UNIVERSITY PARK -- Miller's Dutch Haus Furniture and Detwiler's Farm Market will subdivide a former University Park Sweetbay to open new locations for each of their stores.
The two Sarasota County-based retailers will now enter the University Park market, offering easy access to Manatee County residents for produce and American handmade furniture. Both stores expect to open around Dec. 1, at 6100 N. Lockwood Ridge Road.
For Detwiler's, this will be its third area location, which includes 6000 Palmer Ranch Blvd., Sarasota and 1250 U.S. 41 Bypass, Venice.
"The Millers were friends of ours for a long time and they need a little bit more room and we need to pull a little pressure off our Sarasota store," said owner and founder Henry Detwiler Sr. Though he chuckled, he's not sure if the Sarasota location will be any less busy.
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The Detwilers looked at potential locations along Manatee Avenue in West Bradenton and Cortez Road, he said, but decided not to go there because they felt it might be too far and they weren't sure whether Bradenton was familiar with their store. Instead, they opted for the former Sweetbay, which closed in 2009. Detwiler's and Miller's will split the 40,000-square-foot space in the Parkway Collection shopping center, which is managed by Sarasota's Rivolta Group.
The larger space will enable Detwiler's to offer more organic and natural food items, double the produce offerings, have a bakery, seafood and start a butcher shop.
"I grew up in the butcher shop," Detwiler said. "My grandfather was a butcher and hopefully, we'll have an old-fashioned butcher area."
Miller's, located in Sarasota's Amish neighborhood Pinecraft, said they are quite busy at the store on 3737 Bahia Vista St., and thought it was
time to open a second shop.
"We do have a market of customers from that area, so we're hoping to reach out to more people from that area that don't know what we have available," said Sarah Miller, who co-owns the store with her husband, Tim Miller.
The store carries handmade furniture built in Ohio's Amish country, offering custom orders and installations.
The 7,000-square-foot Pinecraft location will remain open while Miller's expands to its 20,000-square-foot space, Sarah Miller said. The Millers' daughter Jaimie Miller will manage the new location.
The University Park store will allow Miller's to offer an expanded upholstery area, wall beds, display more styles and do more custom orders for home offices, home entertainment and kitchens, Miller said.
"We just hope to fit a need in the community and offer an American-made product," she said.
Charles Schelle, Herald business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7095. Follow him on Twitter @ImYourChuck.