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The campaign to save Jack Kerouac’s St. Pete home and much more with Jeff Schorr

Megan Holmes

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The St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce presents: Coronavirus Impact Insights. Click the play arrow above to watch the full video.

On this episode, Jeff Schorr, owner of Craftsman House joins Chris Steinocher, CEO of the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce and Joe Hamilton, publisher of the St. Pete Catalyst to talk about Craftman House Gallery & Cafe’s operations through Covid-19 and Schorr’s latest project to save Jack Kerouac’s St. Petersburg home.

Schorr, who has lived in St. Petersburg for 30 years, opened the Craftsman House Gallery & Cafe in the Grand Central District 18 years ago. Located in a historic 1918 Arts and Crafts bungalow, Craftsman House exclusively sells handmade good from American artists both local and national. Schorr and artist Leslie Curran opened Truffula Eco-Boutique a few years ago, which sells reusable, eco-friendly and sustainably made products.

While Craftsman House was allowed to stay open during the Covid-19 pandemic, there were many days, Schorr explans, that were zero-dollar retail days. Schorr spent many of those days building online shops for both Craftsman House and Eco-Boutique. But the lull also allowed Craftsman House’s roof to be replaced without interrupting business.

To make up for some of its lost revenue, Schorr says Craftsman House received funds from the city’s Fighting Chance Fund and received an SBA loan.

Schorr says the Covid-19 pandemic has taken the wind out of the sails of many upcoming projects, including the eventual opening of Sunshine City Arts, which is slated to sell artworks by St. Petersburg artists in the Pier marketplace. The Pier’s opening scheduled for May 30 was postponed indefinitely.

But the project with the major deadline is the campaign to save famed author Jack Kerouac’s St. Petersburg home. Schorr and a number of other community members are working to raise money to purchase the house that Kerouac (1922-1969) lived in, where he spent the last years of his life. The group intends to preserve the home as a monument to his legacy.

The hard deadline for fundraising is June 1. You can donate to the cause here: https://www.truffulaeco.com/kerouac-house-st-petersburg

Resources:

Donate to the Jack Kerouac House: https://www.truffulaeco.com/kerouac-house-st-petersburg

Craftman House Gallery’s online store: https://craftsman-house-gallery.myshopify.com/

Truffula Eco-Boutique online store: https://www.truffulaeco.com/

GoFundMe for Jack Kerouc’s home: https://www.gofundme.com/f/memorialize-last-house-of-jack-kerouac

 

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