In other retail and restaurant news:
In happier news, after three decades operating restaurants at Clearwater Beach, the Frenchy's restaurant group has acquired a location 10 miles north in Dunedin. The new restaurant will take over for the Island Outpost restaurant at 466 Causeway Blvd. Island Outpost will operate for a time under the Frenchy's management, but expect a major renovation and re-opening as a Frenchy's later this year.
Fitlife Food fans have reason to cheer. The fast-growing healthy meals company is adding more locations. The next is at 504 S. Howard Ave., just north of West Swann Avenue. For those who aren't familiar, Fitlife scratch makes uber-healthy meals in its kitchens and packages a staggering variety handily made with certain fat, calorie and carb contents. Think Nutrisystem, but food you would like to eat: Oatmeal Brulee for breakfast, a chicken Gyro for lunch, and carrot cake with cream cheese frosting for a snack. The Howard Avenue location should open mid-September, and look for more locations in places like West Shore, Brandon and Pinellas County.
Trend Alert: Vitamin waters exploded into a major category years ago, so it's only a matter of time before producers of other foods start wondering how to infuse some health cachet. So be on the lookout for these new food products: vitamin gum, vitamin chocolate and chocolate with probiotics - because who doesn't want chocolate to, well, improve digestion? Anyone? (Chocolate-infused wine has been popular for some time, so maybe this is just a product extension?) Some niche versions are starting to circulate in other countries, and there are varieties on Amazon, so look for them to start showing up soon on candy aisles near you.
Doesn't thinking about Prince William and Princess Kate's soon-to-arrive baby just make you want to eat cheese? Well, do I have news for you. Whole Foods is publicizing the launch of the Westminster William and Kate Royal Addition Cheddar cheese, described as an all-natural white cheddar with a "creamy yet savory" flavor, made on farms in England and aged 12 months. By my math, that means the cheese started life before anyone knew Kate was pregnant, but whatever. Whole Foods is selling wheels of the cheese for $9.99 a pound.