McCarver & Moser, a St. Armands fixture for 35 years, will move to Sarasota’s Main Street after Christmas.
St. Armands staple McCarver & Moser is moving off the Circle to downtown Sarasota.
Roland Moser and Everett McCarver opened their store in 1980, and it has remained a Circle fixture ever since. In 2008, McCarver died, and Moser now runs the store on his own. He plans to move to the Jewel building on Main Street after Christmas.
“I think it will be more favorable to be downtown, not to be on the Circle,” Moser said. “The circle is going to be more and more restaurants, and there’s only the stores left that are getting more and more tourist-oriented.”
Moser said when he opened McCarver & Moser, St. Armands was not the same shopping destination it is today.
“We used to have customers on St. Armands who came to shop from Tampa, Orlando and Naples, and now it’s the opposite,” Moser said. “People from here are going to Tampa, Orlando and Naples to shop. It’s not what it used to be.”
Other than a new location, Moser plans for nothing else to change. Like his store on the Circle, Moser’s new store in Sarasota will be on a corner. He also hopes to retain the same employees and customers.
“Some customers step in, but most of our customers are people who have known us a long time and have been shopping with us for a long time,” Moser said. “There will be some customers we will miss, but I think it’s a smart move for us. We are destination shopping. Our customers come to shop here because they know us, and that won’t change.”
Moser said that although some of his regular customers don’t want his store to move, most are pleased with the upcoming change.
“A lot of my customers who live on the mainland do not like to come to the Circle in season,” Moser said. “They say it’s way too crowded for them, and there’s no parking. For our customers who live on Longboat Key, they have to go to the mainland at one point or another anyway. It just makes sense.”
Moser is definite about his move to Main Street, but he has not ruled out also keeping his store on St. Armands.
“I may keep both locations, but I don’t know yet,” he said.
Join the Neighborhood! Our 100% local content helps strengthen our communities by delivering news and information that is relevant to our readers. Support independent local journalism by joining the Observer's new membership program — The Newsies — a group of like-minded community citizens, like you. Be a Newsie.