Sugar Cream Clay is the most delightful business name I have ever heard. The vibrant ceramics shop has been an indie flea standout for the better part of a year, and it will debut its brick-and-mortar shop/workshop on March 31 in the Grand Central District. Owner Allie Case has worked in ceramics for 15+ years, she is both an artist and an educator, and prior to pursuing her passion full time, Case was teaching art in the Hillsborough County School system. Sugar Cream Clay’s vibrant storefront is located at 2939 Central Ave, right next door to fellow women-owned shop Let’s Day Dream. Case had previously featured her ceramics inside the shop, and joined Daydream for their grand opening outdoor market.
“I’m really excited to activate our outdoor area,” said Case. “We have a lot of space here, and there is such a strong handmade, and arts community here.” With the debut of Sugar Cream Clay, several of the most creative folks in the Sunshine City have crafted a powerful woman-owned business block. Just beyond the Sugar Cream Clay and Daydream plaza is Hawthorne Bottle Shoppe.
Sugar Cream Clay is the sweetest ceramics shop in St. Pete
Sugar Cream Clay’s shop has a funky 70s feel. Inside are multi color cinder blocks propping up several shelves that will serve as a mini spotlight space for a rotating array of artists. The very front of the store features a lush green sofa that Case has named “Oscar the Couch,” both for its green velvet fabric, and for the cut she received moving it into the space.
The front of the store and workshop features an old school gumball machine filled with mini disco balls. Case also plans to add small art items made by local creators to the machine. This front section also includes myriad items from interdisciplinary artists can be viewed. Cards, magnets, stickers, and lovely ceramics are all currently on display.
A new space for aspiring makers on Central Ave
What’s easy to sense in every square inch of the creative staff is Case’s passion both for pottery and for the St. Pete community.
“I took off six years to teach in public schools,” said Case. “Teaching is in my soul, but I love being my own boss and doing my own art.”
“There’s a huge clay community here in St. Pete, and being a part of the indie flea really connected me to this fantastic community,” said Case. “I fell in love with this city at the Indie Flea.”
A new dedicate workspace in the Sunshine City
When you proceed on in the intimate ceramics shop you’ll find four throwing wheels. Sugar Cream Clay will host a variety of pottery workshops. They’ll be open for reservations for groups of 2-4, but bigger parties can be accommodated if you reach out to Case in advance. If anyone is interested in signing up for an upcoming class, you can follow Sugar Cream Clay on Instagram, and visit the shop’s website.
“This space kind of fell into my lap,” said Case. “I’d been looking around for a while, and then my friends over at Let’s Daydream let me know this spot was coming available — and I immediately fell in love with the space.”
Case continued, “it was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down, and I’m so happy to be a part of this woman-owned center in the Grand Central District.”
St. Pete has a burgeoning ceramics community
Every piece of furniture inside Sugar Cream Clay is vintage and thrifted. The wall that serves as the background for the wheel throwing area features a funky mural that seems like the intro card to a 70s era variety show that reads “You’re the cherry on top.” Artist Courtney Dodson helped Case complete the piece.
“I’m kind of a naturally anxious person, and art was one of the first places I felt like I could really express myself,” said Case. “This will be a space inclusive of all art forms.”
Curious where the super sweet name “Sugar Cream Clay” comes from? It has caffeinated origins.
A groovy space for creativity
“During the pandemic, when I wasn’t commuting an hour each way to work, I was able to really enjoy the process of making my coffee,” said Case. “I have a French press, and I’ve made so many mugs over the years. It was nice to just sit with them to start the day — so that’s kind of where the name came from. All the little happy components of my morning coffee.”
Side note: Sugar Cream Clay has the grooviest bathroom in the ‘Burg. Hands down. Lime green paint, a flower-shaped mirror, and another sweet message on the full mirror above the sink for a good a selfie moment. It is elite.
Sugar Cream Clay officially opens at 2939 Central Avenue on March 31.
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