and water fountains and
pools, among others.
Screen enclosures were what brought Joe and Tina Agostinelli out to the show Saturday. Residents of Cape Coral for four months, the couple had with them their children, 1-year-old Lidia and 8-month-old Vince. It was the first time they had attended the event.
“To see if we can get some pricing on a screen enclosure for our foyer,” Tina Agostinelli said.
They stopped by one screening company’s booth, picked up information and got a quote on how much the home project would cost, and decided to wander around to see what else there was. Agostinelli said she would recommend the show to anyone planning any home improvements.
“Because you get everything under one roof,” she said. “It’s convenient. It’s sort of a one-stop shopping.”
Saturday was the second time Larry and Cindy Griebel, seasonal residents from Ohio, have attended by the Cape show. They visited last year’s event, and when they saw it was going on over the weekend again, they decided to stop by. The couple is looking to remodel the kitchen in their Cape home.
“Just thought we’d stop in and see what they had,” Larry Griebel said, adding that the show gives them ideas for what they could do with the kitchen.
A mason contractor and the owner of a home insulation company, Griebel is no stranger to home and garden shows. In fact, the same weekend the Cape show was going on he had an employee working a booth at a big show in Ohio. Griebel said the events give companies an opportunity to check out the competition and see what is new in their industry.
“Just to see what everyone else is doing,” he said.
Griebel called the Cape show a success for its size and scope.
“It’s nice. It’s smaller,” he said, noting that the Ohio event lasts for 10 days. “This is a nice, small show.”
Cindy Griebel added that the local event is a plus for Cape merchants and the city.
“I think it’s good for the community,” she said. “Keep the money in the Cape, as they say.”
For Craig Stevens, owner of Pacific Pools at 903 S.E. Eighth Terrace, that was a driving force behind his attendance at the weekend show. In business in the Cape for 23 years, he said this was the first year he has had a booth at the event and his first time ever participating in a home and garden show.
“I know people in the Cape don’t like going to Fort Myers for things,” Stevens said. “A lot of people like to deal in the Cape.”
Being the only company in the Cape that he is aware of with a warehouse full of spas and hot tubs, he decided to sign up for the event to give his company some exposure and let residents know they have a local business they can go to for their recreational water needs.
“We”ve gotten a great response,” Stevens said. “We’ve had a lot of interest. People came back two or three times.”
With some possible sales on the horizon, he added that he would “absolutely” recommend the show to business owners in the area.
“You can’t go wrong,” Stevens said.
Peter Simeone, co-owner of Roof Smart of SW Florida, agreed. Located at 1408 Vendome Court, the company is co-owned and operated by Johnny and Misty Gillam.
“It’s a good way to get the word out about our business,” Simeone said. “It’s a hands-on way of advertising, rather than seeing an ad.”
This was the first time the company has participated in the Cape event, but it has had booths in other home and garden shows in Fort Myers and Naples. He said the events also provide an opportunity to network and talk with other businesses in their industry.
As for the response from the public Saturday, Simeone said it was positive.
“People that do come up like it better when they can see a product,” he said, adding that the company would definitely participate in next year’s show.
The Cape event also had booths featuring cell phones, sunglasses, pressure washers and beds, even teeth whitening. Scott Carkeet and Janice Rearick of Priority Smiles said they participate in multiple home and garden shows.
They said it gives their business exposure and adds something different to a show.
“It’s kind of a unique thing that they don¹t see all the time,” Carkeet said.
He added that the shows give them an opportunity to talk to the public about their service. Many may not consider teeth whitening because the procedure is cosmetic and typically not covered by insurance, he said, but at the shows they get to explain how affordable their service can be.
Rearick said the shows also offer them a chance to talk about some reasons for teeth whitening, such as for a job interview, and they can inform the public of other services they offer, including “teeth whitening parties.”
One of the reasons Cape resident Mary Prudhomme DeLodder attended the show Saturday was to see what’s new of the market. Her third or fourth time at the local event, she had not been in a few years and decided to stop by “just to browse.”
“I think it’s great for the community because a lot of people are doing remodeling instead of buying,” Prudhomme DeLodder said.
She added that she picked up information on wood flooring.
“When it’s time to replace the carpeting, I think I’ll possibly put wood flooring in,” Prudhomme DeLodder said.
The Coralwood Shopping Center is at 2301 Del Prado Blvd. S.