Casa Maria

Curious and Beautiful Gifts for Curious and Beautiful People

By Gracie Carricarte

January 2020

Walking by, you might easily miss this store. But since 2011 it has been a shopping gem for its loyal customers. It is literally packed with items, from jewelry with semi-precious stones (think agate and quartz), to strings of cultured pearls, to rare and unusual kitchen implements and carvings from Africa. It is as much a curio shop as anything else; proprietor Maria Villar, a warm and engaging presence, simply calls it a gift shop.

Most of the merchandise is on display in shelves that line each wall – including vast arrays of necklaces – but there are great selections of unusual items in drawers that line the lefthand side of the shop as you enter. Here you can find strangely shaped pear knives, an array of men’s cufflinks, unusual rings, a precious baby silver comb set – a cornucopia of unique pieces hand selected by the owner.

Born in Cuba, Villar grew up in Caracas, where she had her first store featuring clothing, handbags, and custom jewelry. She became a Coral Gables resident 30 years ago, but after a couple of decades, missed her previous life in retail. “My husband retired, and I decided I had to open something, to go work,” she says. “And so, I did.” She purchased and remodeled the storefront space where Casa Maria resides, on the first floor of a Salzedo condominium building.

Villar’s vision was to open a gift shop with custom jewelry, impressive designers, and rare finds. She also carries lines found in Nordstrom and Bloomingdales, including Spain’s Salvatore Plata and Paris-based environmental collection Coloco. But what makes Casa Maria a fun place to shop is the array of housewares, necklaces and earthy collectables she brings from Africa, Thailand, Israel, Columbia, and elsewhere. Her choices, she says, are based on a balance of land and sea, constructed with mixed artisan materials, including wood, metals, corals, and stones. Here you can buy a necklace with a boar’s claw, or a serving platter for your next dinner party.

“Customers ask you for something special… you call them, it becomes a relationship. It’s great. I love it. I’m enjoying my time here,” says Villar. Most customers have been around for years; some stop by for a cup of coffee that Villar brews behind the desk, walking over after lunch at Villagio in the nearby Shops at Merrick Park.

They arrive to peruse Villar’s finds for themselves, to do holiday shopping, or to search for a last-minute party gift. Depending on your purchase, there is also the convenience of having it placed in a gift bag or wrapped for you on the spot. Prices range from $15 to $600.

Maria Villar

14 thoughts on “Casa Maria

  • January 14, 2020 at 12:02 am

    Promoting local businesses is great. Posting their exact address and hours of operation is even Greater!

    • January 17, 2020 at 9:21 pm

      Our address is: 4100 Salzedo St. Retail #8 Coral Gables Fl 33146 Thanks!!!
      I also want to thank Gracie Carricarte and JP Faber for this beautiful article about Casa Maria.
      In spite of the limited time we could spend together due to the Holidays rush, Gracie capture the essence of our business model and vision.

      Thanks again to Gracie Carricarte and to the editors of The Magazine.

  • January 15, 2020 at 11:09 pm

    I’m so happy that Casa Maria is being recognized ! The store is beautiful and fun. Everywhere you look there is something that catches your eye, something that is unusual and unique. This is my go-to store for finding gifts for every occasion from holiday gifts to wonderful items for a dinner party invite, to birthdays – everything! And of course, I always find a treat for myself too !!

  • January 17, 2020 at 12:31 pm

    Casa María is unique. Love shopping there where I find the most beautiful jewelry and gift items. I highly recommend it.

  • January 17, 2020 at 3:28 pm

    Hey guys, Casa Maria is the place to get that perfect gift for that special lady! No stress, Mariita will help you and you will never go wrong!

    • January 17, 2020 at 10:26 pm

      Casa Maria is the best place to buy gifts for any occasion and Mariita and her mom have the best suggestions to help you choose the best gift. Mariita is the best jewel in the store and her personality is a charm. I always recommend it to all my friends.

    • January 22, 2020 at 2:03 pm

      Congratulations Maria you deserve it. Always satisfying your clients and customers in a first class way…..


  • January 17, 2020 at 3:37 pm

    Everything in the store is beautiful and well priced. Casa María is a gem in our City. Every time I visit, I find something unique and exquisite!!

    • January 17, 2020 at 9:25 pm

      Felt so overjoyed when I read this article. Casa Maria is a wonderful boutique store where you could find truly special jewelry pieces. Marita is an exceptional person attentive to each detail. Always going far and beyond for her clientele. My shopping experience has been truly marvelous. Congratulations Casa Maria!

    • January 17, 2020 at 11:17 pm

      Casa Maria is a destination boutique in the Gables. The store’s name elicits exactly how the Casa Maria family makes you feel…as though you walked into their beautifully curated home where you never want to leave. It is my go-to place when I’m looking to treat myself or my family and friends to one of her beautiful pieces. If you haven’t been to Casa Maria run, don’t walk, there!

  • January 17, 2020 at 9:31 pm

    Casa Maria is a very unique store. It has beautiful items ranging from household items to jewelry. The owner of Ms. Villar Is an exceptional sales person and very knowledgeable in every item in her store. I have shopped there many times and have totally enjoyed every purchase made.

  • January 17, 2020 at 9:42 pm

    I want to thank Gracie Carricarte and JP Faber for this beautiful article about Casa Maria.
    In spite of the limited time we could spend together due to the Holidays rush, Gracie capture the essence of our business model and vision.

    Thanks again to Gracie Carricarte and to the editors of The Magazine.

  • January 19, 2020 at 8:00 pm

    What an exquisite taste!!!! Everything it’s perfectly picked by Maria!!
    I enjoy so much every time I visit the store that it has become a routine and it feels like part of my home…

  • January 26, 2020 at 2:31 pm

    Congratulations for The articule you deserve it. It’s really a pleasure to buy in CS Maria you have a really wide variations of beautiful jewelry Lourdes

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