Procure, Bouzy add to Hyde Park Village's eclectic mix

Hyde Park Village, a collection of over 60 shops, services and restaurants often referred to as the “hub” of the historic Hyde Park neighborhood, continues to add to its roster of unique retail and gastronomic establishments.

Procure by the Women’s Creative, located on the second level of Village Circle, in front of the park’s famous fountain, is a new retail concept where women-owned, product-based businesses can showcase their wares. Browsing among the many small-batch and handmade items such as skin care, jewelry, personal accessories, home décor and children’s clothing, the word “eclectic” comes to mind. It’s the perfect place to purchase things you won’t see anywhere else.

At street level and just around the corner from Procure, on Snow Avenue, the word
eclectic also seems to apply to the newest concept from the Cru Hospitality Group, the parent company of Cru Cellars. Bouzy is a charming, intimate champagne and cocktail bar offering small plates and entrees created by well-known Tampa chef, Eric Bach. Sommelier-trained bartenders serve up sparkling and still wines and champagnes from a curated menu of over 200 selections. You can people-watch outside from café tables, meet old friends and new ones in the lively bar and lounge, or opt for a romantic evening in the champagne cellar, which can also be reserved for receptions and private parties.

Since being acquired by WS Development, based in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, in 2013, the six-block Hyde Park Village district has undergone a major transformation into a destination lifestyle center, including the restoration of its iconic fountain. Hyde Park Village was named Tampa’s “Best of the Best – Retail Project of the Year” in 2019 and 2020 by NAIOP, known as the Commercial Real Estate Development Association.

Both Jen Bingham, co-owner of Cru Hospitality Group, and Christina Weaver, co-
creator of The Women’s Creative, mentioned their confidence in WS Holdings’
management of Hyde Park Village as deciding factors in locating there.

Christina WeaverA Tampa native, Christina Weaver’s career and marriage had taken her to St. Louis, where she started supporting women in developing countries by selling their fair trade items online and through pop-up markets. That effort turned into The Women’s Creative, which Weaver describes in its current form as an “event producer.” The Procure locations in St. Louis and Tampa represent the retail arm of the company.

Weaver has deep roots in Tampa.

“I’m from a big Lebanese family, our business is Kimmins Contracting Corporation,” she says. “We’ve been in Tampa a hundred years.”

More than just a retail shop, Procure is about making a positive impact.

“The small business scene in Tampa is thriving…Tampa is booming,” Weaver says. “I wanted to have a presence here and to give women-owned small businesses a chance to get out in front of people and tell their stories. Every woman has a story. Within those stories, they solve problems or address issues that concern them, and they often do that through their art and their passion. The woman who creates our skincare products had eczema and couldn’t find products that were safe for her. The swimsuits Procure sells are handmade of recycled material, and for each one sold a portion of the price goes towards saving the coral reefs. We curate women’s products and help tell their stories."

Jen Bingham has a story. Her career started on what she calls “the wine side of the
business," working in wine bars in Chicago. After college, Bingham wanted to “do it right” so she became a sommelier, a recognized industry designation of a trained and
knowledgeable wine professional.

After meeting at college in Ohio and marrying in Chicago, Jen and her husband
Torrey decided to start their new life in warmer weather and thought they’d “give Florida a shot.” They checked out several towns on the Gulf Coast and found Tampa had the best vibe. Jen found a job as a wine rep with a Tampa Bay distributor.

In 2010, they opened Cru Cellars in Palma Ceia. The rest, as they say, is history. Jen
and Torrey Bingham are now the co-owners of Cru Hospitality Group, which includes
locations at Armature Works, the Westshore Marina District and their newest concept,
Bouzy, named after a village in the Champagne region of France.Bouzy in Hyde Park Village is the latest concept from the Cru Hospitality Group.

Bouzy’s twenty-page menu reads like a gourmand’s delight, encompassing everything from sweet potato waffles with crème fraiche, to lobster bao buns, a personal obsession, to filet mignon. Your favorite bubbly, wine, or cocktail can be served with five different kinds of caviar.

Courtney Bond, recently promoted to director of events and marketing of the Cru Cellars Group, got Bouzy up and running as general manager. She says the Hyde Park Village location is the perfect fit for the restaurant’s clientele who appreciate being able to order nineteen different wines by the glass including hard-to-find Pet Nap style, a younger more natural champagne with less sugar.

“We don’t have happy hour at Bouzy, we have bubble hour,” Bond says.

For more information, go to Procure by the Women's Creative and Bouzy.
Enjoy this story? Sign up for free solutions-based reporting in your inbox each week.

Read more articles by Pamela Varkony.

Pamela Varkony’s non-fiction topics range from politics to economic development to women's empowerment. A feature writer and former columnist for Tribune Publishing, Pamela's work has appeared in newspapers, magazines, and in PBS and NPR on-air commentaries. Her poetry has been published in the New York Times. Recognized by the Pennsylvania Women's Press Association with an "Excellence in Journalism" award, Pamela often uses her writing to advocate for women's rights and empowerment both at home and abroad. She has twice traveled to Afghanistan on fact-finding missions. Pamela was named the 2017 Pearl S. Buck International Woman of Influence for her humanitarian work. Born and raised in rural Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Pamela often weaves the lessons learned on those backcountry roads throughout her stories.