THE CITY MAGAZINE of SAINT AUGUSTINE DECEMBER JANUARY 2020
MAKING NEIGHBORS OUT OF STRANGERS, ONE STORY AT A TIME
f o tales
Triumph Stories of grit and gumption from local dreamers, doers and goal seekers to inspire you in the new year.
Display until January 30, 2020
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Six wine glasses in front of you and surrounded by friends seems like the perfect way to end the year (page 40).
It can be easy, at that point, to focus on all of the goals we didn’t reach in 2019, all of the failures, the missed opportunities. But at the same time, there’s a flip side to that coin. This point in the year also gives us the chance to look back at how much we’ve grown, the times we succeeded (even if those times seem small). If we can move past the pressure, there’s a beautiful hopefulness to saying goodbye to one year and hello to another. We wanted this issue to reflect that hope. So throughout these pages, you’ll find stories of growth. Like Adam Lynn, who started the Island Christmas Toy Drive in 2015 to help just one needy family and, just this last year, was able to give to almost 200 children. You’ll also meet Jolie, whose rise in the local music scene has been meteoric. Tina Waldrop helped bring Osceola Elementary from a D rating to an A rating in just one year, and Trey Nadin used his strong work ethic to earn a leadership position with the Jax Pack. Alongside them, you’ll meet the leaders of the three St. Johns County businesses who were included in the Inc. 5000 list for this year. Their success offers something to aspire to, and their words of wisdom offer guidance for setting our own goals. With those stories of growth and goal-setting, these pages are also filled with advice on getting and staying well both physically and mentally. They’re full of celebration for a festive season and good times spent with good people. So here’s to the memories of the extraordinary year behind us and the promise and potential of the year to come.
FAVORITE QUOTE “FROM THE NEWS, IT CAN SEEM THAT OUR WORLD IS CRAZY AND DIVISIVE," SAYS ADAM LYNN. "BUT IF YOU JUST REACH OUT AND TALK TO YOUR NEIGHBOR, YOU’LL SEE THAT NONE OF THAT MATTERS. WE JUST NEED TO GET OUT THERE AND HELP ONE ANOTHER.” PAGE 38
Photo by Kate Gardiner
ur December/January issue is a particular favorite of mine. It’s the issue that closes out one year and welcomes in the next, and it feels like it’s filled with a particular significance. This time of year, there’s a lot of pressure on all of us – not just the pressure of holiday entertaining, family, and gift-giving. No, the pressure is more personal than that. For a lot of people, the new year marks a chance for a new beginning. We make resolutions, promises to improve ourselves or our circumstances in some way – whether that be getting healthier, saving money, spending time traveling.
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From stylists to financial planners, real estate agents to accountants, meet the faces leading the local industry.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
With the holidays upon us, there's no shortage of exciting events to enjoy â&#x20AC;&#x201C; this is a busy season in St. Augustine.
Has taking care of your mental health made it onto your list of resolutions? Here's how to care for your mind in the new year.
JOT IT DOWN
We're all resolving to get organized in 2020. These clever and cute planners and journals just might get you there.
From fitness classes to healthy eating, this weekend at The Palm Beaches was all about wellness.
As she creates a new solo space, Anchor Boutique's Laurel Baker reflects on the growth that brought her there.
Under the guidance of Principal Tina Waldrop, Osceola Elementary went from a D school to an A school in just a year.
FACES OF ST. AUGUSTINE
Under new ownership, Panama Hattie's is back on the beach and better than ever with new decor and a delicious menu.
WORTH THE DRIVE
Jacksonville's Bellwether is taking casual dining to a whole new level with purposeful presentation and preparation.
THERE'S MORE TO THIS MAGAZINE THAN WHAT'S IN YOUR HAND
STAUGUSTINESOCIAL.COM SHOP LOCAL IN ST. AUGUSTINE
No matter what you're buying or who's on your list, there's no shortage of ways to shop local in St. Augustine this holiday season. Here's your directory for all the local retailers. Photo via Explore Charleston
RECENT PRESS RELEASES >> RETHREADED EVENT
At their event in November, local charity Rethreaded raised more than $20,000 from over 300 attendees shopping for handmade goods. The nonprofit creates jobs for human trafficking survivors.
St. Augustine Tonight
Make your list and check it twice!
6 Mini Road Trips to take from St. Aug
Whether you want to travel near or far, there are plenty of sights to see this upcoming season. And they're just a short drive from St. Augustine's city limits. Photo via Amelia Island
More Online Now >>
St. johns reads
Talks & tours in December & January Hosted by our local state and county parks, these talks and tours will get you in touch with nature.
10 Activities to entertain out-oftowners As hoards of family and friends pass through your home this holiday season, we know you're in desperate need of ways to keep them entertained. We can help.
How to celebrate new year's eve Whether you're looking for a midnight champagne toast, something lowkey for the kids, or an all-out party, this is how you ring in 2020 in St. Aug.
The St. Augustine Tonight Show, hosted by resident journalist Jorge Rivera, will debut its fourth season in January 2020. Taped before a live audience with special local guests, the shows are hosted at the Corazon Cinema & Cafe.
ST. AUGUSTINE EVENTS TO KEEP UP YOUR HOLIDAY SPIRIT From glittering lights to sparkling dancers, from favorite holiday carols to a Christmas straight out of the Victorian era, there's no shortage of events this season that will keep you in a festive holiday mood. www.STAUGUSTINESOCIAL.com
The St. Johns County Library has announced that Delia Owensâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Where the Crawdads Sing is the book choice for St. Johns Reads 2020. Throughout the month of February, library locations will offer a variety of programs inspired by the story â&#x20AC;&#x201C; from food and art programs to lectures and movies.
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LIFE VENARDOS CIRCUS THE AMP December 18-January 5
he beloved Venardos Circus is back in St. Augustine again! They're ready to wow the crowds with 32 shows over three weeks in the intimate red-and-white striped tent, set up in the parking lot of the Amphitheatre. Get ready to be transported back in time – the center ring of a centuriesold tradition has been reinvented for the next generation by this talented group of performers. With an amazing assortment of aerialists, acrobats, juggling, hand-balancing/contortion, comedy, daredevilry, magic, musical production and much more (with no animals), this awesome circus experience will truly delight adults and kids of all ages. Like the circuses of old, this traveling show is completely self-contained. An hour before each performance, you can attend a pre-show party where you'll have opportunities to meet the cast, snap selfies, and play games. And of course, no circus experience would be complete without the essential circus treats – like popcorn, nachos, fresh-made cotton candy, and pink lemonade. Since January of 2018, this troupe has performed for the St. Augustine and Jacksonville areas three times with 55 shows and more than 15,000 audience members. Like previous shows, they expect this run to sell out fast! The Venardos Circus is an unforgettable experience for guests young and old – and one you definitely don't want to miss out on. Tickets start at $25 for adults and $15 for children under 12. Premium seating is available for $35-$45.
Calendar of Events // Trending // Q&A // Long Story Short // We Tried It
DECEMBER & JANUARY NIGHTS OF LIGHTS DOWNTOWN ST. AUGUSTINE November 23-February 2 It draws thousands of people to the city every year, but even as a local, Nights of Lights is not something you want to miss out on. Any spot downtown will give you a beautiful view of the illumination of 3 million white lights. Its iconic brilliance will get you in the mood for the holidays faster than any other local tradition (we think so, at least). So make your way downtown anytime from now to the beginning of February to bask in the glow. www.nightsoflights.com
HALL OF FAME INDUCTION CEREMONY THE AMP December 1, 1-5pm Show your support at the 2nd Annual St. Augustine Music Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, recognizing several of the finest local musicians in town. The
event will include performances by Shayla Nelson, Davis and the Loose Cannons, and Hornit. Taste some local beers provided by Ancient City Brewery and Dog Rose Brewery and browse a collection of arts and crafts from several local artists on display. The event is free and open to the public. www.staugustineamphitheatre.com
4 LUMINARY NIGHT ST. AUGUSTINE LIGHTHOUSE December 4, 6-9pm More than 2,000 luminaries will be displayed throughout the grounds and on the streets surrounding this historic landmark, creating a magical holiday experience. Lights and holiday décor also adorn the 1876 Keepers’ House and other historic buildings on the property. In addition, 14 Christmas trees
EVERY CHRISTMAS STORY EVER TOLD LIMELIGHT THEATRE November 22-December 22
Every Christmas Story Ever Told (and then some!) is a play made up of three actors who decide to forgo the Charles Dickens classic and perform, well, every Christmas story ever told. Enjoy Christmas tradition from all over the globe as well as renditions of every Christmas carol ever sung. It's ambitiously festive and a can't-miss for this holiday season! Performances are at 7:30pm on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, and at 2pm on Sundays. There will be no shows on Thanksgiving Day or the following Friday. www.limelight-theatre.org
are decorated in different themes, with the nautical tree in the upstairs gallery of the Keepers’ House featuring nautical-themed ornaments donated by people all over the country. Luminary Night is free and open to the public. www.staugustinelighthouse.org
“HAPPIEST OF HOLIDAYS” CONCERT THE LIGHTNER MUSEUM December 4-5, 8pm The St. Augustine Orchestra is kicking off this holiday season with this year's Christmas
Concert at the beautiful Lightner Museum downtown. Come experience the magic of the holidays with red bows and candy canes as the Orchestra performs more than a dozen holiday classics such as the Nutcracker, Have Yourself a Merry Christmas, and more! Don’t miss out on this fantastic holiday event. Tickets begin at $27.50, doors open at 7:30pm. www.staugustineorchestra.org
54TH ANNUAL ST. AUGUSTINE FESTIVAL OF ART FRANCIS FIELD
November 30 and December 1 The St. Augustine Art Association, with the support of many community volunteers, has been hosting the annual St. Augustine Festival of Art for over five decades. Discover and shop thousands of original works of fine art for sale, from paintings and pottery to handbags, jewelry, sculpture, and woodworks. www.staaa.org/festival
A CHRISTMAS CAROL STARRING JASON WOODS
and explore your city. www.jax.uso.org
PONTE VEDRA CONCERT HALL December 5, 8pm
20TH ANNUAL REINDEER RUN
Jason Woods brings his inspiring tour de force performance of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol to the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall stage this December in a special one-night benefit performance for STAGE Fund. In the span of 90 minutes, Mr. Woods transforms into over 25 characters from the Dickens’ holiday classic as he describes every shadowy phantom, every mouth-watering morsel of Christmas dinner, and each tear of joy from this beloved tale. General admission is $41.50. www.pvconcerthall.com
CASTILLO DRIVE December 7, 8am A true one-mile run along the St. Augustine Christmas Parade route just before the parade begins is sure to provide large, cheering crowds as runners make their way to the finish line. Check the clock as you complete the race for your mile time! All proceeds will go to support the youth of St. Augustine at the Boys & Girls Club. Day of race registration is $10. Don’t miss out on this family-friendly fundraising event! www.bgcnf.org
CASTILLO BY CANDLELIGHT: ENEMY AT THE GATES CASTILLO DE SAN MARCOS December 6, 6:30-8:30pm The Castillo's annual 1740 Siege Night event, “Enemy at the Gates," is taking place on Friday, December 6. This special tour features living history demonstrations depicting the fort as it would have been under the 1740 British siege. The tours will take visitors through the different stations at the fort as the reenactors prepare for the oncoming attack from British General James Oglethorpe. Don’t miss out on this chance to relive history! Admission to this event is $15. www.nps.gov/casa
7 ST. AUGUSTINE PAL DAY LOCAL ATTRACTIONS December 7 Join the community for the 62nd Annual USO/St. Augustine Pal Military Appreciation Day. For this annual event, a large number of local attractions offer free admission for all active-duty servicemen and their families and a free lunch will be provided by the St. Augustine Elks Lodge. This is our city’s opportunity to show appreciation to our troops and their families. So come participate
CHRISTMAS PARADE MISSION NOMBRE DE DIOS December 7, 9am St. Augustine’s 64th Annual Christmas Parade ushers in the holiday season with floats, festive decorations, and plenty of fun. Lots of local organizations participate in this event, making it one of the largest parades in Northeast Florida. Holiday decorations adorn all the entries, from floats to marching bands to antique cars and horses and carriages. Even Santa joins in the spectacle, as visitors and locals alike come down to the historic district to watch the procession. The parade begins at the Mission Nombre de Dios and ends at the Castillo de San Marcos. www.facebook.com/ StAugustineChristmasParade
COLONIAL NIGHT WATCH CASTILLO DE SAN MARCOS December 7, 9am-8pm This popular annual event recreates historic Night Watches in garrison towns, where any citizen
still on the streets after the city gates were locked, was required to carry a light so they could be seen and identified by the Night Watch. The event starts, though, with firearm demonstrations at the Castillo. The Colonial Quarter will play host to Spanish, French, British and Native American reenactors portraying events of colonial St. Augustine starting at 10am. The Night Watch procession will begin at 7pm with the firing of the Castillo’s cannon. www.nps.gov/casa
A DECEMBER TO REMEMBER PARTY WORLD GOLF HALL OF FAME December 7, 10am-1pm There’s nothing like a party to get you in the holiday spirit, so be sure to attend this city-wide party and celebrate with your community! Jacksonville Business Connections is hosting their annual community Holiday Party for all to attend at the Hall of Fame at World Golf Village. Join the family-friendly fun with a Santa meet and greet, multiple vendors, food, and much more! This event is free and open to the public. www.jacksonvillebusinessconnections.com
FIREFIGHTER CHILI COOKOFF THE AMP December 7, 2-6pm Hosted by the St. Augustine Fire Department and Benevolence Foundation, this annual chili cookoff will benefit Hoods for Heroes, a non-profit organization that seeks to provide firefighters with new hoods that will give them much better protection against toxic particles. In addition to chili tastings from firefighters across the state, there will be activities for the whole family at the event – fire extinguisher and jaws of life demonstrations, as well as live fire simulations with fire engines, ladders, and ambulances on site. Entrance to the event is free, and tasting tickets can be bought for a small fee. www.hoodsforheroes.org
JOY TO THE WORLD PONTE VEDRA CONCERT HALL December 7, 3pm The Friends of the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall present
REGULAR EVENTS MARKET AT THE PIER ST. AUGUSTINE BEACH PIER Every Wednesday
Shop and support local vendors every Wednesday at St. Augustine Beach, featuring baked goods, hand-made gifts, jewelry and home décor. The market hosts anywhere from 60 to 80 vendors each week and is open from 8am to 12pm every Wednesday, rain or shine.
FIRST FRIDAY ARTWALK
DOWNTOWN ST. AUGUSTINE First Friday of the Month
Kick off the weekend on the first Friday of every month, from 5pm to 9pm, for a tour of the latest exhibits, music and entertainment at more than 20 participating galleries in downtown St. Augustine. Jump on board one of Ripley’s Red Sightseeing Trains or Old Town Trolleys for a complimentary shuttle service to a majority of the galleries. Shuttles run every 30 minutes for convenience.
OLD CITY FARMERS MARKET ST. AUGUSTINE AMPHITHEATRE Every Saturday
Visit the Old City Farmers Market for fresh produce, baked goods, handcrafted items and plants directly from the producers. The farmers market is always a lot of fun for the whole family with live entertainment and much more. The Old City Farmers Market takes place every Saturday morning at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre on A1A South in St. Augustine. 8:30am to 12:30pm on Saturdays, Admission is Free.
LIFE the University of North Florida Chorale and Chamber Singers in a holiday concert, "Joy to the World: Messiah Favorites and Holiday Carols," on Saturday, December 7. The UNF Choral Ensembles will perform selections from Handel's Messiah as well as several favorite holiday carols. Audience participation is encouraged in the singing of Christmas carols at the concert's finale. All proceeds from the concerts will benefit the UNF Music Department and the Friends of the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall. Come join in the holiday celebration with these classic tunes! Day of show admission is $25. www.pvconcerthall.com
will kick-off the holiday season in the nation’s oldest city. From ballerinas to kicklines, acrobats to actors, dazzling costumes and eyecatching props – this is one holiday production that you don't want to miss. It'll be one unforgettable night.The Saturday show will take place at 7pm and the Sunday show at 2pm. Tickets to this event begin at $15. www.staugustinewinterspectacular.com
WORLD GOLF VILLAGE December 8, 8am
ST. JOHNS COUNTY PIER December 7, 4-7pm A dazzling addition to St. Augustine’s Nights of Lights, St. Augustine Beach offers its own ceremonial lighting beachside. Surf Illumination is a festival all in itself, with fun activities and delicious food and drink for everyone in the family at the St. Johns County Pier. There will also be the annual tree lighting by the mayor of St. Augustine Beach, an appearance by Santa, a performance by the St. Augustine Youth Orchestra, delicious offerings from local restaurants, and a delightful display of arts and crafts from local artists. Admission to the event is free. www.sabca.org
8 GINGERBREAD MAN 5K/10K The real Gingerbread Man will be out running amuck around the course…catch him if you can! Holiday socks, hats, and general candy cane-striped attire are encouraged. Pets are also welcome! This family event has become the run of the season in St. Johns County. Participants will enjoy a beautiful, safe course with awards for both runners and walkers. At the finish, enjoy a Gingerbread Man cookie (of course) along with great eats and drinks for participants from PDQ and Tropical Smoothie Cafe. 10K/5K runners receive a great tee with a custom medal. www.itsyourrace.com
HOLIDAY IN THE GARDENS WASHINGTON OAKS GARDENS STATE PARK December 8, 10am-4pm
ST. AUGUSTINE WINTER SPECTACULAR LEWIS AUDITORIUM December 7-8, 7pm Come once again toexperience the magic and excitement of the holidays at the 7th Annual St. Augustine Winter Spectacular! Directed by Stephanie Burkhardt, Executive Artistic Director of The Dance Company, this production
Take advantage of the crisp December air with a stroll through one of the area’s most charming state parks. Not only will the gardens be festively decorated, the park will be playing host to Mr. and Mrs. Claus as well as arts and crafts for the little ones and live entertainment all day. Bring the whole family along for some festive holiday fun and some beautiful Florida scenery. Admission is free with the donation of toys or canned goods. www.washingtonoaks.org/holiday-inthe-gardens
A PETER WHITE CHRISTMAS WITH EUGE GROOVE, VINCENT INGALA, AND LINDSEY
CHRISTMAS TOUR OF HOMES DOWNTOWN ST. AUGUSTINE December 8, 12-5pm
Now in its 50th year, the popular annual Christmas Tour of Homes is hosted by the Garden Club of St. Augustine. Guests will get a once-in-a-lifetime look inside some of the city’s most beautiful historic homes, all decorated for the holiday season. The walking tour can be taken at each guest’s own pace from 12-5pm. In addition to the tour, make sure to visit the Garden Club's "Unique Boutique," which offers delicious treats and many hand-made items created by the Club's members as well as an Afternoon Tea. Tickets are $30 per person and sell out quickly. www.gardenclubofstaugustine.org
WEBSTER PONTE VEDRA CONCERT HALL December 10, 8pm Make your list and check it twice – this holiday concert is more than just nice! The Ponte Vedra Concert Hall, in partnership with the Florida Theatre, is putting on their annual presentation of “A Peter White Christmas,” starring smooth jazz guitarist Peter White, saxophonist Euge Groove, multiinstrumentalist Vincent Ingala, and vocalist Lindsey Webster. Contemporary jazz lovers eagerly await this annual fun-filled concert, which has packed fans into halls and arenas coast-to-coast year after year. Tickets to this event start at $59.50. www.pvconcerthall.com
ST. AUGUSTINE CONCERT BAND HOLIDAY CONCERTS MULTIPLE VENUES December 13, 15, and 20 Gather your friends and family to
enjoy some of the classic carols of the holiday season performed by the St. Augustine Concert Band. The first concert will take place at 7:30pm at Pacetti Middle School on Wednesday, December 13. The second will be at 4pm at St. Anastasia Catholic Church on Friday, December 15, and the last will be at 6pm at the Visitor Information Center on Friday, December 20. Admission is $16 for adults, $5 for students with ID, and free for children under 12. www.staugband.org
SANTA SUITS ON THE LOOSE 5K ST. JOHNS COUNTY PIER December 14, 8-10am It’s time to grab your Santa Suits because St. Augustine's annual holiday race, Santa Suits on the Loose 5K Run/Jog/Walk, is back for another year! This run/ jog/walk is a 3.1-mile flat course through scenic St. Augustine Beach neighborhoods. This race benefits St. Augustine Youth
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LIFE December 14, 6-8pm The National Monument, Castillo De San Marcos is holding its annual Holiday Open House, allowing attendees to experience the monument after hours. A variety of military personnel ranging from soldiers, sailors, and marines will be portrayed by park rangers and volunteers. This event is free and open to the public, all are welcome! Don’t miss out on this historic experience and enjoy the Castillo after the sun has set. www.nps.gov/casa
VENARDOS CIRCUS THE AMP
CATHEDRAL BASILICA December 14-15
December 18-January 5
The Venardos Circus is coming back to St. Augustine for another year with its traveling troupe of performers in tow. Get ready to travel back in time at this can’t miss event. With a variety of fantastic performances including aerialists, acrobats, juggling, hand-balancing/contortion, comedy, daredevilry, magic, musical production and much more. This circus experience is sure to be a family-friendly event to please all ages so make sure you see it while it’s here! General admission begins at $25. www.venardoscircus.com Services (SAYS), an organization that benefits the at-risk youth of the community. The first 100 registered adult runners will receive their choice of a free Santa Suit or shirt for the event. www.sayskids.org
14 CHARITY HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE 740 S. HERITAGE CREEK WAY December 14, 12-7pm Head over to the Willis Family Open House to get into the holiday spirit, this open house is a festival of holiday decor from top to bottom. Visitors who come by the Willis house can see 30 themed Christmas trees, 19 wreaths, holiday light displays, and other holiday decor, both indoors and out. A K9s for Warriors puppy in training will be at the home from 2-4pm, and Santa will be stopping
by as well. There is an optional donation to the K9s for Warriors program but admission is free. www.support.k9sforwarriors.org
REGATTA OF LIGHTS ST. AUGUSTINE BAYFRONT December 14, 6pm The annual Regatta of Lights tour will take place along the St. Augustine bayfront where a variety of vessels showing off their brilliant lighting displays as they parade along Matanzas Bay. From sailboats to trawlers, from yachts to shrimp boats, the Regatta of Lights participants compete for awards for the best theme, most colorful, best in class and best overall. The Regatta is an annual must-see event for visitors and locals alike during St. Augustine’s Nights of Lights holiday festivities. www.staugustineyachtclub.com
CASTILLO HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE CASTILLO DE SAN MARCOS
The St. Augustine Chorus will be performing this year’s popular concert, “This Christmastide” for guests to enjoy the musical stylings of over 100 singers. Songs to be performed will include traditional holiday music as well as selections from The Messiah. Come listen to the beautiful holiday music and get into the Christmas spirit at the beautiful venue of the Basilica in downtown. Tickets to this event begin at $25. The performance on December 14 begins at 7pm, and the performance on December 15 begins at 2pm. www.staugustinecommunitychorus.org
is perfect for a bird education like no other. Come view a large variety of exotic birds from finches to macaws. You’ll have the opportunity to talk to and learn from breeders and suppliers of bird cages, toys, and food. Admission $5 for adults. Children under 10 are free. www.staugustineexoticbirdfair.com
SPIRIT OF THE HOLIDAYS CONCERT LEWIS AUDITORIUM December 16, 7pm The award-winning Bartram Trail HS Concert, Symphonic, and Wind Symphony Bands are ready to rouse your holiday spirit with this delightfully triumphant annual performance. Listen to all your holiday favorites performed by some of our most talented young local musicians. The students who make up these bands have played together throughout Florida and Georgia. They perform under the direction of Jason Duckett and St. Augustine native Ben Gaona. Tickets are $10 per person. www.bartramtrailband.com
BED & BREAKFAST HOLIDAY TOUR DOWNTOWN ST. AUGUSTINE December 14-16 St. Augustine Historic Inns presents its annual tour of over 20 downtown bed and breakfasts decorated for the holidays. With a theme of the Movies of Christmas, these already stunning B&Bs will be all decked out for the holidays with beautiful decor and some delicious samplings from local restaurant partners. This year, the event will be extended by one day, so you can stop by on Monday too to check out the holiday cheer. Tickets to the event are $45 and sell out quickly! www.staugustineholidaytour.com
ST. AUGUSTINE EXOTIC BIRD EXPO MARK LANCE NATIONAL GUARD ARMORY December 15, 9am-4pm For all you bird enthusiasts and children who want to learn more about all types of birds, this event
EMMA HOLIDAY POPS CONCERT LEWIS AUDITORIUM December 18, 7:30pm Now a beloved holiday tradition, the EMMA Concert series will present their Annual Holiday Pops program, providing a mix of classical and popular seasonal music performed by the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra. This show is one you will not want to miss as you celebrate the beauty of the season. What better way to get into the holiday spirit than experiencing old holiday classics and new favorites. Tickets to this event are $40. www.emmaconcerts.com
A ROCKAPELLA HOLIDAY PONTE VEDRA CONCERT HALL December 19, 8pm It’s time to get in the holiday spirit because this year the a cappella supergroup, Rockapella, is coming to the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall to perform their holiday spectacular show, “A Rockapella Holiday.” This holiday performance will feature light-hearted stylings of classic Christmas songs that are perfect for the whole family to sing along to. So grab your Santa hats and get ready because this will be one show you don’t want to miss. Tickets to this event begin at $34.50. www.pvconcerthall.com
HORTON’S HOLIDAY HAYRIDE PONTE VEDRA CONCERT HALL December 20, 7pm Get ready for the show of the season as the “rockabilly event of the year” comes to the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall. Horton’s Holiday Hayride will feature a performance by the Reverend Horton Heat, as well as special guests, The 18.104.22.168’s, the Voodoo Glow Skulls, and Dave Alvin. This is sure to be an evening you will never forget, including a vibrant musical performance alongside powerful imagery that will ignite everyone in the crowd. Tickets to this event are $35. www.pvconcerthall.com
MULTIPLE VENUES December 21, 2pm SantaCon is a convention of Santas – groups of men & women dressed as Santa – pub crawling for a cause! Event check-in will begin on Saturday, December 21st at 2pm. Don’t worry if you’re unable to start at 2pm with the group, you can check-in at any of Santa’s Stops along the way. Explore the city at participating spots throughout town and enjoy specialized drinks for the occasion. All funds raised will be donated to both SAYS (St. Augustine Youth Services) and Swamp Haven. So really – crawling for two causes! Tickets to this event are $10, and participants must be 21 or older. www.santacon.info
DECK THE HALLS CELEBRATE THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE TOUR OF HOMES THIS YEAR WITH BEAUTIFUL DECOR, HOLIDAY CHEER, AND 13,000 COOKIES. By Gabrielle Ervin | Photography by Kate Gardiner
he holiday season is finally upon us, and alongside the chilly weather, twinkle lights, and time spent with loved ones are some out-of-thisworld decorations. Combine all of the seasonal beauty with a stunning house residing in our Ancient City, and you’ve found The Annual Tour of Homes. Hosted by the Garden Club of St. Augustine since 1969, the Tour of Homes is now celebrating its 50th anniversary. Beginning as a small, local event, the Tour of Homes has now expanded from locals-only to welcoming visitors from all over the world to come and enjoy. The Tour gives attendees a chance to walk through six hand-picked St. Augustine homes that have been all decked out for the season and provides the chance to see the inside of private homes that otherwise may have never been seen before (some even being of historical significance). According to Garden Club member Denise Hagan, every circle of The Garden Club is responsible for decorating an individual home, so each house you walk through will be a unique experience. All of the decorations are fresh and hand-made, giving the tour a personable touch that has only evolved throughout its fifty years. www.STAUGUSTINESOCIAL.com
Guests who attend this event will also have access to the popular tea and boutique that is hosted by the Garden Club, where you’ll be able to shop local and handmade goods created by the Club members themselves (a perfect opportunity for holiday shopping!). Settle in at the afternoon tea where each member of the Garden Club contributes 4 dozen cookies – bringing the grand total to a whopping 13,056. That’s reason enough to attend this event, if you ask me. The Tour of Homes brings our community together while, at the same time, allowing visitors a chance to bask in a local celebration of the beautiful city we call home. While this event is beautiful, Denise says that what truly makes the Tour special is the “opportunity it brings to meet people you may have never met and have them experience St. Augustine the way we do.” This year's Christmas Tour of Homes will take place on Sunday, December 8 and tickets are $30. All proceeds for the event will enable the Garden Club to provide scholarships and education funding. Only 1500 tickets will be available, so don't miss out on this fantastic holiday experience. www.gardenclubofstaugustine.org
17 THE YOUNG MAN FROM ATLANTA LIMELIGHT THEATRE January 17-February 9
ST. AUGUSTINE FILM FESTIVAL MULTIPLE VENUES January 16-19
The St. Augustine Film Festival is back again with a variety of foregin and independent films and documentaries waiting for you to see. This weekend-long event takes place throughout downtown St. Augustine, so you can enjoy the experience while walking through downtown. Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to meet filmmakers, screenwriters, and, of course, view some amazing pieces of work. www.staugfilmfest.com
THE NUTCRACKER BALLET LEWIS AUDITORIUM December 21-22 With appearances by the Sugar Plum Fairy, the Mouse King, Clara, and Uncle Drosselmeyer, is there a more classic holiday tradition than watching a performance of The Nutcracker? We say no. So don’t miss out on this beautiful rendition of Tchaikovsky’s beloved holiday ballet. Featuring the talents of local dancers from the St. Augustine Ballet as well as two professional guest performers, this production will be a night to remember. The St. Augustine Ballet production is directed by Artistic Director Luis Abella. Tickets start at $20. www.saintaugustineballet.com
BEACH BLAST OFF INTO 2020 ST. JOHNS COUNTY PIER December 31, 4-10pm
Ring in the New Year St. Augustine style with the Ancient City’s most popular New Year’s celebration. The Beach Blast Off will take place at the St. Johns County Pier on New Years Eve and will feature a variety of activities including live music, food, drinks, local vendors, a kid’s zone, and a fireworks show. This event is free and open to the public, so come and celebrate the beginning of a new year alongside your community! www.sabevents.com
MARCH FOR LIFE DOWNTOWN ST. AUGUSTINE January 17-18 The March for Life St. Augustine is an annual event that includes live music, a procession in historic downtown, guest speakers and a dinner. This year’s speaker is Doug Tooke, Vice President of Ministry Advancement for ODB Films, producer of the film, Paul, Apostle of Christ (2018). www.marchforlifestaugustine.com
Danger waits just underneath the surface in Horton Foote’s powerful, Pulitzer Prize-winning drama of an aging couple still reeling from the death of their only child. The Kidders' lives are turned upside down once again when a figure from their son’s past shows up in town. They deny, deflect and deceive in an effort to avoid the danger but can’t dodge the inevitable reckoning. How far will these grieving parents go to avoid the truths this young man from Atlanta might reveal? Performances are at 7:30pm on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, and at 2pm on Sundays. www.limelight-theatre.org
MATANZAS 5000 5K FRANCIS FIELD January 18, 8am Join this 5K and run alongside the beautiful Matanzas River, through the ancient city and finish off at the Castillo de San Marcos. Proceeds from this event will benefit the cross country running programs at St. Johns County high schools, middle schools, as well as the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind. The annual Fun Run will also take place at 9:15am. This event is open to all ages, day of run admission is $35. www.matanzas5k.com
GLENN MILLER ORCHESTRA LEWIS AUDITORIUM January 25, 7:30-10pm As part of the EMMA Concert Association’s season of music, the Glenn Miller Orchestra is coming to play their sounds at Flagler College's Lewis Auditorium. This smooth and jazzy orchestra is elevated by talented singers and a creative director. Come enjoy the music at this must-see event. Tickets are $40 for adults and space is limited. Purchase your tickets today! www.emmaconcerts.com
PONTE VEDRA CONCERT HALL Catch a show at the concert hall just a short drive up A1A.
COLTER WALL WITH GUEST WADE SAPP December 12, 8pm
DONNA THE BUFFALO January 4, 8pm
OTTMAR LIEBERT & HIS BAND LUNA NEGRA January 15, 8pm
RISING APPALACHIA WITH SPECIAL GUEST RAYE ZARAGOZA January 16, 8pm
January 21, 8pm
January 25, 8pm
LUCINDA WILLIAMS AND HER BAND BUICK 6 January 26, 8pm
AN EVENING WITH CITIZEN COPE January 27, 7:30pm
THE TAJ MAHAL QUARTET WITH SPECIAL GUESTS ROB ICKES AND TREY HENSLEY January 29, 8pm
THE GLORIOUS SONS - A WAR ON EVERYTHING January 31, 7pm
1050 A1A North www.pvconcerthall.com
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M l e a ich
y r a u r b Fe 6, Larimer Arts Center 1 – Scarlett-Hill Theatre 5 0 2 20
216 Reid St. • Palatka, Florida
produced by special arrangement with Playscripts, Inc.
HAIR RESTORATION EVENT ANH VU, M.D. January 24, 10am-1pm If you’ve been considering hair restoration but aren’t quite sure where to begin, then this event is for you! You’ll learn all about the newest techniques and technologies regarding this procedure, and attendees will also get a free consultation with Dr. Vu as well as a gift and special pricepackaging. This event is free and all are welcome. www.anhvumd.com
GIVERS GALA CASA MONICA RESORT & SPA January 24, 6pm Last year, the United Way hosted their second ever Givers Gala, celebrating the strong spirit and history of giving in St. Johns County. Now they're back for the third year, hosting the 3rd Annual Givers Gala to honor the generous givers in the community and further the mission of the United Way. It's sure to be an unforgettable, glamorous night with the generous donors and tireless workers of St. Augustine. www.unitedway-sjc.org
SOUPER BOWL V NEASE HIGH SCHOOL January 30, 6-8pm A fundraiser to end hunger in St Johns County Schools, SOUPer Bowl V features tastings from dozens of popular restaurants. SOUPer Bowl V and all-volunteer nonprofit Hugs Across the County hope you will join in supporting food programs for St. Johns County kids. Local restaurants will once again bring tastings of popular soups, chowders, and stews to this always-fun community event. Your $25 ticket donation will go to food programs that benefit St. Johns County kids-in-need throughout the school year. The website allows online donations as well, which will go directly to the purchase of muchneeded non-perishable food items. www.stjohns.k12.fl.us
RUN FOR A CAUSE FOR THE EIGHTH YEAR IN A ROW, ST. AUGUSTINE YOUTH SERVICES LETS LOOSE SOME HOLIDAY CHEER IN THE SEASON OF GOOD WILL. By Robert Waldner | Photography by David Steele
he only thing that could make seeing a bunch of people dressed in Santa suits and running around town any more enjoyable is the knowledge that all of that “holly jolliness” is raising funds to give the community’s youngest and most deserving citizens a better life. On December 14th, St. Augustine Youth Services will hold their eighth annual ‘Santa Suits On The Loose 5K’, with all proceeds going directly back to SAYS programs and the kids they so generously benefit. Chelsea Reppin, SAYS Director of Development, plays a key role in the planning and execution of the Santa Suits 5K. After working as a mentor for three years during her days as a Flagler College student, Chelsea has now worked full time for SAYS for the past two years. Among many other critical duties, Chelsea works alongside SAYS CEO Schuyler Siefker to plan fundraisers that help to give the organization’s young residents the supplies and education they need to build successful lives. “This is our largest annual fundraiser,” says Chelsea. “Our 2018 event brought in seven hundred runners and more than $30,000.” Now in its thirtieth year, SAYS provides
mental health programs designed to help foster kids and youth-in-crisis overcome trauma so that they can heal to become successful adults. SAYS has multiple residential group homes on their property that include specialized services to boys aged six to seventeen – therapy, social skills training, and independent living skills training. SAYS’ services go far beyond the confines of their campus. Programs such as ‘Targeted Case Management’ and the ‘Community Action Team’ bring their highly-skilled staff out into the community. The Mobile Crisis Response Team was launched in 2015 to help reduce the rate of Baker Acts in St. Johns County. “Just this year,” says Chelsea, “we began operating the MCRT around the clock and extended the program’s services to residents up to age 25.” It is easy to see why fundraising is so critical at SAYS. Besides, who would pass up the opportunity to dress up as Santa and run around the Ancient City? “Race day is one of my favorite days of the year,” says Chelsea, “because we get to enjoy the fruits of our labor.” www.sayskids.org
This story is shared in partnership with www.STAUGUSTINESOCIAL.com
Complimentary Winery Tours & Wine Tasting Daily www.SanSebastianWinery.com
LIFE TRENDING VENTURES
Business News This Month LOCAL BUSINESSES ARE REBRANDING, RELOCATING, BUILDING, AND BREWING UP SOME SERIOUS NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR OUR SMALL TOWN. HERE'S WHAT WE KNOW THIS SEASON...
OF SOUND MIND STIGMAS SURROUNDING MENTAL HEALTH ARE SLOWING FADING, AND IT'S TIME TO FOCUS ON MINDFUL HEALING. By Molly Wilson
he beginning of a new year marks the chance to make resolutions, to set goals for ourselves for the next 365 days – like more stable finances, travel, organization, and the everpresent health goals. Getting physically healthy tends to make it on a lot of people’s new year’s resolutions lists. Those resolutions, though, have a inclination to end at our head, so to speak. But good mental health is just as important a goal as good physical health. Sure, in a lot of ways, it’s much easier to focus on physical health. There are quantifiable numbers by which to measure our progress; we can set specific and tangible goals. Mental health is, in some ways, a little more abstract. What do I set my goal as? To feel happier? To be less stressed? How do I really measure something like that, and – more importantly – how do I get there?
In an often mentally taxing time of year for many, those questions have been on our mind. But luckily, the answers aren’t totally elusive. Let’s start with the way we think about mental health. Kathleen Abbott, MSW, LMHC of WellSpring Counseling and Health says that we don’t always have the right attitude toward mental health, “Although we have come a long way, there is still a negative perception around mental health issues. People often think a person with depression can just try harder, think positive or exercise to feel better. Insurance companies do not always offer the same coverage for mental health conditions as other medical conditions which may present a challenge for people to get the care they need.” Dr. Vanessa Townsend of Townsend & Associates breaks mental health stigmas into two types – social and
self-perceived. “Stigma has arisen out of fear and lack of understanding, and this is reflected in the way mental health is then portrayed in the media, further deepening the stigma,” she says. “This has continued even with more knowledge of the biochemical and genetic nature of different mental health issues. Individuals may then internalize society’s message and feel bad about feeling bad. Fighting these stigmas matter because they lead to isolation and shame and prevent people from seeking treatment. As a result of delaying treatment, individuals’ symptoms become worse and more difficult to treat.” So clearly, the first step is to break the stigma – knowing that there is no shame that comes with mental health issues, being willing to reach out to a support system yourself or be a support system for others, and understanding that these
Drake's Deli has opened a new location called Drake's Bistro. Now you'll be able to get even more of your favorite sandwiches and subs and soups. 237 San Marco Avenue Cheba Hut Toasted Subs has opened for business on the Boulevard. This cannabisthemed spot brings you a wide variety of sandwiches and salads as well as local beers and cocktails. 604 Anastasia Boulevard Ready Set Play is open for playtime in St. Augustine! This indoor playground provides a unique play experience for children and gives parents a comfortable place to work and socialize. 1765 Tree Boulevard, Suite 4 Bantam Chef is serving up their famous fish sandwich, tasty burgers, and fish dinners. Their brand new downtown location is already creating a buzz. 34 Granada Street St. Augustine City Tours is ready to guide you around the city. The experienced international tour guides can't wait to showcase the city's colorful history. (904) 325-3366
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LOCALS issues are complex and our perception of them isn’t always accurate. One in four people will, at some point in their lifetime, suffer from a mental health issue, but help is out there. When it comes to the more serious mental health issues, recognizing the warning signs is essential on the road to treatment. Many of the more significant mental health issues begin in late adolescence and early adulthood – with signs like addiction, avoidance or fears, suicidal thoughts, decreased ability to function, major sleep or appetite changes, difficulty perceiving reality (in which a person experiences and senses things that do not exist), confused thinking and difficulties understanding or relating to others, extreme mood changes, and sustained period of feeling excessively sad or worried/fearful accompanied by behavioral changes. Noticing these signs in close friends, relatives, children, or yourself can be the first step in healing and finding help.
Taking the LEAD THE LEAD SCHOLARSHIP AT FLAGLER COLLEGE IS A NEW WAY TO EXTEND FINANCIAL SUPPORT TO DESERVING MALE STUDENTS. Many are familiar with Flagler College's Women of Vision Fund and the scholarships they distribute to female students each year. However, Flagler is now home to a new scholarship. The LEAD Fund was founded by Dick Keller, whose wife Kathi is the chair for Women of Vision. This LEAD Fund acts as the counterpart to the WOV scholarship, offering financial aid to outstanding incoming male students. The scholarship is available to male high school students who complete an essay and interview with the LEAD Advisory Board. This past April, the fund awarded two scholarships, but the goal over the next ten years is to give out eight scholarships annually.
only increases internal discomfort and keeps us isolated with our pain. Finally, be good to yourself. I often remind people (and myself ) to treat ourselves with the same kindness, compassion, and forgiveness as we would our best friend.” Implementing these changes into our lives won’t always be easy or straightforward, but it will create a strong and steady foundation for improving our mental health. And our road to good mental health shouldn’t be walked alone. Besides that support network, it’s never a bad idea to seek professional help even for concerns like stress or anxiety. “Sometimes just two or three sessions will be helpful and enable better understanding of self and others as well identifying coping skills,” says Kathleen.
“We would never tell someone not to treat a cold but only pneumonia, and emotional issues are no different,” says Dr. Townsend. “A trained mental health professional can offer assistance and a perspective that is "Remember, too, that ‘feeling’ our different from that of emotions is important...Keeping our friends and family – which, of course, are emotions hidden to others and ourselves, only increases internal also very valuable, just different.”
But even though the majority of us will not suffer from a serious mental health issue, caring for our own mental health is key and goes beyond just discomfort and keeps us isolated having some “self care” with our pain." days where we relax As we focus on improving with a face mask and a our own mental health, good book. Kathleen it’s also important to Abbott believes that remember to be a good transformation begins support system for with the renewing of the those around us. This mind and says to start by starts with something creating healthy habits as simple as listening and boundaries to not without judgment. Even only protect but enhance if you don’t agree with your health, and she what they’re telling you, encourages finding a nonjudgmental listening good support system shows them respect and of people you trust and reminds them of their rely on. “Most people importance to you. will experience loss or Next, offer support by stress or demands in the asking what they need future,” she says, “but if there is a secure and at that moment and offering it, if you can. stable foundation, coping and recovering will “If you can” is the operative phrase there. As be faster.” Dr. Townsend advises, know your limits and encourage them to seek professional help. You Dr. Townsend echoes the advice and urges can still be by their side as they get healthy. finding a network of support with different friends meeting different needs. She also Mental health is a heavy subject and mental advises starting with physical health by getting health issues are complex, but wellness doesn’t regular exercise and eating right as both of have to feel insurmountable. As the stigmas these can act as treatment for concerns like surrounding the issue are slowly eroded, the anxiety, depression, and stress. Engaging solutions and treatments grow ever more in activities we love is also important as effective. Whether you’re facing a serious these reinforce our feelings of purpose and mental health concern, struggling with feelings accomplishment. “Remember, too, that of anxiety, stress, or depression, or merely want ‘feeling’ our emotions is important,” she says. to be more self-aware and self-focused as the “Emotions are crucial to letting us know new year begins, help is out there and healing what is or isn’t healthy in our lives and allow is attainable. us to make changes as necessary. Keeping emotions hidden from others and ourselves www.STAUGUSTINESOCIAL.com
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HUGH DO YOU KNOW?
By Hugh Ward
DJ Papi Disco
TO YOUR HEALTH
Hustle: DJ/ Percussionist Talent: Curating musical culture in the Oldest City and beyond Life Goal: I would love to travel around the globe and curate musical culture. Follow: @djpapidisco
WE TURNED TO A LOCAL NUTRITION EXPERT FOR HER TAKE ON GETTING AND STAYING HEALTHY IN THE NEW YEAR. As a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN), Keri Bomarito of Seaside Nutrition works one-onone with her clients to help them achieve their health goals through food using evidence-based strategies and recommendations. While attending the University of Florida, she took a nutrition class and realized this field combined two of her passions – food and helping others. Now as a dietitian, she works on meal plans and helps educate about good habits and choices. She's experienced in nutrition care for every age group – from infants to elderly adults – and also enjoys educating others in the community about nutrition through lectures and workshops or at health fairs. So to assist in our own education, we turned to Keri for her insights, tips, and guidelines to reaching our health goals in 2020. Social: So I’m trying to get healthier in the new year. Where do I start? Keri: Start by asking yourself, “What is my overall health goal?” and “Why is this important to me?” Then start looking at what small changes you can make to your overall
"Start by asking yourself, 'What is my overall health goal?' and 'Why is this important to me?'” says Keri. "Then start looking at what small changes you can make to your overall eating to get there."
eating to get there. Small changes repeated consistently over time add up to big results!
working to overcome an eating disorder or repair their relationship with food.
Do you have general guidelines for people looking to improve their wellness or is it on a case-by-case basis? I like to say nutrition and healthy eating are not one size fits all! Much of what I discuss in a nutrition therapy session is individualized to a client’s medical conditions, food preferences, nutrition and weight history, and lifestyle. It is my pleasure to work with a variety of clients who all have different health goals. Some are working towards a more plant-based way of eating, some are following a specific meal plan to manage chronic kidney disease or diabetes, while others are
Can a change in diet help with more serious conditions and illnesses? Of course! I believe our modern way of eating is contributing to most of our chronic health conditions. Making gradual healthy changes to the way we eat can prevent many conditions and slow or reverse certain diseases like CKD and diabetes. Do you have any tips for breaking bad habits and keeping to a new wellness plan? Yes, make things as easy for yourself as possible! Take a few minutes the night before to plan out what your food strategy is for the next day.
Originally from Los Angeles, DJ Papi Disco moved to St. Augustine in late 2009 to play percussion as a resident musician at Michael's (then The Tasting Room) and partnered to open a cafe in Lincolnville. When he got here, he was amazed by the wealth of talent in the Ancient City and knew he had found his home. WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE JOB? I really enjoy the process of collaborating with other musicians to build a wall of sound or groove and the exchange of energy between the performers and audience. As a DJ, it puts me in the position of a “musical curator” where the venue and dance floor are an art gallery and the art is in the experience or “journey” of the person dancing and enjoying themselves. WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE HAPPEN IN ST. AUG? I would like to see more culture. The town can be one-sided, and sometimes it feel like people don’t care for the artists or creatives that try their best to uplift the community.
THIS CONVO CONTINUES ONLINE www.staugustinesocial.com
LIFE If you have a goal to eat more vegetables, cut them up the night before and have them at eye level in the refrigerator in a clear container so you see them. Dip them in hummus or something tasty or add them to a dish that does not normally have vegetables. Check in with an accountability partner who you can share your goals with!
Adam Lynn began the Island Christmas Toy Drive in 2015 when he and a friend heard about a family in need. Since then, they've grown to serve close to 200 children. LONG STORY SHORT
LEGACY OF LOVE
ADAM LYNN MOVED BEYOND HIS TROUBLED PAST TO A LIFE OF GIVING BACK TO THE CHILDREN OF THE COMMUNITY THROUGH THE ISLAND CHRISTMAS TOY DRIVE. By Susan Johnson | Photography by Richard Dole
e've all heard the saying, "defying the odds." Well, Adam Lynn did not set out to defy the odds. In the beginning, he was too young to even know what that meant. He was just trying to survive. When Adam was still a kid, he had pretty much seen it all – abuse, family violence, drugs, death, unstable living conditions, and financial struggles. As he talks about his life, there is not even the slightest hint of judgement or blame. His reasoning is simple, "My mother made some poor choices in partners, and there were some difficult times that affected my life in a lot of ways. But she was one of the most giving, loving people I have ever known." Adam readily admits to making his own share of poor choices, but he used his mother's legacy of generosity and compassion as the foundation for himself and his family. It is her legacy of love that now defines his life. Adam met his wife Lindsay just after he became
a single parent, having gained legal custody of his niece, Kayla, whose biological parents were unable to care for her. Adam and Lindsay married in March of 2017 and together completed the years-long adoption process that began when Kayla was 8 years old and ended happily in July 2018 with her adoption at the age of 13. The love and pride in Adam’s voice is unmistakable when he talks about his daughter. “She’s 14 now, goes to St. Augustine High School, plays soccer, volleyball, lacrosse, and flag football, takes all honors classes, and has straight As with a 3.85 or higher GPA.” The Lynns also welcomed son Carver, now 17 months, and are expecting the birth of a third child shortly. But their commitment to children extends much further than their own family. Adam started the Island Christmas Toy Drive in 2015. “A friend and I had heard of a family that needed some help," he says. “It was about a week before Christmas, so we decided we’d do whatever we could.” They were then
What’s the most common mistake that people make that causes them to fail at their new plan? Skipping meals, going too long in between meals, or not eating in balance. This leads to being much hungrier at the next meal and this restricting and binging cycle can lead to feelings of guilt and shame. When I get to the grocery store, things can be a bit overwhelming. What should I be looking for on labels to help me choose the right foods and avoid the wrong ones? Start by looking at the ingredients which are listed in order of weight. Choose whole foods that have minimally-processed ingredients. If you don’t know what an ingredient is, look it up. After learning what is it and what the purpose is, if you don’t agree or think it needs to be in your food, try to make it yourself or find a better product. What are the benefits of working with a dietitian versus just going it alone? We live in the age of information overload from the internet; we hear conflicting nutrition advice from many different sources. When working with a RDN, you can be confident that they are the nutrition expert and will give you sound nutrition advice that is individualized to meet your specific health needs. An RDN also provides support and acts as an accountability partner on your health and wellness journey. As a dietitian nutritionist, what is one thing about health and wellness that you wish everyone knew? RDNs are not the food police and there are no “bad foods!" We are not bad for eating less nutritious foods. All foods break down into protein, fats, or carbohydrates and nourish our bodies in some way. All foods can fit into a healthy, intuitive meal plan, and balance is key!
French Market Pasta
Andouille Crusted Grouper
• Cajun & Southern Flavors with a Modern Twist • Fresh Seafood, Steaks, Chicken, Pasta & more!
• Dine In Our Beautiful Courtyard • Bayfront Dining in Historic Downtown • Live Music Every Night! Offer Available Nov 1st – Dec 24th
WITH EVERY PURCHASE OF $100 IN GIFT CARDS.
Seeking Helping Hands THE NEEDS ABOUND IN ST. JOHNS COUNTY. YOUNG, OLD, AND EVERYONE IN BETWEEN ARE LOOKING FOR A COMPASSIONATE HAND, SO REACH OUT THROUGH VOLUNTEERING WITH THESE LOCAL NONPROFITS.
Alpha Omega Miracle Home
AOMH is looking for volunteers for lawn care, in the thrift store, and in childcare. They are also seeking Life Skills Instructors.
Flagler Health+ is seeking volunteer Courtesy Cart drivers as well as volunteers in Outpatient Surgery and Transport Services (as wheelchair transporters) and at the Information Desk.
Fostering Connections St. Johns Fostering Connections St. Johns needs Graphic Design and Photography/ Videography volunteers as well as board members and volunteers for the Backpack Brigade Closet and for special events.
Hugs Across the County
Hugs Across the County is looking for a volunteer Community Coordinator to help students in need as well as classroom volunteers and mentors and someone to manage a clothing, supply, or food drive.
If you're interested in these or over 150 other opportunities, please visit www.stjohnsvolunteers.org or call (904) 584-9600 for more information.
“From the news, it can seem that our world is crazy and divisive. But if you just reach out and talk to your neighbor, you’ll see that none of that matters. We just need to get out there and help one another.”
contacted by the Children’s Home Society with a list of about 60 additional children. CHS is an organization that works to strengthen family bonds and help parents and children reach their potential as a family, and Adam was familiar with CHS through the adoption process. “That first year we took care of 78 kids in 4 days,” he continues, “The next year it was 128, the third year more than 150. Last year we helped close to 200 children.” He calculates that it takes an average of $100 to adequately sponsor a child through the toy drive and explains, “I give each sponsor an age and gender, a wish list, and a needs list. I also ask that the gifts be unwrapped – so we can exclude any inappropriate donations – but I like sponsors to include wrapping paper, bows, and tape.” Adam is a realtor with Coldwell Banker Premier Properties, who help out by encouraging everyone to bring a gift donation to the annual holiday party. Adam then coordinates a donation drop-off day. “It’s held at the Coldwell Banker San Marco office. Tides Oyster Bar provides food and Ameris Bank gives us grills. We cook all day. Anyone who donates to the drive can eat.” He pauses, then laughs, “Usually, anyone who walks by can have something to eat.” Coordinating the event is a monumental task. Adam credits his wife for keeping him organized and his in-laws, Ronda and Curt Maxwell, for their ongoing encouragement and support in every area of his life.
Adam is also very involved with Take Stock in Children. “It’s a mentoring program that usually starts in 9th grade and continues through high school,” he says. “Graduating with a 2.5 GPA or higher and without any strong disciplinary actions means a college scholarship for participants.” He believes in letting children know they are not alone. “High school can be hard for anybody especially if you don’t have a home life and structure,” he says. “No one there when you get home from school or when you go to bed at night, no one to make sure you eat dinner or do your homework, no one to take you to extracurricular events – that becomes normal to some kids, and that shouldn’t be the norm.” He also works with Florida Homestead Check, a company that donates 10% of its profits to help combat homelessness. What is on Adam Lynn’s wish list this holiday season? “From the news, it can seem that our world is crazy and divisive. But if you just reach out and talk to your neighbor, you’ll see that none of that matters. We just need to get out there and help one another.”
The New CoasTal liviNg lifesTyle GLORIOUS BEACH LIVING IN THE HEART OF ST. JOHNS COUNTY AT ATLANTICA ISLES.
Americrest Luxury Homes at Atlantica Isles has created an exciting new community in the heart of St. Johns’ County, on the shore of a spectacular 14-acre Crystal Lagoon. Enjoy a worry-free beachy lifestyle with all the urban conveniences and stunning contemporary two- and three-story homes from the low $400s to over $1 million. aMeRiCResT lUXURy hoMes • Amazing views overlooking the 14-acre Crystal Lagoon • Coastal contemporary architectural design • Open floorplans with gourmet kitchens • Beach living outside your door • Natural Gas Community
BEACHWALK COMMUNITY AMENITIES • Beach resort lifestyle • Private Beach Club • A-Rated schools • Gated entrance • Onsite retail shopping and restaurants • Golf Cart Community
MOVE IN & NEAR READY HOMES AVAILABLE. Atlantica Isles at Beachwalk is located 1 mile east of I-95 on County Road 210 (Exit 329).
Please visit our website AmericrestLuxuryHomes.com or call 904-347-0453 for details on Atlantica Isles at Beachwalk. *Prices and offers are subject to change without notice. Beachwalk® is a registered service mark of PRH Investments, LLC. Use of the service mark by Twin Creeks Development Associates, LLC is by written license agreement with the owner.
WE TRIED IT
LET'S PUT A CORK IN IT
CARRERA WINE CELLAR IS HERE TO TAKE THE INTIMIDATION FACTOR OUT OF WINE AND MAKE IT SOMETHING SIMPLE, FUN, AND SHARED. By Molly Wilson | Photography by Kate Gardiner
rowing up, wine had a kind of magic glow around it. My parents didn’t drink, so the only time I was ever exposed to it (other than a swig or two at communion every Sunday) was when I would read through books about Italy and France or see cashmereclad socialites on television order bottles from tuxedoed sommeliers. It was almost mystical, unattainable, accessed only by the elite and educated. Despite learning much more and gaining more experience over the years, I’m still intimidated by wine people. I prefer to let someone more knowledgeable pick a bottle, and I shrink back from conversation when the enthusiasts start throwing around words like “mouth-feel” and “malolactic fermentation.” So even though I was excited when we decided to attend a wine class at Carrera Wine Cellar, I knew well in advance that I would take a backseat whenever anyone asked, “What aromas are you picking up?” I certainly wasn’t prepared for how the team at Carrera approaches wine.
A shop and tasting bar, Carrera Wine Cellar is owned by a group of tight-knit family and friends – Joe and Carol Ziller, Jessica and Joshua Harrison, Danielle Cook, and certified Sommelier Tony Porcellini – with Jessica handling the operating and managing duties of the shop. After an extended wine education with Tony, Carrera Wine Cellar opened its doors in 2016 with a straightforward philosophy – wine should be simple, fun, and shared. Carrera’s classes are led primarily by Joe Ziller and by Bob Peters and can range from simple wine education classes to paint and sip nights to any type of private event. Joe was our host for the night, and his intention was to remove that commonly-felt inaccessibility from wine. He wanted to make things simple, to help us understand wine not necessarily from a technical standpoint but from a practical and personal one. Joe told us of a time in college when he and a friend took a Wine 101 class (to impress girls, www.STAUGUSTINESOCIAL.com
naturally). The master somm. practically spoke in a foreign language, despite this being a class for beginners. When he asked the group what flavors they were picking up in a certain glass, the answers were widely varied – one said it reminded them of their grandmother’s fur coat, another said barbeque. Joe said that all he could think of was pencil shavings. It turns out that grandmother’s fur coat was stored in a cedar chest, that barbeque was cooked over cedar chips, and those pencils were made of cedar wood. And though this was one class and one glass, it taught Joe something – flavors of wine are personal. For our class, we had six glasses of wine in front of us that Carrera calls “The Big Six” – Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Shiraz. In both white and red, there were two light-bodied wines, two mediumbodied, and two full-bodied. If you’re familiar with these six, they say, you’ll get along fine just about anywhere.
Joe says that you should start with taste and texture, or – as he calls them – TNT (“If you get that, it’s dynamite!). So with the help of each of the wines, Joe demystified common wine terms like fruit-forward, tannins, body, and minerality and translated them into words and sensations with which we were much more familiar. and texture, or – as he calls them – TNT (“If you get that, it’s dynamite!). So with the help of each of the wines, Joe demystified common wine terms like fruit-forward, tannins, body, and minerality and translated them into words and sensations with which we were much more familiar. He explained some of the differences between wine regions that will help you when you’re picking out a bottle – like, for instance, that the cooler the climate, the more acidic the wine will be. He also took much of the guesswork out of pairing wine with food, saying that in most cases, you can’t go wrong, but “some pairings are a handshake, some are a warm embrace.” This, too, depends largely on personal taste. Joe is big on contrast – where the food hits the tongue, the wine hits somewhere else, like pairing sweet champagne with salty popcorn.
All the while, we peppered Joe with questions, and his answers showed that even though his approach to wine is simple, he has the education to back it up. It’s difficult to fit everything we learned that night into one article, so you’ll just have to go take the class for yourself. Never again will you have to stare vacantly at a wine menu or stand overwhelmed in front of a sprawling shelf of bottles. Carrera’s approach to wine is inviting and unintimidating. “Our purpose is to try to demystify wine,” says Jessica. “Wine can quite often seem an intimidating beverage, but it doesn’t have to be drunk for analysis. One of our favorite expressions is ‘Don't think – drink.’” www.carrerawinecellar.com
FASHION ASADO Photography by Laryssa Gobets
n October, the worlds of food, fire, and fashion collided at the first ever Fashion Asado. With a portion of the proceeds benefitting INK! Investing in Kids, local chefs and designers came together to celebrate their work and plenty of food and fashion lovers came to partake. Guests were treated to the visual spectacle of fashion installations featuring looks by Wild Raven Boutique and St. Augustine Fashion Week's Student Design winner Dmitri Sieracki. With hair and makeup by Push Push Salon and a soundtrack provided by DJ Papi Disco and DJ HU, it became the must-attend event of the season. Hosted by Chef Deanna Stephens and Hugh Ward of Push Push Salon, local chefs like Chef Jody Petronella of Coastal Wine & Tasting Room, Chef Danika Meheux of Collage, Chef Natasha Olivera of Farmhand Kitchen, Chef Josh Day of Boat Drinks, and Barista Cameron Hodges of Farmhand Kitchen (with a well-placed appearance by Ice Plant) gathered around Urban Asado's Argentinian grills to cook up something special and create an unforgettable night. www.facebook.com/fashionasado
GUS CRAIG AWARDS Photography by Gary LeVeille
efore his passing in 2008, A.H. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Gusâ&#x20AC;? Craig, Jr., former owner of Craig Funeral Home, was a big supporter of many local causes and organizations. He gave willingly and freely of himself to a community that he loved dearly. So way back in the early 90s, the Gus Craig Award was begun by the local Salvation Army to honor Gus Craig, Jr. and recognize those who give selflessly to others as he did throughout his life. At this year's Gus Craig Award Dinner in September, the community came together to honor the life and work of Katherine Keller Batenhorst, a speech-language pathologist with the St. Johns County School District, and to support the Salvation Army's Feed the Hungry program. Katherine Batenhorst has given her time and financial support to a large number of local organizations and causes, and she gives back to her students each day. www.salvationarmyusa.org/usn
Thank you for 20 years of Trust!
oastaug.com 904.825.0540 Independently & Privately Owned
HEALTH+ FITNESS 'TIS THE SEASON TO START THINKING ABOUT OUR PERSONAL FITNESS AND HEALTH GOALS IN THE NEW YEAR. NO PRESSURE, BUT WE THOUGHT YOU MIGHT LIKE TO MEET A FEW LOCAL EXPERTS ON THE SUBJECT WHO CAN ACTUALLY KEEP YOU PLUGGED INTO THAT GOAL AND GUIDE YOU ON THE ROAD TO SUCCESS. YOU CAN DO IT WITH THEIR HELP!
Orangetheory Fitness The Holidays are coming! There is nothing like the smell of fresh baked goodies, the weather, food, family, friends, and lastly, the resolutions for a New Year. We get so caught up in all the hustle of the holidays, we forget to take care of ourselves. At Orangetheory Fitness we understand how busy you are. Which is why, with only 3 to 4 hours a week, our signature workout can help you burn EXTRA calories every day of the month. Not only is burning EXTRA calories every day during the holidays great, the stress relief that comes with our 1-hour workout is always an added bonus. Our Signature workout is science-backed, technology-tracked, coach-inspired. We will cover all aspects of your workout. All you have to do is show up! Stop making and breaking the same resolution every year … make a change and commit to more life this year! To help keep you accountable, we are having our annual Transformation Challenge in January 2020. Visit Orangetheory Fitness St. Augustine and experience the difference – more life and a new you! 833 S Ponce De Leon Blvd #1 • (904) 647-8088 www.staugustine.orangetheoryfitness.com
P R O M OT I O N
Better Bodies Health & Fitness Better Bodies Health & Fitness Center is a unique, all in one fully serviceable gym with offerings of classes, personal training and wellness/recovery services not currently offered in town. The concept behind Better Bodies is to train hard and efficiently while addressing the components of recovery for optimal performance. Better Bodies Health and fitness classes range from yoga, TRX, HIIT, women’s small group training and Functional Fitness which is a safe and effective way of weight training that prepares the body for real-life movements and activities. Better Bodies Health and Fitness also offers unique recovery solutions to aid in the rigorous training. These recovery solutions include FST (Fascial Stretch Therapy) which is a form of assisted stretching used to stretch muscles, fascia and address the joint capsule to relieve pain and improve performance. Better Bodies also will be offering Cryotherapy services to include a whole-body cryotherapy chamber. Cryotherapy is a safe and effective form of recovery that exposes your body to cold temperatures for 3 minutes that helps alleviate inflammation, pain and speeds up the recovery process from rigorous activity.
Anytime Fitness Anytime Fitness St. Augustine is a supportive and welcoming gym community with people of all fitness levels, and a staff who genuinely wants to see you succeed in reaching your goals. Whether you are looking to lose weight, get stronger, or just improve your overall health, we are here to help. Together, we can make healthy happen. That’s why we offer personal training and group training when you’re here, and the right tools to keep you on track when you’re not. Success will come with the proper fitness, nutrition, and accountability through coaching. With 24/7 access to more than 4,000 locations worldwide, you're joining the most convenient gym on the planet. Every member gets a free, personalized Get Started Plan when they join. Our friendly, professional staff is trained to help you along your fitness journey, no matter how much support you need or want. Make an appointment to see us! We are excited to get you started on your fitness journey.
Better Bodies Health & Fitness is truly a one of a kind fitness facility. TRAIN. STRETCH. RECOVER. REPEAT. 1947 A1A South • (904) 506-0707 • www.betterbodiesfit.com
4010 US Highway 1 S • (904) 297-2300 • www.anytimefitness.com
Diane's Natural Market Serving the St. Augustine community for over 35 years, our mission is to be your local source for natural grocery, supplement and body care, as well as partner with our customers to provide information about the natural products industry. Every day we strive to help customers make informed choices about their health and the products we offer so they can improve their lifestyle and overall well-being. Dedication to our customers, the community, and the spirit of healthy living will always be the foundation of our business. Naturally! 841 S Ponce De Leon Blvd, Unit #6, (904) 808-9978 www.dianesnaturalmarket.com
TRX Training St. Augustine TM
Human movement can best be understood by breaking it down to its most basic and fundamental elements. TRX identifies these building blocks “TRX Foundational Movements.” When we teach people to understand and perform Foundational Movements better, we improve their performance in everything else they do. Daily living is centered around movement, but we do not train to improve our movement efficiency as we age, this reduces our abilities and promotes injuries. The body knows movement not muscle, so we utilize the TRX training methodology to improve everything you do, helping to reduce injuries and promoting a more fulfilling life! TRX Training is the leader in functional training & fitness, and is the first training company to identify and apply these natural Foundational Movements of the body, using Foundational Movements human movement as the centerpiece of a highly effective systematic approach to coach our clients and athletes of ALL levels, whether through Group Training, or 1-1 Personal Training. Move BETTER, Live BETTER, Do BETTER, at St. Augustine's ONLY TRX certified functional training studio! 2085 A1A S, Unit 303 • (904) 290-1432 • www.TRXSTA.com
Club Pilates As you gain core strength, better flexibility, enhanced mind-body connection and coordination, you’ll feel the benefits ripple through your daily experience. A balanced life, with sustained energy throughout the day – what could be more empowering? The workouts are low-impact and tailored to fit your individual needs. Not only do we offer the use of the Reformer, a Pilates apparatus utilizing spring tension and body weight, we also offer several other equipment pieces, over 7 different class styles, and 4 different levels! 220 SR 312 • (904) 494-8693 • www.clubpilates.com/staugustine
P R O M OT I O N
Kim Hynes Health & Fitness Feeling stuck? Weight loss, increased energy and improved health are available to you! As a nutritional health coach, I help you shift eating and lifestyle habits and learn how food, exercise, stress and sleep affect your body, hormones and mind. Connect with me to manage cravings, reduce stress, increase energy and eliminate obstacles all while having me by your side throughout your health journey. Join me for a complimentary 30 minute consultation to start designing your unique program.
LOCAL GUIDES RESERVE YOUR SPACE
1301 Plantation Island Dr. S, Suite 201A, (904) 738-2719 www.kimhynes.com
IN UPCOMING ISSUES... BUSINESS ADVISORS
Fit Mamas Tribe Fit Mamas Tribe helps women meet their fitness goals and provides a community to uplift and support each other - both in and out of the gym. As a top trainer specializing in prenatal and postpartum fitness & wellness for nearly a decade, Lauren and the Fit Mamas Tribe instructors meet the needs of new and expectant moms and women of all ages through personal training and group fitness classes like total body strength training, Barre, Postpartum Recovery® Fitness, Birth Ball Basics™ and various yoga classes. Whether you are new to fitness or an avid gym goer, you will find your tribe with the Fit Mamas. 303C Anastasia Blvd • (904) 669-0017 • www.fitmamastribe.com
PRIVATE SCHOOL GUIDE (Apr/May 2020)
SENIOR CARE (Aug/Sep 2020)
FILM F E ST I VA L
JAN 16-19 2020
JOIN US FOR 4 DAYS
of Films, Celebrities & Parties
MORE THAN 40 FILMS 3 GREAT PARTIES
Opening Night: Culinary Outtters Waterfront Centerpiece: The Spanish Quarter Closing: Art & Motion
Lewis Auditorium Corazon Cinema & Café Gamache-Koger Theatre
BADGE/TICKET OPTIONS All Access Badge: All Films, Venues and Parties All Film Badge: All Films & Venues All Lewis Badge: All Films at Lewis Auditorium Individual Tickets Available! Visit www.StAugFilmFest.com and sign up for our eblasts to get all the info! or Contact us at info@FLIFF.com The St. Augustine Film Festival is under the umbrella of the Broward County Film Society, Inc., producers of the Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival a 501 (C) (3) non-prot cultural institution.
style DARE TO BE DIFFERENT By Gabrielle Ervin
is the season for all things bright and sparkly, and if there's one essential of the season, it's attending parties, dressed to the nines. That doesn’t just mean throwing on something fancy, though. It means standing out from the crowd with a piece that’s utterly unique. Susan and Tana, owners of WildHeart Boutique, chose Treska Jewelry for just this reason – each piece of jewelry is handcrafted with care so no two are exactly the same. Treska's newest collection, "Friday Night," was made with this exact purpose in mind, always updating designs to keep up with the ongoing trends and styles of the season. Designed to express individuality, this seasonal piece features black and silver components of hammered metals, natural agate, stones and is finished with a delicate wire wrapping, so you can accessorize that perfect holiday ‘fit looking anything but ordinary. And this is just one of the standout selections. WildHeart's statement jewelry collection is comprised of a wide variety of eclectic components – like agate, semi-precious stones, glass beads, shell, ceramics, metals, fabric, and wood. You'll be able to find the piece that's quintessentially you. Get ready – you’re about to outshine the holiday lights. www.wildheartboutique.com
In the Kitchen // Jot It Down // Shop STA // Getaway // Home Style
IN THE KITCHEN
THIS IS THE SEASON OF DELICIOUS MEALS AND ABUNDANT SWEETS. MAKE YOUR TIME SPENT IN THE KITCHEN A LITTLE MORE STYLISH WITH THE HELP OF THESE LOCAL RETAILERS.
1 - SERVING TRAY Ultra durable melamine is the perfect choice when your rowdy family is gathered 'round the table.
Available at Coastal Casual
2 - MEASURING CUPS Even practical kitchen pieces can be cozy-chic.
Available at Target
3 - tea TOWEL In a gorgeous, whimsical print, this towel is almost too pretty to use.
Available at dhd HOME
4 - CHEESE UTENSILS Cheese boards are perfect for large crowds. Serve one stylishly.
Available at West to East
5 - OVEN MITT This double oven mitt is super convenient and perfectly practical.
Available at Two Sparrows
6 - ROASTING PAN Invest in a roasting pan that just might be passed down through generations.
Available at Le Creuset
7 - PIE SPICE It's still pumpkin spice season, and now you can add that flavor to everything.
Available at Diane's Natural Market
8 - CUTTING BOARD Handcrafted locally and with a stunning grain, this will take care of all your chopping needs.
Available at Tre Sebastian
9 - SPICE GRINDER There's nothing quite like freshlyground spices from a grinder you'll want on display.
Available from Yield Design
10 - MULLING SPICE Spices aren't just for cooking! Put some cozy beverages on the menu with these mulling spices .
Available at the Spice & Tea Exchange www.STAUGUSTINESOCIAL.com
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JOT IT DOWN ANYONE ELSE ALWAYS HAVE THE NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION TO GET MORE ORGANIZED? YEAH, US TOO. WITH THESE BEAUTIFUL JOURNALS AND PLANNERS, THOUGH, THAT MIGHT JUST BE POSSIBLE.
1 - CHRISTIAN PLANNER Organization and devotion all in one. Reconnect with your faith through daily study and keep your daily life on track.
Available at www.Hopefuel.co
2 - LINE A DAY JOURNAL Sometimes journaling seems like just too much to handle. But one line a day? That we can do.
Available at West to East
3 - CHECKLIST An encouraging mantra and a simple design for quick reminders.
Available from M.C. Pressure
4 - 2020 PLANNER Something this pretty is sure to keep your year organized.
Available at Rose & Pearl
5 - Suede journal The perfect size for keeping close, this elegant journal will encourage your writing.
Available at Earthbound
6 - LEATHER JOURNAL A leatherbound, antique design looks like its pages house ancient secrets (but really just your grocery list).
Available at Aunt Matilda's Steampunk Trunk
7 - MOON JOURNAL Some soulful self-reflection with astrological guidance, affirmations, rituals, journal exercises, and space to write.
Available at Declaration & Co.
8 - POCKET CALENDAR Keep your schedule and tasks always close at hand with a calendar that's easy to carry.
Available at Barnes & Noble
TASTE the Life
our new year’s resolution is to help you
keep yours. Let’s all have a happy, healthy 2020.
US 1 & SR 207
Voted St. Augustine’s Best Health Food Store
21 Years Running!
dianesnaturalmarket.com Locally Owned and Operated
321 A1A Beach Blvd | St. Augustine Bch, FL 32080 | 904-217-3256
SaltL ifeFoodShack .com
IT'S MY PARTY GET SOME SHOWSTOPPING INSPIRATION FOR YOUR HOLIDAY PARTY LOOKS â&#x20AC;&#x201C; WHETHER ALL GLAMMED UP OR CASUALLY CUTE.
2 3 3
1 - Pom Pom Sweater - Available at J. Crew, 2 - Earrings - Available at Nettles Fine Jewelry, 3 - Dark Wash Jeans Available at Linen + Waves, 4 - Cheetah Mules - Available at Pink Pineapple, 5 - Bag - Available at Michael Kors
1 - Bag - Available at Express, 2 - Custom Ring - Available from Joel Bagnal Goldsmith, 3 - Glitter Dress - Available at Market Street Boutique, 4 - San Benito Necklace - Available at Rochelle's, 5 - Heels - Available at H&M
Fat • Cellulite • Wrinkles • Hair Chemical Peels Laser Hair Removal Dermaplane Medical Facials Skin Care Products Micro-Needling AND NOW OFFERING
*Eye area immediately after treated with TempSure, fine lines smoothed and crepe like skin tightened.
1750 TREE BLVD, STE 10 ST AUGUSTINE, FL 32084 FRCENTRE.COM
Uptown Casual Dining
Dinner Sunday Brunch Courtyard & Indoor Dining Full Bar Free Parking Available 102 San Marco Ave., St. Augustine, Fl 32084 (904) 824-7211 RaintreeRestaurant.com n
TempSure™ Envi EMBRACE: Morpheus8, FaceTite, AccuTite Renuvion® Aqua Gold® by Michelle Barnas, ARNP
DEIRDRE LEAKE, MD CHERON SANDERS, LE FRANI HEILMAN, CME, CCE
SHOP LOCAL NO MATTER WHO YOU'RE SHOPPING FOR, YOU'RE SURE TO FIND AN UNFORGETTABLE HOLIDAY GIFT FROM THESE LOCAL RETAILERS.
Marble lions Timeless gifts for treasured loved ones, handcrafted by Old World artisans. Heirloom quality Carrara marble.
Available at St. Augustine Loves Lions
TUMBLING HEDGEHOG Build your very own robot pet hedgehog with 172 building pieces in this kit! This unique robot contains a special sound sensor that allows it to respond to a series of claps. 2019 Best Toy winner.
Available at Olde Towne Toys
LOCKET Great Aunt Matilda claimed that a locket gave her the power to slide into other worlds. When asked what was inside, she said simply, “Magic.”
Available at Aunt Matilda's Steampunk Trunk
Handmade earrings The signature Swan Series earrings are hand-forged in 14K Yellow, White, or Rose Gold or Sterling Silver.
Tumbler Let Carrera Wine Cellar help make your gift giving easier. Select one of their beautiful tumblers with a variety of unique and funny sayings. These are great for just anywhere.
Available at Carrera Wine Cellar
Available at Joel Bagnal Goldsmith
Florida Straight BOUrbon Full-bodied and complex with hints of tobacco, caramel, chocolate, and spices, this unique malted bourbon is spectacular.
Available at St. Augustine Distillery
Savings Passport The St. Augustine Premium Outlets® Savings Passport is packed with exclusive offers from your favorite fashion brands. Get yours for free from the office!
Available at St. Augustine Premium Outlets®
ESTATE JEWELRY Stunning 14K white gold cocktail ring with 45 diamonds and an 18K white gold ring with 9 diamonds and 4 sapphires.
Available at Churchill & Lacroix, Antiquaire
WOMEN'S BLOUSE This on trend and luxurious stretch velvet top is the answer for your special lady. Style this casually with jeans, dress it up with a skirt, throw under a jacket, or over a tee. So stinkin’ cute!
Available at WildHeart Boutique
Shell Coasters Each coaster has an assortment of real shells embedded in absorbent clay with a rattan edge and full cork protection.
Available at Tropical Rattan
Wall art Copper Art collection of handmade wall art inspired by nature and designed with passion. With realistic depth and beautiful finishes, these metal sculptures make walls come to life.
Throw pillows Wendy Tatter's one-of-a-kind batik pillows and artwork are hand painted using this ancient art form. Stop by the W.B.Tatter Studio Gallery for festive holiday gifts and home décor.
Available at W.B. Tatter Studio
EARRINGS These raindrop chandelier statement earrings from Marcia Moran are handmade in Brazil of 18K gold-plate.
Available at Rochelle's
WRAP Try this 3 button lightweight wrap in houndstooth and solids. One size fits all – the perfect gift for anyone on your list.
Available at Nautilus at the Beach JEWELRY Christmas special – your choice of $199.00 14K diamond stud earrings TW.30ct or 14K diamond solitaire pendant TW.25ct with a 14K gold chain.
Available at Coastal Casual
Available at Florida Cash Pawn & Jewelry www.STAUGUSTINESOCIAL.com
WARM WELLNESS FROM OCEANFRONT YOGA TO LIGHT AND FRESH MENUS TO MILES OF BIKE PATHS IN POSH NEIGHBORHOODS, THE PALM BEACHES KNOWS HOW TO DO AN ACTIVE AND HEALTHY LIFESTYLE. By Molly Wilson
he miles and miles of Interstate 95 will probably drag by. Most of your journey will be spent alongside the other southbound passengers, with exits for Daytona Beach, Titusville, Port St. Lucie whizzing by your window. Just a few miles inland of the Florida coastline, it isn’t an exciting drive. But what’s waiting for you at journey’s end is well worth the hours. I was born and raised in the Florida panhandle, but this trip was my first encounter with The Palm Beaches. And it didn’t take long for me to be certain that I would be back. My stay started at the Hilton West Palm Beach, a hotel among the high rises of downtown and across from one of the city’s most populated shopping districts, Rosemary Square. Eager to get the weekend started, I dropped off my bags and made my way over to Grandview Public Market.
Grandview Public Market had obviously previously been a large warehouse, but the now-white building was teeming with guests lounging on cushioned chairs and benches with drinks and plates. Inside was a maze of different little food vendors – everything from craft cocktails and coffee to Southern staples and pizza to desserts and ice cream. I spent some time just wandering about, taking it all in and resisting the urge to buy adorable gifts while I waited for my food. With a large bag of chorizo tacos, chips and salsa, and chicken n’ waffle bites in hand, I made my way back to the hotel to settle in and explore the space. October was Spa & Wellness Month for The Palm Beaches, and partners throughout the surrounding communities came together to promote wellness through a variety of health and wellness events and activities that encourage active living.
Hilton West Palm Beach offers 27 classes throughout the month for guests and locals alike, and they support the American Cancer Society’s Real Men Wear Pink initiative. It was with this cause in mind that they offer a “pink package” for guests that supports the cause. So when I walked into my room, I was greeted by a pink bedspread, a pink bathrobe and towels, a pink chair to relax in with a pink rug underfoot. Elle Woods, eat your heart out. It was tempting to do nothing but snuggle up in the bathrobe for a few hours, but the pool and my private cabana were calling my name. Hidden away from the poolside hustle and bustle by some sheer pink curtains, I sipped on a Rum Runner (that I ordered without realizing it came in a pineapple). Sitting here, it was hard to believe that you’re in the middle of a city. The hotel exudes a resort atmosphere despite being surrounded by slow-moving
traffic and towering skyscrapers. It's quiet and peaceful even though you know that the hum of a city is just beyond the walls. The pool time was short-lived, though, because I had a spa appointment to go to. Bella Reina Spa is just a short drive south to Delray Beach and well worth the trip. The “Pure Bliss Fassage,” as they call it, started with a massage and ended with a facial – one hour of total relaxation geared toward my body and skin’s needs. It was over much too soon. But alas, I was due back at the hotel for dinner at Galley, the restaurant in the hotel lobby. Lively and humming inside, I was guided to the chef’s table where I had a view of the culinary experts on the grill. My server, Tajohna, walked me through the special wellness menu – cocktails, entrees, and appetizers created with health in mind. With all the wellness ahead of me this weekend, she
suggested a decadent cinnamon roll for dessert. The next morning dawned bright and early with an oceanfront yoga session at Eau Palm Beach Resort and Spa. Our instructor Danielle’s voice seemed to follow the ebb and flow of the crashing waves as a small group of us greeted the day on the resort’s lawn. With the rising sun and the glimmering ocean in our sights, the stunning vista made the yoga session all the more serene. A perfect preparation for the next item on the agenda – a food tour with Savor Our City. Denise Righetti started Savor Our City only about five and a half years ago in the beautiful small town of Delray Beach but has already expanded all over the country. Our tour started out at an out-of-the-way (but definitely packed) little spot called
Just a few miles inland of the Florida coastline, the trek along interstate 95 isn’t an exciting drive. But what’s waiting for you at journey’s end is well worth the hours.
The Hilton West Palm Beach is situated among the towering high rises and traffic of downtown. But sitting here poolside, the bustling activity beyond the walls would never cross your mind. It's a resort feel with downtown convenience.
Over the Bridge Cafe for sticky buns and mimosas. Next came a brief detour into the Colony Hotel and Cabana Club; Delray has a lot of history, and Denise is full of knowledge, so much of the walk was spent learning about the years past (unsurprisingly, our own Henry Flagler made a frequent appearance). A turn off the main thoroughfare led us to The Original Popcorn House where I grabbed a take-home snack to enjoy later on. The Wine Room offered us a cheese plate, masterfully assembled by Max McCalman, the resident Maître Fromager, and our wine tastings were dispensed from wine machines that let you choose your ounces. A short walk took us to Death or Glory, a whimsically edgy bar filled with a cast of colorful characters, The New Vegan, a restaurant founded to make vegan cuisine more accessible (and does so deliciously), then finally The Foxworth Fountain, a retro soda fountain within
Delray Shores Pharmacy. With so many options and a delightful guide at my side, the tour was certainly a highlight of the weekend. An inevitable afternoon thunderstorm threatened the bike tour of Palm Beach with Leslie Diver of Island Living Tours, but we persisted and avoided the downpour while Leslie chatted amiably about the local history and most intriguing stories of Palm Beach’s most famous residents. Palm Beach has a gorgeous bike trail that follows the water, whizzing past the gates of enormous private residences. A cut through one of the many hidden European-style courtyards led us to the formidable facade of the elusive Everglades Club then along to Worth Avenue. There’s little surprise why the world’s wealthiest (including a shocking 35 billionaires) would choose to call this beautiful city home. Still recovering from the culinary tour, www.STAUGUSTINESOCIAL.com
I welcomed the light and fresh wellness menu at Florie’s in the Four Seasons in Palm Beach. Heirloom Tomato and Peach Carpaccio was followed by Wild Florida Red Grouper and a Marinated Exotic Fruit Salad for dessert. My server, Rick, deserves a special mention for rolling with the punches when a group of realtors wandered over and begged me to join them rather than dine alone. But even their lively chatter couldn’t overshadow a brilliantlyprepared and delightfully fresh meal. The next morning required one more stop before departing for home – a barre class with Ciana at Fitness Hub Studios. I’ve never done barre before, and Ciana’s enthusiasm was the only thing that kept me from collapsing. It was the perfect end to a busy but rejuvenating weekend. I left invigorated and already making plans to come back and explore The Palm Beaches. www.thepalmbeaches.com
country living MERE MILES FROM ST. AUGUSTINE, A NEWLY-ERECTED, MODERN DAY FARMHOUSE IS A WELCOMING BEACON OF STYLE AMID THE VAST FLORIDA COUNTRYSIDE. By Lauren Eastman | Photography by Brian Miller
ollowing a journey through farmlands, past a long white fence, Remington Ranch Farmhouse emerges on the horizon. The epicenter for a delightful family raising their daughter with room to grow, this home’s wholesome charm showcases a young mother’s wisdom regarding decorating with a brood in mind. Eight furry paws and a newly-walking toddler are major considerations in its durable but beautiful aesthetic. After moving from their horse ranch in Ocala where the name Remington Ranch began, Tracy and her husband Matt embarked on the four-bedroom, three-bath 2,600 square feet build while Tracy was still pregnant. She designed the home with family and open spaces in mind, including the large, central kitchen island where most meals take place. “We envisioned our home as a place for gatherings. We wanted a modern farmhouse style with beautiful design features that was also practical and family friendly,” says Tracy, whose
understanding of the farmhouse aesthetic is tangible. Full of charm, the home exudes a classic and cozy feel without fuss that makes one not only want to linger but perhaps snuggle under a fluffy throw and drink a cup of tea. True to its farmhouse roots, the nurturing style is palpable, and nothing is too precious or delicate. Embracing tradition and family with warmth and comfort, herringbone tile features and reclaimed wood join textures and tones while inspiring sayings adorn various spots in the house, bringing a smile with their whimsical appeal. “I encourage people to feel purposeful about what they buy so that the end result feels cohesive with meaning instead of cluttered,” she says. When asked about her favorite room, the dog wash is noted as an essential element of the daily routine for the family’s two Labrador pups Remi and Ruger to wash their paws after prances around property.
FAMILY: Matt, Tracy, and Emma Amenities: 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, open floor plan, dog wash, fireplace, and a sprawling property Size: 2,600 square feet
The home has a distinct personality, and certain aspects – like the entryway catchall featuring reclaimed wood from Matt's grandfather's property – bring the life and legacy of the family into focus.
Stand-out elements include a custom wooden hood above the stove and faux beams in the cathedral-style ceiling (for which she makes no apologies while quipping that they were a bit confusing for the termite inspector). Reclaimed wood from Matt’s grandfather’s land was incorporated in the entryway catchall. And Matt was the brawn behind the custom shiplap wall in the dining room – a must have for any modern-day farmhouse. Future plans include building a custom pool and bringing horses back to the property. Working part-time as a pediatric physician assistant (her husband Matt is also in the medical field), Tracy finds great joy and respite in design. Her décor is low maintenance once complete, though it is evident that every choice made along the way is thoughtful and purposeful. She leans on vendors including Wayfair and Joss &
Main, while shopping Kirkland’s, Target, and Hobby Lobby for accessories. Amazon served as the supplier behind the mix of comfortable, beautiful furniture in the living room. Tracy always had a passion for design and hosting. As a child, she loved to throw Christmas parties for her friends. Her mother would give her a budget, and she would set out to find the best décor and experience. Now, as a working mother and wife, she enjoys having an outlet to share her passion with others.
cozy design. She offers followers the opportunity to shop inspirations from her home from the wooden beautiful chandelier in the master bedroom down to the spillproof rugs. Her warm personality and openness invite followers to weigh in on décor choices, while sharing insights on where to find her favorites. She often poses décor-related questions – including whether to decorate with brights or neutrals for the holidays to involve her followers in design decisions. In addition, she promotes others in the IG world who inspire her, building an online community.
While completing the design and build process, all while raising a newborn, she began her Instagram page (@remingtonranchfarmhouse) in 2018. It now has more than 32,400 followers who appreciate her ability to create functional,
“We had a lot going on during the build, from having a baby to changing jobs,” says Tracy. “I found myself using Pinterest and Instagram to provide my builders with visual examples of what we wanted. Soon I realized that creating a place to share that design
Though every element is perfectly and precisely put together, the home feels lived-in and welcoming. It invites you to wrap yourself in a cozy blanket, grab a cup of something warm, and put your feet up.
The kitchen was designed with family and friends in mind. The large, central kitchen island is the perfect spot for mealtime gatherings and shared glasses of wine. The wooden hood above the stovetop is custom and is just another delightful element of the farmhouse aesthetic.
Looking around each room, each vignette, it's no surprise that Tracy and Matt's home has garnered so much attention online. As the Instagram account has continued to gain popularity, Tracy has started customized design consultations.
inspiration for others was an outlet after designing and building functional spaces for us. It’s taken shape in a way I couldn’t have imagined.” That certainly is a lot to accomplish in baby’s first year, so Tracy fits it in during naptime or after bed. Her Instagram offers practical ideas such as faux porch décor items to create high-quality first impressions with low maintenance upkeep. The online activity has led into areas that she couldn’t have imagined – including interior design projects for followers who love her design, décor, and DIY abilities, and want customized advice for their specific spaces. Along with her e-design clients, she is currently consulting on a playroom makeover for a mom of two girls and is thinking about officially bringing on more clients locally. She is also creating a
home décor line of pillows and soft goods to launch on Amazon later this year, starting with a modern farmhouse pillow cover. When asked about her five-year vision, she smiles before returning to the Instagram discussion. “Social media and advertising continue shifting,” she says. “People are utilizing online platforms for inspiration. I’m excited to see how it all unfolds. For now, I’m enjoying learning about the space and sharing our lifestyle with an incredible community. We will see what’s next!” See more of this house online at www.staugustinesocial.com.
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LOCALS Viv Helwig feels he is still learning valuable lessons, but the most important thing he’s learned so far is not to be captured by fear or try to control every outcome. “It’s okay to fail. In fact, being able to realize that something is not going to work and to cut the cord, take your losses, and move on to the next goal is critical. Failures are not final.”
... PAGE 92
Rising Star // Maker // Educator // Person of Interest // Faces of St. Augustine
P R O M OT I O N
HEART OF THEIR WORK
THE TEAM AT FIRST COAST HEART & VASCULAR CENTER IS OFFERING THE REGION ADVANCED AND INNOVATIVE CARE WITH A PERSONAL TOUCH. Photography by Kate Gardiner
f you're very lucky, you haven't yet become familiar with words like electrophysiology, interventional and vascular cardiology, venous insufficiency, or mesenteric ischemia. And, if your luck holds, you may never need to worry about the implications of words like these. But sadly, the statistics are not in your favor. Nearly half of all adults in the United States have some type of cardiovascular disease, according to the American Heart Associationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Heart and Stroke Statistics, 2019 Update. Clearly, at some point in our lives, most of us will need to pronounce, define, and research the words mentioned above and more. Most of us will need to find a skilled physician who is familiar not only with the words themselves but with the diagnosis and treatment attached to them. So, in the interest of preparedness, we'd like to introduce you to the caring professionals at First Coast Heart & Vascular Center. First Coast Heart and Vascular opened in February 2013 with a handful of doctors
and about 20 staff members. In just over six years, the medical team has expanded to serve their patients on the First Coast and Ancient City. The population growth in those communities drove the decision to enhance several aspects of the practice. The original physicians felt that any and every addition to the practice meet two simple criteria: allow patients expedited access to expert care, and all of the providers must be been vigorously vetted to deliver that care in the most compassionate manner. Their mission is to provide the broadest offerings of cardiovascular medicine, which includes endovascular, peripheral, interventional, and electrophysiological services. The team knew it could not comprehensively help the community if there were delays or deficiencies in unique specialists, so they expanded the group to 14 physicians and each has an area of expertise in specific fields of cardiology. This allows the doctors to see patients in a timely manner and the specialists to consult internally when necessary to cover almost all possible needs of their patients. By seeing complex patients www.STAUGUSTINESOCIAL.com
on a routine basis with vast physician support, the patients receive a connected continuum of care that, until now, has been available only in larger metropolitan areas. First Coast Heart prides itself on being able to provide such care, while still offering the personal touch that its patients have come to expect. In general, most patients are referred through a primary care physician, but they often see patients who have come to the office after being referred by a friend or family member. They also provide consultation and advanced cardiovascular care in the hospital. When a patient is discharged from the hospital, they continue to see and follow them in their offices. They always try to set the patients up with the physician that has a specialty within the field of Cardiovascular Medicine that is most likely to be able to help them. Many patients need a general cardiovascular specialist that can comprehensively and systematically evaluate the patient and optimize their medical care, while coordinating the need for further subspecialty advice or procedures. For instance, if you have an electrical problem of your heart or require an evaluation for a pacemaker, defibrillator, or ablation, they will schedule an appointment to see the
Shown here: Dr. Jones is overseeing a patient undergoing a nuclear stress test in the Whetstone office location. Opposite page: (left to right) Dr. Christopher Edwards, Dr. Ameeth Vedre, and Dr. Vincent Caracciolo
electrophysiology team. When patients have emergencies or serious blockages that require intervention such as balloons, stents, vascular repair, or vein issues, they will ultimately get to see one of the interventional cardiologists that perform these advanced procedures at their own outpatient catheterization laboratory or at Flagler Hospital. Ultimately, it is their goal to streamline care and get the patient to the most appropriate physician earlier so there are no delays or redundant office visits. General Cardiovascular Medicine Specialists include Dr. Caracciolo, Dr. Vedre, Dr. Hayes, Dr. Koren, Dr. Grech, Dr. Kaveti and Dr. Martin. In Interventional cardiology, they have Dr. Crisco, Dr. Jones, Dr. Singh and Dr. Edwards. The Electrophysiologists are Dr. Pubbi, Dr. Sanghvi and Dr. Mandalakas. Their offices accommodate patients on the First Coast in Jacksonville, Fleming Island, World Golf Village, St. Augustine, and Palm Coast. Instead of listing the dizzying number of complex conditions and procedures that they diagnosis and treat, simply put, they have the full scope to comprehensively take care of almost all cardiovascular patients
locally right here on the First Coast and in the local hospital. They are proud to be able to make it easy for you to get this care and live your life healthfully. If you find yourself having to become familiar with electrophysiology, or interventional and vascular cardiology, you can feel comfortable knowing that First Coast Heart and Vascular is right here in your hometown and will take the best care of your cardiovascular needs. Palm Coast location... 14 Office Park Drive, Suite 1 St. Augustine locations... 100 Whetstone Place, Suite 102 300 Health Park Blvd, Suite 1000 70 Turin Terrace, Suite 210
they have the full scope to comprehensively take care of almost all cardiovascular patients locally right here on the First Coast and in the local hospital.
(904) 342-8300 www.firstcoastheart.com www.STAUGUSTINESOCIAL.com
LEADER OF THE PACK WHEN HE ACCEPTED AN OFFER TO JOIN JAX PACK, TREY NADIN TOOK THE OPPORTUNITY TO STEP UP, STAND OUT, AND EMERGE A LEADER. By Susan Johnson | Photography by Kate Gardiner
rey Nadin grew up here in St. Augustine, graduating Pedro Menendez High School before starting studies at UNF. Trey can't remember a time when he wasn't involved in sports – mainly tackle and flag football, roller hockey, and lacrosse. His dad Gregg and grandfather Robert get credit for fostering his passion for sports; friends Christian Geiger and Nathan Dean get kudos for encouragement and support. Now approaching the 20-year age milestone, Trey has already played, coached, organized, and mentored; he currently holds a leadership role with Jax Pack, the official marketing arm of the Jacksonville Jaguars where he received a promotion to Team Captain after only 6 months. He also produces, scripts, and hosts his own radio show called “Birds of Trey” that airs every Tuesday at 2pm on 95.5. Impressive, right? Even so, it’s his heart, his spirit, and his attitude that really set him apart. Trey's accomplishments are built on advice he's received from just two people. The first was his dad, who told him very early on,
Trey emphasizes that, for him, “Sports is more than an activity; it’s a family, it’s a community, it’s something that brings people together. I have a good support system, a strong faith in God, and great friends and family. I’ll just take challenges one step at a time.”
"No matter what you do, do it to the fullest and work as hard as possible. Do what you feel God has called you to do, no matter what anyone else might say. And know that we will always have your back." The second was Adam Schefter, NFL insider for ESPN, who Trey met during a self-funded trip to a career management conference in Indianapolis. Schefter's advice wasn't glamorous and it wasn't easy: "Take the job that nobody wants, take the time to show you're committed, and take rejection as opportunity. When someone says you can't, show them that you can."
Trey went home, was referred to Jax Pack by a church friend, took an offer to join the team, and quickly went about putting all that advice into practice. He took on more than he was tasked with, took advantage of shifts and gaps in management to prove his worth, showed up early and stayed late, and helped whenever and wherever he was needed. Less than six months later, he was Jax Pack Team Captain.
Trey emphasizes that, for him, “Sports is more than an activity; it’s a family, it’s a community, it’s something that brings people together.” One of his favorite activities as Jax Pack Team Captain, is something called TeamMate Tuesday where he visits elementary schools and interacts with the kids. “We bring free, fun stuff, play outdoor games, and let them know they’re important. They don’t care that I’m not a player, it’s just the fact that someone from the Jaguars took time from their day to come and hang out.” Trey’s dream job would be one that combines sports with community or public relations, but even now, he assumes leadership roles naturally and seems well prepared for the inevitable challenges. “I have a good support system, a strong faith in God, and great friends and family. I’ll just take challenges one step at a time.”
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WEIGHING ANCHOR A HERITAGE OF TREASURE HUNTING AND TRAVEL BY SEA HELPED INSPIRE THE ADVENTURE LAUREL BAKER EMBARKED UPON NINE YEARS AGO. By Teddy Regis | Photography by David Steele
o live in a bayside city is to be the recipient of a myriad perks. High on the list is easy access to ships setting sail at dusk or under a moonlit sky. Oftentimes, the water is calm and glassy. Once in a while, it is agitated and merciless. Enter a time-tested symbol of stability and steadfastness – the anchor. When jeweler Laurel Baker founded Anchor Boutique in 2010, it was with appreciation for the name’s versatile meaning. “It kind of encompasses a lot of things,” reflects Laurel as she explains what went into the name.
In her early days, Laurel shared retail space with fellow vendors and learned the value of collaboration. This ‘community over competition’ ethos continued to play out during expansion into a larger space.
Family ties played a role. After serving in Vietnam, Laurel’s father bought a boat and became a treasure hunter. His nautical excursions took him to the waters of South and Central America where he found artifacts that were later donated to museums. He had a special interest in cutting gemstones – particularly agatized coral (Florida’s official state stone). “I use it in my jewelry today,” shares Laurel as pale light from an overcast sky soaks the sun room in which we sit. Laurel’s mother has a background in hospital administration and is known for her tenacity. Laurel chuckles, “She won’t let me give up." This comes as no surprise after learning how Laurel’s mom spearheaded the recovery of a hospital’s reputation with several hurdles along the way. In her early days, Laurel shared retail
space with fellow vendors and learned the value of collaboration. This ‘community over competition’ ethos continued to play out during expansion into a larger space. Despite being the sole occupant of her shop now, she still hosts events involving fellow business owners. “Now I can move the shop forward...I do repairs, I do custom work.” Anchor Boutique has become a mainstay jewelry shop. But Laurel isn’t quick to accept full credit for her growth. On the importance of delegating, she notes, “Some people can take the heavy lifting off your shoulders...to grow, you have to trust other people.” So when it comes to web hosting, Laurel is willing to trust her team so she can better tackle responsibilities unique to business ownership. These include customizing engagement rings and repairing jewelry often rich in sentimental www.STAUGUSTINESOCIAL.com
value. These transactions connect her to people in ways that last for decades. The boutique’s presence caught the attention of the environmental community when The Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience approached Laurel about commissioning a necklace series. This will be in conjunction with an oyster reef restoration project that combats flooding and erosion. Proceeds from the sales of this oyster-inspired piece will help fund the initiative. “That’s a way I can use my craft to give back,” relates Laurel. As she contemplates the future, Laurel has her sights set on innovation. “I’ve always wanted to invent something and patent it.” It will be no surprise when once again, our nautical community buzzes with news of Anchor Boutique’s latest adventure. www.anchorboutique.com
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A LIVING LEGEND FLOYD PHILLIPS COULD LIVE ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD AND HE CHOSE ST. AUGUSTINE. WHY? BECAUSE “THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE LIVE HERE.” By Carla Tesconi St. Gelais Photography by Kate Gardiner
very now and then, you meet someone who creates such an impression on you that you realize you will never forget that person. Floyd Phillips is one such individual. He has a presence that brings light into the room, an outstanding passion for his work and cultural legacy, and an unforgettable, contagious laugh. You’ll find him at the Lincolnville Museum, working tirelessly to make the museum and St. Augustine a better place.
He loves his work; and yet, he says, “this has been one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done. We just want to make this community the best that it can possibly be.”
Floyd was born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in 1942, growing up during the height of segregation. As a young man, he was a National Merit Scholar, “destined to attend Morehouse College in Atlanta,” he relates, but “at the eleventh hour,” he was told his birthdate preceded the cutoff date, and therefore, could not attend. After enduring detours in his career path, he pursued teaching, specializing in Biology. Eventually an opportunity arose with Allstate Insurance Company. He loved teaching, however, and “once a teacher, always a teacher.” Today, as President of the Friends of Lincolnville, he (along with his wife Gayle) teaches throngs of individuals from all over the world about African American history in St. Johns County, where Floyd has lived since 1998. Friends of Lincolnville consists of a group of individuals, all possessing a keen interest in history, who support and manage the museum. Floyd was called in five years
ago as a consultant, after which he was invited to sit on the board. Approximately six months later the then President and founder, Otis Mason, indicated he was considering retiring. Soon Floyd was unanimously voted in as the new President. He loves his work; and yet, he says, “this has been one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done.” Lincolnville Museum hosts a program called The Living Legends, which honors individuals who have made great contributions to St. Johns County’s historical significance – like Otis Mason, Janie Price, and Sandra Parks. The individuals selected are local treasures for all of us to find. “Anybody who doesn’t get a special feeling from interacting with people like this,” says Floyd, “I don’t know where their heart is.” www.STAUGUSTINESOCIAL.com
Moving forward, one of the organization’s goals is to get the museum accredited. The museum features jazz programs, live theatre, lectures, camps for children, even programs for senior citizens. “We want to bring seniors into the museum, provide refreshments, let them talk,” says Floyd. “We also do a lot for youngsters because we feel it’s so important.” He is working with the school district, bringing in an Educational Specialist who will develop programming that can be brought to local schools. “There’s not another museum in the city that does what we do. And we always need volunteers. A new set of eyes, experiences, even resources. We just want to make this community the best that it can possibly be.” www.lincolnvillemuseum.org
The Casey Agency
Brightway, The Casey Agency, your local insurance experts serving St. Augustine ASHLEY CASEY, Agency Owner Brightway, The Casey Agency (904) 217-7547 email@example.com
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ON THE RISE A DEDICATION TO HER ART, AN UNMISTAKABLE TALENT, AND A DEEP LOVE FOR MUSIC HAVE PUSHED JOLIE TO THE FOREFRONT OF THE ST. AUGUSTINE MUSIC SCENE. By Robert Waldner Photography by Richard Dole
or Jolie, life has never been devoid of music. Taught to play piano by her mom, Tracy Bailey, at a young age, the now twenty-one-year-old phenom has already made some big soundwaves on the streets of the Ancient City. Born and raised in Jacksonville, Jolie moved to St. Augustine after marrying her husband Sam a little over a year ago. An introverted kid with humble beginnings, Jolie was catapulted to the apex of the local scene by her dedication and geneticallyinfused love of music. A lifelong (though less public musician) himself, Sam has sat in the passenger seat for Jolie’s metaphoric flight and has watched his wife’s future unfold. “Watching from the sidelines of her first few St. Augustine performances just before Nights of Lights last year, I saw audiences grow from ten or twenty people to well over a hundred in merely minutes,” says Sam. “That is when I knew that we had something special and that these supporters were going to be a big driver for Jolie’s success.” Sam’s premonition perhaps arrived much
“Watching from the sidelines of her first few St. Augustine performances, I saw audiences grow from ten or twenty people to well over a hundred in merely minutes,” says husband Sam. “That is when I knew that we had something special and that these supporters were going to be a big driver for Jolie’s success.”
faster than anyone had predicted. Fresh on the heels of the artist’s introduction to the Ancient City spotlight, Jolie learned serendipitously that she had been nominated as a contender for Folio Weekly’s 2019 Best of St. Augustine awards. “I actually went to the website to vote for a friend when I saw my name,” she says. The nomination eventually led to Jolie being voted ‘Best Female Vocalist’. The award serves as a true testament of the soulful singer’s local impact.
Jolie attributes much of her success to the support she has received from her friends and family, and she looks optimistically to the future. “I never imagined that I could make a living doing what I love the most,” she says. “This journey is possible for anyone who is willing to put in the work.” Much of Jolie’s passion and work ethic was instilled in her by her biggest lifelong cheerleader, her father Joe Crapo. “He is very entrepreneurial," she says, "and has www.STAUGUSTINESOCIAL.com
given me advice and emotional support every step of the way." Now a full time musician, Jolie’s inaugural release was a cover album. More recently, she released her first album of all original songs titled ‘I Can Only Be Me’ on November 13th, which was accompanied by a concert at The Parlor Room. With a library of songs she has written since the age of fourteen, the album consists of both old and newly-written tracks. “We had a big first year and my goal is to start branching out,” she says. As for the city that has so warmly embraced her talents, Jolie says, “I love that every weekend there are new people in the audience as well as return guests who support my journey and push me to be a better artist.” www.officialjolie.com
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STRAIGHT TO THE TOP UNDER THE GUIDANCE OF TINA WALDROP, A BELIEF THAT "BETTER NEVER QUITS" BROUGHT DRAMATIC CHANGES TO OSCEOLA ELEMENTARY SCHOOL AND ITS RATING. By Marisella Veiga Photography by Richard Dole
isitors to Osceola Elementary School won’t miss a large sign near the doors leading to administrative offices. It’s an announcement: For the 2018 -19 year, the school earned an “A” rating from the Florida Department of Education. Even more impressive is that, in one year, the school shot to the top from a “D” rating. “To say everyone worked hard to achieve this is not enough of an accolade,” says Tina Waldrop, school principal for the past eight years. “They deserve every bit of recognition.” Tina distilled the school’s mission statement – Better Never Quits. Tina has worked BySt. Meeka Anne | Photography David Steele with John County publicbyschools for the past 34 years in various capacities. A St. Augustine native, she lives in the same neighborhood where she was raised. With 110 employees as well as 716 students, Tina knows providing leadership and effort on a continuous basis is key. Teachers and staff know the challenges inherent in educating future generations. They consider their work important and rewarding, she said. “You can’t coast in this business.” The waiting room in front of the administrative offices holds three posters covered with post it notes and hand-written messages. "Collective Commitment" is the heading above the notes, where teachers and staff have anonymously written goals for their students. Among many aspirations,
The waiting room in front of the administrative offices holds three posters covered with post it notes and hand-written messages. "Collective Commitment" is the heading above the notes, where teachers and staff have anonymously written goals for their students – to love learning, to feel loved, to have a growth mindset, to have determination, to be kind. they want students to love learning, to feel loved, to have a growth mindset, to have determination, to be kind. These small declarations fuel big commitments. Several strategies were used to improve the school’s rating, Tina says. For one, a part-time guidance counselor was hired to focus on parent conferences and calls. Attendance improved as did tardiness. While tardiness may seem insignificant, Tina insists that it throws children off balance for the day, leaving them feeling like they cannot catch up. Teams of teachers were created to focus on students with academic performance in the lower 25%. Some teachers were reassigned. Everyone was asked to mentor a lowperforming student. As a result, one might find a custodian reading to a kindergarten class or an administrative assistant having lunch in the cafeteria weekly with a mentee. www.STAUGUSTINESOCIAL.com
Parental involvement increased, too. During Avid Curriculum Title One Nights, conscious discipline is discussed as well as ways to support a child’s learning. Those evenings, Tina says, the courtyard fills with parents, teachers, and staff. They enjoy one another’s company along with good pizza. Dads Take Your Child to School Day is a national initiative, and Osceola Elementary participates. Between 350-500 people meet in the school cafeteria for breakfast where the art teacher shares a lesson from a book based on Dads. Muffins for Mom is also popular. Grands Biscuit and Gravy breakfast is held in November and coincides with a bookfair. “Volunteers are always welcome,” says Tina. “Children need to interact with adults who care about them, beyond family members.” www-oes.stjohns.k12.fl.us
PERSONS OF INTEREST
MOVING UP IN THE SEASON OF SETTING GOALS AND PROMOTING GROWTH, THE LEADERS AT THE HELMS OF ST. JOHNS COUNTY'S FASTEST-GROWING BUSINESSES UNCOVER THEIR SECRETS TO SUCCESS.
eing included in Inc. Magazine’s annual report of the 5000 fastest-growing, privately-held businesses in the United States is an honor most entrepreneurs would be thrilled to receive. It isn’t an easy list to get on. There are quite a few requirements to be met and a lengthy application process. But even so, three local firms in St. Johns county — Vested Metals, Design Extensions, and NTE Energy – were all included in the most recent list released by Inc. As one year ends and a new one begins, growth is something we’ve all got our sights on. And though business on this scale may not be in our plan for 2020, there’s something to be learned from the teams that were given this honor. I had the privilege of meeting with the leaders of each of these firms and discovered how different their approaches
to running their businesses and their lives are, and at the same time, how similar. Jay Owen has been at the helm of Design Extensions since he was 17 years old and a student at Nease High School. Twenty years later, he is a father of five and starting to branch out by developing his own personal brand. Design Extensions has been growing every year since its inception and has become a self-sufficient organization. Jay feels strongly that it is time for him to get out of the way of the day-to-day operations, and begin sharing what he has learned over the past two decades. He has been busy — developing his own personal brand, speaking at conferences and workshops, writing a book, and using his knowledge to help other entrepreneurs with marketing strategies, small business challenges, and the ever-present need for work/life balance. www.STAUGUSTINESOCIAL.com
By Lynette Snell
Photography by Kate Gardiner
Viv Helwig started Vested Metals in 2014. Viv is a graduate of Flagler College, a father of three young children, and is newer to the entrepreneurial game, still navigating the early phases of being a startup experiencing rapid growth. Viv was also recently a finalist for the Steel Manufacturers Association Next Generation Leadership Award which is trying to promote youth in steel. It hasn’t all been easy though. Just twelve months after starting Vested Metals, which supplies raw materials to manufacturers of medical devices and products for aerospace and government contracts, Viv found himself out of money, about ready to close the doors on his dream. But he strongly believes God had a bigger purpose for him and provided help in a most unusual way. One day a check
Each person shares similar goals of seeing continued growth within their respective businesses, but it’s more than just financial gain. As I spoke with each person, it became obvious that the bigger picture involves much more than simply the bottom line. It involves people and communities.
arrived in the mail. At first, he thought it was a scam. Upon further investigation, he realized it was an overpayment from when he had sold his house three years earlier to the tune of $7,600. That check allowed him to regroup and move forward with his business plan. It was only four years later when his company was included on the Inc. 5000 list. NTE Energy has a different path to the Inc. 5000 list. NTE is unique in that it has been named to the list six times since 2012. Originally founded in 2009 by Seth Shortlidge, NTE is now owned by the executive leadership team of Tim Eves, Mike Green and Stephanie Clarkson. Tim Eves was the first to arrive in 2010, shortly after the creation of NTE Energy. He brought with him a degree in power
engineering, careers at Westinghouse Power Generation and Calpine Corporation, and a law degree from the University of Miami. His time at Westinghouse drew him into the development area of power production and eventually he crossed paths with Seth. Seth’s vision for creating more reliable, affordable energy in the wholesale market struck a chord with Tim. Prior to joining NTE, Tim had been involved with Mike Green in forming PACE, a Partnership for Affordable Competitive Energy. Through this partnership, Tim and Mike were able to get some legislative changes made regarding the power industry in the state of Florida. Tim, now a grandfather to two beautiful granddaughters, has been in his industry for over forty years and with NTE for almost ten.
A graduate of the University of Tennessee, Mike Green worked with Duke Energy for thirty-one years before connecting with Tim. After retiring from Duke in 2002, Mike formed a small consulting firm assisting with regulatory consulting, working in various areas of water infrastructure. Then he got Tim’s call inviting him to join NTE in late 2010. A father of five and a grandfather of nine, Mike is the second longest-serving employee in the firm. Stephanie Clarkson hails originally from Virginia but moved to Florida in the early 2000s. A University of Florida graduate with a specialization in accounting and finance, Stephanie worked with the Department of Transportation, state and local governments, and even worked at a
"The Inc. 5000 recognizes fast growth, but fast growth is not everything," says Jay. "I’m more concerned with growing at a sustainable pace.”
biomedical engineering firm specializing in research and development. Stephanie met Mike and Tim in 2013 and was intrigued by their forward-thinking ideas for the business. She was invited to join the NTE team and moved with her husband and four children to St. Augustine that year. The commonality of these five very different individuals is not just being included on the Inc. 5000 list. Each person shares similar goals of seeing continued growth within their respective businesses, but it’s more than just financial gain. As I spoke with each person, it became obvious that the bigger picture involves much more than simply the bottom line. It involves people and communities. NTE came into being because of a desire to give options to consumers (that is, municipalities and power suppliers) for purchasing reliable energy at reduced pricing, especially in in strongly-regulated states like in the Southeast. This seems like a no-brainer, but in the tightly regulated
world of power production, where contracts for energy supply last upwards of fifty years, it is no easy feat to break into the ring and convince municipalities to give their business model a chance. What is the difference? Choices. NTE offers the purchasers of their power choices for the most affordable rates at peak usage and other times. For NTE, those choices have allowed small municipalities to purchase power at cheaper rates, and eventually pass on those savings to their customers. “We don’t implement anything with a goal of a winning an award,” Mike Green says. “Our first goal is a solution for customers' needs. If awards fall, they fall, but that is never a goal.” Viv Helwig remembers calling on customers in the early days of Vested Metals and realizing he wanted to be on the Inc. 5000 list. It was his goal. He thought, “That’s where I want to be, because to be on that list means you have grown.” But as his business grew and he eventually did see his company on that list, he realized something www.STAUGUSTINESOCIAL.com
important. It’s not just about Vested Metals’ success. It was about the team involved in the day-to-day operations. It was about his customers’ success. In the end, Viv realized, if you are doing all you can to help those around you succeed, then you too will succeed. When I asked how each person felt about being included on this prestigious list, the answers were surprising. NTE’s unique sixth time has not dulled the excitement of inclusion so much, but it has continued to validate that they have been and are doing things right. Jay and Viv, first time honorees, feel a bit differently. Jay said being recognized by this list was “awesome,” but at the same time, he was cautious. “The Inc. 5000 recognizes fast growth, but fast growth is not everything.” It makes him stop and double check to make sure he hasn’t missed anything. “I’m more concerned with growing at a sustainable pace.” Excited and proud? Yes. But also careful.
Viv feels he is still learning valuable lessons, but the most important thing he’s learned so far is not to be captured by fear or try to control every outcome. “It’s okay to fail. In fact, being able to realize that something is not going to work and to cut the cord, take your losses, and move on to the next goal is critical. Failures are not final.”
Viv echoed those sentiments. “I think every good CEO should have some point of healthy paranoia,” he laughs. Additionally, Vested Metals is one of, if not the youngest company on the list in his industry. He competes with and works with companies which have been in existence for over 100 years. Obviously, being recognized by such a reputable and prestigious organization as the Inc. 5000 list is an achievement each of these leaders values. But they were all quick to point out that focusing too much on awards takes away from their goals and what they hope to accomplish. Jay Owen hopes to expand his personal brand by speaking nationwide at more conferences. He is now applying the marketing and branding strategies Design Extensions uses to help their clients to his own venture of building his brand. Jay’s approach centers largely on the concept of story branding. After reading Donald Miller’s book, Building A Story Brand, Jay
realized it was a concept he had been trying to achieve within his own firm. The book, however, gave clarity and form to his ideas. From that point on, Design Extensions’ growth was exponential. Now he hopes to apply those same principles as he brands himself and his message. NTE Energy and its three managing partners, Tim, Mike and Stephanie, have largely the same goal they’ve had since NTE’s inception. Now that they’ve had such tremendous success in the Carolinas and elsewhere, they hope to continue that model and make a larger impact throughout the country. They have seen success and they have a plan to expand on the proven value of that model. As they look to the future, they all continue to have an ultimate goal: providing innovative solutions that provides the end users (the towns for whom they provide power) significant savings. Tim, Mike and Stephanie added that being able to witness the direct impact on these towns has been one of the most rewarding aspects of their www.STAUGUSTINESOCIAL.com
business model. Viv Helwig realizes the potential danger of resting on his laurels. “So many companies who make the list don’t even exist anymore,” he says. “More companies choke on growth than die by flailing for survival.” Viv and his team hope to build an environment where organizational health is their strategic advantage. Everyone wears lots of hats, so the potential for burnout is higher. He recently sat down with his entire team and spelled out the vision for the company’s future, what they would need to do to achieve those goals, and to make sure everyone was fully on board with the plan. “Not everyone fits into a startup environment,” Viv remarked. “It doesn’t mean they aren’t talented, but not everyone can do startups.” Despite being three different companies in three very different industries, these five leaders can offer a little advice to others who are standing at a junction in their lives, personal or professional.
Jay Owen says you must have intentionality and a clear plan. Without having your plan and goals written down, you’ll end up where you don’t want to be. It’s easy to get distracted by the whirlwind of life without clear intention. His second recommendation? Everyone needs four people in their lives – 1. Someone to look up to (a figurehead, a leader in your field, etc.); 2. Peers on your level (other business owners, for example); 3. Someone looking up to you (“When you become a teacher, you become an expert”); and lastly 4. Someone who believes in you when you don’t believe in yourself (your spouse, a family member, a close friend). Having these four people around you and learning from them is critical to writing your own story.
“Make sure what you love to do leaves a positive impact on communities and society in general," says Stephanie. "I love what I do because I see the direct impact in these towns where [our help] is needed.”
Mike Green encourages people to find that goal or activity about which you are really passionate. “Find something you believe in and good things will happen, but you’ve got to be willing to take that risk.” Tim Eves agrees, and adds, “You have to persevere. It’s tough.” Stephanie takes her advice one step further, “Make sure what you love to do leaves a positive impact on communities and society in general. I love what I do because I see the direct impact in these towns where [our help] is needed.” List or no list, these leaders are worth listening to.
Mike Green encourages people to find that goal or activity about which you are really passionate. “Find something you believe in and good things will happen, but you’ve got to be willing to take that risk.” Tim Eves agrees, and adds, “You have to persevere. It’s tough.”
Viv Helwig has a similar idea. He has a “council” of mentors who are older than he to whom he turns for guidance. Their input helps him remain grounded and on track. He feels he is still learning valuable lessons, but the most important thing he’s learned so far is not to be captured by fear, or try to control every outcome. “It’s okay to fail. In fact, being able to realize that something is not going to work and to cut the cord, take your losses, and move on to the next goal is critical. Failures are not final.”
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SAINT AUGUSTINE Meet the faces leading local industry.
Photography by Leonard Blush
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FACE OF FINE JEWELRY
BLUE WATER JEWELERS NICOLE NETTLES
nline shopping has changed retail. People often default to it for nothing more than the convenience that a couple of clicks provides, but something is missing from the experience that it just cannot offer – connection, care, and service. And that’s what Nicole and her team at Blue Water Jewelers strive everyday to provide. The team at Blue Water offers their passion and expertise to each client that walks through the door, and their devotion to their work sets the shop apart. “They are amazing and way smarter than me,” laughs Nicole. “They go above and beyond for clients all the time – from delivering gifts and repairs to clients who couldn’t get to us in time or visiting clients in the hospital. I never ask them to do these things, they just do it. They are the soul of the store.” Nicole and her husband Robert opened Blue Water in 2006, driven by passion and an entrepreneurial spirit. With such a long history in the community, it’s no wonder that the store is guided by a love for its clients and a desire to make a positive impact on their lives. “We have met clients in the parking lot of Publix to deliver a jewelry repair,” says Nicole. “One time I got up early Christmas morning when Blue Water was closed to deliver a gift because our client forgot to get the one amazing piece of jewelry she wanted. I want it to count for something more than just being a jewelry store. I want Blue Water Jewelers to be used as a tool to change peoples’ lives for the better.” The care and dedication of the whole team is doing just that. With the experienced eyes of certified Gemologists and Master Jewelers, they’re delivering stunning pieces and expert repair with a devotion to personal connection. “May each person who comes in the store remember our kindness first and our jewelry second,” says Nicole. “We want to do the very best we can for each person – no matter what it takes.”
(904) 829-5855 500 Anastasia Boulevard www.bluewater-jewelers.com
FACES OF AUTOMOTIVE
HYUNDAI OF ST. AUGUSTINE AND VOLKSWAGEN OF ST. AUGUSTINE ANDREW DIFEO JOE DIFEO
(904) 797-7800 2898 US Highway 1 South www.hyundaiofstaugustine.com (904) 495-7070 3235 US Highway 1 South www.vwsaintaug.com
passion to build a community focused business based on old fashioned values runs in the family. Over 70 years ago Grandfather Sam DiFeo left the bakery his father ran to bring the same community centered approach to the car business. His approach – “It’s about relationships, not transactions” – still rings true in the DiFeo brothers’ Saint Augustine dealerships. Andrew opened Hyundai of St. Augustine eleven years ago, and Joe opened Volkswagen of St. Augustine five years ago, but the core values under which they operate are remarkably similar. “Our motto at Hyundai is ‘Excellent Service from Excellent People,’” says Andrew, “and that drives our mission to exceed the expectations of our valued guests in everything we do.” Joe echoes the sentiment for his team at Volkswagen. “Our core values form the acronym HEART,” he says. “Helpful, Efficient, Always Improving, Respectful, Thankful.” Joe and Andrew are grateful for the high engagement their teams bring to serving customers. Every member of the team goes through extensive training from the vehicle manufacturers in order to stay at the forefront of the industry and be able to pass that expertise onto each client. But the level of customer service that the dealerships deliver doesn’t come only from highly trained and highly skilled staff. It also comes from hiring and growing a team that is always motivated to stay at the top of their game, to grow the company, and to give everything they can to the customers and the community. “My
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inspiration comes from seeing team-members grow personally and professionally,” says Joe. “Many of them have said, ‘I can’t believe that I look forward to getting up and going to work every day. That’s never happened before. Even my spouse is amazed.’ That can only happen when the whole team is focused on service and growth.” With over 100 team members between the two dealerships, that kind of culture isn’t easy to maintain, but building purposeful jobs has been a priority. “We have very low employee turnover, with many employees that started with us in 2008 still here today,” says Andrew. “Our valued guests like the fact they can come to our dealership and see friendly, familiar faces.” You’ll notice a difference the moment you walk through the door at Hyundai and Volkswagen of Saint Augustine. Everyone cares, and it shows. For them, it’s about building relationships and not just making a sale. The teams are passionate about their products and about their work, eager to help their clients and build trusting relationships. With the teams at Hyundai and Volkswagen, customers know that the service will be
extraordinary, and the care will go above and beyond. “Our customers always compliment the caring and professionalism that team members exhibit in helping them with their automotive needs,” says Joe. “My inspiration comes from all the positive feedback I hear from valued guests and members of the community about the great experience our team has provided them,” says Andrew. “We are a business that is all about building relationships that are meaningful and long lasting. Our dealership strives to be the leader in exceeding expectations. We accomplish our goal by providing every guest with an informative and professional experience in a friendly environment.” The Volkswagen and Hyundai teams are built on a foundation of passion, service, expertise, and excellence. “Our whole team is excited to serve you,” says Joe. “We want you to experience the magic that happens when you drive in and lasts long after you drive out!”
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FACE OF SALON
STYLE & GRACE SALON & WIG STUDIO SABRINA HIERS FISHER
abrina Fisher welcomes clients into her salon, Style and Grace, with a gracious smile and open ears. She says, “Seeing my clients walking out the door looking and feeling beautiful is the motivation that drives me. Every woman deserves to feel and look their best. My passion is to make all women feel beautiful inside and out.” A true local, Sabrina was born in St. Augustine and dreamed of owning a hair salon as a young girl. Her business is now 23 years strong and thriving. She stays on the cutting edge of trends by continuously participating in trade shows and continuing education. She says, “I have trained with a variety of manufacturers, including The Kacey Welch Method, Hairtalk tape-ins, HairUWear, Brazilian Blowout, Amika Pro, and Matrix.” Initially, Sabrina opened a hair salon and was known for her expertise in color, as well as her sparkling personality. That deep connection for others is what opened her eyes to the need for a wig studio in St. Augustine. She says, “Anyone with thin hair or medical issues causing hair loss can come by. We love to educate women about all the possibilities that are out there for them.” Style and Grace is the only wig salon in St. Augustine. The team is trained in a variety of methods to enhance natural hair with a full range of extensions and top pieces. Sabrina says, “At the end of the day, we may have helped a bride with hair extensions, or a cancer patient find the perfect wig that puts some normalcy back into their life.” The studio prides itself on creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere in a private setting. Sabrina says, “The most important thing is that I spend time with my clients to truly understand their needs, and it is my mission to do this with style and grace.”
(904) 669-5371 1699 US 1 South, Suite B www.sabrinahiers.com
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FACES OF SKIN CARE
SPA LIFE SKIN & LASER AMANDA BRADSHAW NATALIA SADOWSKI CATHERINE DARIOS ATHENA CALVIN
(904) 806-6999 105 Southpark Boulevard, Suite 203 www.spalifeskinlaser.com
pa Life Skin & Laser operates by the belief that health and beauty are not one size fits all. Every member of the staff – from the person manning the front desk to the licensed aestheticians and surgeons – knows that clients’ experiences should be personalized and building trusting, professional relationships is essential. That’s why they not only devote themselves to exemplary customer service, but they also offer a wide range of products and services to find the best fit for everyone’s needs. “We are constantly learning, and we embrace new procedures and products,” says owner Amanda Bradshaw. “We know one size does not fit all and customized regimens are key. Every visit is tailored to the client, not corporate quota, and everyone that walks through the door gets the same personalized attention.” Spa Life is a full-service medical grade spa with a list of services including facials, peels, hydrafacials, microneedling, dermaplaning, microdermabrasion, lash lifts, laser skin tightening, waxing, laser hair removal, permanent makeup, massage, nails, and hair care. Each member of the team regularly attends seminars and workshops, and certifications and licenses are always up-to-date. In 2019, Bradshaw was named "Best Esthetician" by readers of the St. Augustine Record, so Spa Life clients can rest assure they are in capable, experienced, and expert hands who can provide long-lasting results that are more than skin-deep. But the Spa Life experience goes beyond the expertise of industry professionals. Interactions are personal, and the staff truly loves what they do. The clients, more than anything, motivate the excellence of their work. “We are committed to making sure our clients are happy,” says Amanda. “Spa Life goes above and beyond to create a comfortable and relaxing environment where our clients feel rejuvenated and refreshed. We hope that everyone that walks through our doors leaves feeling their best. Spa Life encompasses happy and healthy living, and we want to share our passion with every client.”
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FACES OF VETERINARY MEDICINE
SOUTHEAST VETERINARY HOSPITAL DRS. BRITANY AND CHAD TIMBERLAKE
(904) 823-1270 1885 State Road 207 www.southeastveterinaryhospital.com
ur animals are more than just a pet – they’re a member of the family. So choosing a veterinary team to care for them is no easy task and not one that we take lightly. From the moment you walk into the lobby of Southeast Veterinary Hospital to the time you leave, the team strives to treat you and your pet like family. Treating patients in what can often be a high-stress situation, Drs. Britany and Chad Timberlake and all of their team work to provide individualized care in a comfortable and relaxed environment. “Our clients are our friends, our neighbors, our families,” says Dr. Britany, “And if they are not when they come in, we certainly want them to leave that way.” Dr. Britany Timberlake’s area of expertise is surgery, both routine and emergency. Dr. Chad Timberlake specializes in non-surgical illness and preventative care. They are both members of the Jacksonville Veterinary Medicine Association, where they stay connected with the veterinary community at large and all its new advances. Their expertise, extensive experience, and passion for their work will ensure the best care for each and every patient. Due to the overwhelming community support over the last 4 years, the team is outgrowing their facility. The process to expand has already begun, with plans for 6 new exam rooms and parking to meet each client’s needs. This addition will help the team to increase the availability of appointments and decrease wait times. The choice of a veterinarian for a lot of people is a very personal one. You need someone that you can trust. “We are those people,” says Dr. Britany. “It’s personal to us and our staff. We are pet owners as well and we always provide the same advice that we would do for our own pets. The care and compassion that we provide on a daily basis is what we would want for our own pets. For all of us here it is more than just a job.”
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FACES OF MEN'S HEALTH
ALPHA WAVE HEALTH CENTERS SCOTT HOLLINGTON, MD ANTHONY LUONGO,
(904) 763-1400 101 E. Town Place, Ste 100 www.alphawavehealth.com
he primary objective of the physicians and medical staff at Alpha Wave Health Centers is to improve the quality of life for all their patients. Their unique techniques include Acoustic Pressure Wave Therapy, and EPAT (Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Therapy). Dr. Scott Hollington says, “Our proven treatment options are non-invasive with no needles, no surgery, and no medication. We are known for using the best techniques in the industry for acute and chronic pain using the proven AcuteWave TM Protocols, as well as Gainswave ® for men’s performance concerns. We have over an 83% success rate. We are also now offering Neurostim, a pain inhibitor for our patients with extreme chronic pain.” Dr. Hollington completed his medical training in 1996 after completing his residency at The University of Florida in Jacksonville. He went on to become board certified in both Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and spent one more year in training at Wilford Hall USAF Medical Center in Texas. He then completed his service with the Air Force by working as a Pathologist and Laboratory Director at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. When patients arrive at the clinic, they can expect to find a clean and comfortable waiting room where a trained and caring medical staff will greet them. “We make sure each patient is treated with dignity and respect, and we do our best to make their visit as comfortable as possible,” says Dr. Hollington. The passion of the practice is to utilize their knowledge of emerging medicine to help end the opioid crisis, as well as to help men with their concerns with performance. Dr. Hollington says, “Knowing that we are treating our patients in an all-natural way makes us believe we are making a difference in the world. Our long-term goals are to introduce as many people to our acoustic pressure wave therapy as we can. Our AcuteWave TM treatments have helped hundreds of people that were suffering with acute or chronic pain live a better quality of life. We also have proven results that our Gainswave ® treatments for men help with improving a patient’s overall happiness and relationship with their partner. "We want people to know that we are here to help them feel better, stronger, and achieve overall personal performance.”
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FACES OF DENTISTRY
OXFORD DENTAL ASSOCIATES DR. GREGORY E OXFORD AND DR. ISABELL G OXFORD
he staff at Oxford Dental Associates are committed to making your time in the chair as pleasant as possible. Many of their patients refer to the practice as the “Ritz Carlton” of dental care. The dental professionals include the husband and wife team of Dr. Gregory and Isabell Oxford, along with Dr. Linda Johnson. The group provides a variety of services from dental hygiene, whitening, and esthetic procedures to advanced implant restorative procedures, and more involved surgical procedures such as sinus lifts, bone and tissue grafts, implant surgical procedures, and impacted wisdom teeth with IV sedation. About their philosophy, they say, “Treat others like you want to be treated. We feel that every patient deserves the highest quality of care delivered with kindness and compassion in a clean, courteous, and professional environment. Our goal as dental professionals is to maintain a level of excellence in service and care no matter what the circumstances are. However, ultimately, it is not about teeth; it is about people.” Apprehensive patients can rest at ease as the practice offers sedation services and provides digital impressions that alleviate the fear of gagging. Additionally, they offer the latest implant placement technique via X-Nav®, which is a dynamic navigation system that increases the accuracy of dental implant placement. Patients can be sure that they will be presented with a complete overview of all their treatment options. The doctors and hygienists are committed to spending whatever amount of time is needed to address all the patient’s questions and concerns, as well as educating them about their oral health. When you visit Oxford Dental Associates, you will find a team of experts. Dr. Gregory Oxford specializes in periodontal, dental, and implant surgery. Dr. Isabell Oxford and Dr. Linda Johnson are well-versed in general dentistry with a focus on esthetics and implant dentistry. They say, “We keep up with the advancements in procedures, materials, and techniques in our industry by attending numerous dental conferences throughout the year. We also have highly trained staff members, such as hygienists experienced in periodontal treatments and certified dental assistants.”
(904) 810-2345 100 Whetstone Place, Suite 308 www.oxforddental.net
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FACES OF CHRISTIAN COUNSELING
ELBOW TREE CHRISTIAN COUNSELING HAYNE STEEN BRITTANY STEEN DOROTHY THOMAS AUBREY CANNATA KELLY MINTER TAYLOR JOHNSTON
(904) 559-1944 38 S Dixie Highway 76 South Roscoe Boulevard Ponte Vedra Beach, Fl www.elbowtreeflorida.com
From the very first point of contact at Elbow Tree, we work hard to be intentionally client-centered in order to personalize the experience,” says founder Hayne Steen. “When clients arrive in our office, they enter a warm and welcoming environment. Many have shared how much they enjoy arriving early just to sit quietly in our waiting room before their appointments. Often our clients stay with us long term as they find comfort in this haven, where they can be themselves without any pretense or judgment. The symbolism of the elbow tree is simply ‘turn here.’ This is the idea of our counseling practice - turn here and let us help you get oriented in your particular situation.” Hayne grew up surfing on the North Florida coast and met his wife Ruth Ann at Flagler College, where they were both students and Young Life leaders. They later returned to St. Augustine with a desire to serve this community. Hayne intentionally launched Elbow Tree out of a home that has been in the center of the community for 130 years as an image of resilience. The house has weathered major storms, from wind and rain to flooding. It has survived the normal effects of aging and has continued to endure. Similarly, our diverse team has weathered many of the storms our clients might be experiencing; a challenging childhood, single, newly married, decades married, divorced, cancer survivor, adoptive family, combat veteran, Navy wife, parents with children of every age, and empty nesters. This “mom and pop” counseling shop serves clients along the First Coast with mental health counseling, spiritual direction, and educational support for clients of all ages. Anyone who feels tired, burned out, overwhelmed, or lost could benefit from reaching out to the team of therapists at Elbow Tree. Hayne says, “We’ll show you how to take a real rest. We will work with you and walk alongside you to learn the unforced rhythms of grace. Keep company with us, and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
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FACES OF SENIOR CARE
RIVERSIDE COTTAGES AT THE SHORES ROBERT AND MICHELE CARMINES
s you approach the grounds of Riverside Cottages at the Shores, you instantly get the sense that this is not traditional assisted living care. Robert and Michele Carmines took a vision to reality and created an oasis that is both unique and comforting. Robert says, “Our goal is to make each resident feel truly at home while they’re here. A high staff-toresident ratio and a true passion for what we do allows us to provide the best assisted living possible. Residents enjoy home-cooked meals, on-site barber and beautician visits, live music, fun activities, and much more.” The Carmines have worked in the healthcare industry in various capacities since the late seventies, Robert says. Michele completed a long tenure with The Assisted Living Federation of America, which included the development of Assisted Living Today magazine. “I worked in political fundraising for over 15 years for the American Medical Association and the National Association of Broadcasters, to name a few,” he says. In 1994, they purchased Grafton House, which is St. Augustine’s oldest assisted living facility. Riverside Cottages is a five-acre campus planned with the resident as the primary focus and the only family-owned assisted living facility in St. Johns County. Specializing in memory care and family support, they offer residents care, warmth, honesty, approachability, sensitivity, and integrity. Robert says, “We always place our residents and their families first.” Robert and Michele stay wellinformed of their residents' needs and additionally keep a close eye on cutting edge industry trends. Currently, they nourish the residents’ creativity with art classes and the music of an accomplished pianist. Those who are struggling with decisions about care for aging loved ones are welcome to come by. Robert says, “We are honored to speak with anyone who needs assistance, even if they don’t end up residing at Riverside Cottages. We are happy to help people assess their needs and point them in the right direction.” At the end of the day, the Carmines know what’s important is that they are taking care of someone’s mom or someone’s dad. Robert says, “We believe that, with heart, anything and everything is achievable!”
(904) 342-2590 471 Shores Boulevard www.riversidecottagesalf.com
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FACES OF FITNESS
TRX™ TRAINING ST. AUGUSTINE CHRIS CYGUL KRISTY LEE WILSON
hris Cygul and Kristy Lee Wilson understand that walking through the doors of a fitness or training facility takes courage, and they greet everyone who enters the TRX Training studio with a welcoming smile, encouragement, and expertise. Kristy says. “We put people first when they come and put their trust in us. We meet them where they are, not where we want them to be. Getting hurt during your exercise routines is not normal, and there is better. We have ‘Better.’” Their unique backgrounds have prepared them to offer you training at any level with focused expertise in movement-based training. Kristy is a former Australian competitive gymnast and coach who went on to become a lead performer in a Cirque du Soleil show. After becoming a mom, she became certified as a pre and post-natal fitness specialist. Chris began his training career at a physical therapy clinic in Central Florida and now holds the title of Master Trainer and Senior Educator with the TRX Training brand. Currently, he trains and certifies trainers throughout the USA. After fifteen years of personal training, the couple opened their Anastasia Island location two years ago. They have lived in St. Augustine Beach with their daughter Ella (4) for three years. Kristy says, “Our success lies in our unique ability to quickly assess the movement quality of clients and build a training program that offers the quickest possible results, allowing them to reach their goals much faster than traditional training methods.” These methods originated with the training of the TRX Brand (started by a Navy Seal), which is the global leader in movement-based training.
(904) 290-1432 2085 A1A S, Unit 303 www.TRXSTA.com
The residents of St. Augustine have voted the TRX Training studio “Best Gym” in 2019 and “Best Personal Trainer” in 2018 & 2019. Kristy says, “Most of our clients arrive with pain, and leave without it. After training with us, they find that they can do more and live a more fulfilling life.” Clearly, the dedication to their clients is making an impact.
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FACE OF SPIRITUAL SERVICE
SISTERS OF ST. JOSEPH SISTER SUZAN FOSTER, SSJ
t. Augustine is blessed and honored to have experienced the benevolence of the Sisters of St. Joseph for 153 years. Today, the Sisters are still fulfilling and following the legacy of the women who arrived here before them in 1866. They carry out their mission with the mindset that everyone is their “dear neighbor.” These women who have devoted their lives to God and service are the only congregation of Sisters in our city. The women all possess an innate sense of their individual passion and purpose, and through their unique gifts, they each find their specific roles in ministry to the people of God. Sister Suzan notes, “Our spiritual formation process is one of obediently listening for the voice of God. Sisters who work with our spiritual formation process assist each woman in discerning what God is saying to her and the community.” The work of the Sisters positively influences our community in a myriad of ways. Sister Suzan explains, “The Sisters continue their impact on our city in many endeavors, including our ‘retired’ Sisters’ outreach to our homeless. On my ministry front, St. Joseph Academy remains strong, providing 21st-century academic endeavors within a spiritually-focused Catholic Christian environment.” The first classes of what would become St. Joseph Academy began at the Motherhouse in 1866. Sister Suzan says, “We continue to partner with parents to provide the next generation with a strong Catholic Christian foundation and a commitment to social justice amid education’s technological age. Academy graduates have distinguished themselves among many professions and volunteer opportunities.” In ministry at St. Joseph Academy, Sister Suzan feels that she has come full circle. “I was born and bred here, of Spanish and Minorcan heritage. I am a proud alumna of Cathedral Parish School and St. Joseph Academy. The spirituality and inner peace that comes from my being part of a religious community lends its energy and passion for my working among the people of God.”
(904) 824-1752 241 St. George Street www.ssjfl.org
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FACE OF FUNERAL SERVICES
CRAIG FUNERAL HOME ASHLEY LACEY
he passing of a loved one can be one of the most challenging experiences that each of us will go through. It can be a confusing time as you handle arrangements while still trying to say goodbye. A knowledgeable, helping hand is never more needed than in this moment. For more than 100 years, the team at Craig Funeral Home has come alongside the St. Johns County community and offered services and guidance in these moments of grief. “We are committed to the compassionate, professional delivery of funeral, cremation, and burial services,” says Funeral Director Ashley Lacey. “It is gratifying as well as a privilege to be able to sit down with the bereaved and guide them in honoring their loved one.” Each member of the Craig Funeral Home team is welltrained in the latest aspects of our business. Ashley is nationally-accredited by the International Conference of Funeral Service Examining Boards in both Funeral Services Arts and Funeral Service Sciences and is a licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer in the State of Florida. She regularly enrolls in continuing education classes in funeral services, reads industry publications to stay up to date with the latest trends, and is as well an active part of an online community of fellow nationwide Funeral Directors and Embalmers. This education allows Ashley and the team to guide clients with an expert hand, to know the ins and outs that will allow each person’s services to be beautifully customized. “We excel at customization,” says Ashley. “With the understanding that not everyone’s budget is the same, we know how to make the most of the resources available in order to honor and celebrate your loved one’s life.” Care, compassion, honesty, and integrity are at the heart of their work. “Honoring the last wishes of the deceased or the family is always a priority, while personalizing both traditional and non-traditional services. We are always mindful of the importance of listening and being attentive to the details, treating everyone with the care and compassion that we would extend to our own immediate family members,” says Ashley. “Every life has a unique story to tell.”
(904) 824-1672 1475 Old Dixie Highway www.CraigFuneralHome.com
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FACES OF PRIVATE SCHOOLS
ST. JOHN'S ACADEMY CLASSICAL CHRISTIAN SCHOOL WALLIS W. BROOKS, PRINCIPAL
(904) 824-9224 1533 Wildwood Drive www.stjohnsacademy.com
group of like-minded parents put their heads and their hearts together and in 1994, established St. John's Academy Classical Christian School. After visiting Classical Christian schools in Idaho and Orlando, the parents determined that this type of education would dramatically enrich the life of each student and enhance the educational opportunities available in North Florida. Wallis Brooks was one of the founders and has served as Principal at the school since its inception 25 years ago. She says, “My focus has been on establishing long term relationships with the community, parents, teachers, and students. We are not just teaching children; we are training future adults and citizens.” St. John’s Academy is accredited through the Classical Latin School Association and the Evangelical Center for Financial Accountability. They stay relevant in education by engaging with other Classical Christian schools, attending annual conferences, and reading classical literature. Wallis says, “Teaching classically involves the study of Latin, Logic, and Rhetoric. We utilize special projects to cultivate the art of public speaking and the ability to prove and persuade with events like Mount Olympus Day, the Medieval Festival, Mock Trial plus yearly Christmas Pageants and Spring Revues. We believe familiarity on the stage builds confidence. Additionally, we teach traditional math, cursive writing and, of course, classical literature all grounded in Christian Orthodoxy.” “The mission of the Academy is to send virtuous scholars into the community who can express themselves well in the written and spoken word,” says Wallis. “We help students to develop a great work ethic and learn the value of their cultural heritage and history. Those educated and trained in this way can change the world.” St. John’s Academy is proud of its 25-year history, fulfilling the mission of restoring the lost tools of learning, advancing an appreciation of the classics, the heritage of Western Civilization, and the truth of Scripture. Their pride is in training virtuous scholars who recognize the good, the true, and the beautiful.
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FACES OF SUNDAY WORSHIP
COLONIAL CHURCH PASTORS MATT & JILL MCCLOGHRY
owerful worship, life-giving preaching, and a flourishing kids ministry are three things you will discover if you drop in and visit Colonial Church. Pastors Matt & Jill McCloghry say, “We welcome people into our church as if we were welcoming them into our home.” The couple, known for loving God and loving people, met in Sydney, Australia, and both went to Hillsong Church together for many years before relocating to the USA. Jill graduated from Hillsong International Leadership College, and Matt is finishing a master’s degree at Liberty Theological Seminary. Both are ordained ministers. About four years ago, Matt and Jill relocated to St. Augustine with the idea of creating a local ministry. They moved swiftly into action by initially improvising with temporary locations. They said, “For the first three years we had gatherings in different venues such as The Armory, Lewis Auditorium, The Pioneer Barn, and First United Methodist Church.” Now, they have put down roots with a permanent location, and the church is thriving. The inspiration for their work comes with their experiences of watching people begin to have a relationship with Jesus. They want to be a church that continues to be the pillar of the community for generations to come. Along with their permanent location comes more programs such as essential classes that guide individuals through the journey of their faith. They also offer opportunities for youths and other members of the community to engage with leadership and volunteer opportunities. Matt and Jill say, “Colonial Church was born out of a desire to see the city of St. Augustine and greater St. Johns County won for Jesus. This is a place where we gather as one body, under one name, and for one purpose: to worship and become more like our savior Jesus. Our vision is to build an exciting, vibrant, Bible-based church whose mission is to welcome people home.”
550 State Road 207 www.colonialchurch.life
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FACES OF FINANCIAL PLANNING
NORTHWESTERN MUTUAL WEALTH MANAGEMENT COMPANY DENISE HAGAN, CFP®, CHFC®, CLU®, RHU® ANASTASIA CARTER
nastasia Carter, a professional golfer, knew she needed to plan for her financial future. Other women in the community were raving about Denise Hagan, so she went to see her. The next thing she knew, she came out with a new plan and a new purpose. She was more excited than ever to use her degrees in Finance and Spanish to help others and take charge of her own money. So, the Dynamic Duo was born…and they’re on a mission. Frankly, when it comes to money, most women aren’t getting the right information or just don’t feel heard. Denise and Anastasia want to change that. “I feel that the financial world can be so cold and materialistic,” says Denise. “Often, women don’t feel a connection with their advisor. And, at a minimum, we want them to know they have options.” And the success stories have poured in. After only a few minutes with Denise, one nurse practitioner said that Denise had taught her more than she had learned in months from another advisor. A broadcasting professional was so stressed and busy that she didn’t even want to deal with her money, but with Denise’s help, she broke everything into manageable steps that were simple and easy to follow. Not only was she able to turn around the negative areas, but she made major strides toward becoming more financially stable. A businesswoman going through a divorce was given the confidence to take charge of her own finances, and Denise motivated her to identify her priorities and implement them to protect herself and her daughter. Women in all walks of life seek out Denise and Anastasia’s advice, but they all have something in common – they want to avoid making the wrong financial decisions and start making the right ones with confidence. And whether they’re married or single, by choice or by default, they are excited to work with someone who takes the mystery out of money and helps them become extremely efficient and effective with every dollar. If you’re curious, schedule a free discovery meeting to see if Denise and her team are a good fit.
(904) 484-7756 108 Sea Grove Main Street, Ste. C www.denisehagan.nm.com
Denise Marie Hagan uses Physicians Nationwide as a marketing name for doing business as a representative of Northwestern Mutual. Physicians Nationwide is not a registered investment adviser, broker-dealer, insurance agency or federal savings bank. Northwestern Mutual is the marketing name for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, Milwaukee, WI (NM) (life and disability insurance, annuities, and life insurance with long-term care benefits) and its subsidiaries. Denise Marie Hagan is a Representative of Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company® (NMWMC), Milwaukee, WI (fiduciary and fee-based financial planning services), a subsidiary of NM, and federal savings bank. All NMWMC products and services are offered only by properly credentialed Representatives who operate from agency offices of NMWMC. Representative is an Insurance Agent of NM and Northwestern Long Term Care Insurance Company, Milwaukee, WI, (long-term care insurance) a subsidiary of NM, and a Registered Representative of Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC (NMIS) (securities), a subsidiary of NM, broker-dealer, registered investment adviser and member FINRA (www.finra.org) and SIPC (www.sipc.org). Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP® with plaque design) and (CFP® with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board's initial and ongoing certification requirements.
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FACE OF BANKING
CENTERSTATE BANK MAKS LEVANOVICH
hose looking for something a little different in the banking industry may want to reach out to Maks Levanovich at CenterState Bank. He says, “It will be my honor to hear your story, the needs of your business, and use the resources and business partners from my organization to provide you with world-class service and relationship banking to help you to achieve your personal and business dreams.” Born in Minsk, Belarus, Maks moved to the United States alone at the age of 18. “This experience changed my life and taught me many skills and lessons, which I use and live by each day,” says Maks. “While at Stetson University and juggling a Division I tennis schedule with my academic responsibilities, I learned leadership, time management, and accountability. All these attributes gave me life skills, which I see as competitive advantages that I continue to use every day to serve the organization and the community I am a part of.” The studies at Stetson culminated with an MBA in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance. Maks says, “Listening to business podcasts and reading industry journals helps me stay up-todate with industry and economic trends to make sure I am adding value to the conversations with my customers.” The opportunity to help manage the growth of the former Reunion Bank brought Maks and his wife to St. Augustine in 2015. Maks says, “The last few years have been the most fulfilling years of my career. My wife and I love the community we live in and hope to grow our family here. I am proud to call St. Augustine my home.” Giving back is a big part of what Maks enjoys about being part of a community. He says, “It’s been a fulfilling honor to be treasurer of the St Augustine Beach Rotary Club, on the board of a local chamber of commerce council, and to participate in community events.” Regional in scope, CenterState Bank is laserfocused on the communities they serve. Maks says, “We look to earn our customers’ trust each day and with every transaction.”
(904) 824-5600 120 State Road 312 W. www.centerstatebank.com
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FACES OF ACCOUNTING
SCINE CPA ADVISORS MICHAEL SCINE DREW CLUKEY RITA LYNCH
(904) 417-8299 670 A1A Beach Boulevard, Unit B www.scineadvisors.com
ichael Scine and the team at Scine CPA Advisors are a non-traditional CPA firm that goes beyond the numbers and works to help people find their passion for why they are in business. As the team sits down with each client, they learn their stories and make those stories a big part of their consulting programs, designing custom business plans through thought-provoking questions and a focus on the needs and goals of each individual client. “Our work is done,” says Michael Scine, “when we ignite the passion in business owners to keep moving forward to accomplish things they never thought they could obtain.” Michael Scine is a Certified Public Accountant holding a master’s degree in the Science of Taxation. In addition to his master’s, Michael has obtained two additional certifications – one as a Certified Global Management Accountant as well as a Certification in Blockchain Technologies. Each year, Michael attends more continuing education above the industry requirements for a CPA’s education standards. This education allows his team to ensure that each client is getting the best service possible with the most up-to-date information. “I believe education,” says Michael, “is the gateway to accomplish your goals.” At Scine CPA Advisors, you are more than just a number. The team utilizes technology, their expertise, and their experience to make a positive impact on each client and work alongside them to achieve more than they ever thought possible. “Our goal is to change how the public views a CPA firm,” says Michael. “We would like to become lifelong advisors helping people define what success means to them and align all assets (including the business) to point towards that definition.”
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FACE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
ISSIMA PUBLIC RELATIONS LAUREN EASTMAN
elling stories is Lauren Eastman’s unique gift. The founder of Issima Public Relations loves the opportunity to help her clients who are doing incredible things by bringing their voices to life. Her agile communications firm offers a suite of consulting services from PR to content creation, social media, and multi-channel digital marketing as well as writing services for blogs and newsletters.
After relocating to St. Augustine about three years ago, Lauren says, “I basically re-imagined my business after eight years of operating in a different place and way, and it is exciting to see those efforts succeed!” She brings to the table 20 years of experience in the industry. In a fastmoving, constantly advancing industry, staying ahead of the curve is essential. Lauren says, “I am always reading and connecting with my professional network for ideas and collaboration.” “We’ve evolved our offerings in the branding and digital realms throughout the past few years, which assists our clients with the tools that help them differentiate in a modern way and meet their audiences where they live,” says Lauren. “Through teamwork and attention to detail, we get the results our clients are looking for.” Fulfillment comes to Lauren through watching her clients thrive. She says, “We truly partner with the brands we work with, often growing our campaigns along simultaneously with their business and acting as a trusted advisor on all forms of communication. I am inspired by the work my clients do and honored to tell their stories. I have represented people at the onset of approaching their life dreams and watched those dreams come to fruition. It is a joy!”
Being a part of the community of St. Augustine is dear to Lauren’s heart. She says, “I advise on a few nonprofits involving children and families and always happy to lend a hand on ideas for raising funds for worthy causes. We are truly happy to live in such a beautiful part of the world and look forward to continuing to celebrate the unique aspects of this charming seaside town we call home!”
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O BRIGHTWAY INSURANCE FACES OF INSURANCE
THE CASEY AGENCY
CHARLES EBERHART LISA MESSLER RAYMOND GREGORY MONICA KAUFENBERG KAREN YORKE ASHLEY CASEY
(904) 217-7547 108 Sea Grove Main Street, Suite B www.brightwaycasey.com
pening their doors in 2008, Brightway Insurance - The Casey Agency has proudly stood by their customers through hurricanes, major floods, hail, and fires. Through these events, the agency has become a much-needed insurance resource in times of trouble and hardship. “Honesty and integrity are the pillars of our core values,” says owner Ashley Casey. “We pride ourselves on being insurance experts while developing strategies that help our clients meet their insurance needs. We truly enjoy the relationships that we’ve forged, and the office has a real love for St. Augustine which inspires all of us to be our best.” On that road to success, Ashley and his team have reinvented the insurance experience around the needs of our clients. With experience and innovation on their side, the Casey Agency strives each day to give back to the community they love by providing an experience like no other. “We don’t sell anything we just help you buy the protection you need with the heart of a teacher”. says Ashley “We’ve experienced losses together and we understand that we have the same interests in making sure our lives are protected. We do for you, as we would do for ourselves.” Their agency combines the most insurance options available with the best technology so they can deliver the highest quality products to their customers. A welcoming, open concept allows each agent to serve their customers in the local office, in person or online and their specialty is being able to provide a full view of the insurance market place. We understand people are busy so we do all of this in a matter of minutes and provide an accurate and reliable insurance consultation. “We believe that the experience is everything, and we champion people by simplifying, protecting, and making the process as smooth as possible for our clients,” says Ashley. “We have a very seasoned team focused on exceeding the expectations of our clients every time.”
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FACE OF FAMILY LAW
THE GILLIS LAW FIRM ADRIANNE GILLIS
amily matters that give rise to the need for legal representation are unique and personal, and a legal approach must be individualized and unique as well. Adrianne Gillis and the team at The Gillis Law Firm have dedicated their work to a compassionate, caring, and effective legal experience for every person who seeks their aid. “I strive to always create a client-centered experience that is rooted in trust, honesty, and an open, reciprocal line of communication,” says Adrianne Gillis. “In family law, clients need a counselor at law, not just an attorney, and I strive to provide that. When someone places their trust in you to assist in resolving the most important thing in their life at that moment, they are looking for more than legal advice, and I have dedicated my career to meeting the individualized needs of each client.” Family law is a sphere that experiences continual change, so Adrianne and her team regularly attend continuing legal education courses to stay up-todate on current case law and changes in the law. It is critical to stay informed about changes in the field, so research and close contact with colleagues are a part of Adrianne’s daily routine. Adrianne also makes herself constantly available, with each client having her direct contact even outside of business hours. “I firmly believe,” says Adrianne, “that an attorney's willingness to counsel their clients through those tough situations as they are transpiring, and not after the fact, is critically important to the success and outcome of any given case.” The Gillis Law Firm is premised upon preservation of family values. As a wife, mother, daughter, and sister, Adrianne Gillis’ personal family values are inextricably intertwined into her legal practice. “I recognize the importance of family, meeting the needs of your children, and preserving family ties after litigation,” she says. “I find peace and motivation in knowing that my efforts and expertise serve to help my clients through their darkest hour and that I can assist them in their transition through the legal process to put them in a better place than where they started.”
(904) 429-9779 125B King Street www.thegillislawfirm.com
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FACES OF REAL ESTATE
GONZALES - THOMAS TEAM WATSON REALTY REGINA GONZALES AND MICHELLE THOMAS
egina Gonzales and Michelle Thomas were born and raised in St. Augustine. When you call somewhere your “hometown” for so long, you know everything there is to know about it – its ins and outs, its people, and its places. That kind of insider knowledge is what you want in a realty team. With more than 25 years of experience between them and work with both local and international clients, Michelle and Regina are able to combine their local knowledge with global exposure to give buyers and sellers alike the best service possible. And that legendary customer service is really at the heart of their operation. Regina and Michelle are certified relocation experts, certified staging experts, certified military-on-the-move specialists, and seller representation specialists. Despite their wealth of experience and training, their education is always ongoing, with both realtors regularly attending additional classes and trainings to stay up-todate with an ever-evolving industry and market. The first step in providing exceptional customer service is giving clients the benefit of their market and industry knowledge and the comfort of having experienced realtors on their side. But even though training and experience play a huge part in their success, the Gonzales Thomas team is set apart by a dedication to their clients and a desire to see each and every one of them meet their real estate goals. “We treat everyone we meet with the same passion, integrity, and respect,” says Michelle. “We are super passionate about our profession. We love our job, and our customers become like family!” Regina couldn’t agree more. “We strongly believe that our customers deserve our very best,” she says. “Born and raised here, we strive to relay our passion and love for our area with our valued customers (who become friends!). We love real estate, and it shows in how we care for all of our customers.” If you’re thinking of buying (or selling or know someone that is), call Regina or Michelle!
(904) 315-8249 3505 US 1 South
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FACE OF CUSTOM HOME BUILDING
GENERATION HOMES CORA JOHNSTON
home is the place where you can express yourself most completely. It is a reflection of how you live and the people that you love and value most. A home is most beautiful when that philosophy is employed from the very foundation. Generation Homes understands that. The specialty of Cora Johnston and her team is to take the integrity of the design, building, and finishing and reflect the people who will live in the home. “A home on the coast,” says Cora, “means different things to many people and it should always reflect how they want to live in their home.” In fact, this desire to have the future owners at the center of the build is one of Generation Homes’s core values. This personal approach – alongside organization and communication – gives owners the confidence that the team will build their home with care and attention to detail. “Everyone on our team cares about the owners we build for as well as the reputation of our company,” says Cora. “Each of us knows and understands that it’s not our house we are building, but the home of the person we are building for.” With their 10th anniversary this past October, Cora and her team aren’t looking for large expansion, but rather to perfect their art in the community that they love. They all work hard to stay up-to-date with current building practices, styles and technologies. Each new build brings opportunities for creativity and devoting themselves even more to growing the community and the industry that they love. “There are so many people to thank for helping build our success,” says Cora. “The owners we have built beautiful homes for are outstanding people to work with. Our suppliers and trade partners, designers, architects, and engineers make us look great and build homes that will last for generations. The building departments who help us to overcome the challenges of building on individual lots. Realtors, lenders, and title companies who have supported us always. Lastly – and most of all – our Generation Homes family who put their hearts and souls into building something that we are each proud to call our homes.”
(904) 759-0702 or (904) 268-0100 5860 US 1 North 740 A1A Beach Blvd. www.generationhomesusa.com
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FACE OF ROOFING
A TO Z ROOFING & WATERPROOFING CHUCK MCHONE JR.
onesty and integrity are what you will discover when you reach out to Chuck McHone, Jr., owner of A to Z Roofing for a roof renovation. He says, “My dignity sets me apart from some other construction companies. I will not put my name on a substandard project. I will give you the best job I can for the money without cutting corners. This also allows me to provide you with warranties for many of our renovations to keep you worry-free.” Chuck is a licensed builder who understands architecture from the ground up. He says, “I know how to source leak and water intrusion areas other than just at rooflines and determine if leaks are solely coming from the roof or other areas of a building based on my knowledge from many years in the construction industry.” The expertise of the company is relevant to this area as they specialize in roofing for historical as well as new roofing applications. “This allows me to apply compatible roof coverings to any building whether it was built in the 1700s or the latest modern designs,” says Chuck. The company is a certified installer of a variety of top of the line materials, including Owens Corning, Galvalume, Gulf Coast Metals, Eagle & Boral tiles and more. Additionally, they are the #1 cedar shake installer for the Historic District of St. Johns County. Residing in St. Augustine for over 35 years, Chuck is a 3rd generation contractor. He and his wife are devoted to the community and help with the fundraising efforts of many agencies and those in need in St. Johns County. Chuck says, “With our company, you can expect an honest, hometown experience from A to Z. We welcome anyone in need of a new roof to stop in, view material samples and ask unlimited questions about the roofing process, from start to finish. Our ‘no money down’ policy allows our customers to experience our services and see firsthand the craftsmanship we provide without being out of pocket before we even begin.”
(904) 669-8037 239 State Road 16 www.atozroofingandwaterproofing.com
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FACES OF COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
SHEARWATER DYLAN READ JILL FLORES KYLIE MICHALS MARIA GUNTHER
(904) 342-3732 100 Kayak Way www.shearwaterliving.com
o you remember the neighborhoods in those old movies where happy families are spending time outdoors with each other and with their neighbors? It’s peaceful, serene and – you might think – a little idyllic. But life is more than just a silver screen fairytale – that’s what Shearwater has become. Built on a foundation of connection, this community fosters relationships and memories, creating a place where families can settle down for a lifetime. “Our team provides that warm and welcoming feeling that makes one feel as if they have come home,” says Community Manager Jill Flores. “We strive to create lifetime memories for our residents. We focus on lifestyle, and when our residents look back at their time here, I hope they smile and realize that these experiences have allowed them to make lifelong friendships and memories with their neighbors.” That connection has been built through more than just beautiful design from six different home builders. The community has recreational spaces and beautiful pools (which include a resort-style lazy river and a three-story slide). Nature trails throughout the nature preserves offer the perfect balance of a resort and rustic feel that most communities do not have. There are monthly community activities that let you get to know your neighbors in a relaxed setting, and a full-time Community Director and Lifestyle Director to help cultivate that sense of home. “More than just an event planner, I make it my goal to ensure all of our residents are welcome in their home,” says Lifestyle Director Dylan Read. “Our robust lifestyle calendar is what gives our residents so many opportunities to meet each other and foster these new friendships. If I can bring two new families together at an event and they become new friends, then I feel that I’ve made a positive impact on the community.” Life at Shearwater reflects the community’s five core values – healthy living, community connectivity, resident engagement, environmental stewardship, and a design-forward philosophy. The community team works every day to spread these values throughout the neighborhood. “Our community is, in one word, amazing!” says Jill.
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FACE OF HEATING & A/C
POWELL HEATING AND AIR CONDITIONING, INC. ANDREW GAUSE
ndrew Gause and the team at Powell Heating and Air Conditioning have a strong set of core values that have guided the company’s work for the past 35 years. The highly-trained crew has committed themselves to working always with honesty, integrity, and accountability and exceeding expectations in every job that they perform. It is this strong work ethic and dedication to exceptional customer service that has earned them a place as one of the most well-respected HVAC companies in all of St. Johns County. “We honestly try to make each and every customer feel like family and try to treat them the way we wish to be treated.” When you make the call to the Powell team, you can always expect to have a professionally-trained technician arrive in a timely manner and address all your HVAC concerns the first time. A highly-skilled and well-trained maintenance person will perform a detailed inspection report as well as a thorough cleaning of your system, and an installation crew with years of experience will be there to install your new HVAC system. Several members of the team are Nate certified, and all technicians are EPA certified. The team regularly attends factory training and conducts web-based training in their up-to-date training facility for both existing technology and industry advances, so you know you’re receiving the best service from the best crew no matter the problem you’re facing. But the work that Andrew and his team do everyday goes beyond expertise and technical training. "We're here to solve our homeowners' needs, not just sell them a box of cold air. We're honest and trustworthy with each customer that we come into contact with, and we provide #1 customer service." For more than three decades, Powell Heating and Air Conditioning has maintained a reputation of excellence serving friends and neighbors in the community with extensive skill and training as well as a commitment to exceptional customer service. “It is our goal to continuously be the best HVAC company in St. Johns County, providing an unmatched level of service. We hope to grow the company’s team larger and stronger to be able to serve our community for years to come.”
(904) 794-2665 2610 Dobbs Road www.powellac.com License: #CAC053851
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FACE OF FLOORING
MICHAEL NICOL FLOORING MICHAEL NICOLE
othing can add warmth and beauty to a room like a beautifully customized wood floor. It is essential to choose expert craftsmen when installing and/ or refinishing quality wood flooring Michael says, “When you hire Michael Nicol Flooring, you are choosing to hire a craftsmen with many years of experience who is punctual and pays attention to detail. “We don’t take shortcuts or use inferior products and materials. We do the job right the first time and very rarely ever have callbacks. Our business continues to thrive from word of mouth.” A third-generation craftsman, Michael learned the wood flooring business through multiple generations that originated from his grandfather after World War II. Today, Michael Nicol Flooring is still a family business, which includes Michael’s brother, Barry. Together, they each bring 30+ years of experience to their craft. Michael has been trained and certified through various leaders in the industry, such as LobaWakol, Bona, NWFA, and Bostik. The company stays relevant in the industry by utilizing the most advanced materials and equipment available. They are known for gorgeous custom geometric designs, inlays, custom finishes, quality, and exceptional refinishing. “My specialty is to bring old wood floors back to life,” says Michael. “Bringing an old and loved floor back to its original beauty is one of my passions. I have refinished floors that were over 100-years old.” Michael would love to see his legacy continue and carry on to the next generation. Michael Nicol Flooring continues to set new standards and provide the very best when it comes to Wood Flooring.The mission of Michael and Barry is to give personal attention to every client. They ensure each homeowner or business that throughout the entire process, their expectations will be fulfilled or surpassed. Michael Nicol is committed to his core values of customer satisfaction, quality, punctuality, and superior craftsmanship.
(904) 540-7446 www.michaelnicolflooring.com
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FACE OF EXTERIOR CONSTRUCTION
SIMS ALUMINUM CONSTRUCTION ANDY SIMS
ood first impressions are essential in all areas of life, whether it be a job interview, meeting new friends, or even your home. And that last one is where Sims Aluminum Construction are the experts. Andy Sims and his team are known for all aspects of exterior construction services – seamless gutters to soffit and fascia, screen lanais, glass windows, pool enclosures, pavers and handrails to hardie siding and remodels. For over ten years, they’ve cultivated a local reputation of quality craftsmanship and superior results. Curb appeal courtesy of Andy will always be stunning. “We take pride in all parts of our work,” says Andy, “and strive for a superior finished result to our products.” The Sims crew is continually meeting with suppliers, inventors, and vendors to stay up to date and knowledgeable about the newest products and services that they can bring to their clients. Not only will the team be skilled and experienced, but you can trust that they have done their research so that the materials that they use will always be held to the highest standard. Each installer is in-house, goes through extensive training to perfect their work, and is Nichiha and Hardie Lap Siding Certified. Though Sims Aluminum Construction has spent years growing their expertise and skills, at its core, Sims is about the relationships that they’ve built in the St. Augustine area. They have always desired to make an impact by building respect and a good reputation. “I feel when we help other people,” says Andy, “those people tend to pay it forward and this builds a reserve of goodwill in the community.” Each project that they work on is backed by a passion that Andy and his team have for their craft. “I love construction,” he says. “I love seeing customers pleased when I can help them transform their ideas into reality.”
(904) 814-1440 267 Cervantes Ave www.simsexteriorsolutions.com
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FACE OF LATIN CUISINE
LA COCINA RESTAURANT AND DE LEON LATIN COCINA NORBERTO JARAMILLO
hef Norberto Jaramillo has been in St. Augustine since 2005. He had come to the city to work at La Cocina Restaurant when it first opened, and he quickly moved up through its ranks. In 2013, Norberto bought La Cocina from its previous owner and began to grow the company. Since then, not only has he established La Cocina as one of the premier fine dining restaurants in the area, he has also begun De Leon Latin Cocina with his life-long friend John Holguin. Though very different in their respective atmosphere’s – La Cocina is elevated global cuisine with a Latin flair and De Leon Cocina is Colombian comfort food – both restaurants stay true to Norberto’s commitment to great food. To be such a well-respected and well-established culinary figure in the community is no easy task, but Norberto has managed his establishments with a few key principles in mind that guide each day of operation. “We look for consistency and the drive for new flavors without compromising the dish’s soul,” says Norberto. “That’s what makes the difference. I’m always trying out new flavor fusions, techniques, and textures. And attention to detail is also one of our main focuses – from the process of making our food to how we present it to training our servers properly to make our customers feel pampered.” Backed by these principles and a focus on sustainable local sourcing, it’s no wonder that La Cocina and De Leon Cocina are culinary mainstays for the city. With Norberto leading the way, the team is committed and consistent and respects the culinary process; local food lovers have taken notice. “We find our inspiration in our customers,” says Norberto, “the look on their faces when they receive their meal and the way we feel when they leave amazed. I want to set an example for younger chefs on how hard work and believing in your passion is totally worth it.”
(904) 461-8288 530 A1A Beach Boulevard (904) 827-4081 1111 N Ponce De Leon Blvd www.lacocinarestaurants.com
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FACES OF SCENIC TOURS
FLORIDA WATER TOURS JESSICA JADICK MICHAEL JADICK ISLA JADE KEVIN JADICK
(904) 827-7728 107 Yacht Club Drive www.FLwatertours.com
hen Jessica Jadick and her husband stumbled upon St. Augustine, they knew they had discovered home. She says, “With the abundance of dolphins and other wildlife, plus the historic old town, this magical place was like a dream come true. I found my home and decided to turn my passion into a business while still being able to make a difference.”
Florida Water Tours offers something for everyone. Jessica says, “We offer amazing eco-tourism cruises for vacationers and locals year-round. Our cruises include the Dolphin and Wildlife Adventure, Sunset Cruise, Wine Tasting Cruise, Full Moon Tour, Nights of Lights Cruise, and more. Additionally, any of our cruises can be booked as a private event, be it office parties, birthdays, holiday parties, or family gatherings, to name a few.” Jessica grew up in Long Island, surrounded by boats and the water. A background in Marine Biology and a passion for the environment were the driving factors that brought Florida Water Tours into fruition. Their vessel, “The Osprey,” is a US Coast Guard certified 45-ft pontoon boat, with a max capacity of 38 passengers. The captains all hold a 50 ton plus license, and all crew members are either marine naturalists or licensed tour guides. Education is one of the main features of the business. Jessica says, “There is a reason we have a plethora of dolphins and other wildlife that live and thrive here, and it is my goal to educate people, especially our young generation, in how to keep it that way. We have recently been adding educational school trips, and we are excited to provide students a safe, educational, and inspiring experience on the water.” Jessica and her crew at Florida Water Tours love showing their guests a different perspective of the downtown area. She says, “Enjoy the beautiful sunsets of St. Augustine and take amazing pictures as you cruise along the bayfront with a drink in hand while learning the history of our local landmarks.”
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FACES OF NON-PROFIT
FLAGLER HEALTH+ CARE CONNECT JOHN EATON ADMINISTRATOR, COMMUNITY HEALTH IMPROVEMENT VICTORIA LONG DIRECTOR, COMMUNITY PROGRAMMING & PARTNERSHIPS SHANNON PICKETT DIRECTOR, CARE COORDINATION
(904) 819-3070 100 Whetstone Place, Suite 303 www.stjohnscareconnect.com
lagler Hospital, now Flagler Health+, has been serving the community for 130 years. The extensive team of healthcare providers extends hands of healing everyday for the ill and injured in St. Johns County and beyond. But in 2017, the team realized that the needs were greater than what was being met, so Care Connect was established. Care Connect, a community alliance, was founded to connect area residents in need with available services and address social determinants of health in a coordinated way throughout all of St. Johns County. By aligning community resources into a single access point, Care Connect increases coordination and access of available resources. Care Connect helps people with services such as establishing a medical home for primary care services, access to dental services, prescription assistance, rental assistance, utility payments, transportation, homeless prevention services, and access to food banks. They offer case management and hands-on resource navigation. Also supported by Care Connect, the BRAVE program is a partnership with the school district to connect students in need of behavioral health services to providers in our community while also offering resource navigation for the family. Another partnership, the Continuum of Care is a collaborative of homeless providers and stakeholders from across St. Johns County. Care Connect also run the St. Johns Volunteers! program, which matches volunteers with nonprofit volunteer opportunities in the community – currently assisting about 1,600 volunteers and over 150 active opportunities. The work that the Care Connect team does every day changes the trajectory of their clients’ lives. “Our staff really cares about the people we serve,” says Victoria Long. “We don’t just hand them a list of phone numbers or addresses and expect them to figure it out for themselves. We give a warm handoff to all of the right agencies and follow up with our clients to make sure their needs were met, and if they aren’t, we continue to work with them until their issues are resolved. Navigating social services can be a daunting task and many people get frustrated and just give up. We are providing the support people need to make their lives whole again.”
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904-824-8147 | WWW.COWANFG.COM | 136 MALAGA STREET FINANCIAL PLANNING | INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT | ESTATE PLANNING | RETIREMENT PLANNING | INSURANCE PLANNING | TAX PLANNING Securities and investment advisory services provided through NEXT Financial Group, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC. Cowan Financial Group, Inc. is not affiliated with NEXT Financial Group, Inc.
EATS Even though they’ve seen a lot of success already, for Bellwether and its team, this is only the beginning. “Bellwether is starting to gain recognition and make our mark as one of the pioneers in the downtown restaurant scene,” says Chef Kerri. “We are continuing to push ourselves and stay driven. We would like to be the guiding light, or rather, the ‘bellwether’ of downtown.” ... PAGE 142
Inside: Living on the Veg // Culinary Character // Taste Test // Worth the Drive
LUNCH AT LLAMA
THE DISH The Crispy Tofu and The Sprout LIVING ON THE VEG
WITH OUTSTANDING SAUCES, LOCALLY-SOURCED INGREDIENTS, AND CREATIVE PREPARATIONS, OSPREY TACOS IS CHANGING THE GAME.
Written and Photographed by Tammy Harrow
ntil you’ve experienced the crispy, fried perfection of a Brussel sprout taco, you haven’t tasted anything. On a black bean puree-covered soft white tortilla, tender sprouts are topped with pickled onions and cotija cheese, then drizzled with housemade Baja sauce. This beauty is unlike anything I’ve ever tasted. Who’d think of sprouts on a taco anyway? Osprey Tacos would. My other selection – The Crispy Tofu – made me nervous, because, normally, I despise tofu. But the minute I took the first bite, my mind eased and my taste buds went to sweet and sour heaven. This taco blew me away. Lightly-battered and crisp with a menagerie of flavors, just enough heat from sriracha aioli, and sweetness from hoisin sauce, it’s topped with fresh lettuce and scallions. With dozens of choices for tacos in St. Augustine, choosing to open another taco shop was a bold move. But that’s just what John and Erica Thompson decided to do. They’d lived in the area, moved around, had a baby, then decided to come back and make St. Augustine
their home for good. A food truck was under consideration but then they happened upon the old service station on Anastasia Boulevard up for lease. John comes from a fine dining background, so that was the original plan. But after brainstorming with Erica, he asked her a simple question, “What would you like to eat for the rest of your life?” There was only one answer – tacos. Three months later, Osprey’s doors opened. So, what makes these tacos special? Fresh ingredients first and foremost, but the big winner for me is the sauces. House-made and unique, they’re expertly paired with combinations only a culinary genius could dream up. All ingredients are local and organic (whenever possible). Meats are grass-fed and hormone-free, and fish is purchased locally and hand-cut each day. We can all be thankful for John and Erica’s serendipitous question and all the culinary goodness that sprung from the simple answer – “tacos.” 300 Anastasia Boulevard www.ospreytacos.com www.STAUGUSTINESOCIAL.com
You know the scenario – you're craving one of your local favorites at lunctime when you're hit with the realization that they don't fire up the grill, set the tables, and unlock the doors until at least 4pm. Always a crushing blow to remember you can't enjoy until the sun goes down. We've been in that situation with Llama. But no longer, because Llama is now open for lunch! Introduce yourself to some fresh new dishes Monday-Friday from 11:30am-2pm. Chow down on the Llama Burger (with stirfried onions, aji Amarillo, panca pepper aioli), the Huancaina Pasta (fettuccine with Amarillo pepper and a cheese cream sauce), even a Quinoa Salad (queso fresco, sunflower seeds, lime, and sprouts). Lunchtime just got a little more delicious.
415 Anastasia Boulevard www.llamarestaurant.com
MORE THAN THE GRIND LAIRD BOLES TAKES PRIDE IN DELIVERING BIG CITY FLAVORS WITH A HOMETOWN FEEL – ALL IN THE HEART OF ST. AUGUSTINE. By Lauren Eastman Photography by Kate Gardiner
aird Boles is up early. His daughter Penelope turns one month today. The survival skills of this new father are fueled by passion, even as the innovative chef burns the candle at both ends, prepping Ice Plant for its next service. The restaurant, housed in a circa-1927 ice factory, has achieved acclaim for modern sophistication and handcrafted cocktails. But the drinks only constitute half of the reason to visit. Ice Plant’s seasonallytransforming menu highlights Laird’s inventive take on farm-to-table. Committed to the best local food in peak freshness, if he can’t find it here, he’ll find it regionally. The result: simple, elegant, elevated cuisine. At the moment, he is immersed in feeding cues and nailing down a bedtime routine for his newborn. After work, he rushes home to the family. With the baby in a bedside bassinet, he’s not getting a lot of downtime. “Three hours never felt so great when you haven’t slept in three days,” he smiles. “It’s my new normal. I’m loving
"There is a bit of a renaissance, as people become more sophisticated in their food choices. Chefs like me who have made their way in bigger cities are bringing it home to delight their neighbors and build up their communities. It’s something I am proud to be a part of.” every second.” The ingredients for his success include work ethic, grit, and great inspiration. His belief that ‘the kitchen is what you make it’ informs his drive to create a healthy work environment for himself and his team. “If you hone in on key flavors while celebrating where you are, you have a better shot at giving people a real taste of culture,” he says. “More northern Florida chefs are finding restaurants where they can www.STAUGUSTINESOCIAL.com
really accomplish that. There is a bit of a renaissance, as people become more sophisticated in their food choices. Chefs like me who have made their way in bigger cities are bringing it home to delight their neighbors and build up their communities. It’s something I am proud to be a part of.” In the past five years, since moving to St. Augustine from Charleston, he’s already seen that renaissance take shape. He’s been pleased to learn that many of the ingredients found in St. Augustine are
"A cook who sees the value of time-honored techniques cares about making people’s night by serving them something they love. It’s not about the grind but about passion; that’s what I try to bring to my kitchen each day.”
similar to his own hometown. He doesn’t compromise. He sources fresh crab meat from North Carolina; the Seafood Shoppe brings it in just for him. It is expensive and tedious with shells that require it to be picked through, but it is worth it. The values he seeks in his team are a willingness to learn and take direction without being flustered, within a highpressure environment. “It takes a certain personality. I’d rather find someone with a clean slate and less experience than bad or mediocre experience. Building new scratch cooking skills is easier than breaking down
bad habits or righting a mentality of cutting corners,” he says. “A cook who sees the value of time-honored techniques cares about making people’s night by serving them something they love. It’s not about the grind but about passion; that’s what I try to bring to my kitchen each day.” Laird’s love of food was born from frustration. After his parents divorced, his working mother rarely cooked. The middle child of three was 12 when he told his mom that he could improve her salad dressing. His grandmother was a phenomenal cook and much of his inspiration came from www.STAUGUSTINESOCIAL.com
watching her and working through her box of recipes. He took his first cooking job at 16 at a commissary kitchen across the street from his high school. It enabled him to buy his first car, a Camaro. While working at various independent restaurants, a few poignant moments reminded him he was where he needed to be. By the age of 21, he realized that cooking was his calling. By then, he’d started college at UCF and opened three hotel restaurants. At the Delfino Riviera, a five-star restaurant atop the Portofino Bay Hotel, he apprenticed under Massimo Fedozzi, a big-time Italian
“I’ve never worked with such awesome people. We have common ideas and similar backgrounds. I knew I wanted to buy a house, start a family, do great food with creative control, and have a great place to live. The stars aligned for me over St. Augustine.”
chef who taught him how to make fresh pasta. At the time, Laird considered himself a pretty good student and okay athlete but hadn’t yet found his niche. Massimo pulled him aside one day to say, “I’m not really sure what you are doing at that college, but you are really good at what you are doing here.” “I had never heard that before from anyone,” Laid recounts. “It matters when someone tells you that. It changed the course of my life.” He switched majors from Political Science to Hospitality. A few years later, while finishing school at Johnson & Wales, he apprenticed under Chef Bob Wagner, the first American to own a restaurant on French soil and receive a Michelin Star. Wagner was knighted by the French government, and the Orient Express
brought him to Charleston Grill. One night, Wagner popped bottles of champagne in the dining room sharing the news that the restaurant had been nominated for a James Beard Award. “I realized then that I could be part of a team that could really do something great and knew what it took to produce a certain quality of food,” says Laird. With two degrees in his pocket, Laird began getting jobs at top restaurants in San Francisco, eventually becoming the Executive Chef at One Bal Harbour Resort & Spa in Miami. Running four restaurants made for the longest hours and most physically-challenging job with the largest team. “People would come in after partying all night in North Beach and request lobsters in their $5,000 suites. I’d just get home from a 16-hour shift to turn around to go back.” www.STAUGUSTINESOCIAL.com
He returned to Charleston to buy a restaurant with his father and was offered a chef position at Salt. After two and a half years, he took a sabbatical and went to Mexico before entertaining multiple offers. He arrived in St. Augustine for a two-day working interview with Ryan Dettra and Trish McLemore and loved the vibe. “I’ve never worked with such awesome people. They are worker bees who really care about what they are doing. We have common ideas and similar backgrounds. I knew I wanted to buy a house, start a family, do great food with creative control, and have a great place to live. The stars aligned for me over St. Augustine.”
110 Riberia Street www.iceplantbar.com
Celebrating 65+ years of keeping families and businesses comfortable. A i r Co n d i t i o n i n g 路 H e a t i n g 路 D u c tw o r k H VA C M a i n t e n a n c e 路 A i r P u r i f i c a t i o n Co m m e rc i a l S e rv i ce s
100% financing available on new systems!
9 0 4 . 8 2 9 . 3 3 5 8 路 w w w.t a y l o r r e f r i g . c o m License #CAC057890
BACK ON THE BEACH EVERYTHING FROM THE DECOR TO THE MENU IS BRAND NEW. IT'S TIME TO REINTRODUCE YOURSELF TO PANAMA HATTIE'S. By Molly Wilson | Photography by Brian Miller
The new blues, whites, and dark woods of the interior are a perfect blend of cozy and coastal, inviting everyone from families to friends to date nighters through its doors. The menu is just as welcoming.
f you’ve been in town for a while, you’ll remember St. Augustine Beach’s Panama Hattie’s. Whatever your impression, though, I’m telling you now – banish all those memories from your mind and reintroduce yourself to the newest kid on the beach block. The old Panama Hattie’s was a mainstay on the beach since its opening in 1981, so when the new owners bought the property in 2015, they had some big shoes to fill. Well before those shoes could be rightfully filled, Hurricane Irma came along in 2017 and necessitated a major renovation project. That process now over, Panama Hattie’s is back in business.
Panama Hattie’s is owned by Alex Mavris, Nico Mavris, and Lambros Kokkinelis (who you’ll also find with his chef coat on in the kitchen), and together they’ve turned the restaurant into a stunning and welcoming dining destination. The new blues, whites, and dark woods of the interior are a perfect blend of cozy and coastal, inviting everyone from families to friends to date nighters through its doors. But one quick glance into the restaurant would show you the delight of the newly-renovated interior, so the important part here is the food. And we’re happy to report, you won’t be disappointed. Panama Hattie’s has garnered a reputation for a variety of specialties, but mostly you’ll www.STAUGUSTINESOCIAL.com
see people gravitating back to their steak and seafood. In a town that knows and reveres their seafood, it’s not easy to impress local palates, but the ocean proximity has inspired much of the menu. Exhibit A? The Seafood Cavatappi, where wild-caught local shrimp, littleneck clams, and mussels are served in a basil tomato sauce over cavatappi pasta. With the essential garlic bread on the side, the pasta is served in a heaping bowl that is the perfect example of the portion sizes you’ll encounter here. Rich and hearty but delectably fresh, this classic dish is beautifully prepared and presented by a
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Pictured here (clockwise from top right): Chicken Cremini, Hattie's Nachos, Panama Hattie's in-house arcade, Seafod Cavatappi
kitchen with an eye for detail. A quick departure from classic Italian dining to classic bar food, we next have the Goose Island IPA Fish & Chips. Atlantic Cod is covered in a Goose Island IPA batter then served with the essential accoutrements – French fries, coleslaw, and tartar sauce. These enormous pieces of cod are perfectly fried in a seasoned batter that doesn’t overwhelm the fish (as many fried foods often do) but rather acts as an accompaniment, an enhancement. Arranged almost upright on the stack of fries, the fish is practically a monument to the definitely-not-healthy but oh-sodelicious dish. Another dish whose height practically qualifies it as a structure is the
Hattie’s Nachos. Don’t judge me, but I consider myself a nacho connoisseur. My partner and I have tried dozens of nacho preparations at a variety of restaurants, and despite it seeming like such a simple dish to construct, many fall short of expectations. Not here. The ingredients are traditional nacho fare – house-made pico de gallo, pickled jalapenos, pepper jack cheese, and cilantro cream over crispy tortilla chips – but the flavor is mouth-watering. The ideal shareable, don’t be surprised if you don’t want to share at all. Just to prove their culinary range, the last dish was the Chicken Cremini. This sautéed chicken breast is served in a cremini mushroom marsala sauce – equal www.STAUGUSTINESOCIAL.com
parts sweet and savory with the complexity that good marsala always offers. The mushrooms give the dish a rich earthiness that will keep you wanting more. Panama Hattie’s has come back with a bang. “We strive to continue the legacy of great food, drinks, and entertainment,” says owner Alex Mavris. “Panama Hattie’s has been a staple in the community for many decades, and we too look forward to many years working hard to create a landmark restaurant in beautiful St. Augustine Beach.” 361 A1A Beach Boulevard www.panamahattiesrestaurant.com
WORTH THE DRIVE
YOU CAN BET ON BELLWETHER FROM THE CULINARY CREATIVES THAT BROUGHT YOU BLACK SHEEP AND RESTAURANT ORSAY COMES AN ELEVATED CASUAL SPOT THAT'S LEADING THE FLOCK. By Molly Wilson Photography by Marla Porter
n the ground floor of one of downtown Jacksonville’s many highrises is a wooden entranceway that, despite its subtlety of color, sticks out among the sea of stone and concrete. Just adjacent to the wooden entrance is an emblem of a sheep with a bell around its neck and emblazoned on the wooden entrance are letters that spell out “Bellwether.” For those that don’t know (I didn’t either until I Googled it), the word “bellwether” means “the leading sheep of a flock, with a bell on its neck” or – more practically – “one that takes the lead or initiative” or “an indicator of trends.” Says Chef Kerri Rogers, “We found that name to be appropriate for what we were trying to accomplish.” Bellwether opened in May of 2017 after owner Jon Insetta found success first with Restaurant Orsay then Black Sheep (both in Jacksonville). He had closed his first restaurant, chew, in 2011 but had always had a desire to get back into downtown Jacksonville. He felt that there was a gap in the restaurant scene in downtown, and an elevated fast casual lunch and casual upscale dinner restaurant was needed. So
Bellwether was born – born to take the lead, to be at the head of the proverbial flock. Walking through the open doors just before the start of service, the space was already a hustle and bustle of activity. Someone sliced fruit for cocktails behind the bar; baristas polished espresso machines; hosts arranged menus; and servers sat in a large group at tables, listening to the sous chef explain the day’s specials. The space was light and airy – palette-wise a mix of whites, blacks, and various shades of brown – and dramatic photos of sheep add to the elevated-whimsical atmosphere. As Chef Kerri and her team prepared our dishes, we stopped by the bar for an introduction to Bellwether’s craft cocktail menu. Creative both in name and preparation, their cocktails are widely varied to appeal to any patron. The bartender started us off with the bright, fruity, and acidic Undisclosed – Manifest Gin, Aperol, strawberry, lemon – then the cool and refreshing Fahrenheit 904 – Bearing light rum, aloe, cucumber, www.STAUGUSTINESOCIAL.com
mint, dill, lime, tonic – and finally The Bellwether – Evan Williams Single Barrel Bourbon, Bénédictine, walnut bitters. I should stop scheduling food editorial shoots first thing in the morning. Chef Kerri treated us first to the restaurant’s bestseller – the Korean Fried Broccoli. A vegan and gluten-free appetizer, the broccoli is lightly fried and topped with a house-made gochujang vinaigrette, benne seeds (an heirloom sesame seed), and scallions. Gochujang is a Korean red chili paste that adds both sweetness and heat to the dish. Devoured quite quickly at our table, we understood perfectly why it’s the most popular item on the menu.
Pictured here: (far left) Farenheit 904, The Bellwether, and Undisclosed cocktails, (bottom right) The Crispy Skin Salmon
Then came the Poached Shrimp, which frankly looked so much like a work of art that we were loathe to ruin the aesthetic. But I’m glad we did anyways. Full of uber-fresh flavor, the poached shrimp are placed on a swipe of smoked chili aioli and garnished with beet pickled red onion, celery, radish, and burnt lemon. The colors and the flavors let your eyes and taste buds work together in perfect harmony. A little more on the light side and showing what magic can be done with a simple salad, the Strawberry Salad is a mix of arugula, upland cress, and fennel topped with orange, goat cheese, pistachio and
almond clusters, and drizzled with a fines herbes vinaigrette (traditionally composed of parsley, chives, tarragon, and chervil). As if we hadn’t been introduced to enough showstoppers already, the entrees set the Bellwether bar even higher. The Crispy Skin Salmon is placed on a bed of Job’s tears, a grain found in a few Asian countries that’s also known as adlay, coix seed, Chinese pearl barley. It’s then garnished with sugar snap peas, radish, and pickled beech mushrooms, with a corn puree and Maldon salt. An utterly unique preparation, it highlights what Bellwether does best – www.STAUGUSTINESOCIAL.com
pushing the palate to new heights while keeping to an accessible flavor that draws the diner in. The Fresh Catch did much the same. As the name implies, of course, the type of fish will change with what’s coming in off the boats, but the preparation this season sticks to something spectacular. The catch is served over bok choy, oyster mushrooms, and a house-made daikon kimchi, alongside coconut jasmine rice and in a Thai broth with chili oil, fried shallots, and garlic. They’re classic flavors brought to your
Pictured here: (from top to bottom): Korean Fried Broccoli, Choco Taco, Fresh Catch, Strawberry Salad
plate in a brand new way and with an intention and thoughtfulness that defines the restaurant’s menu. Finally, the team had decided that the menu needed a taco of some kind, and a dessert taco seemed the logical next step. So Pastry Chef Rebecca Reed presented us with the Choco Taco, a chocolate-coconut semifreddo encased in a waffle taco with cajeta casera and coconut whipped cream. It’s delightfully decadent, overwhelmingly chocolatey, and will be a favorite of the table. There may have been some friendly competition over who got to finish it. Despite a few ingredients that seem unfamiliar and preparations that you’ve
definitely never seen before, the dishes at Bellwether are approachable and friendly. With a seasonally-based menu, the team is guided by both nature and color. “You eat with your eyes first,” says Chef Kerri, “so it is very important our food looks as delicious as it tastes.” As our own meal winds down, the restaurant fills up with an almost alarming rapidity. Lunch at Bellwether is dominated by downtown professionals filing out of the various buildings as well as the nearby courthouse – everyone from executives and their assistants to lawyers and judges. Dinner sees mostly a mix of symphony and concert goers, as well as residents from downtown and the surrounding boroughs. www.STAUGUSTINESOCIAL.com
Even though they’ve seen a lot of success already, for Bellwether and its team, this is only the beginning. “Bellwether is starting to gain recognition and make our mark as one of the pioneers in the downtown restaurant scene,” says Chef Kerri. “We are continuing to push ourselves and stay driven. We would like to be the guiding light, or rather, the ‘bellwether’ of downtown.” 100 N. Laura Street, Jacksonville www.bellwetherjax.com
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