Metro Inclusive Health is readying to debut a brand new concept in the heart of the Grand Central District next door to the LGBTQ Welcome Center in the birthplace of St. Pete Pride. Its name: inclusivitea. (follow on Instagram).
Located at 2235 Central Avenue, the former Metro Retro and Retail is becoming a progressive sex-positive shop that will also serve up tea and coffee.
Additionally, a portion of the 3,800 square foot space was converted into a satellite health center with two exam rooms and waiting area offering HIV and STI testing, prevention with PrEP/nPEP and linkage to over 100 services and programs offered by Metro Inclusive Health at four Tampa Bay locations. Access to HIV care services are provided with partner, CAN Community Health.
inclusivitea. continues METRO’s work across the Tampa Bay region
Having already prescribed PrEP to thousands of patients across Tampa Bay, METRO has witnessed first-hand its ability to help prevent the spread of HIV, particularly among at-risk populations. METRO pioneered the “Test n’ PrEP” and “TelePrEP” programs whereby patients are able to receive PrEP prescriptions in about an hour, at little to no cost and with or without insurance.
The adult toy store will feature an array of meticulously curated items.
Progressive sex shops “can serve for many people as a refuge,” said Lynn Comella, an associate professor of gender and sexuality studies at the University of Nevada, in an interview with Melissa Pandika for Mic.com. At shops such as inclusivitea., “customers not only buy product, but have an entire encounter around sexuality.”
Curating a selection of products exclusive to the shop
The retail portion curates items exclusive to inclusivitea. including designer lubes, condoms and a progressive sex shop with a selection of highly rated adult toys and “starter” items for the curious. Purposefully kitsch swag ranging from Lizzo and Cher on candles to Bee Arthur and Dolly Parton on cutting boards are the last-minute gift you’ve been looking for.
Metro Inclusive Health is a 501(c)(3) organization committed to providing quality health and wellness services that are inclusive, relevant, supportive, and represent the lifetime continuum of the diverse people in our community.
inclusivitea. will offer indoor and outdoor workspace for visitors in a modern and stylish setting with high-speed internet and comfortable seating throughout. A mural and brand conceptualized by METRO was brought to life by the Vitale Bros. on the building’s exterior.
inclusivitea. features a mural by the Vitale Bros.
“As the former home of METRO’s long-time thrift store, the closing and mural’s addition generated much buzz and speculation about what was next. We want to keep that discussion going,” said Brian Bailey, the organization’s Chief Marketing & Experience Officer. “This is our opportunity to create conversations about sexual health by making the inclusivitea. experience a conversation piece unto itself.”
Over the course of the global pandemic, METRO has pivoted and found new ways to serve the Tampa Bay region. The nonprofit quickly launched new Telehealth services to reach patients who could no long make in-person office visits. Its St. Pete location also began offering COVID-19 vaccinations to those in need.
The store is set to soft open in the coming week with a grand opening event scheduled for Tuesday, September 14th at 11am. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend for short tours, food and beverage sampling and an opportunity to win one of two gift bags.
Keep up with the latest updates from inclusivitea. by following the concept on Instagram.
How Metro Inclusive Health helps the Tampa Bay region
This isn’t all that METRO provides for the community.
METRO began providing HIV case management back in 1992. Today, the organization provides more than 100 services for the health and wellbeing of the LGBTQ+ community, but available to all, including full-service primary care, prevention, and sexual health and advanced HIV care and treatment with partner CAN.
In 2018, METRO services touched 18,204 people directly, according to a release from the nonprofit.
In addition to its work in St. Petersburg, the nonprofit has a strong presence in the city of Tampa and will soon debut a massive facility at the German American Club in Ybor City.
When the 30,000 square foot restoration and expansion of the facility is completed, METRO will double their impact in the city of Tampa. METRO is building out a 3-story, 15,000 square foot addition to the historic building.
Considered an “industry model,” the nonprofit’s Copay it Forward program has helped provide healthcare to uninsured patients across the state.