Seven new businesses on Park Avenue

Seven shops profiled

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  • | 2:41 p.m. March 27, 2012
Photo by: Andy Ceballos - Chef Matthew Cargo keeps Prato's cuisine fresh and unique.
Photo by: Andy Ceballos - Chef Matthew Cargo keeps Prato's cuisine fresh and unique.
  • Winter Park - Maitland Observer
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When Park Avenue businesses shut their doors, it’s a shock. But it makes way for a new crop of businesses. In the last year, about a dozen new stores have joined the Avenue.

“I don’t think that this year is any different than any other year,” said Debra Hendrickson, vice president of the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce. “I think that, having been on the Avenue for 20 plus years, I’ve seen a lot of businesses come and go, it’s very cyclical.”

Here’s a look at some of the Avenue’s newest tenants:


Located at 124. N. Park Ave., Prato features Italian cuisine. The restaurant has indoor and outdoor seating, and has two wood-burning ovens from Naples, Italy. Tim Noelke, co-owner of Prato, said his restaurant’s cuisine draws its inspiration from many regions of Italy.

“Our cuisine is Italian,” he said. “It is kind of northern Italian to Mediterranean cuisine.

We’re unique in that we do all of our pastas in-house here.”

The restaurant has been on the Avenue since Nov. 15. He said they’re known for their meatballs, which come on a bed of polenta, with some cipollini onions on top.

Noelke said Park Avenue provides a great deal of traffic and visibility for the business.

“I think Park Avenue is becoming more of a destination for dining. There’s a lot more restaurants on the Avenue,” he said. “I think overall, it’s a great place to be.”


The Ancient Olive

Located at 324 N. Park Ave., the Ancient Olive sells olive oils imported from around the world and unique balsamic vinegars. The Olive opened in October and prides itself in being a tasting room where one can try products before buying them. Bryan Behling, co-owner of the Ancient Olive, said the business was created to be a complement to the existing Avenue business he co-owns, the Spice and Tea Exchange.

“We have the freshest olive oil available in the world,” Behling said. “We harvest from the northern hemisphere and southern hemisphere, so at any given time, our oils are only maybe three to fourth months old.”

He said all of their olive oils have a health certificate, which allows them to provide customers with nutritional information. Prices for the oils are $12 for a 200-milliliter bottle, $17 for a 375-milliliter bottle and $29 for a 750-milliliter bottle. Visit for more information.


Located at 400 S. Park Ave., Charyli is a women’s clothing boutique that aims to bring Los Angeles flair to Winter Park. The store opened in November and features clothing, accessories and jewelry. An example of a clothing line the store carries is Viereck, which is the clothing line of Deborah Viereck, a women’s clothing designer from Los Angeles.

Lisa West, owner of Charyli, said this is the first business she has owned, but that her college training and her experience as a former junior sportswear buyer for Burdines have helped her to run this business. She also said she wanted to open a business that could cater to a wide range of customers.

“That was kind of my thinking in opening this. I want college students to be able to shop; I want high school kids to be able to shop,” she said.

Visit Charyli on Facebook.


Located at 324 N. Park Ave., Grace features a range of fine art, European dinnerware, linens, pewter and gifts. It opened in November and shares a space with the Ancient Olive, with some of Grace owner Lael Dewahl’s artwork featured in that store. Dewahl said the type of artwork she sells focuses on impressionism, plein air and still-lifes. The prices range from $400 to $7,000.

“We’re unique in that we specialize in more traditional art. Plein air, impressionism, still lifes,” she said. “We don’t carry as much of the modern, contemporary, abstract works, because we’ve found that that’s not our customer.”

Dewahl also said she has been looking into the recent plan to create a business improvement district to promote Park Avenue.

“I think that any time the merchants, the city and the landlords are willing to come together to create a vision for Park Avenue, it’s a good thing,” she said.

Dewahl said she would like to look further into the specifics of the plan, but is generally supportive of the idea.

“A plan needs to be put in place because Winter Park does not draw enough of the tourist crowd in the summertime, and quite frankly, the Avenue needs more traffic; we need more foot traffic,” she said.


Rosey Wray’s Roost

Located at 515 N. Park Ave., this store features a variety of unique gifts and home décor. The store opened in October and includes lamps, outdoor hanging mounts and seasonal replacements, dolls and furniture. Trina Spinelli, co-owner of Rosey Wray’s Roost, said she and her mother got the idea for her store by traveling across the U.S. and other countries and through visiting small towns to see how local businesses promoted their products.

Inside the store features a variety of rooms with different themes. One example is a room with painted green walls that Spinelli referred to as the garden room because it has many items specific to home décor.

“There are things that you can use to decorate the inside of your home. There’s also things that you can use to decorate the outside of your home,” she said.

She said she hopes to cater to everyone with her store’s offerings.


Sweet Traditions

Located at 212 N. Park Ave., Sweet Traditions Bakery and Café features a range of traditional French bakery items, such as pastries and cookies. This location, which has been open since August, also has soups and pressed sandwiches. There is a full menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and the café features indoor and outdoor seating.

Christine Chrocher, co-owner of Sweet Traditions, said she has had a great deal of experience running this type of business. Crocher has owned bakeries in Paris, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. She co-owns one in Winter Garden.

“We provide a casual dining experience,” she said. “We use all natural ingredients. It’s faster than a sit-down restaurant, so you can either get your cup of soup and enjoy that and go, your coffee and your pastry, enjoy that and go, or you can sit and have a full breakfast or lunch, which we do really well.”


Peter Millar

Located at 215 N. Park Ave., Peter Millar is a clothing store owned by H. Craig Delongy. Delongy is the first retailer for Peter Millar and owns one of three stores in the U.S. that carries the brand — the other two are owned by Peter Millar himself.

The Peter Millar brand features cashmere sweaters, sports shirts, sweaters, knit golf and polo shirts, footwear and outerwear. Delongy also owns John Craig Clothier, which he named after his grandfather, and Current, both on the Avenue. He also owns other stores not located on the Avenue.

Peter Millar is a company founded by Chris Knott in 2001, and started with the sale of cashmere sweaters. Delongy said it’s grown to be much more than that today.

“Today, it’s grown to a full collection, from boxer shorts and shoes, to sport coats, neckwear, dress trousers and sportswear,” he said. “They’ve been known as a very good sportswear company.”

Delongy also said he has become familiar with the recent proposal on Park Avenue to create a business improvement district.

“I would probably say that it’s a good idea based on putting the plan into effect and it becoming an effective marketing plan,” he said. “No one likes to spend advertising money and for it not to work.”

He said he would like to see more details regarding the plan and how the cost will be spread among businesses.



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