Former Hoosier shopkeeper brings a unique gift to Mount Dora
Dianne’s Tasteful Indulgences of Mount Dora, Fla., is located at 237 W. Fourth Ave., Suite 4. The shop is open Monday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information about Dianne’s Tasteful Indulgences, call (352) 383-9197, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or log on to www.diannesonline.com.
In one section of this brightly decorated shop are gourmet coffees and the opposite end is a selection of organic bath and body products. Finding similarities between products featured at Dianne’s Tasteful Indulgences in Mount Dora, Fla., is not apparent at first — that is until the notion of the gift basket is realized.
Everything in Dianne Berilla’s store is prominently featured in her elegantly created gift baskets. While the eclectic collection of hard-to-find products at the shop is exquisitely gourmet, succinctly describing it proved to be a dilemma for the owner.
“How do I come up with a name for the shop when I have many different things,” Berilla jokes.
Selecting a proper store moniker wasn’t too difficult for Berilla and neither was opening the Mount Dora shop in 2008. Originally from Munster, Ind., she owned a comparable store in Hoosier country for more than 20 years.
“Our store in Munster was very similar,” she said. “People typically came in our store for gifts since we did a lot of gift baskets.”
While tourists to Mount Dora can enjoy browsing the endless supply of gourmet items — scone mixes, loose teas, smoked salmon pate, sugar-free jams, infused olive oils, soy candles — Berilla’s specialty and first love is the gift basket.
As a CEO of a credit union for 36 years, she started a gift-basket business to give herself a creative outlet. The fun hobby quickly compounded interest and before she knew it, she was creating hundreds and hundreds of gift baskets, including a select partnership with the local hospital to hand out gift baskets to new parents.
“One Christmas I made 900 baskets by myself, plus working at the store,” she said.
While her creative flair makes the gift baskets shine, it’s her careful selection of products that set them apart. Berilla vigorously shops the gourmet scene to ensure her stock is not only the best on the market but unique. She features items that can’t be found anywhere else and is constantly introducing new selections weekly.
“In the food line, I keep what sells,” she said. “So, I am always changing to what is selling at the time.”
Her elegant touch for gift basket arrangements is also evident in the store’s eye-catching displays. Using iconic pieces of Americana, such as a pedal sewing machine and roll-top desk, she creates attractive displays of different gourmet products. A centerpiece of her store’s prized antique displays is her grandmother’s 1903 wood-burning kitchen stove.
Berilla assembles baskets for a variety of occasions, including get well, sympathy, thank-you, appreciation, birthdays and holidays. An average gift basket carries a price tag of about $75, but one of her most expensive creations to date was a lofty $850.
“While I try to cater to the locals with the gift baskets, I’m hoping Mount Dora tourists will enjoy the gourmet coffees, jams, jellies and other assorted items,” she said.