From relaxing on the lanai to waking up serenaded by the trumpeting call of sandhill cranes, Floridians are proud to live in their own special world. Driven by their love of the Florida lifestyle, Mark and Michelle Thomas opened Florida Provisions Co. at Waterside Place in late 2022. “We own another concept in St. Pete called Boaters Republic,” says Michelle, “but when we moved to the Bradenton area we wanted to open something local. After visiting the Lakewood Ranch Farmers Market, we knew we had to have a spot here.” 

Florida Provisions Co. stands out from other stores because of its all-inclusive shopping experience. Guests can browse beachwear or kick back at the bar, which features four beers and two wines on tap as well as a large selection of refrigerated local craft beer from breweries such as Sun King, Green Bench and Big Storm Brewing Co. “We wanted to create a community and have more of a relationship with our customers,” Michelle adds. Seasonal Ranch Nite Wednesdays, the Lakewood Ranch Farmers Market and the shop’s own beer tasting events encourage patrons to drop in and socialize at this welcoming neighborhood establishment. Because Waterside is an open-container area, visitors can enjoy a drink to go as they stroll around the lake, another element that attracted the couple to open a business there.

Photography by Wyatt Kostygan

A native Floridian, Michelle called upon her appreciation of coastal aesthetics in designing the lifestyle shop’s interior. Light shines throughout the open space, and white paint allows beachy elements like woven chandeliers and wooden tabletops to pop. Like Florida itself, the shop is a picture-perfect backdrop to guests’ lives. “We have everything for your Florida lifestyle,” says Michelle, “like flip flops, sunglasses and locally-made food.” The couple sources organic eats and drinks, such as Old Florida Gourmet Products’ chips and salsa as well as Florida Pure Sea Salt, which is harvested in-state. Michelle and Mark take every aspect of life in this unique corner of the country into consideration, curating a selection of necessities including polarized sunglasses to aid boaters and fishers and Yeti coolers, which work wonders in withstanding the summer heat. 

The shop’s clientele includes everyone from local young families to snowbirds and tourists. “Lakewood Ranch is a multigenerational community,” she adds, “and we have a little bit of everything, whether you need clothes, a hostess gift or want to come have a beer and talk about your latest catch.”