First came gift shop Declaration. Then came clothing store Hello B. What do you get when you combine these two sister stores together under one refurbished roof? A reinvented declaration, or in this case, Declaration & Co. The Marketplace now open at 63 San Marco Avenue. In the beginning, Declaration was born from Lara Kocerka’s wish to open a gift shop. “Starting from my combined love of cuteness and thoughtful gifts, my loving and supportive family helped me give it a shot,” she explained. Five years and much growth later, it’s a family affair. Kocerka works hand-in-hand with her husband and mother, day in and day out. “We have the greatest customers in the world and work hard to create a magical experience for everyone that walks through the door,” said Kocerka. Today, the experience became that much more magical. “After having two locations for two years and launching a wholesale brand sold in over 40 stores and counting, we realized it was time to find a bigger space of our own to hold both stores and our wholesale offices,” she said. Now, everything becomes one, with the help of a newly renovated space. Declaration & Co.: The Marketplace will remain home to sweetly designed Florida merchandise and one of a kind finds from around the globe or in the words of Kocerka, “something special for everyone.” The Marketplace also includes a candy shop, paying tribute to the building’s original use as a candy store and tobacco shop, when it was first erected in 1925. The new candy store, Mr. George’s Candy Corner, has been named after the building’s friendly ghost.
Owners Lara and Stephen were featured in our Feb/Mar issue in our Upswing of Uptown San Marco story. We interviewed them in the midst of renovation to get a sneak peek at what the new store would soon become. Their photo below is by Zach Thomas of Monarch Studios.
Declaration & Co: The Marketplace has a little bit of everything. With it’s own unique “anthropologie-esq” style, the store combines gifts, trinkets, home goods, books, food and clothing in all the right ways. Much of the items are completely custom and exclusive to Declaration and Co. So long as it passes the cute test, you will find it here.