VIP Pensacola, July 2020

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From sports injuries, to auto accidents...We've got your back!

Auto Accident • Physical Therapy Massage • Sports Injury • Healthy Living Thank you for your con dence and your support!

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Golf Course • Bar • Restaurant • Events

Social Membership Benefits Starting at $85/mo, No Monthly Minimums, Club Charging Privileges, Member-Only Tournaments and Events, 10% Discount Food Purchases, 10% Discount Golf Shop Purchases, Preferred Rates on Golf, May Make Tee Times 14 days in Advance, Discount on Banquet Facilities.

Full Membership Benefits Starting at $145/mo, All Social Member Benefits, Unlimited Golf, Walking Option, Special Pricing on Lessions, Preferred Rates for Accompanied Guests, Club Cleaning and Storage, Member Locker Rooms.

Student Membership Benefits $150/Semester, Unlimited Golf Semester Membership is valid from the first day of classes of the membership semester until the first day of classes for the following semester. Membership dues must be paid in full at the beginning of each semester.

Scenic Hills Country Club boasts an 18 hole championship golf course with a wide selection of tee boxes to challenge players of all abilities. Scenic Hills has hosted many prestigious amateur and professional events and is currently the only course in Florida to host a USGA open event. Voted “Best of the Bay” many times over, Scenic Hills is the perfect venue to play with family and friends, and for groups of any size and skill level.

Open to the Public

Scenic Hills Weddings • Accommodates Up to 225 guests • Free Champagne Tour and Consultation • Experienced Venue Manager • Ceremony Space • Reception Space • Custom Layout Options • House Linen (chair cover add on option available) • Dance Floor • In House Catering Menu(s) • Custom Menu Options Available • Cake Cutting • Bride and Groom Ready Rooms • Bridal Lunch • Grooms Golf Package (upgrade options available) • Free Guest Parking

Thank you for voting us Best Golf Course and Event Space 8 8 9 1 B U R N I N G T R E E R OA D | P E N SACO L A , F L | S C E N I C H I L L S .CO M | 8 5 0. 476 .0 3 8 0

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"We Bring a Personal Touch to a Professional Service"

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New Store Hours Monday - Saturday, 10am - 9pm Sunday, 11am - 8pm

Family Owned and Operated

Back Row from left: Mike Davis, Carter Davis, Erik Davis Front Row: Zoe Davis, Peggy Davis



Pensacola Square Shopping Center

Mission Statement 850.637.1123 · 6235 N. Davis Hwy · Pensacola, FL 32504 07 ad petland.indd 1

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Volume V • Issue VII

events 13 Perdido Key Area Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours 19 Movie & Fireworks Night 24 Seville Quarter Business After Hour 34 PSO Guild Check Presentation 58 The One Social Hour June Meeting 66 Sips & Serenades 69 Pensacola Humane Society Tent Sale 71 Sunday Stroll Art Pop-Up

business profiles 22 ReNew: Concierge Physical


48 Rodizio Grill

on the cover

departments 32 37 42 46 52 56 60 68 74

Coastal Cuisine Pensacola Dwellings May We Suggest Style Swizzle Give Care Share #trending Locale I Am Pensacola

features 29 Best in Pensacola Winners The winners are announced for the Best in Pensacola 2020 Reader Choice Awards.


VIP Pensacola Staff

Martina Mason, Chae Kyle & Stephanie Alvarez

Publisher Greg Alexander

Publisher’s Assistant Anna Stockton

Associate Publisher Verla Price

Designer Priscilla Atkins

Managing Editor Steve Barber

Photography by Verla Price

Production Editor Jessica Graña

Contributing Writers/ Photographers Greg Alexander Steve Barber Verla Price Anna Stockton Kristina Wright

The Villagio Town Centre

Advertising Steve Barber Verla Price Penny Stricklin

VIP Founder Jeff Watson July 2020 | 9

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letter from the Publisher This month, among other things, we are excited to bring back coverage of some of the area’s current and in-person events, festivals, and fundraisers that weave the fabric of the Emerald Coast. While these events and gatherings looked a bit different, the hosts and respected leaders found a way to make them successful while offering social and physical separation to minimize the spread of COVID 19. Also in this issue, the greatly anticipated reveal of the 2020 Best In Pensacola winners is found on page 28. Congratulations to all who were nominated in this greatly acclaimed award. Although VIP Pensacola is an events-centric publication, we have multiple ways in which we have been able to keep our readers in touch with what is going on in the local business, social, and charitable scene. We have had countless positive calls and comments on how we have pushed forward, created interesting and dynamic content without missing an issue, and we are proud to be at this point. While exercising our creativity over the last few months as events were scaled back (or non-existent), we have had opportunities to brainstorm and find new, recurring features that will forever enhance our goal. We are introducing one of those in this issue. The new feature, called #trending, will be a mainstay and our wish is to give you a glimpse of something that has left an impression with us, whether it is new or old. This new feature will allow us to exhibit things ranging from food and wine, books and blogs, and even cars or travel destinations. It will be a space where we will share inspiring places or things that will help enhance the lives of others in some very tiny way. On page 60 you will find the inaugural #trending with an indulgence for your tastebuds via the Coopie. I will be the first to admit that the oeuvre of VIP Pensacola is meant to be positive, light, and to showcase the good in our local area. We exhibit great pride in publishing a product each month that shows people with smiles who are supporting, engaging, rewarding, and building up the community that folks from all over the world are so drawn to. So while you are stuck in traffic, in a long line at the grocery, or waitlisted at a restaurant, remember how fortunate you are to be where you are.

Greg Alexander Publisher


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Thank You for Voting Us Best Specialty Contractor 12


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VIP Pensacola at The Villagio Town Centre

Perdido Key Area Chamber of Commerce

Business After Hours


photos & story by Verla Price

he Perdido Key Area Chamber of Commerce invited all Chamber members and guests to their monthly Business After Hours networking social on Wednesday, June 17. As the evening progressed, people arrived from Perido, Pensacola, and even Mobile, Alabama. Although always an excellent way to do business, networking has become extremely important during this time of uncertainty for some businesses. While practicing their best social distancing etiquette, attendees were excited to see others and make new connections while rekindling old ones. This was the first time for a monthly event since businesses were reopened after quarantine. Door prizes, donated by local merchants, were given away with great excitement as all were pleased to be attending a non-virtual event. This event allows Chamber members to network with each other in a relaxed, informal setting at the host’s locations. This high-energy, after-hours networking event is held on the third Wednesday of each month from 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. The host for the June Business After Hours was The Villagio Town Centre located at 13700 Perdido Key Drive in Pensacola and was free for Chamber members.

Lori Raisch & Dana Pagador

Martina Mason, Chae Kyle & Stephanie Alvarez

Debbie Martin & Tammy Thurow

Judy Davis & Josh Brown

Kerry Pelletier, Alex Huffman & Wayne Garrison July 2020 | 13

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VIP Pensacola at Perdido Key Business After Hours

Crystal Silins, Brittany Barnett & Kristina Tuppi

Britani Rickhoff, Stacy Ferguson & Kenzie Carden

Debbie & Gary Sapp

Talis Jayme & JoAnn Slaydon

Harley Willis & Brady Hale

Chad, Carter, Jessica, Laylon & Layla Tyler

Prity Patel, Jeanette Pollete, Lora Baker & Vickie Loper 14

Lesley Taylor & Curtis Cantrell

Christina Naes & Amanda Kunkle


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...because VIP's like you make VIP's like us.



Business Technology Solutions Thank You for Voting Us BEST COMPUTER/IT FIRM 2 Years in a Row

24/7 Voice and Tek Support Internet | 850-888-BYTE | 6425 Pensacola Blvd July 2020 | 15

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Thank You for Voting Us Best Payroll/HR Firm 2 Years in a Row

Services Offered: Time Clock/Time Tracking Payroll Services

Perfect Pools, Scout’s Honor. Thanks for Voting Us Best Pool Service

Solving issues in HR for companies with 5 to 5,000 employees. attract and retain top talent, and maximize your employee productivity.

Call Pool Scouts at 850-637-8929 18

100 S Pace Blvd, Pensacola • 850-475-1555


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VIP Pensacola at Blue Wahoos Stadium

Movie & Fireworks Night


photos & story by Kristina Wright

he Pensacola Blue Wahoos hosted a community movie night at the stadium on Saturday, May 30, which was followed by a fireworks show. Tickets included both the movie and fireworks; with children 12 and under, military members, and seniors (65+) receiving a ticket discount. The community movie and fireworks night was made possible thanks to the support of Covenant Care, Hill-Kelly Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram, WEAR TV, and Pen Air Federal Credit Union. Guests had an opportunity to sit on the field at Blue Wahoos Stadium to watch the movie on the stadium’s videoboard. No group larger than 10 people was permitted to sit together and all separate groups were required to sit a minimum of six feet apart in accordance with local and state physical distancing guidelines. Only 1,000 tickets were sold. Grab-and-go style concessions were available during the event at multiple points throughout the stadium. The Bait & Tackle Team Store also offered Blue Wahoos apparel and glow-in-the-dark merchandise. No chairs or outside food or drink were permitted. Guests were encouraged to bring a blanket for their group to sit on. Fans also had the option to sit in the stadium’s stands. Guest safety remains top priority for the team. All Blue Wahoos staff are required to wear face masks and gloves while on ballpark property, and all staff members have their temperature taken daily before being admitted to the stadium. Staff was in place throughout the event to ensure guests practice physical distancing while enjoying the movie and fireworks.

Quint Studer, Caiden Kennedy & Rishy Studer

Noah Brinson & Kazoo

Liam, Sharon & Billy Egan

Isabella, Meghan, Michael & Gianna McKenzie

Mirna, Jackie & Michael Therrien

J.C., Courtney & Callie Griffith

Katie Alderman, Amy Stamey, Christian De Jesus, Jeff Mislevy & Jocelyn Long July 2020 | 19

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VIP Pensacola at Movie & Fireworks Night

Sam, Joel & Jamie Fauth

Sara, Piper & Damien Cordle

Beth, Caylee & Camila Rood

Rosy Canez, Mara Miniclier, Lori Ozburn & Isabelle Miniclier

Maria & Amanda Frazee

Felicia Faxon, Ryleigh Jackson & Phyllis Curl 20

Jeremy, Krystal, Mason & Jackson Gibson

Ben, Mikayla, Isabella & Sarah Telega


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Karen E. Kennedy, MD, FACOG, RPh

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This in-oďŹƒce laser procedure only takes a few minutes and improves dryness and irritation, painful sex, urinary urgency and bladder infections.

This is non-invasive laser body contouring is designed to reduce stubborn fat. It helps to achieve a slimmer, more natural-looking appearance without surgery or downtime.

July 2020 | 21

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Business Profile

ReNew the way you think about physical therapy! photos & story provided by Dr. David Harvitz, DPT


eet the newest small business in Pensacola – ReNew: Concierge Physical Therapy, where Dr. David Harvitz, DPT focuses on bringing the convenience of healing straight to your doorstep. The fact that his practice is 100% mobile and meets you where you are isn’t the only thing that sets him apart from the rest. Unfortunately, it is all too common to hear that physical therapy didn’t work. Patients often get no personalized treatment and get what seems like a random assortment of exercises to do that could be done easily at home. Patients don’t even feel special as there are several patients being treated by the same therapist at the same time. These patients then move on to surgery, which sometimes doesn’t help, putting them in an endless cycle of pain management. By starting ReNew, Dr. Dave aims to reverse that cycle and is demonstrating the real power that quality physical therapy can offer people in Pensacola. Prior to opening his practice, Dr. Dave received the best education available in the country for physical therapy. He received a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science in 2007, and then a Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2010, both from the University of Pittsburgh -- the number one ranked school in the country for physical therapy. Also setting Dr. Dave apart from the rest is the fact that he does not accept insurance. Some might balk at the idea of paying out of pocket for something covered by insurance,

however, he believes that quality matters. People send their children to private school for a reason, despite having a free public option. It is no different in the matter of healthcare. Low reimbursement rates cause clinics to cut corners and reduce quality while increasing the number of visits you require and lowering your overall ceiling for your recovery. You always get what you pay for. With ReNew, Dr. Dave is changing that. He only sees patients one on one. This enables him to focus on manual techniques such as spinal and joint mobilization along with trigger point and muscle work which are the true bread and butter of physical therapists. Undivided attention also allows him to focus specifically on a patient’s response to different treatment techniques, increasing efficiency. His sessions are also much longer at 60-75-minutes compared to 30-40-minute sessions in a traditional clinic. If you combine all of this, the end result is better outcomes with less visits. Dr. Dave takes pride specifically treating chronic pain patients. In fact, it is his mission to find the patients in Pensacola who have failed with traditional physical therapy and chiropractic treatment. It is his desire to take them on a journey of healing through a renewed way to approach the treatment of pain. As he describes it, “Usually, chronic pain patients have several mechanical issues wrong, involving several joints that take too long to address in a traditional model. This confuses many clinicians and leaves patients without answers.”

Aside from treating some of the most difficult patients in Pensacola, Dr. Dave also likes to unwind and have fun with his love for golf. He is a TPI certified medical professional who can significantly improve one’s golf game with his specialized certification and manual techniques. In one session he can assess swing, screen golf fitness, and examine physical limitations resulting in a plan of action to improve or maintain the proper shoulder, back, or hip rotation to maximize swing. As he describes it, “It’s not just about knowing how to swing a club, you need the physical attributes to do it as well. It’s always easier to address these problems before pain arises – and it’s good for your game.” If you believe Dr. Dave can help you with your pain or your golf game, visit: www., email him at or call his office at 850-332-3834.

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I had seen 2 different orthopedists and been to 2 different kinds of physical therapy with little results or relief. David was the only one who looked beyond my of my problem was actually my back. Within 5 weeks of treatment, both my back and knee are doing better than they have since I was diagnosed. -J. Fazio

I honestly cannot say enough about Dave and the treatment I received. He was able to alleviate pain in my back that I have had for 30 years… I’ve had local PT treatment in the past and this was nothing like I’ve experienced. -Matt H. July 2020 | 23

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VIP Pensacola at Seville Quarter

Seville Quarter photos & story by Kristina Wright


eville Quarter Business After Hour is a monthly gathering of business men and women networking in a relaxed setting to build connections and grow their business, held on the first Wednesday of every month. June’s Business After Hours event was hosted by Seville Quarter. Guests placed their business cards into a bowl upon signing in for the event and those cards were drawn for door prizes including a half page ad from VIP Pensacola, a floral arrangement from Southern Gardens Floral, as well as a gift certificate and commemorative coin from Seville Quarter. Seville Quarter offers the convenience, service, and ambiance to help sponsors promote and market their business. This is catered to each host and offers the unlimited latitude to promote their company, product or services in any way the host may wish. Many businesses use it as a way to thank their existing clients and a great opportunity to create even more. A $350 Sponsorship Package (plus a minimum of 3 door prizes) includes one free drink ticket for each guest that presents an invitation or business card, featured Business of the Month Promoted on all Seville Quarter media platforms, an email blast to over 10,000+ featuring your company name and logo, a complimentary Happy Hour Buffet from 4:30pm to 7:00pm, a copy of all of the contact names and business cards redeemed at your event, and finally, the use of the stage and sound system to promote your company throughout the event.


Debbie Sapp & Verla Price

Tim Horton & Patti Hall

Chae Kyle & Mal Mason

John McDonald & Brittany Barnett

Scott Jennings & Stephanie Alvarez

Stephen Davis & Robin Verge


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Steve Barber, Brad & Mary Carter Keel

Liz Horton, Tia Casey & Tarek Nahabet, Kerry Pelletier

Brandon McDonald & Michael Cox

Buck Mitchell, Jill Andrusko & Jack Mitchell July 2020 | 25

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A small locally owned restaurant, where great food is paired with great wine. Thank you for voting us Best in Pensacola Place for a Date & Locally Owned Restaurant

Reservations Accepted Private Dining Room · Large Wine Selection

HOURS Lunch: M-Sat. 11:00 - 4:00 Dinner: M-Sat. 4:00 - 8:30 Brunch: Sun. 11:00 - 2:00

Cordova Marketplace 4350 Bayou Blvd · Pensacola, FL 850.477.9120 · 28


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READERS’ CHOICE AWARDS 2020 It is always thrilling to present you with each year’s Best in Pensacola winners. We had unprecedented participation this year with almost 200,000 votes cast in the three-week voting period. Our readers and supporters nominated their favorites in five groups including Entertainment, Services, Shopping and Retail, Wedding, Health and Wellness, and Cocktails and Cuisine from April 1 – 19. The top ten most nominated entrants moved to the voting phase, which ran May 11-31. The Pensacola area is blessed with so many deserving businesses and it is often a challenge to name a single favorite. What makes Best in Pensacola so great is that it takes feedback from the vast community resulting in a list of businesses that have earned consumer trust and appreciation. It is an advantage when we all share our “favorites” with friends and neighbors. For those of you who do not yet have a favorite place in one of our categories, here is an insider’s guide to all the best the Pensacola area has to offer. We enjoy celebrating many repeat winners year after year for this coveted title. It is great to see them recognized for their excellent services and products. We also love seeing new winners who must be doing something right and adding value to this place we all call home. These are the faces and businesses that makes up the very fabric of our community. A very special thank you goes to all of the businesses who participated in this year’s Best in Pensacola. Congratulations to the many, many nominees that were so deserving. We also thank the many readers who voted in support of their favorite places during the nomination and voting phases. We look forward to celebrating the winners at the Black Tie Ball later this year and we encourage each of you to try out some of the places listed here that are currently unfamiliar to you … they may become your next favorite as well.

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Shopping & Retail Motorcycle Shop Adventure Motorsports of NWF Gift Shop Artesana Nursery/Plants Bailey’s Produce & Nursery Liquor Store Bambooze Fine Wine & Liquor Women’s Accessories Ciao Bella Boutique and Salon Men’s Apparel Don Alans Shoe Store DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse Furniture duh

Home Decor/Accessories duh

Senior Living Community The Arbors of Gulf Breeze

Walk In Clinic/Urgent Care Medical Center Clinic

Boutique Duke and Stella

Plastic Surgeon Peter Butler, MD - Gulf Coast Plastic Surgery

Alternative/Natural Medicine Crystal Silins

Eyeglasses/Sunglasses Fifty Dollar Eye Guy Jewelry Store Jewelers Trade Shop Seafood Market Joe Patti’s Seafood Pet Store Petland Women’s Apparel The Pink Pineapple Boutique Wine Shop The Bottle Shop Locally Owned Retailer The Butcher Shoppe

Wedding & Bridal Place to Buy Engagement Ring Beré Jewelers

Reception Venue Pensacola Yacht Club

Wedding Cake/Confections Betty Weber Cakes

Wedding Photography Salz Studio

Wedding Caterer Classic City Catering

Bridal Store Simply Elegant Couture Bridal

Ceremony Venue Court of De Luna Event Space Place for a Tux Gent’s Formal Wear - Downtown Photo Booth Good Vibrations DJ and Photobooth Services Wedding Florist Just Judy’s Flowers, Local Art & Gifts

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Health & Wellness

Place for Rehearsal Dinner Skopelos at New World Wedding Planner Kelly Rhodes Southern Frills Weddings & Events Wedding Rentals Wedding Walls

Medical Practice Clearway Pain Solutions Weight Loss Program Doctor’s Diet Program of FL Physical Therapy Casey Dull PT Medical Center Clinic Pain Management Dynamic Pain & Wellness Surgery Center Endoscopy Center of Pensacola Women’s Wellness Provider Karen E. Kennedy, MD, PA Eye Care Professional Robert C. Harbour, MD Anti Aging Service JDCC Skin Care, LLC Podiatrist Matthew Etheridge, DPM

Pediatrician Pensacola Pediatrics Permanent Makeup Permanent Make-Up Clinic Aesthetician Jo Rich Beauty Palafox Glamour Bar Family Care Physician Mark Ryan, MD Med Spa Still Waters Day & Medical Spa Dentist Dr. Stephanie F. Tilley, DMD Dermatologist Dr. Kevin L. Welch Medical Center Woodlands Medical Specialists Orthodontist Woodfin Cabassa Orthodontics

Entertainment Place to People Watch Casino Beach Bar & Grille Place for “Girls’ Night Out” Casks & Flights Place to Stay Hilton Pensacola Beach Place to Take the Kids/Family Entertainment Naval Aviation Museum Place for a Date

O’Brien’s Bistro Annual Event Pensacola Mardi Gras Music Venue Saenger Theatre Golf Course Scenic Hills Country Club Place to go Dancing Seville Quarter

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Services Hair Salon 10th Avenue Hair Design Locksmith Ace Unlocks of Pensacola Flooring Act 1 Flooring Luxury Automobile Sales Alfa Romeo Pensacola Real Estate Professional - Female Amanda Hurd Mortgage Co American Mortgage Service Co. Payroll/HR Avalon HR General Contractor Bear General Contractors


New Business Something Old Salvage (S.O.S.)

Customer Service Craters & Freighters

Property Management Main Street Property Management

Florist Southern Gardens Florist and Gifts

Landscaping Dreamscape Designs

Financial Advisor Iron Plan Solutions Group, LLC

Place for a Massage Still Waters Day & Medical Spa

Law Firm Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon

Boat Sales & Service MarineMax Pensacola

Pet Grooming/Boarding Everything’s Irie

Nail Salon Nail Lounge

Videographer Cameron Zane Storyteller Visuals

Homebuilder Flynn Built

Veterinary Clinic Olive Branch Pet Hospital Dr. Mark Sprayberry

Interior Designer Constance Crosby Interiors, Inc. Allied A.S.I.D.

Home Repair/Handyman Freedom Appliance Specialty Contractor

Real Estate Company Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Main Street Properties

Automobile Repair Service Gary Sapp Automotive, Inc.

Big Brothers Big Sisters

Apartments Governor’s Gate

Real Estate Professional - Male Brant Peacher - aDoor Real Estate

Bank/Financial Institution Hancock Whitney Bank

Automobile Dealer - New Cadillac Pensacola

Banker Jeri Cox - Synovus Bank University Branch

Accounting Firm Christina Powers Tax

Real Estate Agent- Commercial Jessica Duncan

Limo/Transportation Service Pensacola Party Bus Title Company Pensacola Title Company, LLC Automobile Dealer - Pre Owned Pete Moore Chevrolet Barber Shop Pilcher’s Barber Shop Pool/Spa Sales/Service Pool Scouts of Pensacola Photographer Salz Studio Event Space Scenic Hills Country Club

Real Estate Team The Hurd Team powered by Keller Williams Insurance Firm Thompson-Walden Insurance Real Estate Agent-Residential Tonya Zimmern Air Conditioning & Heating Company Trinity Heating and Air Conditioning LLC Event Rentals Wedding Walls Event Design & Decor Rentals Computer/IT Firm Yolee Solutions Alarm/Security YourTEK Professionals

Golf Cart/ATV Kool Karts, Inc.

Cocktails & Cuisine Chef Alex McPhail - Restaurant IRON

Pizza East Hill Pizza

Steakhouse Jackson’s Steakhouse

Bar The Establishment

Italian Restaurant Angelena’s Ristorante Italiano

Restaurant - Pensacola Beach Frank & Lola Love Pensacola Café

Locally Owned Restaurant O’Brien’s Bistro

Seafood Restaurant The Oar House

Bloody Mary Another Broken Egg Cafe

Food Truck Fresh Food Factory

Place for cocktails Pot Roast & Pinot

Burger The Tin Cow

Breakfast Another Broken Egg Cafe

Brunch George Bistro + Bar

Special Occasion Restaurant Restaruant IRON

Happy Hour The Wine Bar On Palafox

Bartender Ashley Johnson - Sandshaker

Appetizers Global Grill

Restaurant - North/Nine Mile/UWF Sammy Barker’s

Wine List The Wine Bar On Palafox

Casual Dining Calvert’s in The Heights

Restaurant -Overall Global Grill

Bushwhacker Sandshaker

Sports Bar Ticket Sports Bar 1

Dessert Chrisoula’s Cheesecake Shoppe and Café

Brewery/Craft Beer Gulf Coast Brewery

Food Delivery Sky’s Pizza Pie

Fine Dining V. Paul’s Italian Restaurant

BBQ Hot Spot Barbecue

Asian Sushi Masa Hibachi And Grill

New Restaurant Wacked Out Weiner Pensacola

Neighborhood Bar Hub Stacey’s

Restaurant - Downtown The District - Seville Steak & Seafood

Beer Selection World of Beer

Place for Coffee Coffee Guy Cafe Catering Culinary Productions, Inc.

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Sushi Ichiban

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Artful Dining at


photos & story provided by The Arbors of Gulf Breeze

location minutes from the beautiful white sands and crystal blue waters of Pensacola Beach create the perfect setting for a Senior Living Community that features “Artful Dining.” The Arbors of Gulf Breeze offers a resort style dining experience where the chefs create meals that are as delightful to the eyes as to the taste. They pride themselves on creating unique dishes whether it be a new creation or a traditional cherished family recipe. The culinary associates at The Arbors take pride in serving happiness, not just food. The in-house pastry chef creates fresh desserts daily and menus feature a wide selection of Hershey ice cream. A broad variety of baked goods, fresh fruit, coffee and tea are always available for residents and guests. The Arbors culinary team offers an à la carte breakfast with eggs “any way you like,” a choice of bacon or sausage, fresh fruit, toast, waffles, pancakes, or cereal. Also featured is a daily breakfast special. The Arbors residents enjoy starting their mornings with friends over a hot cup of coffee, tea, or a variety of juices. The talented chefs artfully create daily specials for lunch and


dinner, as well. There is, of course, an “Always Available” menu including a variety of some long-standing favorites and lighter fare featuring sandwiches and salads. The homemade soups created daily are also a big hit with residents. The Arbortini Lounge features the award-winning specialty drink, “The Arbortini.” Residents enjoy daily “happy hour” with friends and a variety of beer, wine, or non-alcoholic beverages. Artful dining brings the residents and guests of The Arbors together. Lets’ toast to that!

Taste of Gulf Breeze Voted: Best Beverage and Best Appetizer Specialty Division Peoples Choice Award Best Appetizer


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Crab Cakes

INGREDIENTS • 1lb Jumbo Lump Crab (fresh or pateurized) • 1 egg • 1 cup mayo • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard • juice of one lemon • 1 1/2 cups sliced green onions • 1/4 cup sliced fresh parsley • 1tbsp Old Bay • 1 cup Panko bread crumbs • salt and pepper to taste INSTRUCTIONS Mix all the wet ingredients and all the seasoning. Then add the green onions and parsley. Fold in crab, once crab is folded in, add bread crumbs. Grill until golden brown on both sides.

The Arbortini

INGREDIENTS • 1 part white chocolate liqueur • 1 part whipped vodka • dark or milk chocolate cups INSTRUCTIONS Mix together liqueur and vodka with ice in a stainless steel shaker until well chilled. Pour into chocolate cups and enjoy!

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VIP Pensacola at Pensacola Yacht Club


PSO Guild Check Presentation photos & story by Kristina Wright

he Pensacola Symphony Orchestra Guild presented their annual contribution to the Pensacola Symphony on June 16 at the Pensacola Yacht Club. The check was presented to Bret Barrow, Executive Director PSO by Sue-Sue Sherrill, the 2020 Magnolias and White Linen Chairperson, and Roz Leahy, the 2019-2020 PSOG President. This year’s contribution is the largest in the Guild’s history to date, totalling $45,000. The contribution is the result of PSO Guild’s fundraising efforts during the 2019-2020 orchestra season. The guild’s largest fundraising event is the annual Magnolias and White Linen luncheon, held this year on March 14, which featured noted designer

and author Hutton Wilkinson. The luncheon was the 34th annual event, and the most profitable to date. In addition to Magnolias and White Linen, the PSO Guild also held a silent auction in December raising several thousand dollars, and offered 50/50 opportunities throughout the year at their monthly membership meetings, all for the purpose of supporting the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra. The PSO Guild is a membership organization whose primary purpose is to support the Pensacola Symphony through fundraising and encouraging support for the PSO within the community. Membership is open to anyone interested in helping achieve these goals. For membership information, visit the PSO Guild’s website

Roz Leahy, Sue-Sue Sherrill & Bret Barrow


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We sincerely appreciate your confidence and trust in us. We thank you for your support and for voting us Best in Pensacola for the second time! VIP PENSACOLA MAGAZINE READER CHOICE AWARD


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Intendencia Suite Paying Me Sweetly


photos & story by Verla Price

att Lopez and his parents, John and Romana, acquired land downtown back in 2013 with the idea of building a main house for Matt and later building a smaller home on the back lot for John and Romana to downsize to in retirement. With no immediate house plans or direction, Matt wished to take his time in finding the ideal house for the lot. He bought a simple home design program and looked at floorplans online, which allowed him to mix and match and flip rooms around to add personal touches. Matt, a pharmacist by profession, travels a lot for golf and other hobbies where he stays in AirBnB’s. Some have been good; some not so good, and he always thought of ways they could be better. This inspired him to look at local AirBnB offerings where, at the time, all rentals in the Seville Historic District were full on houses or small cottages with July 2020 | 37

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kitchens, which raises the price point. He went back to his floorplans and tried to find a way to design a flexible space that offered a small, affordable AirBnB suite. He then took his plans to Damian Schrey and Hal Lovato at Highpoint DBR to finish the design and build it. Matt’s priorities were simplicity, privacy, and security with the house while incorporating the rental suite. He wanted the space with easy access for cleaning and convertible into extra living space if needed between guests. Matt got creative and made the space accomplish his goals. He splurged on a top-quality Murphy bed which disappears into the wall. He insisted on the bed being solid and comfortable for guests, since that is one of the main things he wanted as a guest - a nice comfortable bed. When the bed disappears, it matches the cabinetry in the rest of the house so the style blends. Included is a built-in desk for guests to use with matching quartz tops. For privacy, the suite is situated in the front of the house with its own entrance for guest access using a lockbox key providing them a view of the front yard and streetscape, enticing them to go out and explore downtown. Because of this layout, Matt rarely sees his guests and they never see him unless they need something like extra coffee or towels. The space needed to be secure and Matt did not want any shared space with guests. To separate the suite from the rest of the house, a large, double wide locking pocket door was installed off the main foyer. The door locks from Matt’s side so the guests are unable to access the main house and get into the main house. Thick, sound baffling curtains on the suite side effectively keeps sounds quiet and camouflages the pocket doors. Cleverly designed, when the double doors are open with curtains separated, there would be a center sightline from the front to the back of the house. However, the suite is rented so often Matt never gets to use the space for himself. Matt described, “I never used the kitchen in the places I rented, but I did use the fridge and toaster, so I have a mini fridge tucked away in the closet along with a microwave and toaster. A compact Keurig sits on a console table which doubles as storage space for dishes and wine glasses with drawer space for clothing.” Matt completed the room by placing a pair of cushioned high back chairs, a complementing love seat, and a leather coffee table. The bathroom is split so the vanity is separate from the shower

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and toilet so more than one person can get ready if needed. To add an elevated, boutique feel, Matt chose high end bath accessories and luxurious linens. Throughout the suite and the rest of the house, the color palette is continuous with light gray tones and a darker accent for the Murphy bed alcove, accent walls and the lower kitchen cabinets. Flooring is a wide, luxury vinyl plank and countertops are quartz. An elongated white subway tile was used for the large walk in shower that goes all the way to the ceiling. Gray penny tile adds grip to the shower floor and runs up the wall as an accent. The penny tile continues into the vanity to unify the design. Matt’s main goal for the AirBnB was to supplement his mortgage payment noting, “I set a goal to make $900 per month, by only renting on weekends. When I first started in February 2019 I rented at $40 nightly to quickly earn fast bookings and a 5 star rating. At that point I began increasing my rates each month, staying well under the price of other rentals in the area that were larger, but still making sure I stayed rented each weekend. Right now, my average nightly rate is about $80 which is amazing considering it is in the historic district, walkable to everything Pensacola has to offer. Monthly I average $1300 from rentals. Most of my guests are singles or couples in town for a wedding or a weekend at the beach so they don’t need a large space with a kitchen and like my price point. The suite is usually booked solid every weekend 2 months out. With the suite I also include the use of 2 bicycles, beach chairs, umbrellas, and a cooler. Now that my pool is finished, renters are getting an even better value as no one else in the downtown area has one. A pool is the top searched amenity on AirBnB so it has increased my listing view count.” So far Matt says running an AirBnB has been a positive experience as he noted, “The Intendencia Suite feels like a brand that I created which I am proud of. That pushes me to want to exceed my guests’ expectations when it comes to cleanliness, style, and comfort. I have not had any of the AirBnB horror stories you hear and I think this is because I am living in the house too, so the space and neighborhood is respected. I would definitely recommend to others thinking about AirBnB to give it a try, especially if they have a carriage house on property. Not only is it a great way to turn unused space into income, it gives a great sense of pride not only in yourself but also in Pensacola.”

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For more on Intendencia Suite, see:

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Dog Treats, Peanut Butter - Grain Free Recipe Net Weight 8 oz Bag - $12 Dog Harmony

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Blue Angels metal bottle opener - $20 Artesana Gooey Peanut Butter Caramel Pie, Gooey Chocolate & Peanut Butter Pie - $42 Sweet Tennessee instagram @thejimnorton

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Verve+ 2 Lowstep - $2,499.99 Trek Bicycle Store

64 oz glass growler - $6.20. Fill it with any beer on tap around $13-$15, seven days a week with Monday’s special 25% off growler fills Gulf Coast Brewery

Cherry Point Gray 4-Piece Outdoor Sectional Set - $889.99 Carroll’s Furniture Store

Hand sculpted artisan sterling silver with leather and freshwater pearls - $175 Lily Chartier

Candle -scent of lemongrass and Ylang Ylang - $30 Artesana November 2015 | XX

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Wedding Videography “What I liked most about Cameron's videos was that they were not overly cheesy, his videos felt more authentic to each couple's wedding & personalities.”

Cameron Zane (850) 530 -7257

Thank You Pensacola!




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Patriotic Style


elebrate this Independence Day in true red, white, and blue fashion. Create the perfect outfit for fireworks, family BBQs, and shopping - no matter what July 4th occasion you’re stepping out for, do it in style.

If you’re in the mood to dress it up, choose a dress in a solid blue with a white print. Whether it’s polka dots, stars, or stripes, this fun, classy combo will do the trick. Add some pops of red to seal the deal- earrings, a handbag, or even a bold shade of lipstick. Complete the look with a pair of white flats for a show-stopping ensemble.

Now, if denim is your thing, grab your favorite pair of jeans, and dress them up or down depending on your patriotic plans. Try a blue three-quarter sleeve blazer with a red tank underneath. Finish accessorising with red and white accents- don’t forget the white sunglasses! For a more casual look, go for flats or sandals, and if you want to kick it up a notch try pumps. Spending the day relaxing with family and friends? Keep it simple with a pair of white shorts and a solid blue or red top. Layer a few beaded bracelets to finish off the color trio, and boom- you’re ready for sparks to fly. Or maybe your relaxing day is at home with popcorn and a movie- pull out those red, white, and blue tie-dyed pajamas and wear them proudly! With so many combinations, it’s easy to mix and match, creating the perfect look. So this 4th of July, make sure you’re dressed for the show- in all it’s red, white, and blue glory!



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Business Profile BRAZILIAN “CHURRASCARIA” STEAKHOUSE story & photos by Rodizio Grill


hen you are looking for a fun experience for the entire family that cannot be found elsewhere in Pensacola, head over to Rodizio Grill. It’s an authentic Brazilian Steakhouse that is perfect for any special occasion, or just for a night out. The restaurant brand is known for its playful Brazilian spirit, authentic menu offerings, and family friendly atmosphere. Over 20 years ago, Rodizio Grill became the first Brazilian “churrascaria” steakhouse to be established in the United States. Rodizio Grill was founded in 1995 by Ivan Utrera who wanted to bring this popular Brazilian Churrascaria concept, along with cherished family recipes, to the USA from his home country of Brazil. Rodizio Grill opened in Pensacola in 2012 by two local, seasoned restaurateurs Mike Domning and Randy Harrelson. Rodizio Grill remains operated by three local friends, Brandon Blizzard, Ryan Painter and Austin Hinton. All three grew up in the Pensacola area where they have gained most of their restaurant experience. They love living in Pensacola, and love operating such a distinct and exciting restaurant within the community. This unique dining concept features rotisseriegrilled meat expertly seasoned and carved tableside by traditionally dressed “Gauchos” which means cowboys in Portuguese. Over a dozen different grilled meats are served at Rodizio Grill including steak, chicken, pork, fish and more. Some guest favorites include the signature top-sirloin steak, sweet and spicy chicken, bacon-wrapped pork loin, and glazed pineapple. While the meats are the main attraction, they are complemented with an awardwinning gourmet salad bar, marked by original salads, fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables, and authentic hot side dishes.



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Rodizio Grill also boasts an unparalleled selection of real, fresh-pressed juices, homemade Brazilian limeades, signature cocktails, and an extensive beer and wine list featuring a variety of Brazilian imports as well as many local favorites. At the end of the meal, guests can enjoy a selection of exclusive, homemade desserts authentic to the entire experience – a treat not found anywhere else. Rodizio is considered one of the best restaurants in Pensacola for private, group, and corporate dining, as well as special celebrations. Rodizio features indoor and outdoor patio private dining spaces, and can accommodate parties of up to 80. Their event planners are happy to arrange live music, DJ’s and other entertainment to spice up any celebration. Groups love dining at Rodizio because every guest can enjoy what they like to eat, and enjoy as much as they like! Menu planning is not needed, due to Rodizio’s unlimited, abundant style of dining. Rodizio Grill proudly supports the community in a variety of ways including sponsoring and donating to countless events. Rodizio also proudly supports the military community and veterans by offering 10% off Monday-Thursday. Having just celebrated its 5-year anniversary, Rodizio Grill continues to thrive and prides itself on providing an excellent guest experience for everyone.

Rodizio Grill is located between Chase & Gregory just pass the Bay Center. For more information, visit or call 850-466-2113. July 2020 | 49

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story by Steve Barber

urricane Season is here and the best way to embrace it head on is with the Hurricane cocktail. The Hurricane is an iconic, tropical cocktail made with light and dark rum, passion fruit juice and other fruit juices. The Hurricane is a popular drink served in New Orleans and the Southeast United States and is traditionally served in a tall, curvy “hurricane glass,” although in the French Quarter, where public alcohol consumption is legal, you often see it served in disposable plastic cups – some of enormous proportions. The name “hurricane” most likely came from the strength of the drink as well as the first vessel the drink was sold in. The average hurricane has an alcohol content of about 18 percent ABV (36 proof). The history of the Hurricane cocktail is an interesting tale of supply and demand, inspiring what would become a legendary cocktail, especially in the South. The creation of the passion fruit–colored drink is credited to New Orleans tavern owner Pat O’Brien whose bar allegedly started as a speakeasy called Mr. O’Brien’s Club Tipperary and the password was “storm’s brewin.” In the 1940s, O’Brien needed to create a new drink to help him get rid of all of the less-popular rum that local distributors forced him to buy before he could get the preferred liquors such as scotch and whiskeys. He poured the concoction into hurricane lamp– shaped glasses and gave it away to sailors. The drink caught on, and it has been a mainstay in the French Quarter ever since. The O’Brien’s bartender at the time, Louis Culligan, published the first hurricane recipe in an issue of Cabaret magazine. Another story says that it debuted during the 1939 New York World’s Fair in Queens and was named after the location it was created in, The Hurricane Bar. The hurricane cocktail is a relative of the daiquiri and includes many variations including the blue hurricane, Hawaiian shooter, Bahama mama, and a Jamaican rum punch, just to name a few. There are also variations of the Hurricane, depending on where it is made, and they may use ingredients like Navan liqueur, orange juice, Grand Marnier, or Irish cream. As for the most popular recipe, it usually mentions the usage of one-part dark rum, one-part white rum, passion fruit syrup and lime juice. The hurricane cocktail is made differently on the islands of the Bahamas where the drink is composed of various measures of coffee liqueur, 151 rum, Irish cream, and Grand Marnier. It is 52

commonly found in the downtown bars of Nassau. Although you can enjoy this fruity tropical cocktail during the balmy days of summer or year around, actual hurricane season ends November 30. Enjoy!


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MAKES 1 DRINK INGREDIENTS • 2 oz Light rum • 2 oz Dark rum • 1 oz Fresh lime juice • 1 oz Orange juice • 1/2 oz Passion fruit purée • 1/2 oz Simple syrup • 1 bar spoon Grenadine • Garnish: Orange wheel • Garnish: Preserved cherry DIRECTIONS Gather all ingredients and add into a shaker with ice and shake. Strain into a large Hurricane glass over fresh ice. Garnish with an orange half-wheel and a preserved cherry. Garnish with the grapefruit slice.

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IP Pensacola has always aimed to create covers which embody the true VIP spirit of socializing throughout the area. Choosing that one special photo each month is no small feat, but always results in giving readers a sneak peek into what the rest of the pages hold. From fundraisers to celebrations, and ribbon cuttings to groundbreakings, VIP Pensacola is the place to look when you want to see what’s going on around town. Take a look back with us at our July Covers as we look forward to making many more July memories with the community.

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Brewery with tap room and cigar lounge and cigar shop. Game area and outside deck. Family and dog friendly. 23 beer taps and full wine menu available. Food truck available for lunch and dinner.

July 2020 | 55

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photos provided by Healing Paws for Warriors | story by Greg Alexander


n 2015, the idea of service dogs for treating veterans was discussed by a few local community members. It was Sheila Hale and Mike Arena who co-founded Healing Paws for Warriors and have remained the backbone of the nonprofit as they continue to be heavily involved in current day-to-day decisions. It is a resilient program that represents veterans helping veterans from personal experience and trained service dogs. HP4W’s is a volunteerbased program whose supporters have big hearts and are dedicated to supporting our military men and women. Sheila has cultivated the program from infancy, creating and executing the policies and procedures, logo, website, social media, and fundraising. She serves as a wizard behind the scenes making all program areas function and she selfless gives of her time serving as director of operations and program manager. Mike serves as the executive director and is on the frontline with his service dog Orion. Working with each veteran during service dog and resilience training and promoting community awareness and support are part of Mike’s responsibilities. Also, after veteran and K9 graduation, Mike personally follows up with each team creating an ongoing family program environment. Sheila, who is a 27-year government employee, met Mike, a retired Air Force medic who served over 23 years, and realized that he was one of those veterans who struggled with battle-field traumas from serving his country. She had heard of a service dog program and the difference it was making to veterans when they returned home from deployments. Sheila encouraged Mike to attend a service dog program. After Mike returned from the program, everyone realized that the dog (Orion) and the program made a difference and for the first time, Sheila saw Mike’s smile. From that smile, she knew that she

needed to step up and do what she could to bring the program to the local area. HP4Ws services the Florida Panhandle population. The Emerald Coast is home to the largest military population within the state. It is estimated that more than 63,000 veterans and approximately 50,000 active and reservists reside in the Florida Panhandle. HP4Ws program targets approximately 10,000 warriors in the area who have or are experiencing post-traumatic stress (PTSD). For veterans interested in the program, applications are located on the HP4Ws website, or call 850-716-8198. To volunteer to support the HP4Ws mission or to donate, please also visit www. If you know of an organization that would like to learn more about service dog benefits and have a guest appearance, please contact:

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Interview with Sheila Hale

Co-Founder – Healing Paws for Warriors What is the primary mission of Healing Paws for Warriors?

What is most rewarding with the organization?

Save a Veteran - Rescue a Dog! Healing Paws for Warriors is a local veteran founded and veteran led 501(c)(3) that provides rescue to trained service dogs and help to veterans faced with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and/or Military Sexual Trauma (MST) at “no cost” to the veteran, with continued support, reducing the statistic of veteran suicide.

Seeing lives and families change before, during, and after the process. My heart melted when a veteran’s young daughter came up to me with a big hug and said, “Thank you for giving me my daddy back.” Or, spouses trying to hold their families together and after finding the program regaining a semblance of who their significant other once was after returning from the war.

How is the organization funded?

Also, the friendships that develop after the program and graduates that join us as volunteers. The HP4Ws family continues to grow, often spends holidays, birthdays, and events together.

Funding comes from donations, grants, fundraisers, and community events. Currently, a person or business who donates $5K supporting a veteran/K9 team has naming rights for a future service dog. How has Healing Paws for Warriors impacted the local community? Over the past 5 years, HP4Ws has graduated over 27 veteran/K9s teams and are projected to graduate 17 more teams this year. After completing the HP4Ws program the veteran is certified to be a dog handler and receives 2 certifications—Canine Good Citizen and Canine Good Citizen Advanced. HP4Ws then recognizes their efforts in a graduation ceremony. HP4Ws improves the local community by providing a medical device (service dog) to military and veterans, reducing suicide and allowing warriors to re-connect with family. What is the greatest challenge facing Healing Paws for Warriors? Increased funds would provide more veterans receiving dogs and cover expenditures including shelter costs, vet care, food, kennel costs, and service dog and veteran training. Currently, the program’s operating budget supports 10 veteran/K9 teams a year with a 1-year waiting list. Additional resources would provide a campus including land for training and a building for office/training space and a building for lodging of veterans who travel from a distance. The program’s resources have grown through community support, including partnering with Northwest Florida State College – Niceville for training grounds and office space. Where do the dogs come from? Over 95% of the dogs used for our program are rescued from shelters within the Panhandle. The other 5% are either owner surrender or breeder donation.

What is the length of the program for each veteran? The training program requires the veterans to meet 3 times a week for 2-3 months depending on how well the veterans are learning. The dogs are paired with their veterans during week 2 and are required to return for annual certifications to remain in the program. How large is your staff? Currently, HP4Ws has approximately 10 dedicated volunteers and 1 dog training contractor. We are a volunteer-based program that increasingly continues to grow. What is one thing you want readers to know about Healing Paws for Warriors? Save a Veteran - Rescue a Dog helps reduce veteran suicide. Empowering our heroes to begin their recovery with their new service dog allows them a new start, to enroll in college, start new jobs, and most importantly return to their families with their freedom and independence. Service Canines are a treatment aid for PTSD, TBI, MST, where medications often fail. The service dogs are a proven recovery tool for these invisible disorders. Many returning Veterans suffer from the sights, sounds, and memories of the horrors of war. They carry this home with them, and depression and suicidal thoughts are common. According to the Department of Defense 1 in 5 Veterans suffer from PTSD and 1 in 6 will attempt or have suicidal tendencies. We have seen and believe in the difference a canine can make in this life or death matter. Are there any upcoming events? Independence Paws Volleyball Tourney sponsored by Juana’s Pagodas Sailor’s Grill in Navarre will be July 25. Events can be found on our Facebook page or website.

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VIP Pensacola at Gulf Coast Brewery

The One Social Hour June Meeting


photos & story by Verla Price

une 23, 5:30 -7:30, the One Social Hour came together for a networking business after hours at the Gulf Coast Brewery on E Heinberg Street Pensacola. This group of business professionals picks local venues to make connections and help grow each other’s businesses. This chapter is 100% FREE and meets on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month. An exchange of business cards, creative ideas, and networking with like-minded and professional business friends created a lively atmosphere. Businesses that brought a door prize was given the floor for 30 seconds to speak about their products and services. Find The One Social Hour on facebook for more information. Debbie Martin & Stephanie Alvarez


Carrie Eckland & Chae Kyle

Mike & Jeri Cox

Kristina Truppi & Christopher Emery

Joanna Bradford, Birttany Barnett & John Manzanet

Roxanne Palmer & Lisa Ferrer


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tie the knot with us Voted VIP Pensacola’s

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Cookie + Pie = Coopie


t may be a mouthful to say the name Sweet Tennessee Gooey Peanut Butter Coopie. Just saying it makes your mouth water, but oh what deliciousness the flavors and textures these magical ingredients make. First, I know you are wondering if “Coopie” is a typo. It most certainly is not – it is the perfect marriage of a cookie and a pie. With the first bite, you know it was not just serendipitous to meld these ingredients all together, but rather an innate skill of Jim Norton who is cultivating his brand of “Sweet Tennessee” products. Jim is a recipe creator, cook, lifestyle expert, and consummate party host. With a fine-tuned palate and a quest for perfection, Jim has always crafted his own recipes for appetizers, main dishes, desserts, and even specialty liqueurs. In June of this year he played around with some of his favorite ingredients that culminated in a pie that was absolutely too beautiful and too good not to share. He began posting images and on his well-followed Instagram blog (@thejimnorton) and his followers were demanding that he share more than just pictures. Jim, always eager to share his skills, created some next-level packaging for the pies and began shipping to fans near and far. It only took a few days before he really knew that his Sweet Tennessee Gooey Peanut Butter Caramel Pie packed an impactful punch. He immediately went back to the kitchen, honestly, he probably never left it, and began crafting ways to get this divine dessert more easily shareable. From there, he tweaked the recipe a bit, ending with a cookie version of his pie. Because it started as a pie, and because the end result is still as much a pie as it is a stand-alone cookie, Jim cleverly monikered his new creation a Coopie. The Sweet Tennessee Gooey Peanut Butter Coopies are a base of peanut butter cookie topped with peanut butter caramel, sprinkled with peanuts, sea salt, and a dusting of powdered sugar. Adding more to his lineup, Jim has created a chocolate version of his pie that is convertible to a Coopie, as well. The Sweet Tennessee Gooey Chocolate and Peanut Butter Pie has an intense chocolate flavor, hints of peanut butter with that grainy texture of sugar that we all love, and topped with crushed Heath Bar. Although Jim’s Coopie is quickly becoming a viral sensation, it is currently only available through his Instagram account, but don’t think Jim doesn’t have broader plans in the works. Coopies have trended so quickly that Jim is already working on new things and currently has a “Make at Home” mix for the Gooey Chocolate and Peanut Butter Pie created and ready to ship, again, of course, in the most elevated and beautiful packaging one would imagine. His Sweet Tennessee products are the ideal way to treat yourself and your family or, are an appropriate gift for anyone with a sweet tooth who you wish to impress. Jim Norton is a talented individual whether he is in the kitchen crafting recipes, hosting elaborate dinner parties at his home for 3 people or for 300 people, blogging about his culinary creations, or for making guest appearances on TV talk shows showcasing his skills. He is always on trend and someone that everyone needs to know.



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Follow Jim on Instagram at @thejimnorton and on Facebook at The Norton Recipe where you, too, can order a Coopie, catch up on his latest indulgences or just be entertained (he sometimes sings, too).

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Beach Flag Warning System Florida’s Beach Flag Warning System uses flags in four colors to explain the water conditions on the beach. This system is in place for your safety. Please observe and obey the Flag System during your stay on the Emerald Coast.

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s ’ a l u o Chris


e p p o h S



Handmade with the Freshest Ingredients Serving Pensacola Since 2007

236 West Garden Street Downtown Pensacola


850-941-7400 7400 Pine Forest Road www.sou

Thank you for voting us the best Florist in 2020! July 2020 | 63

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DIY Popsicles story by Anna Stockton


hether you’re a fan of the ever-popular cherry popsicle or you like to take a walk on the wild side with a root beer flavor, popsicles are bound to bring back a memory or two. This sweet, refreshing treat reminds me of hot summer days growing up in Florida, after hours of running through the sprinkler or clotheslining each other in heated games of red rover. Popsicles were always a way for the neighborhood kids to cool down together. It probably wouldn’t come as a surprise that popsicles were invented by a child. That’s right, in 1905 11-year-old Frank Epperson left homemade soda on his porch overnight with a stir stick in it. The next morning he found that the soda had frozen and he could eat it by holding the stick. They didn’t get the name popsicles right away. Like any 11-year-old would do, he named them after himself and Epsicles were invented! It wasn’t until 1923 that an older and more sophisticated Frank patented his creation that he renamed popsicles, named that because his children would ask for “pop’s sicles.” In no time, this new sweet treat took the country by storm. In the early 1920’s it’s estimated that Coney Island Amusement Park sold over 8,000 popsicles in one single day. Epperson’s passion for cool inventions didn’t stop at popsicles, he would go on to patent the fudgesicle, the dreamsicle, and the creamsicle. While store bought popsicles have expanded their flavors past the traditional cherry, banana, orange, grape, watermelon, and root beer, there’s nothing like a homemade popsicle to show off your creative side. The possibilities are endless and whether they’re for the kids, adults, or the pups, homemade popsicles will sure take any gathering up a notch. Fun molds, mixing of flavors, and adding a little “spirit” are all great ways to shake up your summertime fun!

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STRAWBERRY MOJITO PARTY POPS 1/2 c. rum 3/4 c. chopped strawberries 2 c. limeade 4 oz. fresh lime juice 8 mint leaves, chopped 6 wooden popsicle sticks Mix all ingredients together then evenly divide mixture into popsicle molds.

Patriot Pops 1 cup chopped strawberries 1 cup blueberries 1 banana chopped 3 cups plain Greek yogurt divided into three equal parts 1 1/2 tablespoons fine sugar divided into three equal parts water red and blue food coloring optional 10 popsicle sticks

Blend the strawberries with 1/2 tablespoon sugar and 1/4 cup water. Pulse until well combined. Add 1 cup Greek yogurt and blend until fully smooth. Add 3 drops of red food coloring if you would like the color to be a bit more vibrant (optional). Set aside. Keep refrigerated until use. Repeat steps with each type of fruit, using blue food coloring with the blueberries if you’d like a bolder blue (optional). Start by adding a layer of blueberry mixture to the bottom of each popsicle mold. Add your popsicle sticks and allow layer to freeze for about 2 hours. Follow with layer of either banana or strawberry. Allow this layer to freeze as well before adding your final layer. Allow pops to freeze fully.


1 banana 1 1/2 cups watermelon 1 cup pineapple

Puree together and pour into silicone muffin cups. Freeze and serve to your furry friend.

Tips For Perfect DIY Popsicles • Heat up your syrup before freezing. Believe it or not, hot water freezes faster than cold water. This DIY “flash freeze” creates smaller ice crystals, making the flavor more evenly distributed and of course, less wait time to enjoy your creation. • Another option to create your own “flash freeze” is to freeze the filled popsicle mold in a mixture of salt and ice. Adding salt to ice can lower the temperature of ice to -21 degrees Fahrenheit. • Use a pastry bag or simply cut the corner off a freezer bag to fill the molds easier and with less mess. • Allow your popsicles to freeze for about 40 minutes before adding the sticks. That way the stick will stay put. • Once your popsicles are frozen, run the mold under warm water to loosen them from the mold. • Use a bottle brush to clean the molds and get them ready for your next popsicle creation. July 2020 | 65

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VIP Pensacola at the Terraza


Sips & Serenades photos & story by Verla Price

ensacola Little Theater kicked off their summer concert series, Sips and Serenades, on Saturday, June 13. Under the twinkling lights, the warm night set the mood for fun and relaxation as old and new friends enjoyed cocktails and the sounds of local musicians. Sips and Serenades took place at the Terraza, an open-air venue with plenty of space to distance from other guests that allows you to pop in to listen to your favorite musician. However, with a full bar menu and togo bottle service, many guests chose to pull up a chair and stay a while. The Pensacola Little Theatre has been providing the area with

Robert Lambrisky with Dax & Flavio Souza with Ellie

TJ Norrie & Susan McCaskill

Chris Heaney, Susan & Michael Jacobs 66

local, live, volunteer musical talent since 1936. While PLT has had to make adjustments to their normal performance schedule, for Sips and Serenades, the show will go on. “Our nonprofit thrives on bringing the community together, and while that’s not physically possible right now in our normal capacity, we continue striving to promote local talent and cultural diversity in any way we can,” says Executive Director Sid Williams-Heath. “Pensacola certainly doesn’t lack for talent, and we’re grateful to showcase that talent each weekend at the Cultural Center.” You can catch Sips and Serenades every Friday and Saturday night from 5-9pm.

Cynthia Vargas, Dolores Comerford, Jerry Valanzano & Cindy Dowd

Garrett Summitt & Benjamin Haupt

Sid & Dr. Nicklaus Williams-Heath

Fred Mixon, Emily Mixon & Donna Mixon


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CIL Disability Resource Center Changes Name Back to Center for Independent Living of Northwest Florida; Hosts Online Anniversary Campaign

On behalf of the consumers served, and all people with disabilities, the CIL Disability Resource Center is honored to extend to the public an invitation to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the CIL Disability Resource Center, titled “Honoring Our Past, Planning Our Future” through their online campaign located on their Facebook page. This campaign will occur between July 1st - 31st. The CIL Disability Resource Center has an exciting schedule planned of fun and entertaining videos that will be in the style of TikTok, online auctions, educational pieces, thought provoking stories, quick sign language tutorials, interactive activities, music, giveaways, and more. In honor of the past and the desire to move forward, the CIL Disability Resource Center will be changing back to its original name – the Center for Independent Living of Northwest Florida. This will include a new logo and branding. On Wednesday, July 15 from 5:00-7:00 pm the Center for Independent Living will be hosting a virtual Sheriff’s candidate forum. The forum will focus on questions regarding the sheriff’s office and the disability community. There will also be time for a question and answer session. The Center for Independent Living will host a virtual keynote speaker on Friday, July 31 from 2:00-4:00 pm, Deidre Davis Butler. Deidre is an attorney, advocate and disability rights expert. For forty years, she has been working for equal access with and for persons with disabilities. Deidre has helped craft, implement and enforce disability rights and equal employment laws. Her areas of expertise include the Air Carrier Access Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and the Fair Housing Act. A recognized national and global leader, Deidre has one unique story and perspective on the dynamics of disability. Deidre’s eclectic career includes County, State, Federal, International, and Corporate service. Positions held include: Chief of the Federal Independent Living 68

Program (U.S. Dept. of Education), Director of ADA Technical Assistance (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission), Deputy Assistant Secretary for Equal Employment and Civil Rights (U.S. Department of State). She also served in President Clinton’s White House Office of Presidential Personnel. There will also be time for a question and answer session. Throughout the month, the Center for Independent Living will also be including a “Dear Carolyn” video segment - in the style of “Dear Abby”. In fact, participants may also give themselves a fun anonymous nickname if they want! Participants can email Carolyn at anything they want to know about the Center for Independent Living of Northwest Florida, disability rights, or Carolyn herself. She will read approximately 4-6 letters each video. As part of this new online campaign, the Center for Independent Living will also celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by recognizing members of our community who are leaders, advocates, and volunteers. The Center for Independent Living of Northwest Florida provides education, advocacy and other services to promote equality, access and inclusion for people with disabilities whose goal is to live independently. They proudly reach people in Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, and Walton Counties. Their online campaign will provide an opportunity to educate community members about the importance of a society that embraces full inclusion for all people and will highlight the history of the CIL’s role. By participating in this event, you show your support for the Americans with Disabilities Act, which is (in President George Bush’s words) “the world’s first comprehensive declaration of the equality of people with disabilities and evidence of America’s leadership internationally in the cause of human rights”. To get involved, please join the Center for Independent Living of Northwest Florida from July 1st-31st on their Facebook page. If you have any questions, please contact the Center by email at or by phone 850-595-5566.

students to reimagine summer camps with Creative Stage and Creative Spark. Unlock your imagination and set the scene for selfexpression as you perform with PCC this summer. Imagination ignites with Creative Spark, July 20-24. Channeling their inner troubadours, middle school students will seek inspiration in their quest of self-expression. Students will examine storytelling through the lens of composition, gaining inspiration from songwriting, improvisation, and collaborative music-making activities. Armed with an arsenal of compositional tools and strategies, participants will create their own unique works, set to premiere virtually on July 31. The curtain will rise on Creative Stage July 27-31. This half-day camp will immerse participants in the timeless art of musical storytelling. Beyond singing, elementary students will explore characters, tell tall tales, and discover how music and movement can bring stories to life. Camp participants will début a performance piece written and performed entirely by camp participants. Grades 1-3 will meet daily from 9:30 a.m. -12:00 p.m., while grades 4-5 will meet daily from 1:00-4:00 p.m. “Even as a career musician and educator, I am yearning for something creative,” says Alex Gartner, Artistic & Executive Director. “We realize that beyond social media, young people have lost virtually all opportunities for self-expression. Creative Stage and Creative Spark are built around promoting the mental health and well being of participants. It’s my hope that these programs help our singers find a sense of relief during these difficult times.” PCC invites any rising 1st through 8th grader to join these captivating programs. Whether you’re a newcomer looking for an introduction to the performing arts, or you’re yearning for a creative outlet for selfexpression, Creative Stage and Creative Spark are just the place for you. Enroll online at the PCC website (www. No prior experience required. For more information about the Pensacola Children’s Chorus, please visit

Explore Creativity with the Pensacola Children’s Chorus in 2 New Camp Offerings The Pensacola Children’s Chorus (PCC) invites elementary and middle school


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VIP Pensacola at Pensacola Humane Society

Pensacola Humane Society

Tent Sale photos & story by Kristina Wright


he Pensacola Humane Society hosted a pop-up Tent Sale on June 13 to raise funds for much needed upgrades to the shelter. During the event, many cat and dog supplies were available for purchase such as toys, beds, leashes, harnesses, kennels, crates, carriers, and more. Prices varied from $2 to $20 minimum donations. The funding will be utilized to renovate areas of the shelter including the front lobby and big dog enclosure, painting, and site technology upgrades. PHS plans to host their “Kick-off Pawty� for Paws on Palafox at Perfect Plain on July 10, followed by Paws on Palafox on July 25. The Pensacola Humane Society is committed to improving the lives of companion animals in our community through advocacy, adoption, education, and sanctuary. In the forefront of spay and neuter education, the Pensacola Humane Society has led the way for over seven decades in the belief that animals are sentient beings who experience pain and suffering, and that it is our responsibility to attend to their needs and to treat them with dignity and respect. The Pensacola Humane Society continues to work towards making Pensacola a no-kill community, where there are enough homes for every animal and no need to euthanize healthy animals. Nancy Vandal with Benny

Jozan Blount, Regina Smolensky, Christy Rollins & Lynne Darius

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Pearl, Emily & Dillon Hobbs July 2020 | 69

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VIP Pensacola on Palafox Street

Sunday Stroll

ART POP-UP photos & story by Kristina Wright


non June 21, the streets of Downtown Pensacola were full of creative artists and patrons during the city’s weekly Sunday Stroll, which featured an Art Pop-Up event showcasing local art handmade from Northwest Florida artists. The Sunday Stroll occurs from 10 a.m. - 9 p.m. but the art pop-up is ONLY available from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Attendees had the opportunity to browse the incredible creations and products made by local shops, have a bite and a refreshing drink, or just enjoy first days of Summer with a stroll down the usually busy epicenter center of downtown Pensacola. The artist list included: Neats Uniques, Penned & Planned, Bradley White, Bad Habits Lounge, Custom Gambler, Leafy Leslie, Jordan’s Custom Woodwork, Elli Gentile, Jaime Shevat Art, and Michele Young. This was not a traditional ‘Gallery Night’ event, due to current COVID-19 restrictions, but the popular event wanted to give the community a purely artistic opportunity to browse and buy from local artists. Gallery Night Pensacola is a 501c3 nonprofit organization operating in Downtown Pensacola focused on promoting art and culture.

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VIP Pensacola on Sunday Stroll Art Pop-Up

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Brynlee, Brad & Briley Koehler

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Brian Wyer

What is your hometown, what brought you to PENSACOLA and how long have you been here? I was born and raised in Pensacola. As a youth, I went to Catholic High School, and then Graduated from UWF in 1991. I moved to Tampa, FL, for 22 years and then came back to Pensacola in 2013. What is your profession, and what led you to chose it? My desire to understand the new early 90s computer industry (WOW – I feel old) and its impact on business led me to graduate with a Management Information Systems degree. I then spent 22 years working in IT management. When I returned to Pensacola in 2013, I switched my career to NonProfit leadership, where I now act as President & CEO of Gulf Coast Minority Chamber of Commerce, to have a positive impact in our community. What do you like best about Pensacola? What makes it unique? Pensacola has a comfortable feeling of being “home,” and a “true sweet spot” of being the perfect size and location. It’s big enough to have lots of activities, but small enough so that you can make a difference. We are still in Florida, but easily able to access other major areas such as New Orleans, Atlanta and Central Florida. Give us three words that best describe you. Determined. Collaborative. Inclusive. What are some of your favorite things about Pensacola? Some of my favorite things about Pensacola are the beautiful beaches, community organizations, entrepreneurial spirit, local sports, hometown pride, and future potential.

photo by Kristina Wright

Finish this statement, I AM PENSACOLA because…

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I was born here, moved away and always kept a connection to the place that I loved. Once I obtained new experiences and knowledge, my heart brought me back home to help make a difference in our diverse community.

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