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Reminders From Marco Island

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Keep in Touch: the little store that could

Long-serving store has gifts, cards, curios, and is a perfect Post Office satellite

Every business starts out as an idea, and in the case of Keep in Touch at the Shops of Marco, it was an idea that fell perfectly into place.

Mike Held and Jiri Mikulinec in the Post Office satellite section of Keep in Touch at the Shops of Marco. In the background, Rob DeCarlo takes care of a customer.

Around 2007, islander Mike Held had decided to move on from his computer software business, and partner-to-be Jiri Mikulinec found himself at a loose end after the Hallmark card store where he worked closed down.

"We had met at Hallmark," says Mike, "and we put our heads together with the idea of creating a company."

Locally harvested honey

They decided on a gift shop, which they felt would be a niche addition to the businesses at the Shops of Marco.

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History of Marco Island, a place locals call true paradise

Tropical, laid-back island is the gem of the Ten Thousand Islands

Aerial view of Marco Island So, you drove over the bridge and marveled at the place. You are not alone. Almost everybody who lives on this 20 square mile island felt the same when they made their first visit.

Water everywhere, the city skyline in the distance, not one, but two welcoming Old Glories, and roads that lead to perhaps Marco's most famous attributes, its beaches.

The island, which was home to indigenous Calusa Indians around 500 A.D., is nevertheless relatively young in terms of development, which only kicked into gear in the 1960s.

The developers, the Deltona Corporation, basically transformed what was the largest of the area's Ten Thousand Islands into a residential (and later, business and tourism) hub by crisscrossing the land with about 100 miles of man-made canals.
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