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Contents july/Aug 2021

summer sizzlers


Step into the hot and humid limelight of sinful summer bliss. We’ve culled together a sizzling foray of midsummer events, activities, to-do’s and trends—from satisfying salads and sushi rolls to a roundup of all things outdoor including live music, summer nosh, night markets, as well as excursions and onthe-water dining. We may have had to forego this feature last year, but this go-around there are no restrictions, no limitations, no excuses to stay indoors. It’s time to take back the summer and sear the streets with these local scorchers. Written by Grace Castilow, Ariel Chates, Andrew Fabian, Olivia Liang and Brittany Mattie. Photography by Wyatt Kostygan and Wes Roberts.

future proof


With rising seas, storm surges and all-around environmental sensitivities facing our local coast, Selby Gardens and The Bay see these future challenges as innovative opportunities. Written by Olivia Liang.

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been at the forefront of incorporating VR and 3D modeling from the onset of each client’s journey. From early conceptual designs we’re able to show them their future space, keeping them updated in real time all the way to the finish line. Through this process, they put on a VR headset and not only get a sense of their space, but also the ability to pick designs and finishes. We’ve also integrated LiDAR scanning for documentation, record keeping, and ultimately, to compare what’s being built in reality to what’s in the original plans. These scans become records of what’s behind the walls as the structure is built, creating a wealth of knowledge and easing the client’s future decision-making, from maintenance and repairs to space usage changes or remodels. We’re able to arm our client with the scans and documentation needed to execute any future modifications. DESCRIBE FIRMO CONSTRUCTION’S GUIDING PRINCIPALS AND ETHOS. WHAT SETS FIRMO APART FROM OTHER CONTRACTORS AND DESIGN/BUILD FIRMS IN THE AREA? Our company prides it-

self on going above and beyond when it comes to delivering the best experience for every client. We don’t just stick to the contractor role, we serve as guides for the entire construction process. Whether it’s navigating financing with banks, finding solutions with local government like zoning departments, or providing input into products or cost-saving services, we represent the owner’s goals and interests in every discussion. We’re also a team of innovators, always excited to trial or adopt new methods to augment each project, like design-build and sustainable construction.


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Firmo is a unique collection of experts structured differently from traditional GC’s, allowing us to have a fresh approach to projects and challenges. We’re not here to do construction the same way it’s been done for the past 50 years. We look at things differently, we learn from industry-wide mistakes and that sets us apart for our clients.

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july/aug 2021


BRANDSTORY Evolving a Legacy with Fawley Bryant Architecture


BEST OF SRQ LOCAL SHOWCASE Extending the shout-outs for hometown winners from this year’s recordbreaking competition.


TOP SUMMER EXPERIENCES 10TenFitness, Blu Home, Salt of the Earth and Siesta Key Oyster Bar.





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At Culverhouse Community Garden, the folks who plant together stay together. The petting park at Beaucoop Farm is officially open for farmland fantasy and hen-hatching lessons. Bradenton sisters have struck golden brown with their fried chicken stand, Barnyard Betty. Lavonne Martin mixes the martial arts at her studio to train students.

culture city


From behind a camera lens, local videographers saw their way through the pandemic. Aztec wood sculptor Tom Casmer’s vision is better than ever.



Guys, say Aloha to Hawaiianinspired button-downs and tropical-print board shorts.Comfy, cozy intimates from new boutique, Motel Therapy.

SRQ H&D | HOME COLLECTION FLIPBOOK SUMMER HOME TRENDS Take a peek at the chic Anna Maria Island family vacation home of three-time All Star Major League Baseball pitcher Mark Melancon. Join us for a splash into home design trends for the summer from biophilic elements and coastal woven goods to structural vases and green as the new color muse.



Tripletail restaurant sees that Gecko’s Hospitality Group continues to expand its elevated concepts. Giving in to the island vibes, flavors and sounds at new Southside seafood eatery, Reef Cakes. Cod everywhere are swimming for their lives from Sarasota’s own Portugese staple, Amore Restaurant. Cover: Harbor Master sandwich from Michelle’s Brown Bag, photography by Wes Roberts. Previous page: Preparing the Espresso Tonic at Breaking Wave Coffee, photo by Wes Roberts. This page: Alexis Robbins of Beaucoop Farm shares her devotion for rescued animals at her new Sarasota property; featuring creative takes on seafood cakes at Reef Cake in Southside; and, Motel Therapy opens in Burns Court, photography by Wyatt Kostygan.

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The FBA Team at CoolToday Park, Spring Training home of the Atlanta Braves

E V O LV I N G A L E G A C Y Creating “smart, beautiful spaces” is an artform at Fawley Bryant Architecture (FBA)—one of the most trusted firms in Southwest Florida for more than two decades. In the past three years, the firm has also expanded and evolved with new ownership, cutting-edge technology and laser-sharp strategic vision.

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The IMG Academy Performance and Sports Science Center

FBA IS A FULL-SERVICE, INTEGRATED ARCHITECTURE AND INTERIOR DESIGN FIRM, with two locations in Bradenton and Lakewood Ranch. The firm’s projects span the spectrum—from multimillion-dollar multispor t complexes and museums to clubhouses and colleges. Led by owners Steve Padgett and Stu Henderson, who purchased the 1994-founded firm in 2017, FBA continues to build on the solid reputation that Richard Fawley and Michael P. Bryant first cultivated in the Sarasota-Manatee-Charlotte community. “We’re stronger now than we’ve ever been,” Henderson says. “We’ve defined our focus and direction, and we’ve actively sought to hire the people who enable us to best serve our clients.” What makes the FBA business model so strong? The company’s commitment to its seven core values, for one. “A lot of companies may develop core values, but we actually live our core values and try to keep them alive through our engagement with the public,” Henderson says. Those signature values are: Own It (accountability); Focus on Finishing (strong work ethic); See Your Path (envisioning success); Adapt and Evolve (problem solving); Elevate Others (ruthless positivity); We are All Human (growing from mistakes); and Achieve Technical and Creative Balance (innovating and improving). B R A N D S T O R Y

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And, while embodying these core values, the FBA team designs in real time—in conjunction with clients—collaboratively initiating the visioning process and seeing it through to completion. “When Steve and Stu purchased the firm, FBA already had a wonderful reputation in this community,” says Amanda Parrish, a firm principal and chief operating officer. “But, after the purchase, we strategically focused inward, making sure we not only had the right processes in place but had the right people in the right seats.” The expanding firm’s 20 team members—actively engaged principals, licensed architects, a full-service interior design department, experienced project managers, and top-notch support staff—are all problem-solving professionals committed to client satisfaction. “Our continued emphasis is on creating strong partnerships with our clients,” Henderson says. “We are craftsman with our tools and feel very comfortable modeling with our clients the ideas they have. They enjoy seeing their thoughts come to life with our guidance.” With this fresh approach, the company continues to thrive and grow. “Since we took over, we have doubled the value of the company,” Padgett says. “We’ve done this by getting more serious about client engagement, becoming more visible in the community, and reengaging with our clients and making sure they know we’re here for them.” M A G A Z I N E


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Mosaic Backyard Universe – The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature

City Center Garage and Manatee Chamber of Commerce

C R E ATI N G I C O N I C D E S I G N S The FBA portfolio includes sports, commercial, hospitality, municipal, and education projects. “In every project we do, we don’t want to just be the designers or architects,” Henderson says. “We want to be actively engaged in the process with our clients every step of the way.” Some of FBA’s sports projects include the Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium and Sports Complex Renovation; the Atlanta Braves Spring Training Complex, including CoolToday Park and the Braves Player Academy; the Pittsburgh Pirates Spring Training Facilities, including LECOM Park, McKechnie Clubhouse and Pirate City; and IMG Academy. Beyond sports, FBA is behind the State College of Florida 26 West Center, the Bradenton Christian School Gymnasium, the Bradenton City Centre Parking Garage, the City of Bradenton Fire Station #3, Waterside Place in Lakewood Ranch, the Bishop Museum of Science and Nature Mosaic Backyard Universe Addition, and The Lodge at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club. Artist’s Rendering

LECOM Park MLB Clubhouse


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Michael Saunders Orange Ave. Office





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S U P P O RTI N G TH E C O M M U N IT Y Giving back to the local community is key to the company mission at FBA. “We’re on local boards and committees, always trying to find new ways to serve the community,” Henderson says. “It’s a labor of love.” The FBA staff also regularly participates in volunteer activities that benefit local nonprofit organizations. “We have a passion for giving back to the community,” Parrish says. “We commit to doing acts of good locally, and we try to think about how to continually be good neighbors.We’re making sure our community ends up strong.” One of the company’s mottos has always been: “If it’s good for the community, it’s good for Fawley Bryant.”

IMG Academy‘s Campus Center

Nathen Benderson Park Rowing Tower

State College of Florida

State College of Florida

Bradenton Christian School



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Brittany Mattie







Andrew Fabian, Chris Leverett, Olivia Liang, Abby Weingarten, Woody Woodman Winona Nasser INTERNS Grace Castilow, Shpresa Mehmeti, Madison Mursch DESIGN CONTRIBUTOR






Suzanne Munroe Julie Mayer Magnifico Rob Wardlaw

We are so thrilled to welcome the arrival of Wyatt and Rikki Kostygan’s baby boy Bear Joseph Kostygan. “Bear arrived on Tuesday, April 20, 2021, two weeks early and already a big boy at well over 9 pounds,” shares Wyatt and Rikki. “Since then he’s continued to grow into the sweetest, smiliest and cuddliest a i agina e Bear oves istening to a , car rides, hanging out on the patio, snuggles with his grandmas, watching trees sway in the breeze and his guinea pig brother, Yuri. We love him more than we ever knew was possible.” Congratulations Wyatt and Rikki. Here’s to the many new adventures life will take the three (four including Yuri) of you!


SUBSCRIBE TO THE PRINT AND DIGITAL EDITION Join our readers in the pleasurable experience of receiving SRQ magazine in your mailbox every month during season and bimonthly during the summer. To reserve your subscription, provide your information and payment online. You can set up multiple addresses, renewals and special instructions directly through your online account. hen you subscribe online, your rst print issue will arrive in your mailbox in 4–6 weeks. Subscribe online at SRQMAG.COM/SUBSCRIBE. Contact us via email at subscribe@srqme.com Vol. 24, Issue 236 Copyright © 2021 SRQ MEDIA. SRQ: Live Local | Love Locall. Sarasota and Bradenton Area is published 10 times a year. IMPORTANT NOTICE: The entire contents of SRQ are copyrighted by Trafalger Communications, Inc. Column and department names are property of Trafalger Communications, Inc. and may not be used or reproduced without express written permission of the publisher. SUBSCRIPTION: Subscriptions to SRQ are $36 for 20 issues. Single copies are $4 at area newsstands.

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Below: Owner and farmhouse maven Alexis Robbins seeks some shade with Rocky, the African Spurred tortoise.



Learning self-sufficient agricultural methods at Beaucoop Farm. Brittany Mattie

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SOME GIRLS GROW UP PLAYING with plastic dolls on the living room floor. Others prefer playtime in the dirt with squirmy, wormy creatures. Alexis Robbins, now grown, dubs herself a “worm girl,” in addition to a lover and keeper of livestock. Her predilections for all things biotic have transpired into fun and educational missions at her independent Sarasota farm, Beaucoop, which has even caught the attention of the Discovery Channel recently. Her devotion to living an organic lifestyle, dependent on herself and not big-box grocery store chains, has dovetailed into a full-time career teaching friends, families and the community how to utilize natural resources. If you take a drive just past I-75, expect to learn all about the importance of vermiculture, vermicomposting and utilizing natural and organic fertilizers in a world that is grossly reliant on chemically-derived, synthetic pesticides in most gardens and farms. “It’s so important to learn how to be self-sufficient because of where our food industry has gone and where it’s going,” Robbins says. Well before the pandemic, Robbins was a strong advocate for creating backyard gardens and sustainable sources for harvesting food and composting waste. So workshops like Vermicomposting and Worm Tea & Castings run every third Sunday of the month at Beaucoop Farm. Attendees can learn how to “naturally supercharge their garden to make it look GMO, without 18 | srq magazine_ JUL/AUG21 live local

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the GMOs,” Robbins says. Other DIY workshops include Build a Rain Barrel, Build a Chicken Coop, Build a Mealworm Farm, Lacto-Fermentation, Hay Bale Gardening, Paint a Nesting Box and Show and Tell with Endangered Poultry. In addition to attending the downand-dirty workshops, you can now book appointments to Beaucoop’s newly-opened Petting Park to feed, pet and hang out with a Noah’s Ark-like fleet of mini donkeys, ponies, mini horses, rescued rabbits, Nigerian dwarf goats, Kunekune pigs, an old African spurred tortoise named Rocky, Khaki Campbell ducks, guineafowl, baby gators, a Narragansett turkey, two different species of endangered sheep, and lots and lots of chickens. Robbins shares she is also adding two primitive camping spots on the grounds for campers to spend the night out on the farm among Beaucoop’s outdoor residents. If young visitors happen to fall in love with the feathered, clucking habitants, the farm offers a four-week Hatching Program to teach children (and adults) about the miracle of life and endangered poultry breeds. Beaucoop provides all the learning materials and hatching tools to get you started so you can watch as the chicks develop inside the egg, and out after 21 days. Already hatched and handraised chicks are also available for adoption. “The only way to know you have truly organic produce and food is to grow your own,” Robbins says. “And the only way to learn is to start from the ground up.” SRQ

This page: The Petting Park at Beaucoop is now open for your KuneKune pig feeding pleasure. This summer, take a hen harvesting or vermicomposintg workshop at Beaucoop Farm. Beaucoop Farm, 941-479-2328, beaucoopfarm@gmail. com, beaucoopfarm.com, @beaucoop farm


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Bradenton sisters have struck golden brown with their crispy fried chicken stand, Barnyard Betty. Ariel Chates

THE YEAR? 2019. THE HEADLINE NEWS? POPEYES RAN OUT OF SANDWICHES. The people? To put it mildly—were losing their

minds. In the midst of this madness, two business-savvy sisters saw an opportunity to give the people what they so desperately wanted: fried chicken. Armed with a lifetime in the hospitality industry and a homestyle cooking education from their Haitian grandmother, Gladys and Gina ean drove to Walmart at 2 am to get the xings and throw their hands in the ring or coop. And their con dence in the kitchen-influenced by their grandma had them biting into something they knew could rival the competition. “We’d be in the kitchen and our grandma would say, ‘Watch me. Look at how I do this or cut this.’ And, though we didn’t know it, we subconsciously learned,” Gina laughs. “Then she’d come in the kitchen the next day and say Make beans and rice!’ And I realized I knew how to cook it from watching her so many times. We’ve been cooking Thanksgiving dinner now for the whole family since we were 10 years old.” Now the sisters are dishing out their own fried chicken creation to a never-ending line of customers at their hidden gem, Barnyard Betty, which is tucked away in the Oneco Farmers Market located in Bradenton. The brick-and-mortar stall was a necessary upgrade after the sisters’ original home-kitchen operation became an overnight 20 | srq magazine_ JUL/AUG21 live local

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sensation. “It was madness! We had city workers, Amazon trucks, FedEx drivers, blood drive buses, even police cars started coming through to get their lunch,” Gladys recalls. “Our little brother and sister would hop off the school bus, backpacks still on, and start working their way to the cars wrapped around the block for orders.” The sisters’ famed fried chicken sandwich and homemade lemonade even had people calling at am to beat the next-day order rush. Now stationed full-time at the Market, seven days a week for lunch and dinner, Gladys and Gina show no signs of slowing down. And their clientele (or “cousins,” as they call them) can’t get enough. “We started calling our customers ‘cousins’ early on. They felt like family and, now, as we expand and add on, it feels like they’re growing with us,” the Jean sisters say. “We call out orders like that: ‘Cousin so-andso, fried chicken up!’ and it’s caught on. They’ll come up to the counter now and say ‘I’m picking up for Cousin Bridget.’ They’re a part of the journey. It’s amazing.” SRQ Above: No sibling rivalry here—Gladys and Gina Jean work better together to turn out their showstopping fried chicken sandwiches. The Original Barnyard Betty contains cheese, bacon, special sauce, lettuce, tomato and pickle. he Bu alo Barnyard Betty adds ild Bu alo Sauce and anch dressing. barnyardbetty.com th Street . Bradenton, F


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With trees of green and maybe even red roses too, Culverhouse Community Garden presents a wonderful world for those who don’t want to garden alone. Olivia Liang WITH ITS WOOD CHIP PATHS, bordered with overflowing low-lying plots, Culverhouse Community Garden

smells like a gourmet kitchen. Located in Culverhouse Nature Park along the Legacy Trail, with plots and 12 members ranging from 22 to “ -something” years olds, Culverhouse is one of the largest community gardens in Florida. All organic, all the time, Culverhouse has members who pitch in 1 hours of communal work per year to enjoy the freedom of their private plots and gardener community. The chores are shared, the education is neverending and “the only competition is between the gardeners and the critters,” says Carol Russell, a volunteer co-manager of the garden who recently lost 11 eggplants to a troop of hungry squirrels. Yet, Russell shrugs off her loss, for it’s simply part of the gardener life. Every community garden member gets their own plot small, medium or large, depending on their initial level of expertise. With succulents at the entrance of the garden--and orchards of cherries, lemons and avocados bordering it the possibilities seem endless for what can flourish within sweet potatoes, papayas, sunflowers, pineapples, celery, gs and nasturtiums (even loofah the familiar shower sponge once mature, but a tender zucchini-like snack when rst harvested). Some plots are private, some are shared and some are reserved for a higher purpose--like the special plots reserved speci cally for growing food for All Faiths Food Bank. But, regardless of their official ownership status, all plots are communal. Gardeners freely meander and pick a sprig or two of an unknown herb, or try a leaf of a curious-looking arugula or lettuce from a gardening neighbor. “Our lives didn’t change much,” says Russell, referring to the “new normal” brought on by the pandemic. “When you come, you work while you talk.” Now, gardening life is simply more at a distance brainstorming recipes, discussing agronomy and attending classes hosted by fellow gardeners--all while the plants and people grow together. SRQ 22 | srq magazine_ JUL/AUG21 live local

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This page, clockwise: Sigrid Hasselbacher, Diane Decicco, Mike Read and Carol Russell exemplify the community aspect of Culverhouse Community Garden as they tend to the garden’s needs. Freshly harvested carrots receive a bath from the rain barrels on-site. Carol Russell, a co-manager of at Culverhouse Community Garden, sinks devotedly into her private plot. Culverhouse Community Garden: culverhousegarden.org, @culverhouse communitygarden


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Lavonne Martin mixes the martial arts at her studio to train real-world-ready students. Ariel Chates “I WAS A SMALL-TOWN GIRL FROM ILLINOIS WITH TWO YOUNG KIDS, looking for a bit of exercise. And then, suddenly, I was a black belt in a couple different arts,” Lavonne Martin reminisces. As a twenty-something woman in 1 77, Martin was on the older side of those breaking into the world of martial arts. But, instantly taken with the sport, she quickly tossed her plan to become a psychiatrist out the window, packed up her life and headed to Los Angeles to train with Sifu Dan Inosanto, a living legend in progressive martial arts with an Academy in Marina Del Rey, CA. Now a certi ed guro herself (one of the few women in the world with full instructorship in Filipino martial arts), she has been sharing her four decades of expertise at her studio in Sarasota for the past 15 years. “My name’s on the front door so I can do what I want here,” Martin jokes. After years of working her way to the top of the male-dominated sport, Martin has certainly earned the right to call the shots. She is reflective and straight shooting in her approach, which includes a sit-down interview with any potential student. “Everyone who comes in here, I tell them, Listen, if you don’t like being told what to do by a woman, then this isn’t the place for you,’” Martin says. “I want every woman, man and child to feel safe here to grow and change. This studio is a laboratory to experiment, a place where you have to nd what works for you.” A personalized and varied lesson plan is at the root of Martin’s teachings because she appreciates the differences in all students. “I’ve had people come in here with one arm, or one part of their body couldn’t move or one hand had no feeling, but we modi ed things for them to give them back that power and say, Yes I can do this,’” Martin says. Martin teaches her students to know their surroundings and trust their instincts important, real-world lessons. “My teaching is street-oriented. You don’t want to train only one way and then get in trouble on the streets,” Martin says. “No one is going to toss you a pair of boxing gloves out there. I want my students to learn how to adapt.” SRQ

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This page: With several black belts to her name, Lavonne Martin gives new meaning to the term ‘girl power’ teaching students of all ages how to protect themselves on an off t e st io at Martin Academy of Martial rts, orter , , arasota artinaca e co


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2021 Best of

SRQ local


2021 SHOWCASE Giving another round of shout-outs to some of the stellar locally-owned businesses who garnered top votes from SRQ readers during the record-breaking 13th Annual Best of SRQ Local Competition.

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2021 Best of

SRQ local


CELEBRATING OUR HOMETOWN TOGETHER Clockwise: Alyssa Gay of Alyssa Gay Consulting buzzes with excitement over the Gold medal for Best Creative/Marketing Agency. The rainbow-colored tribe at Bazaar on Apricot & Lime team celebrate their Planium win for Best Local Boutique and a Gold for Best Local Gift Store. Dylan Ulrich of 10TenFitness sports his Gold-winning BOSRQ badge of his storefront st io or Best oca itness Coac Co rtne an avanna etrin o avanna s o e esign n s er cop o SRQ aga ine at Barnes o es to n o t s e on i ver or Best oca nterior esigner Co o ners o cavengers arketplace celebrate double Platnium wins for Best Resale Consignment Store and Best Local Gift Shop. The Sandwitch Shoppe & Baker co n t e p t ake a res atc o c oco ate c ip cookies pon n ing o t t e on Best oca Cookies ner stin Banister o Coffee an pp re s p so e ragging rig ts a ter inning atin or Best oca Coffee Bi Swanson of Tri-County Air is feeling cool as can be being voted Planiunum for Best HVAC/AC Company three years running. The dance teachers and co-owners of Fly Dance Fitness do a happy dance in their nightclub-like studio after winning Platinum for Best Fitness Studio. Jeremy and Stefanie of Overturf’s Floor and Fabric Care smile big after laying down the Platniin or Best g an Carpet ervices evita i e C iropractor a e t e o ce ook ore ike a part e it a oons to celebrate being named Best Local Chiropractor. The entire team of Calusa gather for a group shot to cheers to winning Platinum for Best Local Brewery, even the cat was thrilled.

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2021 Best of






Scavengers Marketplace SRQ Finding the right gift can be tough, but these local troves make it a little less of a chore and more of a fun treasure hunt for that special someone in mind. SCAVENGERS MARKETPLACE SRQ became the top-shelf contender in Platinum by a long shot while THE BAZAAR ON APRICOT & LIME’S co-op indoor market earned them Gold. MOLLY’S - A CHIC AND UNIQUE BOUTIQUE speaks for itself in the name, securing Silver and ELYSIAN FIELDS rang up Bronze. Honorable Mentions go to Pixie Dust Metaphysical Boutique and Shelly’s Gift and Christmas Boutique who were close calls in the running. -BM April Haley (on Scavengers): It is always a treat to enter this store, even with two other stores, they still keep the merchandise exciting an un an i eren ro eir o er ore ou ne er no a rea ure you ill fin or fin you e er your a e i in age boho, farmhouse, shabby chic, coastal, mid-century and everything in e een you ill fin o e ing er ec Alyssa Martina (on e a aar your one o o or all ing cool o only can you fin e coole one o a in i e you can fin i e a are no an en urn e in o one o a in i e y y y ar ner lanner ere a a e lac an i e ruce ring een images to my cover that was already beautiful enough thanks to her ar or ne ay oun a in age lay oy aga ine ro or a ca e ro ar ara inner oo rea i e an a uge u ic an o e o oo fille i gui ar ic earring i y a ori e l o e ac a can ear li e u ic ile o is probably what puts The Bazaar at the top of my list of favorite lace o o Jenny Townsend (on The Bazaar): The Bazaar has e o uni ue an grea gi ey o er you e o or uni y o u or all u ine e er o ing you can en oy lunc in e cour yar Moira Garcia (on Molly’s): Their superior customer service, stylish decor, unique gifts/clothes, great shoe selection and eir i ecca ly clean ore ully en oy o ing ere al ay fin o e ing ecial

BEST BUSINESS LEADER David and Molly Jackson

Sarasota seems to be a magnet for experienced business leaders, so it takes a great deal to emerge as a leader on these shores. DAVID AND MOLLY JACKSON, owners of multiple New Balance and Fleet Feet stores in the region, stepped to Platinum. Banker NEIL MCCURRY, president of Sabal Palm Bank, also made a strong showing and came in Gold. Downtown Merchants Association leader RON SOTO could be spotted in Silver, while former referee now attorney CHRISTINA UNKEL, t e orce e in corc itness, ea i t Effect an t e Women’s Sports Museum powered her way to Bronze. Dennis Murphy of Gulfside Bank garners the Honorable Mention. -JO

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Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium There are only so many weekend trips to the beaches and parks before your kiddies begin to grow bored and want some enhanced entertainment. The Best Childrens Attraction proved a popular voting category with many wildlife institutions and environmental attractions named and acclaimed. MOTE MARINE LABORATORY AND AQUARIUM once again breached into Platinum place, SARASOTA JUNGLE GARDENS a ingoe into o , BIG CAT HABITAT roared into Silver as a place for the kids to run wild and MARIE SELBY BOTANICAL GARDENS blossomed into Bronze place. Honorable Mentions go to The Children’s Garden, Circus Arts Conservatory, The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature, Marietta Museum of Art and Whimsy and Suncoast Science Center. -BM

BEST OF SRQ 2021 TOP 12 REALTORS® Real estate certainly found its stride during the pandemic this last year, with homeowners taking full advantage of either selling t eir e isting o es an or n ing ne er, arger o ses to ove into. Allow us to introduce you to the Top 12 Readers Favorite Real Estate Agents showing the best of what the regional housing market as to offer JOSEPH MCDONALD, RYAN SKRZYPKOWSKI, DARREN DOWLING, BRANDON HAENEL, JACODY SWOR, LAUREN PEARSON, BRIAN LOEBKER, ROGERS MOORE, JASON D’AGOSTINO, DIANE FOGO HARTER, DENISE WEGESEND CONRAD and DIANNE ANDERSON . -BM


When it’s time to run to the pet store to grab some more kibble and bones, our readers head to these local pet lover retailers. WET NOSES SARASOTA keeps bellies full, nails clipped and tails wagging in Platinum. DOG PERFECT claims the Gold position. THREE DOG BAKERY & GROOMING knows who’s a good boy, walking its way to Silver and HOLISTIC FOR PETS is rejoiced for their inventory of naturally-made products, earning them the Bronze. Bark & Bath Sarasota gets enough belly scratches to receive an Honorable Mention along with Cat Depot. -BM


Flow Massage and Wellness Readers dub FLOW MASSAGE AND WELLNESS as the experts for rubbing out the ol’ knots and treating limbs post surgeries, earning the Platinum spa treatment. SIRIUS DAY SPA in Lakewood Ranch enters the competition by pampering enough c ients or a r o erspiring into Best i ver or t e rst ti e is PURIFY: AN URBAN SWEAT LODGE for knowing how to heat up a room. L.SPA’S services and essential oils lands them the Bronze, while Spa Hollywood and Elements Massage garnered well-to-do voting for Honorable Mention. -BM

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Roy Lichtenstein’s Water Lilies with Clouds, 1992 Screenprint on enamel on stainless steel.

culture city


Below clockwise: Garret Blair, owner, The Aerial, 423-871-0906. Brett Hoehne, CEO, Integrated Media Productions, 941-704-1013. Shaun Greenspan, owner, Triforce Productions, 818-469-2547

THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS Transporting audiences virtually through the pandemic. Andrew Fabian

6/15/21 1:31 PM

STEP ONE WHEN GARRET BLAIR WENT TO ACQUIRE A PART 107 LICENSE from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was to ll out

an Integrated Airman Certi cation and Rating Application (IACRA). Once he lled out the IACRA, he obtained his FAA Tracking Number (FTN), which he then used to schedule an appointment to take the knowledge exam. The exam costs 17 per attempt and includes questions on aviation weather sources aeronautical decision making and judgment maintenance and preflight inspection procedures crew resource management and general regulations relating to small, unmanned aircraft. pon passing the exam, he was allowed to apply for his remote pilot certi cate by lling out Form 71 -1 . By the time he passed the exam in April 2 2 on his second try he may have been wondering why he got himself into this farcical, Kafkaesque asco. But, if he had to navigate a bureaucratic labyrinth to shoot video from a drone and get paid doing it (all in an effort to come out of the economic abyss with a new source of income), then Blair was all for it. “The rst videos I shot were downtown and it was just for fun,” Blair says. Then some of the businesses downtown that made it into his shots asked if they could use the footage to promote their businesses, including Raffurty’s, Sarasota Opera and Oasis. “It became really obvious really quickly that there was a need,” Blair says, “so I made some business cards and started charging.” During the pandemic, businesses were desperate to connect with their customers when in-person engagement was not possible. Blair’s rst paying customer was the gym where he worked, before it temporarily shut down. The videos helped the gym stay engaged with clients, and helped clients stay excited about returning to the gym to achieve their tness goals. Shortly after that experience, Blair parlayed his Part 1 7 license into shooting real estate footage. “With people not always able to check out a listing in person, this was a great way for them to get an idea of a listing,” Blair says. But, in spite of the huge market demand across various industries, even seasoned veterans with full production companies found themselves agonizing over how to navigate the uncertainty of the shutdown and its subsequent safety protocols. “From March to une in 2 2 , a lot of our contracts were put on hold, so things got sketchy there for a while,” says Brett Hoehne, owner of Integrated Media Productions. That meant the brand strategy videos and live broadcasts that were his bread and butter were victims of budget cuts. But, by September, things took a turn as organizations went from being holed up in survival mode to what would become a ubiquitous pivot toward virtual content. “Businesses and organizations nally hit a point where they said, We’ve gone too long without connecting with our audience and we need to bridge that gap again,’” Hoehne says. Some of the rst to reach out were arts organizations. Throughout the past year, Hoehne and his team did work with The Ringling, Asolo Repertory Theatre, Choral Artists of Sarasota and the Sarasota Concert Association. These productions required loads of video and audio gear. And, with the whole world suddenly in need of video content, Hoehne found himself in two unique pickles. “The rst challenge was trying to work with a skeleton crew,” Hoehne says. Production sets can get crowded with boom and camera operators, directors, lighting designers and all manner of production assistants. “We had our audio guy doing lighting on the same shoot to try to keep the numbers down on set,” Hoehne says. The multitasking approach pushed his crew to learn skills outside of their initial trade, and that learning curve proved difficult if fruitful in the long-term. The second challenge came in the form of gear supply. “All the factories overseas were shut down, and that made it hard to nd inventory



which, in turn, skyrocketed prices,” Hoehne says, “and we’re still not fully out of that.” The biggest shortage issue was not the big stuff like lenses, cameras and microphones, but smaller stuff that was being snatched up by DIY-ers and upstarts producing content from home. “When it came time to help clients stream stuff from their home, we had to nd coders, which are little boxes that translate your video signal to your computer,” he says, “and those things got really hard to nd.” Among Hoehne’s accomplishments during this hectic period was the work he and his crew did for Sarasota Contemporary Dance (SCD). In addition to helping the modern dance company set up its virtual learning platforms, Hoehne’s crew helped SCD take home the top prize from SRQ’s annual “Best Of” competition for Best Virtual Event category. Like Hoehne, lmmaker Shaun Greenspan also found himself making bids on video production projects for performance art organizations. Greenspan got an opportunity to co-create a hybrid virtual in-person production with rbanite Theatre called Safe House. The immersive production displayed 17 pre-recorded performances in a walkthrough whodunit. “The theatre was looking for something to do,” says Greenspan, “so they tore down the whole stage for this show and created something super innovative.” Even municipal entities those cumbersome behemoths seldom known for pivoting were forced to hunt down videographers like Greenspan to nd virtual replacements for in-person events. “I actually created a 5-minute presentation for the county clerk and comptroller,” Greenspan says. The presentation replaced what is usually a 2 -person live event in which city officials give a sort of state of the union address to community members and other city employees. “Obviously everyone was looking at ways to recreate live events,” says Greenspan, “but I think, rather than being a replacement, it offered a new perspective on things.” And that presents the most interesting question about videography as organizations begin to build their budgets back up to pre-pandemic levels Will demand for videography wane Though productions like Safe House or SCD’s virtual events yielded critical acclaim, arts organizations simply cannot replace the revenue of a fully packed theater. Many organizations viewed video content and virtual programming as a short-term survival strategy a way to produce work as a substitute for in-person events. Still, at a time when many seasonal ticket holders remained up north and local ticket holders were holed up, traffic for these virtual offerings gave organizations something to consider. “We’re usually done with our season at the end of March,” says Sarasota Opera Executive Director Richard Russell, “so the virtual stuff can be really helpful to extend our audience outreach and marketing.” The questions of quality and artistic integrity loom similarly large for Rebecca Hopkins, the managing director of Florida Studio Theatre. “I have a great appreciation for the work that goes into video as an artform,” says Hopkins, “but that’s called television and lm. We’re a live theatre.” Still, from behind a camera lens, videographers like Greenspan see the value of moving pictures as an upward trend. “I think some people maybe didn’t realize how important video is,” Greenspan says, “and now that they’ve fully realized it, I don’t think things can completely go back to the way it was.” That means even mom-and-pop operations might start making space in their budget sheets for video as a way to connect with customers. But it also means performance venues, whether prompted by lingering pandemic paranoia or by the promising prospects of expanding their reach, might nd themselves adopting a hybrid model of in-person and virtual programming. SRQ

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6/14/21 6:06 PM

culture city

CONVERSING WITH SHAPES Artist Tom Casmer blooms in the shadow of the pandemic.


times known as the 1970s, a young art student named Tom Casmer traveled with his class from a small arts college in Minnesota to the urban wilds of New York City and the studio of the acclaimed sculptor, Louise Nevelson. For Casmer, this was before the wife, before the kids, before 20 years of teaching at Ringling College of Art and Design, and before a trademark white beard that Rasputin’s own ghost would envy. But it planted a seed, long-germinating for nearly 5 years, that nally came to bloom last year in the shadow of a global pandemic. At age 70, Casmer is just getting started. Fresh off a successful cataract surgery, his vision is better than it’s ever been. Retired from 20 years of teaching at Ringling College, he reclaims his days as an empty canvas for his creative impulses. And, after decades of sketching and painting and printing, the budding sculptor nally realized that constraining oneself to merely two dimensions is for the birds. Or, at least, someone else. “I’m just now guring it out,” he chuckles. “Interesting times.” Though he is known for his intricate drawings and prints—looking like everything from fantastical blueprints for Neo-Aztecan ray guns to detailed schematics of a next-generation combustion engine, or perhaps even the inked ravings of the last disciple to some stone-age robotic religion—this last year has seen Casmer take his art to the next level. Literally. Converting the family garage into a makeshift woodworking studio, Casmer has begun bringing his creations to life, handcrafting almost of his sizable “wall relief sculptures” in little more than a year. The transition has been long coming. And Casmer estimates that the past 45 years of his life have been, in some way or another, building to this point in what he now considers to be one great artistic conversation between himself and his work. It’s a conversation he has nearly every day, with every new piece, and he can’t be sure where it’s going but he does know that these chats are getting longer. And, as in every conversation, it begins with the rst line. Sitting at the desk in his home studio—a narrow converted breezeway with reed blinds on the windows and walls covered in carven sculptures—Casmer takes a small piece of Bristol paper and a pencil and begins to make marks. He formulates shapes. He has no plan. 42 | srq magazine_ JUL/AUG21 live local


Phil Lederer

He is a seeker and if he knew his destination then the act would not be one of exploration and Casmer has no time for such scripted conversations. He has faith in the line. “Color could go away,” Casmer says. “I don’t care, as long as I have line.” Alone with his Bristol, Casmer lets his pencil loop and whorl, dash and divide, throwing shapes and catching them as they come, the many lines forming a little world seeming of its own creation. It’s a remarkably organic approach to what will result in something distinctly mechanical and aggressively geometric, but the process—the conversation—serves its purpose and rewards the dutiful, with the resulting image as much a revelation to the artist as anyone else. “Who knows where it all originates,” he says. But, once discovered, the line must be preserved, and so Casmer will tend to his line twice, revisiting each mark with heavy ink, reinforcing graphite shades with black permanence to create a nal stark image that will serve


6/14/21 6:07 PM

Left and above:

Horizontal Construction by Tom Casmer. Casmer brings another creation from the workshop to the world.

as a blueprint for the next step. “It can be tedious but it’s also meditative,” he says. “It’s a conversation. And, in the process of inking, I’m envisioning the construction and looking at the relation of the shapes and how that’s going to come together.” There’s also the beauty of the blueprint itself, which makes it more than just a step in the process. “I’ve always been fascinated by blueprints, schematics and circuit drawings,” Casmer says. “I don’t understand them; I’m just fascinated by the line on the paper.” It’s a fascination that the boy who wished he had X-ray vision has had since childhood. He retains it now as the man who likes to walk un nished construction sites and can be seen at traffic lights with his phone out, snapping pictures of the esoteric landscape of nozzles and knobs and dials and hoses on the back of the tar truck in front of him. “It’s the infrastructure—what’s under the skin—that’s really of interest to me,” he says. “I’m drawn to those shapes.” As to what those lines and shapes represent—a map to hidden truths, the strictures of an unseen order, or perhaps a paean to the sublime beauty of potential itself, frozen as if in amber Casmer offers no opinion. He’s busy building. Previously, this is where the conversation would end, with the blueprint’s potential flattened onto a print, colored on the computer and brought to some sort of half-life on a handbuilt box frame. These days, Casmer slaps the

blueprint on the door of his garage-come-woodshop and the conversation continues over the whir and whine of myriad saws and sanders. Like a painter collecting brushes, Casmer dove into the woodworking world head rst after rst crafting a small totem for the Shopliftable show at GAZE Modern in 2019. He has since assembled an array of new toys, including a jigsaw, circle saw, table saw, chop saw, miter saw (for delicate cuts), belt sander, nail gun, pin nailer, assorted drills, a whole bevy of mismatched clamps in different sizes and a shelf full of rulers and protractors and other measuring assists. And a pair of tweezers. “Tools change,” he says. “But the work ” and he trails off. With the blueprint on the wall, Casmer begins to build. With the piece laid out in the center of the space like a patient on the operating table, he works in poplar and pine—nothing fancy—and leaves his mark on every piece before it becomes part of the sculpture. “Everything you see is hand-cut in some way, shape or form,” he says. And though he follows the blueprint closely—including taking measurements from it for scale—the creative process never stops. The shapes still talk to him and he listens through the noise of their construction. “I start to jam on it a little more when I start constructing,” Casmer says, and sometimes that does mean deviating from his blueprint. “It just kind of lets you know when what you have drawn initially and thought was OK needs to be rethought.” None of this indicates any sort of mistake in the creation of the blueprint, but merely acknowledges the fact that Casmer’s work has entered an uncharted dimension where his map serves no further purpose. He has to think in terms of elevation and depth, heft and shadow. He returns to the conversation in faith that his relation to the work will guide him. “At a certain point, you’re improvising,” he says. “It starts to inform itself and you’re reacting to what it’s starting to become.” The end result stands as something liminal, occupying the space between print and sculpture and, at their best, manifesting the strengths of both. The line has been given form. This one looks like a giant circuit breaker; that one some sort of Sisyphean pinball machine with no clear path to victory or defeat but four suspiciously sperm-like shapes that could all too easily represent the artist’s four children. (A statement on parenthood, perhaps?) And the sculpture on the table, awaiting the last nishing touches, Casmer has named In Response to Leia, as his own tribute to the impact, however long delayed, that Nevelson’s work has had on his artistic journey. A nod to someone who left the light on to lead the way for travelers like him. “Drawing and painting have always been a struggle for me,” he says. “This is a struggle, but, for the rst time, it feels like an actual t. I don’t question it. I don’t judge it the way I did my drawing and painting. It feels like the right medium for me.” SRQ

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6/15/21 1:32 PM

A snail is more than just a shell! Snails (a.k.a. mollusks) are complex and cool animals. Find out why at The Bishop’s new special exhibition Battles of the Boneless, opening July 8. You’ll explore what makes snails much more than their shell, and you’ll probably be surprised by the amazing adaptations that allow them to evade predators –or conquer their prey. These animals have superpowers! If you’ve ever found a shell on the beach with a perfect hole in it, you’ve discovered the telltale sign of a type of murex snail called an oyster drill. It bores a hole in its prey’s shell and slowly eats the other animal alive. And the venomous net-hunting cone snail balloons its mouth into a sleeve to reach out and engulf fish, then delivers a fatal blow with its built-in harpoon. Some snails are so poisonous that they can even kill a human! But mollusks are way more than scarily effective predators. They provide us with important things like food, dye, and medicine. Both ancient Aztecs and Romans used murexes to create dye. Modernday scientists used toxins from cone snails to create a medicine to treat chronic pain from cancer and AIDS. They’re also studying a type of insulin produced by cone snails that works faster than human-made insulin in the hopes of helping people with diabetes.

Visit BishopScience.org to plan the experience that’s best for you!

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What secrets do murexes, cone snails, and other mollusks hold in the ocean’s depths? July 8 is the day you can find out! Sneaky, slimy, surprisingly more than shells – come meet the mollusks at Battles of the Boneless at The Bishop!

6/15/21 3:18 PM

Step into the hot and humid limelight of sinful summer bliss. We’ve culled together a sizzling foray of midsummer events, activities, to-do’s and trends—from satisfying salads and lobster rolls to a roundup of all things outdoor including live music, night markets and on-the-water dining. Learn about new segments of the legacy trail, repurposed designer jewelry, facial misting, thirst-quenching drinks on ice, which art performances not to miss this summer and more.


Written by Grace Castilow, Ariel Chates, Andrew Fabian, Brittany Mattie and Olivia Liang | Photography by Wyatt Kostygan and Wes Roberts

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We may have had to forgo this feature last year, but this go-around there are no restrictions, no limitations, no excuses to stay indoors. It’s time to take back the summer and sear the streets of the Suncoast with these local scorchers.

JUST ROLL WITH IT As that Florida sun beats down, your taste buds know what they need: a delicately toasted, buttered bun cradling red and orange lobster meat fresh from the sea—cold, sweet and satisfying. You won’t nd any of the Connecticut-style rolls bathed in hot butter down here but, from downtown to the beach, we’ve made sure refreshing Maine-style lobster rolls are never out of reach this summer with these area favorites. Starting with the beach bums who don’t want to travel too far for deliciousness, Lido Island Grill’s signature Island Grill Lobster Roll is served right from the Lido Beach Pavilion—a local classic. On the mainland, Michelle’s Brown Bag on Main Street features the Harbor Master, a “sandwich” with Maine lobster salad mixed with cucumbers, capers, baby greens, tomato and a fresh dill mayonnaise. Moving south, The Lobster Pot in Siesta Key Village has lobster rolls ready for you day and night. For lunch, ask for the New England Sea Roll (which comes with quarter-pound of cold Maine lobster), then return for an encore with the The Lobster Roll Dinner a mouth-watering shell sh extravaganza made with chilled Maine lobster tossed in mayo, stacked on top of lettuce for the proper crunch, in a toasted New England roll. Then, last but certainly not least, Thursday is Lobster Roll Day—A.K.A. the best day—at Siesta Key’s Big Water Fish Market. Order the overstuffed and slightly toasted bun with a cold lobster salad over mixed greens before they run out. —O.Liang Lido Island Grill, 400 Benjamin Franklin Dr., Sarasota, 941-444-7495, lidoislandgrill. com; Michelle’s Brown Bag, 1819 Main St., Sarasota, 941-365-5858, michellesbrownbagcafe.com; The Lobster Pot, 5157 Ocean Blvd., Siesta Key Village, 941-349-2323, sarasotalobsterpot.com; Big Water Fish Market, 6641 Midnight Pass Rd., Siesta Key, 941-554-8101, bigwaterfishmarket.com.

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Previous page: The Harbor Master sandwich from Michelle’s Brown Bag adds modern, res are to t e lobster roll we know and love. Below, left to right: Lobster Roll day at Big Water Fish Market. No shoes, no shirt, no problem when picking up a Lido Island Grill’s lobster roll. Right: Locals and visitors from out-of-town gather on the green for some rock-andsoul band playing at Motorworks Brewery.


6/15/21 2:09 PM

LIVE MUSIC OUTDOORS Music never sounded so sweet, with live outdoor music events nally back for our audible and social enjoyment. And there is no shortage of eateries, beach bars or breweries to let the live vibrations ll the yearlong void. Genres run the gamut jazzy piano players, alternative cover bands, lively Latin musicians and chill-sounding acoustic voices of up-and-coming local artists. Consider this your live music rundown and guide to create the soundtrack for your summer, from Anna Maria Island and Cortez Village to Spanish Point and Casey Key. See live music listings on page 52


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6/15/21 12:36 PM

SUMMER SERVED OVER ICE When summer gets into full swing, we’re all screaming for some ice, ice baby. And these local spots have unique thirst-quenching coolers to get you through the days. For the morning, skip “been-there-done-that” iced coffee and try an Iced Matcha Latte at Pro ect o ee. Packed with antioxidants and without the jittery buzz, it’s the perfect morning pick-me-up. If you’re still a stickler for the classics, try the elevated and creative Espresso Tonic from reaking Wa e o ee. This interesting concoction mixes espresso, sparkling water and syrup to create a bubbly and caffeinated beverage. For an afternoon refresher, try a tropical Mango Lychee Smoothie from Kam’s Bubble Tea & Sushi, topped with fresh fruit. Fans of southern-style iced tea should try the Bubble Tea at Pho 101—deeply rich and fragrant tea that is mixed with milk and studded with tapioca pearls for a chewy surprise. It wouldn’t be a summer sipper without lemonade, and ATRIA Cafe is serving up something a little different than grandma’s Crystal Light. The Indigo Lemonade is vibrant purple, served sparkling, and features fresh lemon and natural botanicals. When the sun goes down but the temperature does not, these late-night beverados will keep you hydrated into the wee hours. dobe ra ti o nge is lling up cups with their alcohol-free Kava, while Naughty Monk and he ood i id breweries have perfected next-level hard seltzer. Try Naughty Monk’s Cranberry Pomegranate to tantalize your taste buds, or The Good Liquid’s Floridian-inspired Key Lime Pie. Summer’s here, so drink up and cool down. A.Chates

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Florida Studio Theatre’s My Lord, What a Night Gracing Florida Studio Theatre’s summer stage this season, My Lord, What a Night by Deborah Brevoort will show in this local hotspot’s Keating Theatre from June 30 and until September 27. Based on actual events, this insightful new play--which details the lifelong friendship that sparked between internationally renowned singer Marian Anderson and theoretical physicist Albert Einstein a‡er she was refused a room at the Nassau Inn and was invited to stay with Albert—offers a rare glimpse into real-life struggles faced by two 20th-century icons. Complete your theatre-going experience by making reservations to dine in for dinner at FST’s Green Room Cafe & Bar, featuring a full food and drink menu for outdoor and indoor visitors alike. Tickets are $25-$36 and the show runs June 30-September 27 in FST’s Keating Theatre. 1241 North Palm Ave., 941-366-9000, floridastudiotheatre.org, @floridastudiotheatre.—G.Castilow

Choral Artists of Sarasota’s American Fanfare A breathtaking contribution of the Choral Artists of Sarasota’s 20202021 season, American Fanfare is a timely compilation of rousing patriotic anthems and stirring inspirational choral works to celebrate Independence Day right here in Sarasota. This showcasing of American classics is a joint performance by the Lakewood Ranch Wind Ensemble and the Choral Artists, who will come together to perform Sousa marches that cheerfully complement the program as musical fireworks soar in the background. The celebratory concert will take place in person on July 4 at the Sarasota Opera House, and will also be available on demand from July 17 through mid-August as an annual salute to America that you won’t want to miss. Tickets are $25-$50 and the performance will take place on July 4 at the Sarasota Opera House. 61 North Pineapple Ave., 941-3876046, choralartistssarasota.org, @ choralartistssrq.—G.Castilow

Sarasota Contemporary Dance’s What We Ask of Flesh The last of Sarasota Contemporary Dance’s summer in-studio performances features Christal Brown, the Founder of INSPIRIT and Project:BECOMING, creator of the Liquid Strength training module for dance, an associate professor of dance at Middlebury College, and the CVO of Steps and Stages Coaching. Performed in person at their home studio space on July 9 and 10, live-streamed on July 9, and broadcast recorded on July 10, What We Ask of Flesh is a physical examination of the capacity of human life and is an extraordinary part of a series of Brown’s works over the years by the same name. SCD In-Studio Performances are the live culmination of summer dance residencies and serve as opportunities for artists to share their works-in-progress. Tickets are $20 for in person, and choose what you pay for virtual. The performance will take place in person and virtually on July 9 and 10 at Sarasota Contemporary Dance’s Home Suite. 1400 Blvd. of the Arts, Ste. 300, 941-260-8485, sarasotacontemporarydance.org, @sarasotacontemporarydance —G.Castilow

Sarasota Opera House’s Summer Movies Series For its summer movie series, Sarasota Opera will be screening both “Classic Movies at the Opera House” on Saturday nights, as well as a Sunday matinees series entitled “HD at the Opera House” throughout June and into July. July classic movie screenings are West Side Story, a 1961 film set to a score by Leonard Bernstein that transports the classic tale of Romeo and Juliet to New York City in the 1950s, on July 13; and Moonstruck, a 1987 romantic comedy that unfolds to passionate Puccini melodies, on July 24. Their HD counterparts for July include La Clemenza di Tito, regarded by many as Mozart’s opera seria masterpiece and composed a few months before Mozart’s death; and Manon Lescaut, inspired by Puccini and debuted on the stage of Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Italy.Tickets for classic movies are $10 and HD are $20, $18 for subscribers. Film screenings will take place on Saturdays at 7:30pm and Sundays at 1:30pm. 61 North Pineapple Ave., 941-328-1300, sarasotaopera.org, @sarasotaopera. —G.Castilow

FST Improv’s Life’s a Beach Sarasota’s “original antidepressant is back!” Reunite with FST Improv for the return of Life’s a Beach performances every Saturday night through July. Life’s a Beach celebrates (and pokes some fun at) all things Sarasota. Drawing inspiration from audience suggestions, the cast weaves sketches, musical numbers and classic improv games that pay tribute to this beautiful place we call home. From the epic, annual snowbird migration and abundant roundabout confusion to dogs in strollers and seemingly never-ending construction, nothing is safe from a good-spirited tease in this audience favorite. “Life’s a Beach is particularly special this year because the city is starting to poke its head out of its shell a‡er the pandemic, and we can all benefit from coming together and laughing at the ridiculous things we’ve all experienced since last spring,” says Will Luera, FST’s director of improv. Tickets are $15 and the show runs every Saturday at 7:30pm in FST’s Bowne’s Lab Theatre. 1241 North Palm Ave., 941-366-9000, floridastudiotheatre.org, @floridastudiotheatre. —B.Maie

Manatee Performing Arts Center’s Matilda the Musical Jr. A gleefully wiªy ode to the general anarchy of childhood and the genuine power of imagination, the Manatee Performing Arts Center’s rendition of Roald Dahl’s classic Matilda the Musical Jr. is the feel-good, girl power production of the summer for all ages. It can be enjoyed at a social distance on July 16 and 17 at Stone Hall in Bradenton, and is packed with enough high-energy dance numbers and catchy songs to have just about anyone—children and adults alike— jumping out of their seats for Jr. joy. This performance, like each produced by the Performing Arts Center, succeeds in the mission to create, entertain and strengthen an artistic, thriving, curious and creative community by bringing people together—especially when we need it most. Tickets are $20 and the musical will show on July 16 at 7pm and July 17 at 11am in Stone Hall. 502 Third Ave. W, Bradenton, 941-748-5875, manateeperformingartscenter.

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SIDEWALK SALSA The Ringling is getting its hot salsa on this summer—and not the kind for dipping your chips, the kind for shaking your hips. Latin dance studio, DK Dance Creations in Sarasota, is teaming up with The Ringling to offer -minute salsa dance lessons during a “Sidewalk Salsa” dance class series. This is entirely outdoors on the museum’s campus and, after your lesson, you’ll be able to put your new knowledge to the test by practicing your dance moves for minutes. This evening of Latin culture and lively dance will be great for students who participated in the “Summer Latin Series,” as well as for couples who want to learn something new together and step up their ballroom talents. These lessons are every Tuesday evening throughout the month of uly. Instructors at DK Dance Creations also offer Latin dance classes, choreography services for wedding quince sweet-sixteens, private instruction, dance teams, a dance shoe store and makeup classes. The instructors also provide an array of Latin-inspired dance classes including, but not limited to, Bachata, Salsa On1, Salsa On2, Cha-Cha, Kizomba, musicality, spinning techniques, tricks and lifts, and many more —B.Mattie Individual class at The Ringling: $15/$14 members/$10 students. Purchase the fi e-c ass series and sa e. Register at ring ing.org.

THE SEARCH FOR SUSHI Fresh, fast and not too lling, sushi is the perfect summer snack to keep you satiated in the sun. For something outside the bento box, head to JPAN for their Poke Tuna Bowl a deconstructed roll served over rice with spring mix, seaweed salad and avocado. Tsunami also has the Hawaian tropics on the brain with their Waikiki specitialy roll, featuring coconut shrimp and mango. Anyone looking to keep their bikini body carb-free should head to shido S shi for their Yellow Tail Lover roll. It skips the sushi rice for soybean paper and is served with ponzu sauce. ndigeno s serves its cobia nigiri-style, meaning over rice rather than swirled up in a roll. Topped with yuzu, furikake and red chili oil, it is also offered vegetarian and gluten-free. Last up on the Sarasota sushi tour, head to r nken Poet for the Hulk or Fiery rolls. The Hulk gets its name from the green sauce and asparagus, while the Fiery roll doesn’t skimp on the heat with spicy tuna, spicy sauce and jalapeno. Trust us, any of these places will have you jumping for soy. —A.Chates Poke na ow , P , 800 S. amiami rai , 941-954-5 6, anresta rant.com Waikiki Ro , s nami Resta rant, 100 entra en e S ite 10 , 941- 66-10 , ts nami-sarasota. com. e ow ai o er Ro , shido S shi, 688 Webber St, Sarasota, 941- 1 -56 5, b shidos shisr .com. obia igiri, ndigeno s Resta rant, 9 S. inks en e, 941- 06-4 40, indigeno ssarasota.com. Fiery Ro k Ro , r nken Poet a e hai istro S shi ar, 15 Main St, Sarasota, 941- 9558404, dr nken oetca e.com

FACE MISTERS Summer in Florida is hot. Thanks for stating the obvious, right? It can be brutal when you still want to sit outside to enjoy a drink and meal but the overhead fans of the restaurant’s patio just aren’t cutting it. And, sitting under the umbrella at the pool or beach can still be stifling when the heat index makes it feel like 1 5 degrees. This summer, temper the fever by keeping a facial mist spray or toner in your bag at all times to whip out and instantly cool you down. For the perpetually overheated, Fi ation o ti e carries a trending, all-natural skincare line called Cocokind, which includes a refreshing and purifying spritzer called Glow Essence. The sea grape caviar and botanical ingredients brighten, even and hydrate the skin with just a few sprays to the forehead, eyes, cheeks and chin. No more feeling sweaty, salty and crispy from the sun and surf. At he erbari m, a pretty little pink bottle by L’Erbolario encompasses hyaluronic acid ultra- ller and molecular lm from algae and glucose. The extra- ne texture not only sets the makeup from dripping off at high noon, but also tones and refreshes the skin, revitalizing your moneymaker and providing an instant feeling of decompressing comfort. You’re still allowed to turn the A/C on at full blast, but why not also invest in a glowier, refreshed face for when your beau wants to take a sel e with you in the sand. —B.Mattie Fi ation o ti e, 18, 1108 range e., Sarasota, fi ationbo ti e.com, fi ationbo ti

e. he erbari m,

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d. o the rts, Ste , Sarasota, 941-95 -

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Opposite page: Cocokind’s line of conscious skincare includes the Glow Essence toner and facial mister for sticky, skin-drying days. This page clockwise: Waikiki Roll, Poke Tuna Bowl, Fiery Roll, Yellow Tail Lover Roll. Cobia, Nigiri Style.

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way to forget the Monday blues. Ted Stevens brings his reverb-rich rockabilly and roots rock on Tuesday and Thursday nights that will get feet tapping. Filling out the rest of the week is Tim Chandler, Swordfish Grill’s de facto house band, which plays all the greatest blues and classic rock.

swordfishgrillcortez.com, @ swordfishgrill.

Cortez Clam Factory Motorworks Brewing

LIVE MUSIC Music never sounded so sweet, with live outdoor music events back finally for our audible and social enjoyment. And there is no shortage of eateries, beach bars or breweries to let the live vibrations fill the yearlong void. Genres run the gamut—jazzy piano players, alternative cover bands, lively Latin musicians, and chill-sounding acoustic voices of up-and-coming local artists. Consider this your live music rundown and guide to create the soundtrack for your summer, from Anna Maria Island and Cortez Village to Spanish Point and Casey Key. —B. Maie

Cafe in the Park Once the Friday doors to the office are shut and locked, grab your lawn chair and head to Payne Park and enjoy weekly Friday tunes from 7:30-9:30pm on the expansive outdoor patio. There are all different types of music genres and artists each week. If you missed Friday’s performances, Cafe in the Park is also now hosting Sunday A†ernoons, 3-5pm, with live music this summer! Keep up to date with bookings at cafeinthepark.com, @


Freckled Fin Irish Pub Party on Holmes Beach and enjoy tunes from some of the best cover bands in the region. Acoustic Thunder plays the soundtrack for a Fourth of July bash, which includes everything from ‘80s New Wave to Lynyrd Skynyrd to Snoop Dogg. Hailing from Nasheville, Tennessee, singer/songwriter

Bobby James’ catalog runs so deep he takes requests from the crowd and never fails to deliver it with his Southern twang. Or, watch Bri Rivera belt out the high notes from beneath the shade of a beach umbrella. Check out @thefreckledfin, freckledfin. com for full live music listings.

O’Leary’s Tiki Bar & Grill Whether tourist, local, transplant or snowbird, you can’t miss the acoustic music of different genres being played by The Johnny Bay on the cove of Marina Jack Bayfront Park. This fun, folk jam rapper gets down, just as the sun does over this sailboat parking lot. Other acts like Sea Breeze, Lucky & Pat, Coastal Steve and Captain Dave Panman also take center stage at this busy happy hour and sunset-watching spot. Check out who’s playing when at

olearystikibar.com/band-schedule or @olearystikibar.

MaŠison’s City Grille and MaŠison’s Riverwalk Grille From Downtown Sarasota to Downtown Bradenton, the long standing restaurant group behind the large patio staples knows how to host a good time. From Doug Deming & The Jewel Tones to Debbie Keeton and Joe Thayer, solid sounds call for tables and chairs to be pushed aside, and coupled-up dancing to be had. Check dates and times at maŠisons.com/

maŠisons-events or @maŠisons.

Swordfish Grill Nothing says Florida summer like live music on the water beneath a tiki hut, and Swordfish Grill’s summer lineup features a liŸle something for everyone. Monday nights feature reggae covers from Natural Vibes--the perfect

Referred to by locals as “the Five-Star Dive” and “The Clam,” this restaurant bar—just a mile from the historic Cortez Fishing Village—does daily entertainment along with daily fish specials. Show up and expect an upbeat environment with rocking Florida sounds to go along with your fried clam basket and beer. clamfactory.

com, @cortezclamfactory.

Island Time Bar and Grill Located right on the Bridge Street circle in vacationland (Anna Maria Island), the colorful scenery and dishes match the Margaritaville sounds coming from the outdoor patio. There is live music every weeknight, starting at 7pm, and Saturday and Sundays at 1pm and 7pm. Full calendar of bookings found at islandtimebarand-

grill.com, @islandtimebargrill.

Casey Key Fish House & Tiki Come by boat or road; the live music flows every weekend at the Fish House & Tiki Bar. Friday through Sunday, from 4-8pm, beloved local bands set up stage and rotate weekly, so keep up to date at @caseykeyfishhouse, caseykeyfishouse.com, or just show up and enjoy the easygoing vibes (those never change).

Siesta Key Oyster Bar SKOB has reigned as the king of live music on Siesta Key for decades. This summer, the locale will continue to bring the beer-soaked melodies with legendary local act, KeŸle of Fish, on Wednesday nights. Frontman Dana Lawrence goes solo on Thursday a†ernoons. But, no maŸer the band, SKOB reminds the world that Siesta Key is not what you see on reality TV; it’s all pitchers of beer, fish fries, and rock and roll. Visit skob.com, @ skoysterbar for more events.

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PAR FOR THE COURSE Whether you’re interested in an afternoon lled with family fun or an evening on the green with friends, consider teeing your day or night off at Evie’s Family Golf Center. Featuring a driving range, junior golf clinic, mini golf course, ice cream parlor, arcade, wi e ball, tavern and car wash, this Bee Ridge business has something for absolutely everyone. Deemed one of the top 5 standalone driving ranges in the nited States, Evie’s offers the best public golf facility in Sarasota. Players can enjoy hitting stations ( of which have sod) sand bunker play chipping and putting greens namebrand golf clubs for sale or rent Callaway equipment, tees, gloves and visors for purchase and a PGA Callaway tting location. If you’re not drawn to the driving range, the 1 -hole, par waterfall adventure miniature golf course is the ultimate putting experience for all ages and abilities. After all, nothing quite screams summer more than a good game of (mini) golf. Should you nd yourself famished before, on or after the green, Evie’s Tavern & Grill provides a laid-back atmosphere and savory sports bar fare, while the ice cream parlor offers 2 Big Olaf flavors for those sporting a sweet tooth. G.Castilow Evie’s Family Golf Center, 4735 Bee Ridge Rd., 941-377-0990, eviesonline.com, @eviesontherange.

MADE IN THE SHADE AT SELBY Flowers, flowers, everywhere, and all the time to think flowers, flowers, everywhere, and all the shade to drink. Selby Gardens which has transformed into a venue with stripped-down theatre productions from local theaters and musical performances (as part of its Lichtenstein Nights series) will continue its summer programming beneath the shade of the old growth trees. A Fourth of uly celebration promises American fare and the best view in the city for reworks, while In Dialogue with Nature: Glass in the Gardens exhibition (running uly 1 to September 2 ) will return for its fourth year running in collaboration with the Duncan McClellan Gallery in St. Petersburg. This year’s Glass in the Gardens will feature nature-inspired glass work created exclusively by Duncan McClellan which will be displayed in the Tropical Conservatory and throughout Selby against a backdrop of lush flowers and plants draw the third eye inward and inspire reflection. And don’t forget to check out Florida Highwaymen, an exhibition of AfricanAmerican landscape artists who overcame segregation to sell their work throughout the state during the 1 5 s and 1 s. This exhibition will be presented in collaboration with the Sarasota African American Cultural Coalition. —A.Fabian Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 1534 Mound St., Sarasota, 941-366-5731, selby.org, @selbygardens.


THRIFTY JEWELRY Perhaps it’s not in your cards credit cards, that is to splurge on that Louis Vuitton Flower Pendant Necklace. But local e-boutique, There Goes Lo, works a little magic so that you can thriftily procure high-fashion pieces without taking a trip to New York City’s Canal Street, or going beyond your budget. pon sourcing vintage designer charms, There Goes Lo will renew and recycle the charms to become unique pieces that shine with new life. All pieces in the L E Collection are refurbished or repurposed from 1 percent authentic luxury designer pieces that are now limited editions, put on chunky paperclips or dainty gold chains. Whether the DIOR Charm Necklace, the Vintage LV Lock & Key Necklace or the Gucci Bamboo Tassel Necklace, all that glitters is gold. “Our goal for this collection is to give everyone luxury for less while recirculating and updating pieces that otherwise would be discarded,” the owner says. B.Mattie Prices range from $55-$180 and limited quantities are for sale. theregoeslo.com/shop, @there.goes.lo. There Goes Lo is not affiliated with any of the aforementioned brands or affiliates.

Welcome a brand new outdoor street market to the neighborhood, hosted by The Overton. The Rosemary Night Market comes to the newly established “art and design district” and will run every rst Tuesday of the month. With the rst one come and gone this past une, the next two this summer are set for uly and August . Grab a drink at The Overton and eat, drink, shop and frolic your way down Rosemary’s Boulevard of the Arts as the sun disappears behind the buildings of Downtown. Starting at 5pm, live music kicks off, food trucks and pop-up chefs start cooking, local vendors and artists booth up under tents with artisan goods and the community gathers under the lights for a social evening of summer revelry. Vendor spotlights and event updates at rosemarynightmarket. B.Mattie Become a vendor by emailing rosemarynightmarket@gmail.com

Above left to right: LV Flower Pendant and LV Cotton Candy Pendant Necklace from There Goes Lo e-boutique. Lichtenstein Nights at Selby Gardens.

Copyrighted trademarks and images are the sole property of their respective owners.


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Bavaro’s Pizza

Nokomo’s Sunset Hut:

Tamiami Tap

Beyond the main strip of downtown Sarasota is a chic and tucked-away patio that produces some underrated live music jams, 6-9pm. On Wednesdays, Gustav Viehmeyer a gypsy jazz musician plays; Thursday is jazz guitarist Akiem Esdaile; Friday is The House Cats for some bebop and swing jazz; on Saturday, broadway performer James Hyde croons over the crowd; and on Sundays, Christian Rastelli brings the al fresco experience to life with acoustic guitar playing that melt into the background over shared sangrias. bavarospizza.com,

Live music everyday?! Heck yes. From 6-9pm, this local tiki hut waterfront joint hosts Vince Berardi every Tuesday, Lazy Daisies every Wednesday, Audio Orchid every Thursday, and Jimmy Bones every Friday. Saturday, Sunday and Monday performers vary. Keep up to date for the sounds coming out of Dona Bay at nokomos.

Maybe you want to get up on the stage and belt out some notes. This neighborhood spot hosts Open Mic Night on Thursdays from 7-10pm, hosted by Steve Mazze©a. All performers are welcome to come sign up and show off what they’ve got on the open-air patio off Orange Avenue. Get on the list at tamiamitap.com,


Whitney’s With the garage doors always open and the bodega vibes always flowing, keep up with Whitney’s constant stream of alternative jazz-fusion singer/musicians playing for your postbeach enjoyment. Frequent artists include Jakiem Esdaile (“The Boom Bap Jazz Masta”), with his new generation of jazz guitar and groovy beats; John Dendy, a singer and pianist heavily influenced by a variety of jazz, funk and electronic; and Amandah Jantzen, a touring jazz vocalist. Keep up to date about scheduled live performances at

whitneylbk.com, @whitneylbk.

Motorworks Brewing With a courtyard that makes it as much of a beer garden as a live music venue, Motorworks doesn’t underutilize its expansive lawn for outdoor entertainment. Live music happens every Friday night, and all day Saturday and Sunday. Talent includes Dr. Dave Band, Ship of Fools, Twinkle and the Rock Soul Radio, Eric Von Band, Jah Movement, Whiskey Blind and G-Force Revised. Keep up to date with the live music calendar at motor-

worksbrewing.com, @motorworksbrewing.

Cafe BarBosso A hidden gem away from downtown and the busy beaches, BarBosso’s back patio hosts the Dan Dembicki Quintet featuring Theresa Nichols on Thursdays; Sarasota Jazz Project on Fridays; and The Shiš Change Band on Saturdays, 6-8pm. Aside from the live music outside, find live painting happening inside! cafebarbosso.

com, @cafe_barbosso.

com, @nokomossunsethut.

Big Top Brewery With a steady flow of bands and talent coming in and out of this beloved beer garden, music lovers are never disappointed by the diverse entertainment at Big Top. Acts include Rye Road Band (a unique blend of new country, pop, dance and rock), One Night Rodeo, Dana Lawrence, K-Luv and the United Funk Foundation, and many more. On Thursdays, Open Mic Night calls upon locals to give a performance under the big top. And, every Sunday, Blues & Brews takes place, attracting fans of the well-known Damon Fowler Group. Best bet to stay in the know with events is @bigtopbrew-

co, bigtopbrewing.com.

The Point The multi-story outdoor restaurant and bar on the water at Spanish Point offers live music Fridays and Saturdays from 5-9pm and Sundays from 1-5pm. A few regular artists make their rounds at this bustling waterfront hotspot on Bayview Drive, including the killer voices of local belters such as Northstar, Joe Bernui, Ty Turner, Drew Navy and Undr8ed. Plan out your weekend adventures by checking out the lineup at @the_point_srq,


Origin Cra… Beer and Pizza Cafe The Origin at UTC may be pumping out pizza, wings and beers now like its Hillview counterpart, but this newly-opened second location has something the OG one does not—an intimate outdoor side patio, which fills up very fast every Friday and Saturday from 6-9pm for live music. Musical artists such as Jamie Tremps, Pedro Y Zooey, Conyer Walker and the White Crowe Bang are scheduled to post up and play. Check out originpizza

cafe.com, @origin.utc .

BRINE & DINE ON THE WATER No boat day is complete without local food, sensational drinks and seasonal snacks. And a day on the bay or a jaunt around the Gulf can have anyone famished, especially when done right. Luckily, there is no shortage of boat-accessible spots. —G.Castilow


The Parrot Patio Bar & Grill It’s popping almost every night at The Parrot, and it’s no surprise since the live music on the fully covered patio Wednesday through Sunday brings the crowd. Greg Short & Friends consistently bring the Americana, classic rock and country folk, covering all of your favorite songs. And David Morris never disappoints with his swanky voice singing all the R&B and soul classics. theparrots.com,


Shore LBK Following the success of the St. Armands restaurant, Shore opened a Longboat Key location in 2019, which is also situated near the Longboat Key Public Pier. With a mid-century, al fresco coastal dining experience, the spreads and sights at Shore are nothing short of a beach day makeover, according to praise from patrons. Each of the dishes serves as an optimal culmination of creative recipes and local favorites, making shore meals here are unforge©able.

800 Broadway St., Longboat Key, 941-259-4600, dineshore.com, @shorerestaurant.

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DIY CLASSES Feel like you’re back at summer camp or in high school art class by signing up for one of these interactive, group arts and crafts classes for adults. You’ll leave with new friends, a new trade/hobby, sense of creative accomplishment, and a nished product worthy of not only the fridge but hopefully the foyer or living room wall. From pottery throwing and DIY projects to painting with a buzz provoked by either coffee or wine get off the couch and onto a stool this summer for these crafty classes of art activities. —B.Mattie Let’s Create Art At the Let’s Create Art Lakewood Ranch location, fun and interactive art classes are available for solo participants and groups. “Adult Coffee & Paint” happens every Monday morning at 10 a.m., mixing community and creativity into the usual mundane—or manic—Mondays. The crew meets for hot joe to decompress before the start of the week, chats and creates a fun paint project as the instructor guides assist. Bring coffee or grab some at the studio already brewed for you. No supplies required. Adult Coffee & Paint, $25/class, Let’s Create Art, 4715 Lena Rd. #105, Bradenton, 941-361-1491, letscreateart.com, @letscreateart.

Art Paint Bar Bring your own boˆle of wine, relax and get creative as professional artists take your party from a blank canvas to a masterpiece, brushstroke by brushstroke. Art Paint Bar in the heart of historic downtown Sarasota hosts painting sessions seven days a week. Aˆendees book tickets ahead of time to choose whichever canvas subject they’d like to tackle and paint on that day. Whether it’s for a date night or girls night out, bring the cork and the canvas is sure to come alive one way or another. Art Paint Bar, $39/class, 1289 North Palm Ave., Sarasota, 440-227-4592, artpaintbars.com.

BETWEEN TWO SLICES The beauty of the sandwich is that all it requires is two slices of bread and an imagination. Owen’s Fish Camp went with what they do best and stuck with the sea. Their Shrimp and Oyster Po’Boy is classic Florida fare with roots in New Orleans. Kurto’s Chimney Cake takes tuna to the next level making their tuna salad Italian-style, mixed with cannellini beans, cherry tomatoes, mixed greens and homemade dressing, all served in one of their unique over-baked chimney breads. Rounding out the ocean fare, Marina Jack takes some sandwich liberties by serving the Spicy Shrimp in a wrap (but you won’t miss the bread while chowing down on the crispy fried shrimp mixed with fresh veggies and spicy mayo). The Overton gives us a salad-inspired sandwich, perfect for summer, with a Chicken and Brie number. Served on toasted sourdough with homemade basil spread and arugula, it keeps your lunch cool and crisp. Finishing out the sandwich roundup is the Fried Eggplant at La Mucca Ballerina. Skip the smoked ham to make it vegetarian but with fresh mozzarella, roasted peppers and balsamic glaze the—the perfect antipasto plate to go. All you need to enjoy these stellar sandwiches are two hands and a big appetite. —A.Chates Shrimp & Oyster Po’Boy, Owen’s Fish Camp, 516 Burns o rt, Sarasota, 941-951-69 6, owensfishcam .com. Fried gg ant, a M cca a erina, 1668 Main Street Sarasota, 941- 66- 600, am ccaba erina.com. Sea ood Sandwich, K rtos, 1 8 Mc nsh S are, Sarasota, 941- 0 -8541, k rtoscake.com. hicken and rie Sandwich, he erton, 14 0 o e ard o the rts, 941-55 -69 , Sarasota, theo ertonsr .com. S icy Shrim Wra , Marina ack, Marina P a a, 941- 65-4 , marina acks.com


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The Artful Giraffe Turn that dusty, unworn vintage or costume jewelry that’s taking up valuable dresser top space into a one-of-a-kind suncatcher. Learn how to use basic wire and paˆerning as you disassemble jewelry and reassemble the beads with wire into beautiful, sun-catching strands. You’ll delicately place your new strands on a driŒwood topper that will hang from twine, chain or leather. Jewelry pliers will be provided for class, as well as the aforementioned materials for those who do not have them. Suncatcher Creations, $75/class, The Artful Giraffe, 1861 Fruitville Rd., Sarasota, 941388-3700, artfulgiraffe.com, @theartfulgiraffe.

Sarasota Clay Company Looking for a messy group activity with friends, family or a team-building event with your workmates? “Clay Date” can be scheduled for six or more people for one- or two-hour sessions at Sarasota Clay Company—formerly known as Carla’s Clay. Whether you are a beginner or have been working with clay for years, there is a class and/or workshop for anybody in its giant studio space of 12 Brent wheels, a Brent SR20 Slab Roller, a North Star extruder and glaze paleˆes for student use. Projects include, but are not limited to, holiday themed ornaments, slump mold plaˆers or bowls, pinch pot animals, wall hanging pockets, coffee mugs, tea keˆles – or present owner, artist and teacher Carla O’Brien with your own hand-building creation idea. Sarasota Clay Company, 1733 Northgate Blvd., Sarasota, 941-359-2773, sarasotaclaycompany.com, @sarasota_clay_company.

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Bayfront Park, this seafood spot offers deep harbor docking, sightseeing cruises, a boat club and, most importantly, The New Blue Sunshine Patio, Marina Jack Dining Room, and Deep Six Lounge and Piano Bar. Whether it’s casual or fine dining, there is no craving that can’t be quelled by this renowned coastal view. 2 Marina

Plaza, 941-365-4232, marinajacks. com, @marinajacksarasota.

Evie’s At Spanish Point

Mar Vista Dockside Restaurant Featuring a 14-slip dock, private beach, extensive menu, full bar, and dining under the trees or on the covered patio, Mar Vista is a historic must-visit spot near the Longboat Key Public Pier across from Jewfish Key. From the pub burger to the grouper sandwich, Mar Vista has something for everyone. If you’re eager to get back to the bay, they also offer boatside pickup, equipped with bags of ice, six packs of beer and boƒled wine. 760 Broadway St., Longboat

Key, 941-383-2391, marvistadining.com, @marvistalbk.

Floridays Woodfire Grill & Bar Should your a…ernoon take you north toward Anna Maria Island, dock your appetite at Floridays, an old-school Florida fish house offering waterfront views of Anna Maria Sound as well as an admiƒedly quirky menu on Perico Island near Safe Harbor Pier 77. Patrons can enjoy both indoor and outdoor dining at the tiki bar, where live music can be enjoyed every Friday and Saturday night. 12332 Manatee

Ave. W, Bradenton, 941-741-8700, floridays-annamaria.com.

Dry Dock Waterfront Grill Enjoy al fresco dining, expertly cra…ed cocktails, locally sourced seafood and unparalleled views at this Longboat Key treasure, located just north of Quick Point Nature Preserve. The award-winning menu showcases an impressive selection of appetizers, soups, salads, pasta, boathouse tacos, seafood, steaks, chicken, sandwiches and specialty plates, in

addition to an unbeatable atmosphere and views of Sarasota Bay. 412 Gulf

of Mexico Dr., Longboat Key, 941383-0102, drydockwaterfrontgrill. com, @drydockwaterfrontgrill.

New Pass Grill & Bait Shop This hyper-local tackle shop and eatery has been satiating customers, on and off land, since 1929. Nestled between the bridge from Lido to Longboat Key and City Island park, it offers great views, great food and great fishing. The award-winning New Pass Burger (of which more than a million have been sold) and kitschy ambiance make this the perfect place to spend any a…ernoon on the water. 1505 Ken

Thompson Pkwy., 941-388-3050, newpassgrill.com.

The Old Salty Dog One of three locations, The Old Salty Dog at City Island is simply unforgeƒable. Serving Sarasota since 1985, this waterside British pub near City Island Park and Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium offers boater favorites like the famous Salty Dog corn dog. Local, national and international patrons can aƒest that the ever-present sense of nostalgia embedded in its ambiance makes a meal here an experience that surpasses the doghouse—tenfold..

1601 Ken Thompson Pkwy, 941388-4311, theeoldsaltydog.com, @oldsaltydogci.

Marina Jack There is no beƒer way to start or end a day on the bay than with a meal at the celebrated Marina Jack. Located in the heart of downtown Sarasota next to

O’Leary’s Tiki Bar & Grill With live music, a traditional tiki atmosphere and sweeping views of Sarasota Bay from the south side of Bayfront Park, O’Leary’s is the perfect place to unwind a…er a long day of boating. It is one of the most laid-back spots in Sarasota, and you cannot go wrong with its ocean breezes; casual breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus; and renowned tropical drink, wine and beer selections. 5 Bayfront Dr.,

941-953-7505, olearystikibar.com, @olearystikibar.

The Boatyard Waterfront Bar and Grill Adjacent to world-famous Siesta Key South Bridge, The Boathouse is a convenient must for locals and tourists on the mainland. The menu—made with fresh, local and seasonal ingredients inspired by the sea—coupled with Jane’s handcra…ed cocktails, a friendly staff, a reasonable happy hour, and regular entertainment make this yard any boater’s biggest blessing. 1500

Stickney Point Rd., 941-921-6200, boatyardwaterfrontgrill.com.

The Point The newest addition to the Evie’s family as of 2020, located on Liƒle Sarasota Bay in Osprey, The Point offers three floors of casual waterfront dining at Historic Spanish Point and live music Tuesday through Sunday. The first floor hosts a large seating area with accompanying fire pits, the second serves those interested in a sit-down scene, and the third is entirely dedicated to the sunset.

135 Bayview Dr., Osprey, 941218-6114, eviesonline.com, @ the_point_srq.

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LETTUCE GIVE ‘EM SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT The stick-to-your-ribs goodness of winter food just doesn’t have the same appeal in 90-degree weather; instead, we crave all things fresh or hydrating. And what meal is a better spokesperson for refreshing than salad A bowl lled with vegetables is just what the doctor ordered on a summer’s day. ATRIA Cafe’s Cardamom Chicken Salad is an eclectic, international plate topped with smoked grapes and compressed rhubarb. For something to keep you satis ed all day long, try Marina Jack’s Quinoa Bowl full of crunchy goodness. The roasted red beets, broccoli slaw and citrus honey vinaigrette hit all the right notes. For an unbeatable classic like the Greek salad, Blu Kouzina is dishing out the best. Authentic and fresh, the feta, tomatoes and olives will transport you to the Greek isles. For overachievers looking to add fruit into the mix, The Toasted Mango Cafe’s Mango Blackened Chicken Salad or Maximillian’s Cafe’s Raspberry Pear Salad lets you have the best of both worlds. Summer salads can also be swanky and, to take it up a notch, Michael’s On East has you covered with their Burrata and Heirloom Tomato Carpaccio. And The Rosemary has created a salad tower to die for—the Tuna and Avocado Tower with sushi-grade tuna and a serving of toasted bread. —A.Chates

This page clockwise: Greek Salad, Blu Kouzina, 25 N Boulevard of Presidents, 941-388-2619, blukouzina.com. Cardamom Chicken Salad, ATRIA Cafe, 4120 Lakewood Ranch Blvd, 941-751-1016, atria.cafe. Raspberry Pear Salad, Maximillian’s Cafe, 1695 10th St Sarasota, 941-330-0245, maximillianscafe.com. Toasted Mango Blackened Chicken Salad, The Toasted Mango Cafe, 430 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, 941- 388-7728, toastedmangocafe.com. Quinoa Bowl, Marina Jack, 2 Marina Plaza, 941-365-4232, marinajacks.com. Burrata and Heirloom Tomato Carpaccio, Michael’s On East, 1212 East Avenue, Sarasota, 941-366-0007, michaelsathome.com.

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WILD ANIMAL ENCOUNTERS For the dog days of summer, when you’d rather be around animals over people, we’ve got a lengthy list of animal sanctuaries and conservation centers—all within a 30-minute drive. Sneak away for an exciting afternoon with exotic creatures you just don’t get to see everyday all the while learning about their wild habits and the conservation efforts being done on local and national levels in order to sustain their species —B.Mattie Myakka Elephant Experience majestic creatures five times your size, up close and personal. It’s not widely known among many residents, but the public can book once-in-a-lifetime visits to the Myakka Elephant Ranch and nonprofit conservation center. You’ll learn everything about African and Asian elephants in an educational one-hour seminar. You can also book a “Rise and Shine Encounter” to touch, feed and love up on everyone’s favorite gentle giant with family photo options. And, if you’re not afraid to get your shoes wet, consider the “Elephant Spa Encounter” for the special chance to bathe the animals. Myakka Elephant Ranch, Location disclosed upon booking appointment, 941-702-0220, myakkaelephantranch.org, @myakkaelephantranch.

Bearadise Ranch Bear Preserve And in the same Myakka City vicinity, get up close and personal with another large mammal at Bearadise Ranch Bear Preserve— a wildlife park and learning facility to promote awareness of habitat preservation and conservation for Florida bear species. Tours are by reservation only and operations are seasonal. Educational and entertaining presentations are part of the tour, as well as plenty of photographic opportunities. Bearadise Ranch Bear Preserve, 6908 245th St. East, Myakka City, 941-322-2462, bearadise-ranch.com, @bearadiseranch.

Sarasota Sea Lion Preserve If you have a soˆ spot for animals who spend the majority of their time in the water, Myakka is also home to the slippery-when-wet Sarasota Sea Lion Preserve conservation and care center—a sea lion rescue facility open to the public for educational presentations and swim interactions with 13 sea lion residents. The preserve is home to a mix of Californian and South African species that have been rescued and rehabilitated from injuries in the wild. Depending on how close and how wet you’re willing to get, experiences range from land interactions and painting with the sea lions, to hugs and kisses with them, to playing games (with balls, frisbees and hoops) with them. You can get private, one-on-one time with the sea lions and a trainer. So suit up, dive in the water and ask them to perform tricks! Sarasota Sea Lion

EXCURSIONS VIA WATER Beat the heat and get wet-and-wild this summer with exciting excursions beyond swimming with a pool noodle or sticking your feet in the Gulf from your Tommy Bahama beach chair. These activities actually get you out there. Get the blood pumping, the adrenaline percolating and the serotonin releasing on the open water. There’s no rule that says you can’t play here like you’re on vacation. We live in paradise for a reason, and summer is the locals’ time to take back the beaches and bay. —B.Mattie You’re not seeing things—there really are more pontoon tiki huts cruising through the mangroves and waterways lately. Cruisin’ Tikis Sarasota, operating in Siesta, Longboat, Lido and Bird Key; and Low Tide Tours Tiki Boat, operating in Siesta, Anna Maria and Cortez, are tiki huts with bars onboard to offer sandbar and swim charters for groups/parties (party sizes range by provider). Find a shallow part of the sandy paradise in the Gulf of Mexico and sip on some margaritas, or grab some lagers from the pontoon’s coolers onboard. Island Jet Ski Tours & Rentals in Osprey and Cool Breeze Boats & Jet Ski Rentals in Nokomis offer easy-breezy, no-hassle jet ski rentals south of Siesta. It’s perfect for when you’re avoiding the tourists and crowds for a more local and less chaotic experience while trying to hit top speeds on your Sea-Doo. YOLO Parasailing & Adventures out of Anna Maria and Cortez, and Siesta Key Watersports have some of the most popular parasailing ride adventures for the weekends if you want to shake things up and act like a tourist living it up on vacay. Both companies offer two-to-three-seated rides to fly high. Just look out for the bright yellow smiley face parasails hovering over the crystal clear Gulf waters. And once you’re hanging ten, you just may spot the shadows of some larger sea creatures under your feet. When you have company in town and you’re wondering how to show them a good time, know Fun Boat Tours—with locations in Safe Harbor Siesta Key and Anna Maria Island—offers public skiff boat tours for groups in the early and sunset hours. For the mornings, “Dolphin and Donuts” starts the day off splendidly. For an evening ride, “Dolphin and Drinks” makes it so you couldn’t care less whether you see the playfulness of a family of dolphins or not. The tour agency also offers private fishing, diving and custom charters. Now for some serious childlike fun. Siesta Key Aqua Adventures offers Siesta’s newest a—raction: Bumper Boat Adventures. The bumper boat rental starts from the dock, allowing you to navigate freely up and down Phillippi Creek as you bump and bounce with family and friends in motor-operated, tubed bumper boats. And if that doesn’t yield enough laughter and silliness, the company also offers Banana Boat Rides (its most popular a—raction). Groups up to six can hop aboard the lifesize yellow “Island Hopper” banana boat for a hilariously fun ride in the channel.

Preserve, 36302 Singletary Rd., Myakka City, 941-219-3583, sarasotasealionpreserve.com.

Other Experiences Lest we forget our longtime institutions in the heart of Sarasota where you can see and visit a plethora of different animal species. Big Cat Habitat Gulf Coast Sanctuary is home to more than 150 exotic and domestic animals in need of a safe, permanent home. Visitors can see lions, tigers, ligers, leopards, cougars, monkeys, birds and much more. At Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium, there is no shortage of sea creatures to ooh and ahh at as they peak and wonder about you as much as you of them from the glass—including sharks, manatees, o—ers, jellyfish, stingrays and turtles. It’s not all flamingos at Sarasota Jungle Gardens—walk through the expansive, jungle-like grounds to pet and learn about an entire kingdom of species all in one place. Visitors can expect to see trees full of colorful and tropical birds, as well as gators, lizards and lemurs. Big Cat Habitat Gulf Coast Sanctuary, 7101 Palmer Blvd., Sarasota, 941-371-6377, bigcathabitat.org, @bigcathabitat. Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium, 1600 Ken Thompson Pkwy., Sarasota, 941-388-4441, mote.org, @motemarinelab. Sarasota Jungle Gardens, 3701 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota, 941-355-5305, sarasotajunglegardens.com, @sarasotajunglegardens.

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SEGMENT 1 TRAILHEAD July 6 marks a major moment for our beloved Legacy Trail, with the official ribbon cutting and opening of Segment 1, which will extend from Proctor Road to Bahia Vista Street (beginning with a trailhead at Webber Street). Converting the wasted rail corridors throughout Sarasota into a sustainable local resource and gem, the Legacy Trail extension when completed (potentially in 2 2 ) will provide miles of continuous paved trail for the bene t of hikers, bikers, skaters, walkers, explorers and pets, linking neighborhoods and communities up and down the immediate coast. The extended Legacy Trail will be within two miles of approximately two-thirds of Sarasota city residents and within two linear miles of 5 schools. So hit the new extension of the trail this summer and follow along as the construction continues, such as new development at the Pompano trailhead and North Port Connector, improvements to the Osprey unction Trailhead by Bay Street and improved parking and added restrooms to Culverhouse Nature Park on McIntosh Road. O.Liang Visit friendsofthelegacytrail.org for maps, updates on development and information on amenities and local biking and walking groups.

Excursions Via Water Contacts | Cruisin’ Tikis Sarasota, 941-253-5404, cruisintikissarasota.com, @cruisintikissarasota. Low Tide Tours Tiki Boat, 8865 Midnight Pass Rd., Sarasota, 941- 405-0045, lowtidetours.com, @lowtidetours. Island Jet Ski Tours & Rentals, 801 Blackburn Point Rd., Osprey, 941-474-1168, islandjetski.com, @islandjetski. Cool Breeze Boats & Jet Ski Rentals, 100 Circuit Rd., Nokomis, 941-485-3333, coolbreezeboatrentals.com, @coolbreezeboatrentals. YOLO Parasailing & Adventures, 4110 127th St. West, Cortez, 941-792-6000, floridafunboat.com, @parasailflorida. Siesta Key Watersports, 1536 Stickney Point Rd., Sarasota, 941-921-3030, siestakeywatersports.com, @siestakeywatersports. Fun Boat Tours, 1265 Old Stickney Point Rd., Sarasota, 941-400-2763, funboaœours.com, @funboaœourssrq. Siesta Key Aqua Adventures, 5253 South Tamiami Trl., Sarasota, 941-359-2782, siestakeyaquaadventures.com, @siestakeyaquaadventures.

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SUMMER HOME REFRESH Visit Blu Home for your summer home refresh! Add that splash of color with the perfect accent pillows. Relax poolside with their chic lucite game sets and nd inspiration in a beautiful coffee table book. You can also nd the latest in furniture, lighting, and home decor at this local Southside Village gem. BLU HOME 1830 S. Osprey Ave, Ste 101, Sarasota 941-364-2900 Follow us on Instagram and Facebook! shopbluhome.com. @bluhomesarasota


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SUMMER BODY WORKOUT Here at 1 Ten Fitness we believe you don’t need to spend every day or hours a week in the gym to get the healthy and t summer body you want. All it takes is 2 minutes 2x per week With our specialized one-on-one training sessions, you can spend less time in the gym and more time out and about enjoying our beautiful city and beaches. We also offer an infrared sauna and assisted stretching sessions to compliment your personalized workouts. Head to 1 TenFitness.com today to sign up for your rst two FREE sessions

GET YOUR SKOB ON Siesta Key Oyster Bar (aka SKOB) is famous worldwide for it Outstanding beach environment, Live local entertainment, and award winning food. Have your breath taken away with creative beach cuisine, while enjoying one of speciality cocktails. Way more than seafood, get your high-grade hamburger x Wear your SKOB apparel as you will meet someone and they will tell you about their great experience and you can make new friends.

10TENFITNESS 1509 State St. Sarasota | 941-259-3926 | 10TENFITNESS.COM

SIESTA KEY OYSTER BAR (SKOB) 5238 Ocean Blvd., Siesta Key 941-346-5443 | @skoboysterbar



COOL ANTI-INFLAMMATORY SALT THERAPY Salt of the Earth is Sarasota’s Premier Salt Therapy & Wellness Center. We have a variety of non invasive, safe and effective treatments for all respiratory issues as well as pain & inflammation. The rst of its kind in the nation, The Bella, offers collagen building and wrinkle reducing light therapy for the face, neck and decollete. Summer is a great time to stop in and enjoy the cool anti-inflammatory properties of salt therapy. We are a no-touch facility and provide a calm, relaxing oasis far from the stresses of the day. Looking for unique gift ideas We carry an array of items such as salt lamps, natural remedies, house clearing items as well as gift cards. SALT OF THE EARTH 4037 Clark Rd., Sarasota, 941-702-8300 SOTESARASOTA.COM | @SALTOFTHEEARTH-SARASOTA

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Tommy Bahama Birds Eye View Camp Shirt, $135; O’Neill Exchange Volley Board Shorts, $55; Swim City, 4526 McAshton St., Sarasota, swimcity. com, @swimcity.

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SHIRTS Kahana Bay Hawaiian Shirt by Kahala, $90; Maui Pineapple by Paradise Found, $65$70; Blue Hawaii by Two Palms, $46; Ukelele Hawaiian Shirt by Two Palms, $46; Captain’s Landing Men’s Fashion, 243 West Venice Ave., Venice, 941-485-2329, captainslanding.com, @captainslanding. O’Neill S/S Woven Cochillo Button Down, $70; Waterman All Day Long Woven Button Down, $78; WindFlight Surf Shop, 722 Albee Rd. W, Nokomis/Casey Key, 941-484-2794, in ig ts r co , in ig ts r s op


Hawaiian button-downs and tropical-print board shorts for the guys in no rush, with no worries. Brittany Mattie


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SHORTS Dreamers Volley Boardshorts, $50; WindFlight Surf Shop. Humu Humu Boardshort by Vissla, $60; Royal Palms Recycled Volleys, $45; Compound Boardshop, 3604 South Osprey Ave., Sarasota, 941-552-9805, compoundboard shop.com, @compound boardshop. Billabong Sundays Airlite, $60; Swim City, 4526 McAshton St., Sarasota, swimcity. com, @swimcity. Tidewater Volley Lounge Floral Board, $120, Shore, 465 John Ringling Blvd. #100, Sarasota, 941-388-3535, shorebrand.com, @shoreclothing. Floral Swim Trunks in Coral or Turquoise, $99-125, by Sarasotabased designer Michael’s Swimwear, michaelsswimwear.com, @michaelsswimwear. so n at s an rs it, 400 Madison Dr. #206, Sarasota, 941-587-5316, islandpursuit.com, @islandpursuitsarasota.

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Below: Owner and fashion buyer Kendall Stone welcomes those in need of some retail therapy into her newlyopened boutique. 532 S. Pineapple Ave., Sarasota, 941-260-2277, moteltherapy. com, @moteltherapy.


Getting intimate in slow-fashion, sustainable loungewear at Motel Therapy. Brittany Mattie

OPENING ITS DOORS THIS PAST MAY IN HISTORIC BURNS COURT, Motel Therapy flutters between elevated grunge and trendy boho from tie-dyed band tees and frayed denim shorts to flowy rompers and crop tops to be worn with a feminine tomboy flair. Shoppers eventually nd themselves gravitating toward the shelving in the back of the shop, where the lacy frills and flirty sets are as bold as they are delicate. A rack of super soft nighties and cozy wear-anywhere staples hang near the (un)dressing room. Owner and buyer Kendall Stone helps customers trade in their housebound baggy sweatpants for flirty bralettes, boy shorts and edgy loungewear. And though everything is moving back to “normal,” that relaxed wardrobe mentality is still present a desire to slip on something that equally imparts the same con dent prowess and ethereal femininity in a board meeting as a bed meeting lingers. “The timing of opening Motel Therapy worked out perfectly,” Stone admits. “I think women, as a whole, not only got used to dressing down, but are now loving living in comfort. That being said, they still want to nd ways to feel put together,’ modern, elevated and feminine.” 64 | srq magazine_ JUL/AUG21 live local

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Though Stone has worked most of her young career in hotel operations from managing housekeeping to serving as director of rooms for Hyatts and Westins in Carlsbad, Seattle and Sarasota she has always had her eye on brands of slow fashion. Her shop’s name cheekily plays off of the mantra “retail therapy” but why Motel Therapy instead of Hotel Therapy For Stone, motels represent more of an authentic, vintage vibe and cooler aesthetic than hotels. “My aesthetic has always leaned vintage,” she says, “whether it’s grainy lm photos or throwback styles.” They say they don’t make things like they used to, and many buyers are nding it harder in modern fashion to nd brands manufacturers with a committed awareness and approach to slow fashion (meaning ethical processes and sustainable resources required to make better-quality garments that will last longer than those made by massproducing fast fashion opponents). Don’t let the dainty nature of the shop’s loungewear and lingerie fool you these items were carefully chosen to endure many washes and wears, bolstering the newfound conviction to live inde nitely in comfort (whether the “Do Not Disturb” sign is on the door or not). SRQ

Among the brands, Motel Therapy carries a high-end intimates and loungewear line called Only Hearts—founded by Helena Stuart in as fashion’s rst “Inner Outerwear”™. And though fashion has evolved since the ‘70s, Only Hearts upholds that charming vintage vibe. Sustainably manufactured in New York City using local, deadstock, organic, recycled and certi ed green textiles, the collection’s footprint is light and gentle. Beyond their alluring nature, they’re meant to be as comfortable as a favorite pair of jammies. Requesting “turn down service” just got a whole new meaning.


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COUNTIES: We’re the Boys and Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties. We serve children six through eighteen years old and we focus on children that need us most. I am proud to say that during the pandemic we continued to serve children that

need us most and we were able to really focus on that and hone in on the most vulnerable during the pandemic. We pivoted and put a virtual platform together. And then we opened for in-person on April 8 to serve the families of first responders and essential medical

personnel. So there wasn’t a long downtime for us for in-person. DEBBIE MASON, TIDEWELL FOUNDATION: I serve as president of the Tidewell Foundation and an officer with Tidewell Hospice. We exist to provide perpetual support to


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ABOUT THE PARTICIPANTS ARTHUR LERMAN, PRESIDENT,CEO OF JFCS OF THE SUNCOAST Arthur Lerman serves as the President/CEO of JFCS of the Suncoast with over twenty-five years of experience in non-profit management. He has extensive experience in providing senior services and supports to individuals with intellectual disabilities. He has over twenty years serving in an executive director role and worked for a national management consulting firm assisting states on their long-term care and behavioral health programs. In addition, Arthur served two terms in Maine House of Representatives and received a Master’s Degree from the University of Pennsylvania. DEBBIE MASON, CFRE, PRESIDENT, TIDWELL FOUNDATION, SVP EMPATH-STRATUM/TIDEWELL HOSPICE Debbie Mason, CFRE serves as President of the Tidewell Foundation and EVP of Empath-Stratum Health/Tidewell Hospice. The Tidewell Foundation is dedicated to the purpose of brightening lives each day through the perpetual support of Tidewell Hospice. By matching donor passions to the charitable needs of Tidewell Hospice, the team ensures that millions of dollars of charity care can be given each year to patients, families and residents of the region. Celebrating its 41st year, Tidewell is now the largest not-for-profit hospice and home health system in the nation.


Tidewell Hospice and our home health agencies and the other health services in our not for profit health system and so it’s a real joy to be able to support the mission of what we do and we did not shut down obviously during COVID because we’re frontline healthcare providers so between our hospice organization and our home health organization, we’re in about 3,500 patient homes a day throughout the six county area. Most people don’t know that out of those 3,500 patients a day, we’re going to them, so we’re in their homes, in retirement homes, in longterm care facilities, in nursing homes, sometimes even in hospitals we’re going to them. So there was fear initially and so some organizations did for a few days or weeks say, “Whoa, we don’t want you coming in our facility.” Even some patients were like “Should I let you come into my home?,” but gradually as the education came out about personal protective equipment, people were more and more comfortable letting us back in to do the things we do. It was a different world for sure, but we persisted. ARTHUR LERMAN, JEWISH FAMILY AND CHILDREN’S SERVICES OF THE SUNCOAST: I’m the CEO of Jewish Family and Children’s Services of the Suncoast, otherwise known as JFCS of the Suncoast. Our mission is to address people within the community who have needs that are not met otherwise. We provide services on a non-denominational basis to a wide range of individuals from youth, to families, to seniors, to veterans, and to folks who are homeless. We’re guided by the Jewish principle of providing assistance to all people. Our primary service area is Manatee and Sarasota counties, although we do provide services particularly to veterans from Manatee all the way down to

Collier County. The end of March, last year, we closed our office down because of the pandemic. We quickly needed to adjust to provide services remotely. That in itself was no small task. We were helped greatly along the way by a grant from the Selby Foundation. Also, one of things that distinguishes JFCS is anticipating needs and being nimble enough to be able to address emerging needs of the community. It was real clear that in addition to supporting people in living their lives differently from what they were used to, there also was the issue of social isolation and loneliness that showed up over time across all ages. Also there was a huge number of people who were significantly impacted financially. And so we went to our donor base and were able to raise over a half a million dollars outside of Season of Sharing funds to be able to develop our own what we call COVID Emergency Needs Relief program, to compliment Season of Sharing. And we gave out over $500,000 to over 350 families to help with rent and mortgage relief, utilities, transportation issues, and food. KRISTIE SKOGLUND, THE FLORIDA CENTER FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD: I’m Kristie Scoglund, CEO of The Florida Center for Early Childhood and we serve children and families prenatally through elementary school. We do a lot of work with children who have vulnerabilities, disabilities, and provide a lot of prevention and early intervention services for those families as it relates to their development, their behavior, and we do a lot of supportive services for children and families in their home. We did close briefly, but then reopened our Starfish Academy in May for first responders and essential workers as well. Our preschool continues to operate at about 50% capacity at this point. We had to furlough a few staff briefly. We did

move fast and furiously to a virtual platform for many of our services so we had to figure out how to provide therapies virtually. Before COVID, telehealth was on our radar, but only in the far future. Instead we did it all in a very short period of time and it’s pretty crazy what you can do when you have to. PHILIP TAVILL, CHILDREN FIRST: Our service population is defined by families with very young children living in difficult economic circumstances, primarily defined by the federal poverty level. So an example of that is a family of three making under about $21,500.00 a year. We work with pregnant families through the age of five at 15 sites throughout Sarasota County. We began our remote services on March 23rd with our 17 case managers and family advocates who work with the families to help them really develop goals and achieve those goals. I think 20 million people lost work in a matter of 30 days. People in poverty are the first to get hurt, they’re hurt the worst, and they’re the last to recover. Int he first 45 days, 107 of our families lost their work and another 68 had greatly reduced hours. Everyone here worked together too. We worked very closely with Kristie and her awesome staff at The Florida Center, in the areas of behavioral health and mental healthcare, and we worked very closely with Bill Sadlo and his awesome team at Boys and Girls Club. We set up weekly food and hygiene kit distributions, all drive through, all socially distanced, masked up. RICK YOCUM, HUMANE SOCIETY OF MANATEE COUNTY: I’m the Executive Director of the Humane Society of Manatee County. We weren’t sure what we were going to be facing either but we did activate our emergency management plan the last week of March last year which puts some very strict COVID-19 protocols in

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CHERYL MENDELSON, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, VAN WEZEL/SARASOTA PERFORMING ARTS CENTER FOUNDATION Cheryl Mendelson became the CEO of the Van Wezel/ Sarasota Performing Arts Center Foundation in 2019, bringing over 20 years of experience as a nonprofit executive at renowned organizations in arts and culture, education, and healthcare. Mendelson previously served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at the Harris Theater in Chicago’s Millennium Park. Mendelson was named to the top ten list of Musical America’s 30 Professionals of Year in 2016. She is a member of the Gulf Coast CEO Forum and sits on the Advisory Board of Sarasota’s Arts Advocates. 941-366-5578. General Inquiries: aholcomb@vwfoundation.org BILL SADLO, PRESIDENT AND CEO, BOYS AND GIRLS CLUBS OF SARASOTA AND DESOTO COUNTIES Before he became President/CEO, Bill Sadlo was a proud member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties as a child. Bill graduated from Sarasota High School and acquired his Bachelors of Science in Secondary Education from University of South Florida. Since then, Bill has devoted his career to the organization that enabled him to succeed. In 2017, Boys & Girls Clubs of America presented Bill with the National Professional Service Award to honor his 30 years of dedication to the movement. KRISITE SKOGLUND, ED.D. LMHC, IMH-E©, CEO, THE FLORIDA CENTER FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD Dr. Kristie Skoglund is the Chief Executive Officer of the Florida Center for Early Childhood. With a Master’s


place. We were an essential business, so we were operating throughout the entire pandemic. We were not closed for one day providing low to moderate cost high quality medical care for the animals in the community and also caring for the animals in our Second Chance adoption program. We reduced our capacity as per our emergency management plan down to 50% the last week of March and we’ve slowly built that back up to about 95% capacity as of last week and we reduced our capacity in our shelter by getting animals into foster homes. I actually have five additional staff members now versus when the pandemic started, so we’ve increased our staffing levels here to be able to provide the services with our protocols in place. CHERYL MENDELSON, VAN WEZEL FOUNDATION: I’m the CEO of the Van Wezel Foundation and the Van Wezel Foundation was established in 1987 as a separate non-profit of the Van Wezel Hall to help support arts education and the mission-driven work that happens through the Van Wezel Performing Arts Center. But in addition to that, since the master plan of the Bayfront Park was approved in 2018, the Van Wezel Foundation is also leading the vision to build the new performing arts center on the bay. When the pandemic first really hit, obviously the arts were incredibly impacted and the doors were shut. We pivoted very quickly to establish a taskforce of arts education and integration leaders in the community, including the Van Wezel Hall’s Arts Education Program and working with the public school system as well as other organizations that rely on arts education to help teachers who obviously had to pivot to virtual, to help families who all of a sudden were becoming teachers in their homes. We were able to quickly work with the

teachers to be able to create a library of resources for them that we called Artworks Anywhere. Then we were able to expand that to have access for families. We also saw the need to move to bilingual programming and now through the support of philanthropy we are able to do virtual programming both in Spanish as well as English. We all understand you can’t replace live performance, but I think what we realized during the pandemic, as a society, how important the arts are to the quality of your life. The arts were a catalyst for people’s hope, for their faith, for their inspiration, and we’re really proud to be able to play an enormous role in being a part of that kind of access and really proud to say that as of today, we’ve actually reached over 40,000 students, teachers and their families in this year alone. The numbers are really incredible. VERONICA THAMES, GULF COAST COMMUNITY FOUNDATION: At the Gulf Coat Community Foundation, our mission is broad, it’s all-encompassing, and it’s regional. We were able to work with donors who gave more than ever from their donor-advised funds as we launched Gulf Coast COVID-19 initiative. We had over 100 donors, 100% of our board, 100% of our staff engaged to leverage our commitment and to date we’re just south of seven million dollars deployed to support our community. We focussed on specific and purposeful affinity group conversations around key topics relevant to our donors from race relations to the state of the arts, criminal justice reform, mental health, the Bay, the rapid rehousing homelessness initiative, and now water quality, in light of the Piney Point events. We have seen our non-profits emerge victorious from a reliance on events to deepening those philanthropic relationships with donors that

better align with the mission specifically of that organization and have been grateful to be able to fuel that relationship. Internally, we were already on a trajectory to implement a lot of technology and improve our reach, but the pandemic accelerated that. We have worked very hard on team engagement and cohesiveness. A recent survey resulted in our 17th placement on the top 50 list of Time Magazine’s best non-profits to work for, and I share my top 50 spot with a couple other people on this call. We focused on making up for the lost organic conversation that fuels a lot of our ideas and innovation and initiatives through technology and we had to revamp our grant process. For example we implemented a new grant cycle for our large grants, those over $10,000.00 from biannual to a weekly process ensuring a really thorough review, multilayer approval and collaboration with other non-profits in the area but reaching those in need a lot faster. So we’re committed to continuing not only this COVID-19 initiative but all the others we currently run.

THE PANDEMIC WILL CAST A LONG SHADOW IN TERMS OF NON-ILLNESS RELATED REPERCUSSIONS—ESPECIALLY ON MENTAL HEATLH, WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE AREAS OF NEED? MASON: We established early on that people were not being able to process grief in a normal way and that grief was expanded to many other topics beyond death. It was loss of routine, loss of connectivity, loss of normalcy, and so we very quickly established a 24/7 bilingual community helpline so that our trained therapists could work with people who were feeling alone or isolated or whatever they might be feeling. We also realized that people wanted ways to continue to

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degree in Counseling and Psychology, and a Doctorate degree in Counseling, Kristie has expertise in infant/young children’s mental health, trauma informed care practices and developmental disorders. She has been in the field for over 20 years and recently received state endorsement as an Infant Mental Health Clinical Mentor. She is a 2019 graduate of the Gulf Coast Leadership Institute and currently serves on the board of the Florida Association for Infant Mental Health. PHILIP TAVILL, PRESIDENT AND CEO, CHILDREN FIRST Philip Tavill has been President & CEO of Children First, Sarasota County’s exclusive Head Start provider, since 1996. AŠer obtaining a baccalaureate degree in psychology from the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee in 1989, Mr. Tavill has worked in the human services field both in direct service and management capacities. He returned to Sarasota in 1990 and was appointed Executive Director of the Loveland Center in 1991. At Case Western Reserve University, he earned a Master of Nonprofit Organizations from the Weatherhead School of Management and Master of Science in Social Administration from the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences. VERONICA THAMES, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, GULF COAST COMMUNITY FOUNDATION As COO of Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Veronica Thames plays a critical role in translating strategic goals into an operational plan for one of the country’s fastest-growing community foundations. She also supports our region’s entire nonprofit community as leader


process grief so we expanded the number of groups that we work with in the community and started obviously doing those electronically via Zoom. We’ve been the community’s grief service provider for 40 years for free for everything, whether people have a miscarriage or a car wreck or whatever travesty comes to them and their family and so we were able to really expand our free services to people and also where appropriate, we’re still doing in-person services safely, distanced and masked and all of those things. We’ve also realized that there’s this collective grief and so in May we’re actually doing two free community collective grief ceremonies, one in Sarasota County, one in Manatee County, and then we’ll be doing Charlotte and DeSoto County in June. People outside, socially distanced, with chairs and masks, and just to collectively have a sense of peace followed by a meditation walk. Of course we also have our Blue Butterfly program for children. It is the only evidence-based program that offers free services to children and their family when they’ve lost an immediate family member. So the demand for that exploded and fortunately we were able to have some grantors that helped us expand our offerings of those throughout the four county region so there are lots of partners doing lots of good work and that’s just an example of Tidewell’s work in that area. Schools call us in, employers call us in, every time there’s a community disaster, our mental health leaders are there and provide continuity to families. TAVILL: I can speak to direct experience with Tidewell. I am celebrating my 25th anniversary of Children First this year and over that 25 years, Tidewell has been in when we have lost staff members, when we’ve lost parents from our families, most tragically when we’ve lost children and

they’ve done incredible work. In terms of impact and lasting effects, pretty much everything has changed. In the past, families would come into the classroom and they’d bring the kids in the morning, they’d pick them up in the afternoon, there was this wonderful opportunity for an exchange between the family member and the teacher and even if it’s just a few minutes, it’s 10 times a week. It’s a really very intimate way of communicating and what we’ve moved to is drop-off and pickup in the parking lot. It’s the loss of a really intimate communication time. Also, our families are being impacted so terribly economically. They don’t have the resources that many other folks have, separate and apart from COVID. There’s a phrase that’s called the toxic stressors of poverty that our families have been living under for years and years and years that cause very high levels of stress. Add to this a global pandemic, then the loss of jobs, reduced hours, it’s kind of mind-boggling to think about how difficult it is for families living in poverty, particularly with very young children, to address that. Also, of course, our staff, because of the work that we do, are in no way, shape or form exempt from this. I was talking with one of our staff members whose grandmother at 102 years of age died of COVID and just before she died, the eighth generation of that family was born. A remarkable story and while she’s happy that it was 102 years, COVID doesn’t feel like natural causes. Particularly now that we have access to vaccines. YOCUM: Those of us in animal welfare have known for a long time the value that companion animals provide aid to people when it comes to mental health. It is now much more well-understood by the general public the value of animal companionship in

a family and with the children and the impact that those animals have on people. To put it in perspective, if you go into an area that’s just been hit by a tragic storm and people’s homes are destroyed, you don’t see people sifting through rubble looking for their wall safe, you see people sifting through the rubble trying to find their companion animal. That’s why we were continuing to adopt out animals and also provide the care for those companion animals because people were afraid they won’t be able to get the services they need to keep their four-legged kids healthy. MENDELSON: The arts programs are also focused of course on mental health and the issues that many families are facing, but at the Van Wezel Foundation we decided it was important to take a little bit of another direction in terms of what was happening in our society. There was a lot of anger and a lot of fear and there was a lot of issues related to racism and inclusivity and divisiveness that was really happening across the country that was showing up in social media and people didn’t have an outlet. We were getting feedback, particularly from the teachers, that this was a challenge in the classroom; how do you start to talk about these difficult issues and historically the arts have always been a place to express yourself. We started a program through the support of a generous board member and donor who recognized that this is a really important and passionate place for them to be able to create support, and we started a program called IDEA, which stands for inclusivity, diversity, equity and access. We were really fortunate because of our ability to be able to do things virtually. We were able to work with the Kennedy Center and for the first time we had a virtual resident teaching artist who is a

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of Invest in Incredible, Gulf Coast’s initiative to strengthen the governance and effectiveness of area nonprofits. Prior to Gulf Coast, Veronica served as vice president of human resources at Blake Medical Center, with responsibility for key operations and personnel management of a 1,300-employee organization. Veronica brought extensive community involvement to her new role in philanthropy as a longtime member and former chair of the Sarasota Manatee Healthcare Collaborative, a board member and volunteer for numerous nonprofit organizations, and a graduate of Leadership Manatee. RICK YOCUM, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, HUMANE SOCIETY OF MANATEE COUNTY Rick has served in his current position as Executive Director of the Humane Society of Manatee County since March 14, 2016. Rick comes to the position with extensive animal welfare, public and private experience. He served as President of the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for seven years. In addition, he was a Certified Humane Law Enforcement Officer who trained other officers and investigated animal cruelty cases. Humane Society of Manatee County has received a Four-Star Rating for five consecutive years from Charity Navigator and in 2018 was selected as the Manatee Chamber Small Business of the Year Non-Profit. Rick was the recipient of the Manatee County Tiger Bay Club Pat Glass Non Profit Leadership award in 2019. Rick and his wife, Susan have three grown children Melissa, Courtney and Christopher and two granddaughters, Brooklyn 6 and Gianna 3. Their active outdoor lifestyle includes kayaking and hiking.


hip-hop artist named Olmeca who has been spending a year virtually with us, working with the administration, principals, teachers, and also doing sessions directly with students regarding socially responsive behavior and how to handle and deal with that in the classroom and in your life. We’re really thrilled that it looks like because of the success of people being able to travel now and more people being vaccinated that Olmeca is actually going to come to Sarasota and do some programming here for the community, with families and we’re going to do some live performances and also do some workshopping. This concept of IDEA, is something that we’re going to continue and we’re very committed to integrating it into all our programs now moving forward. LERMAN: There is a need for support for folks on the mental health side and it has a variety of faces. There are over half a million people who have died as a result of COVID. I don’t remember offhand what the numbers are here in Sarasota County, but there was a significant number of folks who actually passed away, and for whom people are grieving. And it was even magnified by the fact, in many cases, people weren’t able to actually complete their relationship. They weren’t able to be with their loved one at the time that they passed. So there are different dimensions to grieving that emerged out of COVID. There are lots of mental health manifestations. The preliminary numbers indicate an increase in domestic violence and child abuse as a result of people being captive in a home environment or wherever they live. We certainly know the cost of social isolation and loneliness, that we typically see in older people, but it really has shown up across the board from youth who really didn’t have the benefit of being in contact with

their friends, at school or otherwise, to just everybody was hunkered down in their homes and really disconnected from their natural supports. We actually serve a number of homeless folks, they have needs, as do our veterans. We actually just got a grant to extend our counseling services to veterans who don’t have access to mental health services through their VA benefits. The pressures that are put on regular folks, regular family members, regular adults, shouldn’t be underestimated. COVID will bring along with it new and additional mental health challenges as we adjust to getting back out into the community, reestablishing relationships, in the case of younger people, dealing with what they missed in terms of graduations, in terms of the rites of passage for different age groups. And how we can best support that is certainly very much on our minds. We are looking to expand our capacity. We’re getting a number of requests for additional counseling support, that is one of our core services. And we think that that is not going to go away.

LET’S TALK ABOUT SOME OF THE COMPLETELY NEW SERVICES THAT YOU’RE OFFERING, AS A RESULT OF PANDEMIC RESPONSE THAT WILL STICK. MASON: We’re partnering to provide vaccines to underserved populations. In April and May we’ve got 10 different clinics going on around the region. For example, this afternoon we’re working with the Salvation Army to vaccinate homeless populations. We know that a lot of people are transportation-challenged or leery, so we’re actually in the minority communities, where trust is lower, and unfortunately the virus rates are higher. Now we’re trying to take that a little further upstream to say all of these issues around nutrition matter, so as we’re helping

people with grief services, how do we help them also focus on health and wellness. So it has really expanded the reach of our services in different ways that we would not have anticipated pre-pandemic. THAMES: Remarkable was the change we experienced when we worked closer together. We intentionally created a tighter-knit circle with the Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation, Selby Foundation, Manatee Community Foundation, Community Foundation of Sarasota County, Patterson Foundation and United Way where we set up bi-weekly calls where the foundations got together and analyzed the needs of the community in a proactive manner and together decided to ensure that the requests or the needs of each organization were fully covered. So we expect that that will be something we continue so that we can be more proactive and resilient and support the organizations in those areas of need. SADLO: On this topic, we did forge some new things but what really happened was enhancing what we were already doing and enhancing partnerships. Philip mentioned before about the food distribution sites, we did that with Girls Inc. and Children First but it was with a standing partnership with All Faiths Food Bank. Now our partnership is strengthened by adding food pantries into our clubs so parents can come and pick up food when they pick up their children. Same thing with Sarasota County Schools. We’ve always had teachers in our clubs helping but now we’ve really been more intentional about that now with the pandemic and with the learning loss. We had six teachers over the two county area last summer, now we have 22 and six school social workers. We were shocked to see the numbers when our teachers did pre-tests and post-tests. 86% of our children in our program last summer made gains in reading and language

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arts. Zero slid behind, 14% stayed the same. That’s what we can do when we all come together like this. LERMAN: We want to be prepared and are prepared to actually provide support to people regardless of their age or circumstance, because we recognize that those needs exist across the board in our community. Something that was a pre COVID issue, but just magnified by COVID, is that many, many people within our community struggle to get by financially. They’re still a paycheck away from being on the street, from not being able to feed their kids. They could be working a couple of jobs and still can’t feed their family three meals a day. When the CARES funding ran out not that long ago, we restarted our COVID emergency relief fund. We were concerned about getting overwhelmed, so we just started passing the word. Literally within a week, we had 300 applications for financial support. We’re looking at developing programs that will support people to become more financially stable and really improve their financial lot on a permanent basis. These are folks who don’t want a hand out, they don’t want $1,500 to help pay two months rent now. They want something that’s more permanent so that they can be self-sufficient financially and not have to depend on any programs to be able to live a fulfilling life and to meet the basic needs of their families.

WHAT ARE THINGS WE’VE DONE RIGHT LOCALLY AND WHAT ARE THINGS ABOUT WHICH OUR GREATER COMMUNITY HAS SHOWN WISDOM? SKOGLUND: I would like to chime in on that on both fronts. I would like to highlight how our community has come together. There are so many non-profit leaders that I knew of but did not know well


and now because of COVID we are on work groups together or attend the COVID convening calls. It felt very collaborative and as Veronica mentioned, the funders, the foundations and their wisdom and just caring about the non-profits in the community just feels amazing. I just had my 24th year anniversary at the Florida Center and I started as a mental health clinician as my profession. I can tell you when I started here the mental health needs are nowhere near what they are now and what we are hearing and what we are seeing. Our mental health team is probably one of the largest programs we have here at the Florida Center, and the stories that we’re hearing are crazy and the stress that our staff are feeling as a result of managing those kinds of issues are beyond words and so as an organization. We have created enhanced systems to support our team and the workers because otherwise people are going to burn out and quit, or just stress themselves until they have health issues. We also answered the call to the community when there was a need for preschool teachers and directors to have the same kind of group because preschool directors and preschool staff, they feel it and they’re dealing with it and all of the extra safety protocols they have to put into place. We have established reflective groups to serve these needs. Those kinds of things are amazing-coming together to support each other, and just working as a large community team really and not just being in our own little world of our own non-profit. MENDELSON: We are still looking to the future. We are planning on building a new performing arts center in a vibrant park and the concept that what we’re building is a civic asset to serve the whole community and the region. We are thinking more about the health and safety measures that would go

into the design and the building of a new state of the art world-class performing arts center. It impacts how we look at and think about architecture, how we think about coming together, what our spaces look like. We took the opportunity during COVID to do a. Lot of online surveying because people were available. People really want the performing arts center in the park to be a cultural gateway where people can connect. They can connect in their lives, they can connect with their families, and they more importantly can connect their aspirations and their hopes for a better world together. That’s some of the positive beautiful learning that we’re going to take with us and help guide as we look to building this incredible legacy for the community for generations to come. SADLO: Our community is so blessed with the leaders we have on this call and the ones that aren’t here too. We take some things for granted. I’ve heard stories across the Boys and Girls Club movement and other not for profits not in our community, who have lost their way because of the pandemic. Institutions that couldn’t stay true to their mission, that had to go to fee-based programs or other changes. It’s just a testament to our community that all of us have been able not to fall into that trap and stay true to our mission and I know that’s been true to all the agencies that I’ve interacted with here in our community. I think we should celebrate that. YOCUM: The economic impact is going to be here for a long time. As Philip stated before, for financially challenged families, is an even a larger obstacle to overcome. The non-profits here in our community, in Manatee and Sarasota County, are really needed as the safety net for a year, two years, and three years as that segment of our population is going to take a lot longer to rebound. One of the

changes that we have made here is we have expanded some of our revenue-based programs at our clinic in order to be able to provide more no-cost services for the financially challenged community. THE FLORIDA ECONOMY IS GENERALLY IN A MUCH BETTER STATE THAN MUCH OF THE REST OF THE NATION. I’M THINKING ABOUT PLACES WHERE THEIR REGIONAL ECONOMIES ARE MUCH HARDER HIT THAN OURS AND I WONDER HOW FUNDING AND FUNDRAISING IS GOING TO BE AFFECTED NATIONALLY. MASON: I moved here from Sonoma County a year ago. I ran a healthcare foundation when I was out there. The fires of 2017, the fires of 2019, the fires of 2020 had already created tremendous stress in that beautiful Northern California wine country region and the whole state. And then when COVID came, a lot of non-profits that lived on the margin just couldn’t make it. We’ve been so fortunate here that our foundations stepped up and did even more. The people on this call were fortunate because we have been around a long time and have core donor populations that responded. But imagine if you’re in a community or even if you’re in this community and you’re a new or smaller fledgling non-profit, that’s a very, very different landscape. TAVILL: We know that there are few communities of our size that have such a depth of wealth. I think ther are even even fewer that step up to this level. I know that our messaging with donors included the fact that we wanted to keep our staff intact. We have a complement of about 200 staff members and what we made sure there was a role for every single one of them in our virtual remote effort. It was critical that it was all hands on deck. We also knew we needed to have an infrastructure in place for when

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we begin reopening our doors and phasing kids back in. In all times, recruitment and retention is a major focus. And, we don’t want our families, meaning our staff’s families, falling off a financial cliff. One of the things that the state of Florida did through the VPK programming was Childcare Connections funding that supplements support for families who need it. The state said, “even if you don’t have those kids on site, we’re going to keep that money coming to you so you can keep your infrastructure intact.” Most people wouldn’t think that Florida is a state that might do something like that but they did. They made that decision very quickly to benefit the children and families and as a benefit to the organizations that carry out these very, very important missions. SKOGLUND: The state also lifted Medicaid restraints. That’s huge. TAVILL: I say that, “the portion of our budget that represents is exactly the staff we didn’t have to lay off.” We’re one of 1,800 Head Start grantees in the country, and there’s a lot of communication from the National Head Start Association, from the Administration for Children and Families and it gives us an insight into what’s happening in other communities. There’s some heroic innovative work going on. It gives us a measure, and the leaders in this community taking these things on from a community-wide perspective versus silos, is something we should be very, very proud of. LERMAN: I think there’s no question that people really were generous. Human beings are remarkable in many ways. And in times of need, people’s best sides seem to come out. I think the community’s response, in terms of being sensitive to the needs of people, was really outstanding. You hear numerous stories of neighbors helping neighbors. Some of it occurred within the


structure, whether it was local or County government, some of it existed through non-profits like JFCS of the Suncoast, but some of it was also just people reaching out and helping other people. It has been inspiring in many ways to see how people responded and supported each other through these difficult times. MENDELSON: We had a large increase in board recruitment. I think that’s because a lot of people right now are looking at their values and their priorities and what is important in their own philanthropic giving, in their own family and their lives and their experiences. So many of the philanthropists here in this community, they give to everything. There’s no question about it. But there’s only a limited amount of time that they actually have to devote their own service to and so I think that was a really interesting positive area of growth during the pandemic. We have so many talented people to sit on boards that live and reside in this community with enormous experience, career experience, who are here to give us the ability to draw from and bring their expertise to our own organizations. One of the things that sets this community apart is the ability to attract that kind of board talent to your organizations to help guide our jobs and make them richer and deeper. THAMES: As a non-profit community, we didn’t stop working on our initiatives, we added to them. Our non-profits needed their staff and then some to execute on the transition to virtual and on the new programmatic needs of the community especially around mental health, resilience, and now readiness to handle the re-entry into the workplace and what’s going to happen to our families when the moratorium is lifted and their living quarters are in jeopardy. We built a strategy around donor affinity groups: identifying donors’

main priorities and drive and helping them hone in and focus on those missions that spoke the most to them. A stronger focus on legacy planning and planned giving which is the key to longterm sustainability of the organizations in a region. We are so blessed and so lucky to be in this incredible region, with over 5,000 non-profits conducting incredible missions that meet the community need. Those needs emerge and grow, so all hands on deck, more help, more dollars needed, and the honing in of our donors’ philanthropic journey for greater footprint and greater impact has been incredible to watch and something that we expect will continue and make us an even greater region. WHAT ADVANCES, IMPROVEMENTS AND SUCCESSES WILL WE BE PROUD TO HAVE ACHIEVED DURING THIS TIME? MENDELSON: Our organization is in the process of doing a five year strategic plan so we’re very focused what the future looks like. Our greatest goal is that we will have built a place for ideas, a place for the arts, a place for you and that’s our message to the community as we lean forward. SADLO: We’re in a growth mode. We’re building buildings and we’re doing that in Arcadia, we’re going to be doing that in Newtown and hopefully expanding in the growing community of North Port. It’s an amazing spirit of partnership but we need to align with the experts in the fields that we have to improve on. We will build more partnerships, such as how with the special needs community as we align with Easter Seals and Loveland. We do what we need to enhance the programs for our youth. MASON: Well the Tidewell Foundation is newly formed last year so are looking at dramatic growth in the next few years. We have many hospice houses in all

of the four counties we serve and in the six counties we serve for home health. We’re always happy to open doors to our facilities, to bring vaccines. We want to share because the families our peers on this call serve serve are the families we serve as well. We’ve been able to expand our Blue Butterfly program, we’re launching a new program, targeting a new town, we’re opening a family grief center in Ellenton, we have plans to open one in Downtown Sarasota and then in North Port-Port Charlotte region so we’ve got a lot of plans to expand services and resources and communities because our area is growing and the need for our services are growing as well. We’re very excited about the future. SKOGLUND: We are hoping to see some semblance of normalcy by Fall, and that influences our plans for our preschool and other services. Telehealth is here to stay, we’re going to probably use it forever in some shape, form or fashion. We have a lot of expertise within our organization as it relates to early childhood matters and those sorts of things and we are very passionate about spreading the word of the unique needs that young children have. We’re having a symposium soon and we are going to do everything we can to get the word out to educate the community about the unique needs of young children. TAVILL: We’ve seen, in our employees, a developed sense of resilience. We will parlay that resilience to really doing everything that we can to help the families that come to us in need. As I had said earlier, they’re really the first to get hurt, they get hurt the worst and they’re the last to recover. We’re also celebrating our 60th anniversary and we made a decision not to postpone celebrating it, because celebration, like need is always there. We still have infants and toddlers whose families are income-

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qualified and we’re always finding ways through our efforts and our partnerships to address that unmet need. One aspect of our vision for this community is that every child that is eligible for our services will be served. YOCUM: I see a very optimistic bright and brilliant future for our community as we come out from this past year. Last April we purchased the property next to our veterinary clinic and expanded our campus by 30% and our building square footage by 30%. We’re expanding into dermatology services in September, basic orthopedic surgery is up next. We’ve been mission-focused over this past year, but also building for the future. I’m so optimistic for the future of our community and for the futures of the animals we care for. LERMAN: There are many significant challenges that exist within our society, COVID notwithstanding. As long as we are creative and are able to marshal the resources necessary to make a difference in people’s lives, we have fulfilled our mission as an organization. Fundamentally, we’re just here to serve the needs of the community. This is not about people fitting into our squares or circles. This is about us being nimble and flexible to really meet people where it works best for them and we’re eager to face the new challenges that exist within our community. MENDELSON: Our plans for the future are bold. We plan on building a new world-class performing arts center to serve the community and through that process we’re going to deepen our arts education programming and continue to collaborate with partners. We have an opportunity to create a national model in a new performing arts center post-pandemic and it’s a really exciting opportunity to continue to confirm that Sarasota and the region is the cultural coast. THAMES: We envision thriving communities with opportunities for all. We will continue to fund initiatives like mental health, rapid rehousing for the chronic homeless, criminal justice reform, the environment, invest in support so our non-profits can execute on those strategic plans. We are committed to boldly transforming our region and staying ahead of the trends by proactively identifying those emerging needs and addressing them with our team, with the non-profits in our community, and our incredible donors. We will continue to take a leadership role and be the catalyst of change, and make our region the greatest region there is. SRQ

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“IT’S KIND OF AN INTERESTING AND EXCITING TIME,” says John Bryant, architect and principal for

Sweet Sparkman Architecture and Interiors. “Well,” he adds,” I don’t know if ‘exciting’ is the right word.” Bryant, a local expert in coastal design and architectural resiliency, has contributed to projects like The Bay, the Lovers Key State Park welcome center and Siesta Key’s main beachside park pavilions. The maybe-not-soexciting time he refers to is the current environmental moment, populated with BBC nature documentaries, n nat ra isasters, a race against e tinction an a or s con ence in one e is teenager o, calm yet panicked amidst climate anxiety, faces it nonetheless). But, while it may be tempting to sweep all of these environmental challenges to the side, on a local scale, Sarasota has been presented with questions and challenges that require immediate answers and solutions. By the end of the century—far enough away to live comfortably in denial but close enough that today’s middle schoolers will witness the change—Sarasota is conservatively projected to endure 1.5 feet of sea level rise. But the more painful truth could be as high as 4.5 feet which, in a coastal city like ours, will be an infrastructure game changer. “We’re probably not at the same spot as Miami is in terms of needing to do it yesterday,” says Bryant. “But we need to be doing it today.” With many of Sarasota’s largest construction projects underway, like the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens master plan and the rede ning of downtown Sarasota with The Bay project, today’s organizations with plans to advance are simultaneously faced with another challenge: to adapt. And yet, thinking environmentally and designing sustainably are no longer at odds with visitor experience or the beauty of new design. And, rather than keeping sustainable technology in the restricted areas of campuses—hidden from view and off the radar of visitors these two projects plan to present their environmental considerations front and center, not only as answers to the problem but also as opportunities to educate the public on how an uncertain future can be approached. “The more sustainable features you’re able to bring into a project— honestly, they increase the enjoyment of your visitors,” says Bryant. “The more sustainable you’re making the building, the more you’re integrating the building harmoniously with the environment.” And it is with that same harmony that Selby Gardens and The Bay move toward the future, designing conscientiously and responsibly, refusing to yield or compromise.

SELBY GARDENS Sitting down with the team for Selby Gardens’ threepart master plan—including Chris Cianfaglione, the senior project manager; Richard Roark, a landscape architect and the master planner for the project; and IMAGES COURTESY OF THE BAY AND SELBY GARDENS.


Jennifer Rominiecki, Selby Gardens’ president and CEO—one truth became clear above all else: Selby will not hesitate to take on a challenge as large and looming as climate change. “The whole resiliency issue is what drove this whole master plan from the beginning,” says Rominiecki. “We have the world’s best scienti cally documented collection of orchids and bromeliads and, right now, they’re housed on the ground floor in a flood zone in aging infrastructure. So there was this core need to really preserve and protect the world’s best collections of their kind.” With the collision of vulnerability and threat, some might simply move to a new site—away from the immediate coastline—but the team agreed from the beginning that simply relocating inland would not guarantee safety. And nothing highlighted that more than Hurricane Irma in 2017 during the start of their planning process. “That was a big exclamation point,” says Rominiecki. “We thought, ‘We have to do this and we have to do this now!’” The result? Living buildings for a living museum. In form, function and feeling, the new Selby Gardens campus will serve the day-to-day needs of any botanical garden while also incorporating sustainable design. Much of the new campus will be shifted to the current parking lot—the high ground. And, with the mapping out of sea level rise and FEMA flood zones, Selby is “future-proo ng” the grounds, making plans to protect and preserve it for decades to come.

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The addition of mangroves along the shore provide natural shery habitats, prevent erosion and reduce storm surge. And, during this process, the rarest of Selby’s collections will be duplicated and shared with sister botanical gardens around the country for optimal protection. But, perhaps the most exciting feature of the new master plan will be its status and accomplishment as the rst net positive botanical garden complex in the world. “You have your fastmoving crises and you have your slow-moving crises,” says Roark. “You have to worry about water flooding and you have to worry about more intense hurricanes. But you also have to worry about the resource of the water itself. We try to show how important it is.” Using technology like solar power and a water filtration system that will divert rainwater through rain gardens—before entering a 250,000-gallon stormwater vault and cistern (all of which will be visible and traceable by visitors)—places Selby in an epic new category of resiliency and environmental design. And, even when functional sustainability has run out, Selby will still embrace fashionable environmentalism through biomimicry (the imitation of nature). The concrete, hurricane-proof garage will meld with vines, marrying the most manmade of

buildings with natural life—like epiphytes hanging from the ceilings in candelabra-fashion. “It’s really easy here in Sarasota, and in coastal environments, to get hung up on resiliency meaning sea level rise and storms. But it really is multifaceted,” says Cianfaglione, who handles the site, civil engineering and city commission approval as the boots-on-theground local liaison for design teams. “It’s not just about a theory of trying to do the right thing. This has real value, and real value of land loss if they don’t start to do the right thing right now. This project looked at every opportunity to do the right thing. And, at every turn, the right, environmentally focused, sustainable design choice was made.” Roark adds, “telling [Selby’s] story of adaptation is so important as a model for Sarasota.” The sustainable design and environmental approach to the new master plan won’t be hidden away but rather put on display for both the celebration and preservation of nature. It is also a continuing branch of education for the local botanical treasure, proving not just what should be done to face the future head on but what boundaries can be surpassed by interpreting challenges as opportunities for innovation and creative solutions.

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THE BAY From the beginning, honoring, respecting and restoring the environment has been a central initiative for The Bay—not just a suggestion, according to Bill Waddill, the project’s chief implementation officer. With the goal to open completely within the next nine years, The Bay—in combination with the City of Sarasota, and both the private and public sector—will transform a 53acre coastline into a blue and green oasis and park. Acting as a lush foyer into Sarasota’s waterfront, The Bay will introduce kayak launches, reading gardens, scenic overlooks, a sunset boardwalk, mangrove walkways and a resilient ecological shoreline— forging an immediate immersion between residents and nature. But, more than that, The Bay faces the responsibility of mitigating potential environmental destruction and preserving the coastline, in a way that requires more than increasing tourism. “We spent almost as much under the ground on water quality as we were spending on top of the ground,” says Waddill. With the site currently existing at about twothirds parking lot, The Bay team has learned that about 70 million gallons of untreated stormwater currently flows directly into the bay along with every drop of oil,



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littered plastic cup and forgotten facemask (much of it from U.S. 41, located a quarter-mile away). Because of the decades-old infrastructure, which was designed and implemented prior to the Clean Water Act, a high-class ltration system that addressed the many faces of water pollution was in high demand. “So, what we decided to do is when we had the patient open for heart surgery, we needed to go ahead and x the kidneys as well,” says Waddill. Deemed The Treatment Train, a combination of ltration implementations will treat runoff and stormwater before they rejoin the bay. Bioswales—depressed marsh areas populated with soil and native plants—naturally treat the pollutants, which are then absorbed into groundwater while adding a bit of green to the more concrete areas. A No Mow Zone along stretches of waterfront sidewalks will remove the potential of grass clippings and fertilizer being discarded into the bay, while celebrating the natural Florida flora that was born for the job. But the most innovative stop on The Treatment Train will be the Denitri cation Trench a six-foot-deep and six-foot-wide trench lled with a carbon-rich charcoal called biochar, which will neutralize the nitrogen in the stormwater for a 600-foot-long stretch. And, throughout the whole process, Mote Marine will test the quality of the water comparing the baseline existing data with that of the treated water, actively gauging the effects and seeing how the biology might heal itself. Then, to combat the more extreme threats like tropical storms and hurricanes, the construction site divides into a strategic east and west end. New construction, like the new performing arts center, will be designed on higher ground east of the shoreline— up and out of the floodplain about 1 -and-a-half-feet, making the newest and strongest construction even

more resilient to rising sea levels and storm surge. In contrast, the western third of the shoreline will be intentionally floodable--allowing feet of storm surge and flood waters to rise, inundate and recede, requiring little more than a cleanup and the potential replacement of lost plants. “That’s something that more and more parks around the country are starting to think about, is how can you incorporate resiliency into your design?” observes Waddill. But, even more than the established practices of coastal design in the modern day, The Bay will be more than just a converted park with sustainable considerations. “What we realized as we’ve gotten into this project is that there was even more of an environmental restoration opportunity than we imagined,” says Waddill. Above ground, The Bay has taken on the expensive and timely challenge of preserving the trees (some older than 50 years) that have long resided along the coast—relocating almost all of them to preserve the already established 50-foot shaded canopy so that visitors can walk in shady comfort. “It was a substantial amount of time and cost to prepare them and then move them into place (around $35,000 per preserved tree), but we’re very proud of that and we thought it was the right thing to do,” says Waddill. In addition, the park will plant more than 1,000 new trees onsite, creating a lush oasis that introduces new fauna and continues melding nature with construction. “I walk around and talk to people, and the environmental restoration resonates almost as much with some people as the park does,” says Waddill. “They love to come down and walk around, enjoy the shady environment and walk in nature, and that’s terri c. But it’s amazing how strong the environmental restoration is resonating with those in our community.” In response to that passion, the sustainable design for The Bay will be obvious. There will be signage about the basics of the environmental decisions, as well as QR codes that lead to online deeper dives explaining what was decided, what was done and potentially what people can do at home to continue the same sustainable practices. Mote Marine will continue the education with rstgrade students in Sarasota County and at The Bay visitor center. Families can also visit the new park and check out nature kits to engage more deeply with the environment, cataloguing what they see and where they can explore. “Everything is really related,” says Waddill—the visitor experience, the science, the design and the natural world. No longer do environmental considerations or sustainable ideas need to simply be a box checked or an ugly addition hidden from view. Instead, sustainable design is the way of the future, preserving and supporting the environment so that it can be enjoyed and experienced for generations to come. SRQ

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WE’VE ASSEMBLED A PANEL OF EXPERTS TO DISCUSS ONE OF THE PRIMARY ECONOMIC DRIVERS FOR OUR COMMUNITY; REAL ESTATE. BUDGE HUSKEY: I am the President and CEO of Premier Sotheby’s International Realty. We operate mainly in two states, but principally in Florida from Marco Island up through


Tampa and over to Central Florida, and we go up to North Carolina in Charlotte, Asheville, and some of the high country. We are ranked the 19th largest residential brokerage firm in the country. We’re number two worldwide in terms of Sotheby’s network. And last year, we did 7.1 billion in sales, and hopefully this year, we’re going to


beat that by even a larger margin. ALEXANDRIA TWIGG: I work for Keller Williams, downtown Sarasota, KW On the Water. I have been with them since 2017. I’m now a broker associate, and I run Lucido Global, the largest Keller Williams expansion team in the country. We are based out of Baltimore. DARCIE DUNCAN: I


am the broker-owner of Duncan Real Estate. And this July is our 20 year anniversary. I’ve been in real estate for 31 years here on Anna Maria Island, and I was raised on Anna Maria too. You could say I’m a unicorn - being raised on Anna Maria makes me that rare. I was chairman of the board of the Manatee Chamber of


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ABOUT THE PARTICIPANTS DARCIE DUNCAN, DUNCAN REAL ESTATE Duncan is a lifelong resident of Anna Maria Island and owner-broker of Duncan Real Estate. As an island native, Darcie possesses an unparalleled understanding of the Florida Gulf Coast culture, its history, growth, and development. This year marks 31 years in the industry and the 20-year anniversary of her boutique real estate firm. She has successfully closed over 850 million dollars in real estate sales and is on track for a record sales year. Her recognitions include Business Person of the Year, Top 100 Women in Business, Manatee Chamber Small Business of the Year, as well as serving her community by volunteering on several non-profit boards and past Chairman of the Manatee Chamber of Commerce. BEN GRAHAM, MICHAEL SAUNDERS & COMPANY As a United States Marine, Ben learned the value of honor, courage and commitment which have translated into all aspects of his business career. His passion for customer care and providing exceptional service creates a genuine trust in his professional relationships that go beyond simply “doing the deal.”Ben has excelled in several of Sarasota’s top firms. The Ritz Carlton, PGA Fed-Ex Tour Sponsorship sales and SRQ Magazine are where he learned and polished the fundamentals of customer service. His easy-going yet professional approach to the clientele he serves creates a sense of confidence that translates into continued business and a mutually beneficial relationship.


Commerce in 2017. The island is my passion. My specialty is waterfront real estate. Increasingly “on the island” means luxury property. BEN GRAHAM: I’m with Michael Saunders Commercial, downtown Sarasota. I’ve lived in the community for about 17 years and been in sales for 13 of those years, and specifically commercial real estate, right around six years. and food. DAVID SESSIONS I’m David Sessions, President and CEO of Willis A. Smith Construction. We construct just about everything except any type of residential project. Our firm is based in Lakewood Ranch. Our primary work area is Southwest Florida. Our firm has a mixture of public sector work, libraries, fire stations, schools, colleges, universities, and also private sector work, consisting of offices, retail, religion. You name it. Our company’s vision is really to build a community’s landmarks. You will see our name associated with things such as the Patriot Plaza at Sarasota National Cemetery, the Asolo Repertory Theater, the Opera House, Selby Gardens, Mote Marine, Ringling College, just to name a few. LET’S START BY DISCUSSING THE STATE OF THE RESIDENTIAL MARKET. HUSKEY: The Sarasota market, as well the entire Gulf Coast, has been a desirable area for some time. The natural trend was going to be a positive one what the pandemic serves as an incredible disruptor and an accelerator. We all anticipated an economic shutdown a year ago. It proved to be just the opposite in terms of the acceleration of life decisions and asset investments.If you look at Q1 in Sarasota County, overall closed sales were up 35% year over year by the end of the first quarter. We’re in a position right now where we have far more demand than supply. Our supply is under a month, which is absolutely unheard of. And as a result, we

see a redefinition of values and prices. Also, the higher the price, the higher the level of increase year over year in sales. So luxury has absolutely exploded, which has led to an increase in average sales prices in Q1 in Sarasota by roughly 35% as well. It is quite surreal. It’s a great seller’s market. It’s a horrible market for buyers. WHEN WE TALK ABOUT HAVING “LESS THAN A MONTH ON INVENTORY,” WHAT DOES THAT MEAN HISTORICALLY? TWIGG: They always say, “Six months of inventory up, buyer’s market. Six months less, seller’s market.” So the fact that we don’t even have half of a month of inventory on the market is leading to multiple offers, bidding wars, people purchasing from all over the world not even seeing these properties. If you look back at December when we ended the year, our average price per square foot just in Sarasota County was $239. In March, the average price per square foot was $276. That’s a $37 a square foot raise in one quarter. It’s unheard of. So if you look at the trend going upwards, we’re just flying right now. Nationally the trends say that once a majority of the population is vaccinated, we will see an increase in inventory. I don’t necessarily think that’s going to happen here in our area. WHAT DO THESE MARKET FORCES MEAN TO A CONSUMER? DUNCAN: Part of the problem right now is the lack of inventory. The market’s stagnated because you have a lot of sellers that are sitting on the fence wanting to sell, especially in a high market, but where are they going to go? Where’s a lateral move? So if you have a high market, then they’re going to buy high. They have nowhere to go. You have a lack of long-term rentals as well, so it’s very difficult for people to make a move right now, especially

if you want to move within your own neighborhood, so to speak. You are seeing investors driving a lot of the properties to hold rental properties. How does a first-time home buyer compete with a cash buyer that can waive all their contingencies, and the first-time homebuyer can’t do it? They’re just not in a position to do that. So it’s very difficult on those families just starting out. TWIGG: When you look at the grand scheme of things, with the plummet of the interest rate, three and a half percent is still better than 11%. So people are still saying, “Even though I am overpaying, the interest rate difference is making up for the equity.” Buyers are taking advantage of the low-interest rate and still attempting to buy. That’s why we see multiple offers. We’re seeing more people selling who maybe this is their second home. This is their investment property. We’re seeing people liquefy their assets. We’re also seeing people fleeing here from New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, the Midwest, places where they’ve been shut down for a year. The people who are selling their homes currently are people who are liquefying their assets. I know somebody who just listed a home $200,000 above the average price that has sold in that neighborhood, and they went and are closing way above ask. So you’re looking at a $275,000 profit. HUSKEY: We’re talking about a lack of supply, but it isn’t as though the number of listings has declined significantly. The seller patterns haven’t fundamentally changed. It’s that the buyer demand has exhausted our inventory. We are all out here trying to build inventory and encouraging people, “If you’ve ever considered selling your houses, it’s time to do it.” But most of them say, “Where am I going to go?” So, to Alexandria’s point, unless they’re just trying to liquidate a second asset, they don’t have

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BUDGE HUSKEY, PREMIER SOTHEBY’S INTERNATIONAL REAL ESTATE With almost 40 years of experience in building successful real estate companies, Budge Huskey is recognized as an industry leader in both brokerage and franchising. Overseeing the operations and growth strategies of the company’s 40+ offices and 1,400 sales associates in Florida and North Carolina, he led the firm in achieving a record-breaking $7.1 billion in total sales volume in 2020.   DAVID SESSIONS, WILLIS A SMITH CONSTRUCTION David E. Sessions is the Owner and President/CEO of Willis A. Smith Construction, Inc., a Sarasota-based construction management firm.   David has had more than 39 years of multi-disciplined experience in educational, healthcare, religious, green sustainable, industrial and commercial construction. David’s quiet and conservative demeanor does not reveal that he is a community power player who gets things done. He believes in keeping all things local, and when he gives his time and talent to our community, our community gets stronger. ALEXANDRIA TWIGG, LUCIDO GLOBAL A Sarasota native her entire life, Alexandria Twigg started her real estate career in 2015. With a strong passion for the housing market and helping clients, Alexandria has excelled in her beginning years of real estate being a top producer on her team, while being named Team Leader for the Sarasota Lucido Global Expansion Team, and voted Rookie of the Year. Alexandria is an active member of the Suncoast Young Professionals Network and Keller Williams Young Professionals. She has won the Newcomer of the Year award as well as the YPN member of the year from the Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee.


anywhere to go. We also know that there’s been under-building in the new construction sector for probably a decade, which makes it even more complicated. TWIGG: The National Association of Realtors just announced that, nationally, we are four million homes behind where we need to be with new construction in the country. Four million. That’s crazy. WHAT DO YOU SEE IN PARTICULAR WITH TOURISM DRIVERS IN THE REAL ESTATE MARKET? DUNCAN: We also are in the vacation rentals market, so I can give you good insight. The impact of tourism is here since we opened back up. We’re almost solidly booked for May, and rentals are completely booked for June. July is looking busy. Are those people buyers? Yes. Some are, they always are. But we have no supply. If you’re not coming in with clean cash, no contingency, you’re not even in the running. We are seeing some buyers that are coming into the market that are not necessarily looking at buying a home as a vacation rental, maybe using it part of the time, but mainly they ask, ‘what are the rental numbers?’ That’s all they care about because they’re not going to use it as their home. There are some buyers [that can afford to compete in this market] looking to relocate their families. I think this pandemic has triggered a whole different mindset, and we have a lot of heads of companies - CEOs, big executives - coming out of the cities. They’re moving their families here and can work remotely. We see that, and that’s great. I’M GOING TO TRANSITION TO COMMERCIAL. WE HEAR A LOT ABOUT INVENTORY AND DEMAND. WHAT IS THE SITUATION FOR THIS SECTOR? DAVID SESSIONS: Initially, the pandemic caused a slowdown in the commercial construction

industry. I think everything shut down in March or April of last year, and then [after a pause], the residential market just took off. However, the commercial market did not. Last year, we probably saw the number of new opportunities for commercial projects probably drop by 30–35%, simply because a lot of people were just hesitant to expand their business. We had a number of projects that were either put on hold or canceled. That was a local distributor here who was very much affected, and I don’t blame him. I would have done the same thing. When you look at the commercial office market right now, there’s still an awful lot of empty offices. The question is, will those offices ever be filled again? Talking to different businesses, a lot of businesses are adapting, and they’re basically saying that, “You know what? Why do we need to pay for all of this commercial office space when over the last 12 months, we’ve found that we can be just as productive letting people work at home?” We’re going to start to see a trend of higher vacancy rates in commercial office space. Think about the young family, where you’ve got both the mother and the father working. Well, now, what if the mother can stay at home and be just as effective? You don’t need to send the kids to daycare. So I think we’re going to see a dramatic shift across the country that is going to redefine really the commercial office. The one area that we see a tremendous amount of activity is the medical office building market. There is a huge demand in this region, and we certainly see that. A lot of those things that were put on hold are now starting to get back online. In Lakewood Ranch, you’ve got Waterside Place, which is basically the new restaurant/entertainment district in the Sarasota County part of Lakewood Ranch. That is going to become the prominent restaurant

and entertainment district, by far. The Players Center for Performing Arts is going to open up in a few years. We’ve completed that project. It is done. We’ve been under construction now for the last couple of years. The interesting thing [with the Waterside Place development] is that SMR signed on a number of leases before the pandemic. A lot of them were primarily in the restaurant industry. They didn’t cancel. They didn’t back out. They just took a wait-and-see approach. Now, all of a sudden, we can’t get them open quick enough. So maybe this pentup demand is hitting. The other aspect is that people are moving here at a faster pace than we’ve ever seen. The general rule is that the commercial construction industry follows “rooftops.” So with all of these new homes being built, there’s probably an 18-month lag or so. You’re going to need new shopping centers, grocery stores, banks, other retail operations, other businesses that are all going to follow. We just took a little pause for nine months or a year, but I see already in the first quarter of this year the number of opportunities for new projects is significantly up. So that’s the positive part. What is affecting the residential market is that we see the largest increase in the cost of materials that I can ever remember in my career. The only other time we saw this was right before the last Great Recession, probably from 2003 to about 2006. Typically, we get proposals from our subs, electrical, plumbing, air conditioning, steel, and so on. And those are usually good for our clients for about 90 days. Right now, subs and suppliers aren’t guaranteeing anything more than 14 days beyond their costs are accelerating at such a significant rate. To put it in very simple terms, six months ago, a sheet of plywood that would go say, on the roof of a house, cost

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$25 per sheet of plywood. Right now, that same sheet of plywood is $65. Take a 2500-square-foot home, for example. Just that one item, the plywood, can add $4,000 to the cost of building that house. That issue is primarily due to shutdowns in Canada. They do the timbering. Then it goes to the mills that produce the two-byfours, the plywood. The Canadian border was shut down, for one, for part of last year. And two, a lot of those manufacturing plants were shut down. And that’s just one example. We see that across the board, the same thing has happened with steel. The cost of raw material steel since January 1 has gone from $500 a ton to $1200 a ton. That is a huge increase. Now, that’s just the raw material. The actual cost of a steel beam or a joist or something has still gone up about 30%. We’ve seen huge escalations in copper. We’ve seen it in aluminum. We’ve seen it in all petroleum projects. You can’t get certain paints right now because production was slowed down. That was actually a side issue of the freeze in Texas that basically dramatically affected a lot of the manufacturing plants. A lot of the products froze in the pipes, and they actually have to rebuild some of the factories that produce some of this stuff. It’s going to affect other industries. The cost of steel is going to cause the cost of automobiles to go up. The weak link right now is the microchip shortage. Well, guess what? There’s a microchip in just about everything that we do today. It affected us in terms of getting air conditioners. You could get the air conditioner built, but you couldn’t get the controls that would operate it because you can’t get the microchips. That’s the weak link in the automobile industry right now. We’re going to see shortages because the auto manufacturers can’t get certain little components that aren’t ramping back up.

I’m not getting political, but Florida predominantly was kept open during this pandemic. Whereas so many other parts of the country were just dramatically shut down. So we really don’t think of it in those terms, but when we build a building, most of those products aren’t manufactured or produced in Florida. They’re produced somewhere else in the world, and [the shutdowns in other areas are] hitting us right now. DUNCAN: I agree with David about the property increase and the cost of building going up. I was certainly in the market at that time of the recession as well. I’ve not seen anything quite like this. It was an increase in materials like we are seeing today and not even just your basic construction materials. Right now, I have customers waiting nine months for appliances. They can’t get furniture. You can’t get foam for your sofas. I’ve had people waiting months and months for their furniture—just odd things like that. The increase in the demand is very similar to what it was pre-recession, although this market is a lot healthier from a buyer standpoint. You do not see everything heavily mortgaged, which is a big difference from the great recession. WITH ALL THESE CHANGES IN THE COMMERCIAL MARKET, WHERE ARE YOU TURNING FOR NEW OPPORTUNITIES? BEN GRAHAM: Last year, as everything was shutting down, I did my best to get creative and just try to find ways of staying busy, finding new opportunities. Medical office space, as was indicated just a few minutes ago, is certainly taking off. It’s ramping up. A lot of industrial manufacturing types of businesses are focusing on the state of Florida. There’s a scarcity of that type of product throughout the entire United States, but here specifically on the Gulf Coast, there’s a

lot of new construction projects happening right now. I’ve got a number of existing properties that are under contract right now, and they’re flying off the market. The trends that the residential side has been experiencing for the last year or so it’s starting to catch up with commercial. I see a lot of multiple offers on properties that I have publicly for sale. As soon as they hit the market, there just seems to be a lot of activity. The vast majority of it is coming from, I think, out-of-state individuals, business owners, investors. So I’m excited to see how those trends happen. It doesn’t seem to be as volatile as the residential side. I certainly believe that the office market is readjusting very rapidly to the idea that the pandemic may have lead businesses to new ways of working. I think they’ve had to. I’m not sure what the future looks like. I wish I had a crystal ball, but developers are really prepared and ramping up for life to eventually get back to normal. HUSKEY: The supply-side issues that have been referenced both in real estate and industry are the only governor on how fast we’ll run in the future. But I think the demand is sustainable. Some of the aspects that have changed in terms of consumer behavior are lasting. Working from home will be a lasting change. Desirable markets, resort markets, whether it be Sarasota, Naples, our market in Asheville, have now been discovered by a whole new audience. So it isn’t just the traditional feeder markets. We’re now pulling people from western states, et cetera. We haven’t even seen the impact of the Canadians or Europeans who have been completely absent from our marketplace. The season’s actually extended, and Sarasotas become less seasonal on an annual basis. A secondary wave of potential purchasers may be coming in once there are greater levels of vaccination and more comfort with travel

and other states open up. TWIGG: They’ve been saying that once a majority of the population is vaccinated, we are going to see a shift. In my personal opinion talking to agents in other states, at Keller Williams, we have a huge referral network. It’s just crazy to see the flow of people leaving those states, realizing that there might be a greater opportunity for them and their mental health in the state of Florida. If you look at the state of New York, where they still have very strict restrictions, I personally know people there who have been greatly affected by this, and they think that we’re just crazy people here in Florida with being able to just walk outside even without a mask on. You see how it’s mentally affected them, and it’s terribly sad. It actually hurts my heart. So I think that we will see a tremendous influx of people coming here once more vaccinations reach more people in other states. SESSIONS: We have a great climate, a wonderful place to live, and Florida is very tax-friendly. We don’t have a state income tax. I think that has a huge effect. New York is just looking to raise taxes to try to make up for the recent shortfall. The taxes in New York are already sky-high, same with California. I think Florida’s getting the New Yorkers, and I think Texas is getting the Californians. Florida is a very business-friendly state, where certain penalties and restrictions aren’t placed on businesses like in other places. In the days when I served on the Economic Development Corporation, and we were meeting with other businesses trying to attract them to come to the state of Florida, we focussed on discussing the whole tax structure from where those businesses were coming from. Switching subjects, I think everybody just wants to get this pandemic in the past. Everybody is looking forward to getting back to normal, to be able to go out, to

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travel, to do everything that you want to do, which really a lot of us in Florida have really been fortunate to do compared to other parts of the country. I mean, it’s just human nature. Humans are designed to be social beings. We’re also going [even when we can meet in person] to see a lot more virtual meetings than in the past. It’s actually more productive. You can have a Zoom meeting with ten people from 10 different locations in the country, and you’ve just accomplished something in one or two hours that normally would take a couple of days. I’m very much an optimist with all this. If some of my other comments sounded like gloom and doom with escalation and inflation and lack of production, well, the reality is, we have peaked, and we have valleys. Over time, things just tend to sort themselves out. DUNCAN: For some people, especially in the Northeast, we’re a bargain still to what they’re used to. We just can’t wrap our minds around that. I agree, having no state income tax makes quite a difference in a lot of these buyers’ mindsets. Our property taxes are more reasonable, as is the cost of living overall. To live in an environment that we can enjoy every day and have the freedom to do so, I think that people have gotten a little rattled by losing their right to live as they want. That’s why you’re seeing people come here and watching their children thrive here too. YOU ARE AT THE FOREFRONT OF ENGAGING WITH NEWCOMERS TO THE REGION. THERE IS A CONCERN THAT THIS INFLUX OF PEOPLE MIGHT CHANGE OUR CULTURE TOO MUCH OR TOO RAPIDLY. WHAT DO YOU SEE? GRAHAM: I certainly hope that when new people enter the state of Florida, that they embrace Florida life. They’re moving here for specific reasons, and I hope that stays in the forefront as they

settle into whatever community it is that they’re moving to. That is always the fear, I think, with folks that reside here. I was fortunate enough to do some traveling last year, and going to other places in the United States, specifically up in the Northeast, I felt like I was in a different country. And then, coming back to what I consider to be paradise here in Sarasota, it was just such a breath of fresh air. And there’s a lot that I would do to maintain that and ensure that that stays the way it is. It is paradise, and I really hope that resonates with new residents in the state of Florida. There are folks that I have talked to that are coming from California, from Texas, Illinois, Canada, the Northeast specifically. And from what they have told me, it really does seem like they want to just assimilate into Florida and really enjoy that type of lifestyle and just kick the dust off their heels once they cross the border. HUSKEY: It’s true in Sarasota, in Naples, that while we’ll continue to have a great demand of seasonal residents, they’re going to be the minority. The new flood of people is coming here to establish roots, not just coming here to play. It is going to be somewhat of an interesting impact on what’s going to happen in the future. We do have to really approach things a little bit differently from a design standpoint and a perspective on how we’re going to look at development. And this is one area where I think Sarasota’s probably done a very good job, is it’s been very friendly in terms of how it perceived the downtown area. Inevitably, you’re going to have to increase density, and that comes with its own set of challenges regarding the underlying infrastructure needs and the revenues needed to pay for it. Ultimately, you’re going to have to be more accepting of more of an urban type of environment, a denser environment. There’s a limited


amount of developable land, and we can only go so far east. SESSIONS: I would agree with Budge on the density issue. We’ve seen in the past, and our elected officials fight that. And the reality is that it just creates unnecessary urban sprawl. Density is not a bad thing, and if we really want to preserve a lot of the natural land of Florida, we’ve got to quit paving over it. The only way that we can do that is to look to densify certain areas. There are places where it makes sense, like, downtown Sarasota, perhaps downtown Bradenton. And there are obviously certain areas where it does not make a lot of sense because it would change the culture of that community. I’ve been in Florida for most of my life and, coming from somebody who’s in the building industry, I’ve seen a lot of it paved over. I’ve seen a lot of the environment destroyed. That’s depressing. I’m not a developer, but I’m a builder. We benefit from it, but there’s a good part of me that’s very green, that’s very sustainable, that’s an environmentalist. Densifying selected regions to give a young professional group more of that urban lifestyle experience is a direction that we need to go in. HUSKEY: It’s really the only way to make it available to a larger audience. We know housing affordability is a critical issue right now, and it will be regardless of what direction we go. The only way to make it more affordable is to go denser, so you’re not having the same level of land cost per unit. DUNCAN: Affordable housing has always been something that was at the forefront for me in my business over the years. David and I have been very involved with our Manatee Chamber of Commerce, where we had an affordable housing initiative that we still are working on, which is huge in our area. Affordable housing needs to be centrally located, or you get sprawl. If you move affordable housing so far away, then

you have traffic issues throughout the whole county. Then you have companies here trying to hire people, but they can’t because the people drive through the traffic to get to the jobs. As far as density on our islands, the ship has sailed. We don’t have infrastructure that can stand the impact of the construction that’s going on, the drainage issues, stormwater retention, all those things-- the roads can’t handle more, the sewers can’t handle more. WHAT SHIFTS HAVE WE SEEN IN THE RESIDENTIAL MARKET? TWIGG: A lot of my buyers are shifting towards new construction. Sky Ranch, Worthington. A lot are realizing or thinking, “why would I buy a single-family existing home when I could go to a new construction community, customize it to what I want, and pay the same price?” And then they are going to a rental for a year while the home is being built. With the new construction, every single person is on a waitlist. They’re going to the highest and best offers for lots. The Waterside, Hidden Creek area, Founder’s Club out Lorraine, and Sky Ranch are huge right now. And at the same time, people really want to go back west of the trail near Siesta Key. Also, people want to be closer to downtown Gillespie Park, Laurel Park, Grenada Park, Cherokee Park. WHAT ABOUT THE PRESSURES DAVID WAS TALKING ABOUT IN TERMS OF THE COST OF NEW CONSTRUCTION? TWIGG: I have a client who’s working with a builder, Taylor Morrison, and last night, we got a text at 5:30 that just said, “We just did a significant price increase. This might affect your build.” That was last night at 5:30 pm. And within 10 minutes of us getting that text from the sales rep at Taylor Morrison, they already changed the price on the website, and I mean, it did signif-

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icantly increase. These increases are going to push people into existing homes. HUSKEY: I agree with Alexandria, you move further east, and that’s where you have the land for new construction, but the density has to come downtown. The other thing that I anticipate seeing a lot more in Sarasota is that probably a third of the homes that are in these desirable communities were built in the 50s and 60s; they’re all tear-downs. Every single one of them is gone. The value of the lots now are ranging from a million to a million and a half, and then people are tearing them down and building three to five million dollar homes or more. We’re only now beginning to see the tip of the iceberg of that occurring in Sarasota, west of 41. It is going to be the future here in the coming years. TWIGG: If you go out into Sarasota outside of the city, there is nothing like Waterside that exists. Maybe you have Gulfgate, which is a much older shopping area, but you don’t have a community-style or a community feature at the center. That’s only downtown, Main Street area, Pineapple. So, I think that as Waterside develops, Fruitville is booming. As that continues, that area and that part of town will greatly increase with their density. Look at all the apartments going up. DAVID, YOU BUILD BIG SUPPORT SERVICES, ARE THOSE PROJECTS BEING PLANNED NOW TO ACCOMMODATE THIS GROWTH? SESSIONS: After a year of decreased activity, we saw this year’s acceleration in the number of opportunities that we had compared to last year. That’s turning into sales, and it’s turning into new projects. The schools, both Sarasota and Manatee school districts, really do a great job. They study these new subdivisions, and they calculate how many kids were going into ele-


mentary, middle, and high schools are going to come out of those subdivisions. At the beginning of each year, they carefully count the number of new students to measure against what their projections are. Colleges and universities do the same thing, although they’re adjusting more to online learning. And we see a lot of other commercial activity; as I said, the medical office building category just seems to be going like crazy right now. WHAT ABOUT COMMERCIAL GROWTH? WHERE IS IT APPEARING? GRAHAM: Given the influx of folks moving to the state, they are always going to bring new ideas, new directions in businesses, and I see that a good bit. I’ve been focusing a lot on South County, Venice, Englewood and parts of Charlotte County. And I really feel like that is the trend, where Sarasota is expanding, it’s going that way, and you see the growth coming up from Naples and Fort Meyers. You have these pockets that are still very much green, but it could be pavement tomorrow. I see this every time I drive down River Road into Englewood; there are new developments coming in each month. I believe that new businesses are focused on certain areas that perhaps they may not have in the past, and that’s just because the price point is more attractive to them. There’s opportunity in those outlying areas that people should be paying attention to. EVERYONE ALWAYS WANTS TO KNOW WHAT’S NEXT. WHAT DO EACH OF YOU SEE? TWIGG: You look at the fiscal trends, and what goes up must come down. The pendulum is definitely swinging upwards, and we just really never know when we’re going to hit the top. One day, we will wake up, and we will know when we have hit the top because the next day, we will be on a downward spiral. I

just really think for the consumer who is reading the magazine, who is thinking about selling their home or thinking about buying a new home, realistically, it’s a great time. You are actually netting the most amount of money and receiving top dollar, or you are getting a phenomenal interest rate. It’s a great time to get into the house and the real estate market. DUNCAN: Unfortunately, my crystal ball has got a big crack in it. God isn’t making any more waterfront property, and everybody wants to be on the coast. We have a lot of pent-up demand right now at this moment in time. You’ve got a lot of people that haven’t been able to do anything for a while. I certainly don’t see any diminishing demand for people wanting to come to beautiful beaches in a beautiful place where they can live all year round outside, in a healthy environment, both mentally and physically. I think that I’d like to see some nice new inventory come on the market to take off the pressure and end the budding wars, more balance. I think that the vacation rental business will stay strong as well. The future looks very bright, and we’ve got a lot of good people and a lot of good places to make great things happen in our community. Let’s keep on trucking. HUSKEY: I don’t like to use the term boom because it implies a bust. I was around during the last one, and that truly was terrible, but this is real people, real demand, real money, real desirability to the market. We’re not going to be able to sustain the same pace of sales that we’ve had in probably the last six to nine months, but the demand is going to continue to be there. I see values being permanently reset in the Sarasota market in the new construction and resale. I believe that we are going to increasingly become more like some other areas of the country, and whether that’s a good thing or

not, you could argue. Increasingly though, if you want to live here, you’re going to have to have the economic means to do so because that’s the realities of supply and demand and the market forces that are currently in play. GRAHAM: I’m cautiously optimistic. The influx of businesses that are focused on the Florida market, I think, creates a great amount of opportunity and future growth. I love working with small businesses. They are the backbone of every community. I think property owners, landlords, tenants, they’ve all had to shift and make adjustments and get creative and innovative. I think the future six to 12 months should be very exciting, and I look forward to working with businesses that are moving to the area want to enhance the market, flourish and grow, and provide a service that everyone can use and utilize. SESSIONS: The impact of increased materials costs is a short-term issue. We’ve experienced some of this before. Production and manufacturing are going to get back to normal worldwide, and these issues are going to be past us. I don’t know how long, three months, six months, nine months, but it’s just a little bump a the moment. The cost escalation issues are also going to normalize. One thing, as relates to the residential market, is that with the one exception of the Great Recession, prices historically, year over year, have never gone down. I fully suspect a year from now, and the pricing will normalize. With regard to the demand for commercial construction, we’ve seen a tremendous amount of residential growth, and as a result, the commercial construction market is going to be doing quite well for the next several years. Florida’s a very desirable place. I’m very optimistic about the future. SRQ

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Below: Brimming with brine, the cataplana de marisco will test your sea legs.


Amore reemerges to terrorize cod with Portuguese offerings. Andrew Fabian

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Left to right: ito and iana itorino, owner-operators at their new location. Stu ed with pork and potato, these croquettes o er safe harbor for cod. Amore estaurant, orth ime Ave., Sarasota, - - , amorelbk.com.

“WE HAVE A JOKE IN PORTUGAL THAT THERE ARE 365 WAYS TO COOK COD,” says Tito Vitorino of Amore. He and his wife, Liana, would know. Despite their vast experience managing one of Sarasota’s Italian food favorites, they grew up eating every permutation of cod under the sun in their native country of Portugal—baked cod, salted cod, cod fritters, cod stew, seared cod, cod salad, cod sandwiches. So, after their start-and-stop run with the Burns Court location that saw the restaurant succumb to the pressures of COVID-1 , the Vitorinos laid low and returned earlier this year at the Colonial Village Shopping Center at Fruitville and Lime with a pared-down version of their Italian selections and the addition of a Portuguese menu that will have cod swimming for their lives.

The celebration of Portugal’s “faithful friend” (as it is known in the European nation), begins right away with the appetizer selections. Both the espinheta de bacalhau and the bolinhos de bacalhau (“bacalhau” is “cod” in Portuguese) make use of salted cod, which played a major role in Portugal’s ability to dominate the seas in the age of exploration. Early seafarers pickled the sh with salt and created a highly nutritious food source that kept well on long voyages. With the espinheta, Amore introduces Sarasota to a Portuguese staple similar to ceviche. Raw shredded and salted cod gets mixed with sliced onion, garlic, parsley and black olives, and is then tossed with olive oil and red wine vinegar and served atop a bed of mixed greens. Tangy and chunky, the dish eats more like a cold entree than an appetizer. The bolinhos (fritters) come as fluffy little footballshaped pockets of mashed potato and salted cod spiced with onion, parsley and garlic, with garlic aioli and a marinara sauce served on the side. A farinheira and alheira croquette (a newer appetizer to the Portuguese half of 94 | srq magazine_ JUL/AUGE21 live local

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the menu that offers a brief reprieve for cod) contains two varieties of minced sausage rolled into a ball with potato, then breaded and fried. Alheira, made traditionally from poultry, is believed to have been devised by Portuguese Jews, according to Chef Tito. Farinheira is made from wheat, pork fat and spices. The croquettes come served atop a shallow puddle of tangy piri piri sauce—a Portuguese condiment appropriated from Africa that can taste anywhere from mustardlike (like Amore’s) to spicy. Back to terrorizing cod, the bacalhau a lagareiro features a massive cut of cod loin let baked atop large chunks of potato, asparagus spears and green beans, all of it doused in the olive oil it is basted in and topped with braised onions. The tender, flaky cod loin maintains its shape only by the grace of the bones in this particular cut. At the bottom of the bowl, the rich gravy (composed primarily of olive oil) offers the perfect dip for one of Amore’s signature garlic breadsticks—warm, salty and liable to leave little room for dessert.

But by far the most striking dish on the menu comes from the southern coast of Portugal in the Algarve region. Here, a robust history of sea trade and shing has yielded a seafood dish named after the pot it is made in: cataplana. An expensive clam-shaped pot, made traditionally of copper, the top half of a cataplana opens on a set of hinges while two latches help seal it shut when placed over heat. Like a crude pressure cooker, the pot traps the heat and recycles the contents’ juices until it creates a stew of extraordinarily rich flavor. Amore’s cataplana de marisco features lobster tail, shrimp, clams, mussels, calamari, bell peppers and potatoes in a briny broth that explores new depths of decadent umami. For those unwilling to brave the seafood preparation, the cataplana alentejana comes with marinated pork tenderloin, clams and potatoes in a white wine and pepper broth. Notably, the cataplanas offer one of the few safe harbors for cod on the Portuguese menu, but enough of cod’s neighbors are present to send a stark message: we’re coming for you, cod. SRQ PHOTOGRAPHY BY WYATT KOSTYGAN.

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Giving in to the island vibes, flavors and sounds at Southside seafood eatery, Reef Cakes. Brittany Mattie

ASSUMING YOU ARE FAMILIAR WITH THE DELICIOUS MARVEL OF A CRAB CAKE ALREADY, it’s time to familiarize yourself with a “Reef Cake.” The new Southside Village eatery is caking up all kinds of creations to create your ideal sandwich from the sea. Locally-sourced sh come fresh from a St. Pete seafood purveyor, and are then letted and assembled into handcrafted sh cakes with minimal breadcrumbs or lling. These delightful patties from Gulf waters and beyond are baked, then briefly seared to achieve a satisfying texture. The hockey-pucksize victuals eventually resemble your tried-and-true crab cake. When former New Englander Mike Martin was looking for a different way to cook his almost daily intake of seafood, these experimental patties became a real showstopper at the dinner table one night with his wife. “Our Asian-inspired salmon cakes were not only the rst cakes that evolved, but also my personal favorite,” says Martin. “The flavor and texture of this cake pairs wonderfully with the crunch and flavors of our house red cabbage slaw. The combination of fresh ginger and sesame oil make this dish a deep dive into some awesome Asian flavors.” 96 | srq magazine_ JUL/AUG21 live local

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Opposite page: Florida postcards and Jamaican magazine tear outs. Owner and seafood connoisseur Mike Martin wants to share a beer with you. This page: A spread of sh and crab cake variations served up on a silver platter with side dishes of roasted tricolored potatoes and a spring mix salad. eef Cakes, South sprey Ave., Sarasota, , reefcakes.com, reefcakes.

Build your own reef cake creation off of the protein of your choice—from local Jamaican jerk grouper, Cajun red snapper and Gulf shrimp to outliers like Chilean salmon, Maryland jumbo lump crab and New England lobster. Next, choose your “cake bed” preference from organic arugula, spring mix, organic baby spinach, kale or romaine (for low-carb options), or a baked baguette or brioche bun for the full handheld experience. Meanwhile, specialty “enhancers’’ (sauces Martin put zeal into creating for his fellow condiment lovers) allow you to add onto your masterpiece and kick your cake up a few notches. “We want our sauces to ‘enhance’ the meal, not take over and dominate the main protein,” he says. “When we constructed our jerk grouper cakes, it was a simple decision to pair that with our house-made Caribbean salsa. The spices and herbs in the cake are quickly complemented by the bright citrus-y flavors of pineapple-based salsa.” Summer corn relish, macadamia nut pesto, cilantro avocado crema, recracker sauce, orange ginger, teriyaki, scampi sauce, key lime tartar, the list of enhancers goes on. And from there, customers can get greedy with it, adding on grilled pineapple, jalapenos, dill pickles, applewood smoked bacon, vine-ripened tomatoes and more. The versatility you have

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with personalizing your own cake is what keeps you coming back to try out new flavor combinations and a different fusion of xings. Or, go in on the Island Charcuterie Board, which steps up your typical meat and cheese grazing board by incorporating a surf and turf verve. Presented with poached cocktail shrimp, Maryland jumbo lump crab, grilled pineapple, heirloom grape tomatoes and deviled eggs, the assorted Boar’s Head meats and cheeses surprisingly pair well with the seafood flavorings, cocktail sauce, Dijon mustard and assorted water crackers. Finish your meal on a sweet and tart note with key lime pie for dessert or a flight of Florida craft beers from a draft selection of breweries from Sarasota, Tampa and mile markers in-between. It’s easy to get sucked in for longer than you planned, sitting back and enjoying the islandy feel of the restaurant that’s gone full steam ahead with the nautical and reggae theme. Rattan light xtures hang from the ceiling while sh netting, seashells, driftwood accents and jute rope in sailor knots sporadically adorn the booths and walls—walls that are covered in larger-than-life murals by the Vitale Bros. of Tampa Bay Street Artist Collective. Painted shapes of octopus, lobster, hog sh, turtle, crab, snook and flowing seaweed grace the walls. Meanwhile, local carpenter Dave Cornell collaborated with


Martin to come up with the idea for custommade tabletops when Martin sourced coveted vintage Gulf Coast Florida postcards from eBay. Old images of Siesta Key, Longboat Key and Anna Maria Island—along with shots that date back pre-Sunshine Skyway Bridge, Marina Jack and Miramar Hotel—are arranged across the entire bar top, with some laid on their back to show off evocative, time-stamped messages to loved ones in cursive handwriting. “Sarasota natives really get a kick out of seeing these nostalgic images of the area—they usually end up sharing their memories and stories from the past with me,” he says. Martin scored more gems on eBay—a stack of 1970s and 1980s Jamaican reggae magazines—to use in the decor. Pages of vintage print were ripped out, glued and then glossed over each dining table for the guests’ reading enjoyment. “It was odd, actually, I noticed all the ones I purchased came from this one seller named Rank’n Dan from St. Augustine,” laughs Martin. “I thought it was so funny and cool that this guy had hoarded all these magazines from Jamaica, and lived just on the other coast. I decided to name a reef cake in his honor.” Diners will nd under Our Suggestions’ on the menu Rank’n Dan. Enjoy a Cajun snapper and shrimp cake slider served with Old Florida gourmet lime tortilla chips, Caribbean salsa and a cold Red Stripe beer. Ya Mon. SRQ

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Clockwise this page: Oysters the size of a st cooked ockefellerstyle. here’s a lot to go around with ripletail’s citrus grouper. ripletail Seafood Spirits, South amiami rl., Sarasota, - , tripletailsrq.com.

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With Tripletail, the Gecko’s family matures alongside its city.

Andrew Fabian

WHEN MIKE GOWAN AND MIKE QUILLEN FOUNDED eir fir ec o loca ion in eir goal a i le e u an e a lace or our rien o a e un ay o an e Mi e li e o o e a any arriage ro a ly ar e a e fir ec o o e ay e en a e en e o e arriage yiel e i e conce eca e ore a ily rien ly o o e i are en oying rin a ec o ile o an a a e a li le ore i e an re ource o en oy e finer ing n i ri le ail ea oo an iri o an an uillen original rien ro no a e a ore ele a e conce in ic o rin an e erry ile ill en oying e y er local eer li e i e a el e e Mi e gro along i e eir co uni y

The menu at Tripletail—appropriated from the Mikes’ prized acquisition of a Longboat Key staple, Dry Dock— offers diners fresh, Gulf-caught seafood in generous portions, and inspired cocktails made with premium spirits. Executive Chef Trae Peavey of Tripletail trained for several months at Dry Dock before bringing the menu over, all in an effort to ensure that even the appetizers strike the balance between decadent and approachable. Bacon-wrapped scallops come topped with a drizzle of maple syrup, creating a mouthwatering trinity of briny, savory and sweet without distracting from the simple beauty of scallops seared to a golden brown on the top and bottom. A nice opening salvo of Tripletail’s Due South smoked old fashioned pairs well with the sweetness of the scallops’ maple syrup drizzle. Made with Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum, honey, plum bitters and star anise smoke, the boozy cocktail gives off more of an island vibe than a traditional old fashioned made with whiskey. The oysters Rockefeller feature gargantuan mollusks sourced from the Gulf coast of Louisiana, where the freshwater of the Mississippi River helps make these some of the biggest, most tender oysters money can buy. Peavey buries them beneath garlicky creamed spinach and bacon bits piled high enough to make you forget there’s ample oyster meat underneath. A citrus grouper dinner stands as the most Floridacentric dish. Gulf-caught and seemingly cornfed, the massive cut of grouper comes lightly breaded and sauteed. The dish would be good enough without any extra sauces or seasoning (on account of the black pepper and lemon zest in the breading), but the addition of a small ramekin


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of a beurre blanc sauce made with pineapple and orange juices introduces a sweetness and tang not unlike a piña colada mixer. A side of rice seasoned with cilantro, onion and turmeric adds a bit more tropical flair to the dish. Tripletail’s signature paloma spritz—made with Gecko’s Private Maestro Dobel Anejo tequila, rosemary syrup, grapefruit juice, lime juice and bubbles—pairs exceptionally well with the grouper. The citrus juices accentuate the lemon zest and beurre blanc while the smokiness of the tequila and dryness of the prosecco broaden and balance the overall flavor pro le. Two more notable dinner entrees continue the valuedriven approach to ne food. The seafood pasta comes with not one, not two, but three different cuts of crustacean lobster, lump crabmeat and shrimp--served over linguine. The menu offers a choice of a wine-and-garlic, tomato basil or Tuscan cream sauce, though the wine-and-garlic sauce (which perfects the rich and balanced savoriness of the best scampis) will likely win out more often than the others. The crab cakes entree features lump jumbo crab with an emphasis on jumbo. Buttery and formed with large enough chunks to put chicken on notice, the cakes announce loudly and proudly that portion control is for the birds. For Mike Gowan and uillen and their restaurant group, Tripletail raises a glass to its longtime friends and customers. And, as those friends and customers have traded in their minivans for convertibles and their Disney weekends for Mediterrenean cruises, the underlying ethos is to give the people what they want: lots of food on their plate; heavy pours in their drinks; and a doting, friendly server that knows them by name. SRQ

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GROVE 10670 Boardwalk Loop, Lakewood Ranch, 941-893-4321. CONTEMPORARY GOURMET DINING Grove Restaurant, Patio and Ballroom is the newest offshoot of PIER 22, the award-winning waterfront destination headed by restaurateurs Hugh Miller and Greg Campbell. A full-service restaurant and events venue offering contemporary gourmet dining. The menu is elevated yet approachable and locally inspired. Housemade dishes emphasize fresh seasonal ingredients as well as innovative cooking methods, and with 27,000 square feet of dining space including an elegant 400 person ballroom there’s room for everyone at the table! M-Th 11:30am-10pm. F-Sa 11:30am-12am. Sun 11am-10pm.

MARINA JACK 2 Marina Plaza, Sarasota, 941-365-4232. SEAFOOD, STEAKS AND PASTA The Sarasota landmark offers its customers exceptional food and great atmosphere while dining on the water. Come to the dining room on the second floor and try some new items on the dinner menu. Start with braised mussels in a chorizo broth or short rib tostadas, which feature Gouda cheese and pulled slow-braised short rib. Open daily for lunch and dinner. M–Su 11:15am–11pm. MORTON’S GOURMET MARKET 1924 South Osprey Ave., Sarasota, 941955-9856. GOURMET GROCER It’s the place where you can spend a lazy Sunday morning sipping coffee and breaking off pieces of a scone, a frenetic Friday evening collecting rare cheeses, meat and wine for Saturday’s soiree or a quick lunchtime bite to go. For the la™er, Morton’s freshmade sushi, salad bar or ready-to-go tea sandwiches are longstanding local faves. M–Sa 7am–8pm. Su 9am–6pm. PIER 22 1200 1st Ave W, Bradenton, 941-748-8087. CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN Pier 22 takes waterfront dining to a new level. On the mouth of the Manatee River, the picturesque se™ing is relaxing and the perfect back-

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drop for any outing. With over 26,000 square feet of space, Pier 22 also offers catering and space for events. They focus on fresh, homemade fare and unique twists on everyday dishes. For lunch, try their so›-shell crab sandwich with jalapeno tartar sauce, with a side of poutine. While watching the sunset on the patio, dine on their fresh game of the day, sourced from around the world and always a surprise. M-Th 11:30am – 10pm. F-Sa 11:30am-10:30pm. Su 11am-10pm. Happy hour daily 3pm-7pm and Sunday Brunch 11am-3pm.

TSUNAMI SUSHI & HIBACHI GRILL 100 Central Ave, Suite 1022, Sarasota, 941-366-1033. ASIAN FUSION In the heart of downtown Sarasota Florida, Tsunami Sushi and Hibachi Grill stands alone for creative sushi, fresh sashimi and a new spin on asian fusion--all at remarkable prices. FRESH SUSHI- Made fresh before your eyes by their talented chefs. FULL BAR- They feature a full bar, with specialty cocktails like the Hibiscus Rose, Japanese Julep and Shinsu Sour. Asian entreesFresh and flavorful with the unique taste of Japan. M-F 11am-Close. Sat/ Sun 12pm-Close. Closed Daily 2:30-4:30pm. SHARKY’S ON THE PIER 1600 Harbour Dr. S, Venice, 941-488-1456. SEAFOOD A›er just one visit to Sharky’s On the Pier, Fins at Sharky’s or Snook Haven, you’ll understand why all three restaurants have become Venice-area landmarks, smack-dab on the water. Boasting unparalleled views of the 720-foot long Venice Fishing Pier and Gulf of Mexico for over 30 years, Sharky’s has made a name for itself as Florida’s “No. 1 Beach Bar” with complimentary live music and entertainment, family friendly fun and a whole lot of ocean. M–Th 11:30am–10pm. F–Sa 11:30am–12am. Sun 11:30am–10pm.

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Home design stories, inspiration and thoughtful architecture on the West Coast of Florida from Anna Maria Island and Lakewood Ranch to Sarasota, Venice and the Barrier Islands.

The Main FINDING HOME BASE With more than a decade of pitching experience for Major League Baseball under his three-time All-Star belt, Mark Melancon has sported jerseys for the New York Yankees, Houston Astros, Boston Red Sox, Pi sburgh Pirates, Washington Nationals, San Francisco Giants and Atlanta Braves. He and his family have chosen a quiet slice of Anna Maria Island paradise to build their private vacation home—a retreat for the couple and their three children when Melancon’s not standing on the pitching mound.

Trends CLOSER TO NATURE Taking inspiration from nature is nothing new to interior design, but many homeowners and designers are turning over a new leaf with shades of muted green.

STATEMENT VESSELS The vase is a trend unto itself right now; the more of these you have in your home, the better— regardless of composition or silhouette.

CLEVER STORAGE Manufacturers and designers are coming up with modern ways to store our possessions in a unique, creative fashion—influenced by the amount of time we’ve spent in our homes among all our stuff throughout the past year.

WOVEN MATERIALS There are a few identifiable materials that give us coastal-chic vibes—natural, seaside textiles and mediums that remind us of the upscale island essence of places like Bali, Tahiti and the Maldives.

Books Newly released architectural pages come bound and printed for the ardent designers, planners, builders and appreciators. COVER AND THIS PAGE AMI Vacation Home; Emily Moss, Interior Designer; Emilymossdesigns.com, @emiymossdesigns; Moss Builders, Custom Home Builder, mosscustombuilding.com; Beacon Home Design, Architectural Design, beaconhomedesign.com. 2


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Dreams don’t need to be chased – a vision can be built into reality. And that’s an unmatched experience Lee Wetherington Homes, harnessing 47 years of genuine homebuilding expertise, has provided daily for Suncoast homeowners. Lee Wetherington Homes can transform what was an intangible idea for a dream home and construct an immaculate custom build with every indoor and outdoor amenity imaginable. It’s “the difference,” a phrase often referenced among the design and building team, that Lee Wetherington Homes repeatedly brings to fruition for its clients. And regardless of where customers are located across the region, their desired home can be thoughtfully created and constructed from the ground up whether they’re settling into a gated community, tearing down and starting fresh or building on existing backcountry property. Lee Wetherington Homes’ high-quality builds can be found from Venice and Myakka City to Sarasota, Bradenton, Parrish and everywhere in between. It’s added proof that, wherever homeowners wish to reside, their unique concept will come to life. Lee Wetherington, the company’s founder, has championed the push to offer custom homes anywhere. That’s part of a vision to carry out an unparalleled homebuying experience for customers seeking an honest and truly professional builder. And it’s complimented by a design and building process that continues to create memorable moments every step of the way for satisfied homeowners. Lee Wetherington Homes’ promise for trustworthy and creative home construction begins in comfort at its brand-new, state-of-the-art design center. While being advised by an expert team of designers and builders, customers select everything from premier paint swatches to luxury lighting and the finest materials for their custom home. And that pledge is delivered with an unforgettable move-in day, when homeowners settle into the dream build they always imagined. Lee Wetherington Homes is a locally owned and operated company located in Lakewood Ranch, Florida with a very clear mission – we strive to provide you with the best experience in homebuilding. Exceeding your expectations, not just excelling in our industry, has been the utmost goal since our founding more than four decades ago when we began custom building exceptional homes for discerning Suncoast homeowners. Lee Wetherington Homes has built more than 4,000 homes while establishing a solid reputation in our region for remarkable quality, longstanding record of dedicated community service and unsurpassed customer satisfaction – one homeowner at a time.






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CLOSER TO NATURE Taking inspiration from nature is nothing new to interior design, but many homeowners and designers are turning over a new leaf with shades of muted green. Having grown (pun intended) in popularity since quarantine life—when the outdoors felt more like a grateful getaway than an everyday encounter—matted mossy hues, deep forest greens, variations of fresh or dried sage and palm leaf patterns are reigning supreme on accent walls, paneling and cabinetry throughout indoor spaces. W R I T T E N B Y Brittany Mattie


Expert for Sarasota design firm Chic on the Cheap weighs in on the trending earthtones. “We’re seeing sage green in cabinetry as a softer alternative to the dramatic black cabinet trend. Hues of green, just like blue, are comforting because they are the colors we see everyday in nature,” Patella says. “Many people are afraid of color but, remember, paint is the least expensive way to transform a room, and color done well is always in style! You don’t need to commit to painting your entire kitchen island sage green, but consider incorporating a shade of green on an accent wall, in accessories, or even a houseplant to warm up your space and provide color and texture.” Similarly, a concept used in the building industry known as Biophilic Design caters to humans who yearn for a connection to the natural environment in their homes. Through the use of direct nature, indirect nature and space and place conditions, Biophilic Design has been gaining momentum for a number of



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years, with more people realizing the importance of feeling close to nature. When we can’t be outdoors, how do we create a space where we at least feel like nature is not too far away? “Our taste in color and style are a direct reaction to the world around us. So it’s no surprise the last 18 months had us craving adventure and the outdoors,” Patella says. “Need proof? Just look at how many Facebook groups are dedicated to houseplants!” Houseplants give off healthful oxygen for us to breathe, calming our senses, making us feel more grounded and creating a dwelling that makes us feel “out in the open” instead of enclosed in a box. “Studies have proven the positive impact natural elements have on our mental wellbeing when incorporated into our interior environment,” says Patella, “and who doesn’t want to be in a space that makes them feel happy and comfortable?” And, if you’re notoriously known for killing just about every potted plant you’ve ever owned (we know a lot of you are out there), consider going all in on a larger-than-life palm leaf wall


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SOURCE IT Work with these local design professionals to achieve this trend

mural decal/wall covering instead. “Blush paired with palmprint green has seen a huge resurgence in recent years as well,” says Patella, “perhaps most notably in the classic Beverly Hills Banana Leaf pattern we’ve seen in fashion and home décor.” A pattern as iconic as the neighborhood it originated, the whimsy banana leaf pattern seems to be popping up in bathrooms and bedrooms from Brooklyn to the Bahamas. Whether you live in a cramped studio apartment or a sprawling beachfront home, a tropical wallcovering can not only transform your entire interior space to feel more lively in a fundamental fashion, but dispatch you from urban jungle to actual jungle the second you walk in the door. SRQH&D

For color consulting and design services, contact Amanda Patella at amanda@chiconthecheap.net, Chic on the Cheap, 242 S. Washington Blvd., #118, Sarasota, 1-866-663-6062, chiconthecheap.net, @chic.on.the.cheap. To branch out beyond the typical neutral kitchen, bathroom or laundry room, achieve the transitional green cabinetry look with a professional remodel through Magnolia Cabinet Company, 1830 S. Osprey Ave., Suite 107, Sarasota, 941-9068744, magnoliasrq.com, @magnoliasrq.

For a DIY room makeover, source endless shades of green earth tones from Benjamin Moore Paints—such as Pinelands 446, Adirondack Green 453, Cedar Path 454, Boreal Forest AF-480, Herb Garden 434 or Saybrook Sage HC114—at local paint shop Sarasota Paint Company, with five locations in the Sarasota/Bradenton area, 941-955-7004, sarasotapaint.com, @sarasotapaint.


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To stock up on leafy green plants that thrive indoors and are easy to care for—such as Bird’s Nest Fern, Monstera Deliciosa, Fiddle Leaf Fig/ Ficus Lyrata, Sansevieria ‘Snake’ Plant, Bamboo Palm and Philodendron ‘Green’ Cordatum hanging plant—take a trip to local nursery and garden center Your Farm and Garden, 735 S. Beneva Rd., Sarasota, 941-366-4954, yourfarmandgarden.com.

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FIRM // Vertical | Design+Build CONTENT WRITER // Abby Weingarten PHOTOGRAPHER // Ryan Gamma Photography

Modern Elegant Equipped with the “best available expertise in building science,” the team at Sarasota’s Vertical | Design+Build has created a coastal bayfront modern home that is a paragon of longevity.

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ocated on Tangier Way, overlooking Sarasota Bay, this brand-new, 6,175-square-foot residence was constructed to weather the often-unforgiving Southwest Florida climate. The four-story, fivebedroom, five-bathroom concrete block house features elevated, cantilevered concrete slab floors on 25foot pilings. It exemplifies the durable design upon which the firm has built its reputation. “At Vertical, we are involved in collaborating on the design from conception to completion— through planning all of the thousands of details, to the installation and creation of the finished product,” says Grant Castilow, the president of Vertical | Design+Build, who has been a general contractor for 16 years. “It’s my opinion that the more collaborative the design process is, the more costeffective and time-efficient the build will ultimately be.” Castilow and his staff at Vertical | Design+Build have more than five decades of experience in designing and building award-winning, high-end custom homes along the Florida Gulf Coast. The firm features an internal design studio with a state-licensed architect, a team of interior designers and a construction management staff. “We are a design-builder of custom homes between $1 and $2 million, and we work from Boca Grande to Tampa Bay, primarily doing coastal construction,” Castilow says. “We have also been called upon for what we call ‘whole-house luxury remodeling.’” In the Tangier Way home, luxury and sustainability blended seamlessly. The homeowners had lived on the Sarasota street for 25 years and requested a teardown of their existing residence. After studying the soil and the structure’s proximity to the bay, the owners opted to put the home on piles—an ultra-conscious move that would serve the building far into the future. “It was not a requirement of FEMA but rather a collaboration with the owner, architect, site contractor and geotechnical folks—to provide the best foundation that would withstand any flooding and the environment in Sarasota,” Castilow says. “We wanted this home, overall, to be put together so that it was maintenance-free, and to make this a home

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“A better-built home is one that uses preferred building science methods and performance materials. The materials we put on the home will be there forever.” Grant Castilow, Vertical | Design+Build

Clockwise this spread:

An expansive view of the mangroves from the living space; clean lines articulate the spacious master bathroom; exteriors at sunset; and, the master bedroom suite with patios overlooking the waterfront.

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that would create a legacy for the homeowners. They’re planning to pass this home down to future generations and wanted a home that would withstand the test of time—both architecturally and from a maintenance/ lifecycle cost standpoint.” To achieve this, the Vertical team implemented a full insulation strategy to seal the entire home (and maintain indoor air quality); positively pressurizing the home to create a higher interior air pressure than the exterior (to allow the home to breathe from the inside out and keep pressure at bay); and using a high-efficiency, right-sized air-conditioning system. “A better-built home is one that uses preferred building science methods and performance materials. All of the components and cladding we put on the house are nonwood (either cementitious or composite). The materials we put on the home will be there forever,” Castilow says. “These green, eco-friendly strategies are the gold standard for performance materials, and that’s all we know how to do.” Some of the home’s highlights include an array of Thermador appliances; Sawn Rosewood Cabinetry in the kitchen, theater, office and great room and Cuisimax Lastra polyglass white cabinets in the kitchen and bathroom vanities by Epoch Solutions, Inc; quartz countertops by Architectural Marble and Florentine Marble; Lauzon maple carob semi-gloss wood floors by International Wood Floors; Mountain Ledge exterior decorative stone cladding by Eldorado Stone; and stunning landscaping by Hazeltine Nurseries. “I would describe this home as ‘coastal modern elegant.’ It’s very elegant to me but not cold,” Castilow says. “I think the way the home was

designed to frame the views is what stands out—from all the living areas, including the rooftop area—framing the views of Sarasota Bay and the evening sunsets.” The home also contains long-term, low-maintenance roofing material; insulated impact glazing on the windows and sliding glass doors; and stone flooring in the living areas. Every material was cherry-picked for its fortitude. “We take pride in the fact that we’re able to be involved in the decisions of picking the best materials, and that we can help our clients to make informed decisions. We’re always providing creative solutions,” Castilow says. “I want to build dream homes for my clients, and client satisfaction is the bar by which I measure success.” Working hand in hand with architects is an essential part of the Vertical process, Castilow says. “The most successful projects I’ve ever done were those that were more collaborative. Architects are integral to what I do,” Castilow says. “Their design informs our technical part, and our technical part informs their design.” For the Tangier Way home, the architecture was the product of CMSA Architects in Sarasota, with collaboration from MGB Built, Snell Engineering, Armor Systems, Graham Interiors and Hazeltine Nurseries. “We utilize only the most skilled, talented designers and quality craftspeople at Vertical. Ours is a highly creative and collaborative process that delivers the magic,” Castilow says. “The process of designing and building a home is a source of pride for our entire team. And the inspired result is one that we can guarantee as exceptionally built to stand the test of time.” MH

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Vertical | Design+Build 1371 Boulevard of the Arts Suite B, Sarasota 941-263-4999 verticaldesignbuild.com

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STATEMENT VESSELS The vase is a trend unto itself right now. The more of these you have in your home, the better—regardless of composition or silhouette. Yet, there are undoubtedly a few styles that have begun to establish themselves as the “it” pieces of today—showing up on Instagram feeds, as well as in design studios and home stores. They are geometric, abstract-shaped structural vases that are as artistic as they are functional—designed for holding dried stems of trending pampas grass. W R I T T E N B Y Brittany Mattie

THE TASTEMAKERS AT SARASOTA DESIGN STUDIO, PANSY BAYOU, remain aficionados in luxe interiors, lifestyle furnish-

ings and craftsmanship. And they are currently leaning heavily into the trendy vessels at hand—utilizing them as not just practical assets but also as powerful interior accents. “At Pansy Bayou, much of our time is spent working on computers, figuring out the puzzle pieces that put together a beautiful interior. But there is nothing we like better than pulling a vase off the shelf and filling it with Gulf Coast greens,” says Ellen Hanson, owner of Pansy Bayou and Ellen Hanson Designs (her design team includes Lisa Hargus and Studio Director Casey Stephenson). “We especially love the energetic



color play of a tropical leaf with either a moody dark vessel or a brightly-colored one for unexpected eye candy in our rooms.” At Pansy’s retail shop and showroom, find a line of structural vases and pitchers by Philadelphia-based home goods manufacturer, Edgewood Made. The Sectional Vase Series consists of abstract pieces made from porcelain and inspired by the vascular systems of trees. Each vase can be displayed on its own, or paired with others from the series to display together in a myriad of arrangements that create sculptural tablescapes. Edgewood Made’s handcrafted vases consist of a matte, raw porcelain exterior with a gloss-glaze interior—a construction that combines simple beauty with durability. SRQH&D


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SOURCE IT Pansy Bayou Design Studio, 1533 Dolphin St., Sarasota, 941-413-5115, pansybayou.com, @pansy_bayou_ design_studio; ellenhansondesigns. com, @ellenhansondesigns. Images courtesy of Pansy Bayou Design Studio.


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CLEVER STORAGE There’s a common need to find creative and sustainable ways to remain neat and tidy (even if we’re hiding a mountain of cleaning supplies, toys and eyesores behind some kind of closet door or drawer). Manufacturers and designers are coming up with modern ways to store our possessions in a unique, mixed-use fashion—influenced by the amount of time we’ve spent in our homes among all our consumption of things throughout the past year. W R I T T E N B Y Brittany Mattie


for your entrance way, made of Gunmetal-finished iron and light acacia shelving with a removable mirror. The shelf forms an open, airy framing—perfectly sized to check a reflection before heading out, slipping your shoes on from underneath or leaning a yoga mat against for a quick exit. “This is a modern take on the popular mudroom storage nook,” explains Blu Home Co-Owner Nicole Dolan. “This version by Four Hands is freestanding with sleek lines—perfect for Sarasota’s mid-century modern homes.” It has a long vertical mirror for you to check out your outfit before leaving the house, as well as integrated wooden shelving units to hold/show off aesthetics like books, magazines, candles and flower arrangements. All the while, there is plenty of hanging space with built-in hooks for jackets, hats and bags, ideal in the entryway or anywhere extra storage is needed. Look for similar, stylish pieces that offer multi-purpose, mixed-use storage without the bulk. SRQH&D

SOURCE IT Blu Home, 1830 S. sprey Ave., #101, Sarasota, 941-364-2900, shopbluhome.com, @bluhome sarasota.



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WOVEN MATERIALS There are a few identifiable materials that give us coastal-chic vibes—natural, seaside textiles and mediums that remind us of the upscale island essence of places like Bali, Tahiti and the Maldives. The thin, pliable stems of a palm (known as rattan) wave proliferated throughout bohemian-clad spaces and on Instagram feeds near you. W R I T T E N B Y Brittany Mattie


SOURCE IT Blu Home, 1830 South Osprey Ave., #101, Sarasota, 941-364-2900, shopbluhome.com, @bluhomesarasota. Studio G Home, 1530 State St., Sarasota, 941-504-5235, studioghome. com, @sarasotastyle.



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furniture such as ottomans, chairs, light fixtures, drawer knobs, headboards and more. Jute is another natural, rough fiber made from the stems of a tropical Old World plant and it is often used for making twine/rope that is woven into matting for an environmental area rug. Cane webbing, woven rush and wicker furniture have also evolved, and been elevated, with contemporary finishes or upholstery. From collecting dust in Old Florida beach homes to now making appearances in coastal-chic modern abodes, Nicole Dolan, co-owner of Blu Home, remains an avid proponent of the woven decor trend. “This year, our shop aims to create a space of retreat,” Dolan says. “Weathered wood, rattan and natural stone textures and elements make a home feel more alive and comfortable. With hints of black mixed in with neutral staples, you create a dimensioned room that can be enhanced with colorful, soft goods and interesting accessories.” Owner and ASID Interior Designer Gail Carlson Brundage of Studio G Home shares what makes a home a “healthy home” with all-natural textiles in the bedroom and bathroom. “Health and wellness influence many aspects of our lives,” she says. “The ‘Healthy Home’ incorporates organic and non-toxic materials, biophilic design, and can include using natural seaside materials.” The Studio G team is committed to not only creating a personal sanctuary but improving clients’ overall quality of life—procuring linens, sheets and towels that are as kind to the environment as the body, sans chemical ingredients (bleaches, dyes, finishes or formaldehyde). “Within our curated collection of furniture, bath and bedding, we strive to reduce our impact on the environment by using non-toxic, organic and renewable materials,” she says. “Using natural, sustainable materials, we improve our indoor air quality and connect with nature through the use of natural fibers—such as linen, wool, cotton and wood pulp.” Graccioza, for example, is a NY-based bath linen company Studio G carries that partnered with the Seaqual Initiative to formulate high-grade cotton fibers with recycled polyester yarn of marine origin— upcycled from plastic pollution collected from the ocean. “Nature is the essential puzzle piece for finding the perfect balance,” Carlson says. SRQH&D


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NESTING IN THE NEW ERA Newly released architectural pages come bound and printed for the ardent designers, planners, builders and appreciators. C O M P I L E D B Y Grace Castilow

VISIONS OF HOME: TIMELESS DESIGN, MODERN SENSIBILITY Written by Andrew Cogar and Marc Kristal, and photographed by Eric Piasecki. This new volume from the Historical Concepts architectural firm daringly features remarkable homes that are rooted in tradition but exhibit deliberate touches of modern sensibility. INVITING INTERIORS: A FRESH TAKE ON BEAUTIFUL ROOMS The first book written by Atlanta interior designer Melanie Turner. Wielding a seemingly timeless excellence, her work is largely inspired by her love of fashion and borrows much of its palette from nature. In the book, she shares many of her secrets for creating and maintaining fabulous yet functional interiors. DESIGN REMIX: A NEW SPIN ON TRADITIONAL ROOMS Written by interior designer Corey Damen Jenkins, who is known for his vibrant and youthful take on traditionalism. Jenkins relays his unique perspective on interiors that have been brilliantly reimagined from their traditional backgrounds. DESIGN THE HOME YOU LOVE: PRACTICAL STYLING ADVICE TO MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR SPACE Lee Mayer and Emily Motayed, co-founders of online interior design company Havenly, came together yet again to write this personalized hardcover. They dedicate themselves to breaking down the intimidating realm of home design in ways that are accessible to consumers. JUNGALOW: DECORATE WILD Coined the “ultimate guide to creating free-spirited interiors,” Justina Blakeney’s Jungalow is complete with bold styles, patterns and artwork. Photographed by Dabito, the founder and creative director of Old Brand New creative studio. BUILDHER: EMPOWERING WOMEN TO BUILD & RENOVATE THEIR DREAM HOME An exceedingly unique take on new builds and home renovations written by Kribashini Hannon and Rebeka Morgan. BuildHer details the process from their first steps through to styling. WILD CREATIONS Written by interior and plant designer Hilton Carter, Wild Creations is just that—a wild creation. Dubbed the “LeBron James of plant styling” by Good Morning America, this book specifies how homeowners can efficiently make, style, decorate and care for their own plants and Special order from local bookseller surrounding interiors. SIMPLY SUSTAINABLE: MOVING TOBookstore1, 12 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota, WARD PLASTIC-FREE, LOW-WASTE LIVING Writer Lily Cameron 941-365-7900, sarasotabooks.com strives to break the unsustainable plastic habits of consumers with simple steps to guide them on their individual journeys toward the lower-waste homes of the future. SRQH&D




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FINDING HOME BASE This design team hits a homerun for a pro-baseball player and his family’s AMI vacay pad.

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WRITTEN BY Brittany Mattie PHOTOGRAPHY BY Amy Lamb / Anne Yarbrough and Gigi O’dea Photographer NativeHouse Photography

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WITH MORE THAN A DECADE OF PITCHING EXPERIENCE for Major League Baseball under his three-time All-Star belt, Mark Melancon has sported jerseys for the New York Yankees, Houston Astros, Boston Red Sox, Pisburgh Pirates, Washington Nationals, San Francisco Giants and Atlanta Braves. Currently the closing pitcher for the San Diego Padres, Melancon and his wife, Mary Catherine (owners of Diamond Turf), have done their fair share of traveling and moving. It’s safe to say they’ve seen more of the east and west coasts than the average person, and yet, they’ve chosen a lile quiet slice of Anna Maria Island paradise to build their private vacation home—a retreat for the couple and their three children when Melancon’s not standing on the pitching mound. The architectural planning and development began in late 2018, with the build reaching completion in November 2020. “Mark and Mary Catherine gave me total creative freedom with this project but, like with all clients, we had numerous design meetings, discussing style preferences, use of the spaces and function of

the home to get us started,” says Emily Moss of Emily Moss Designs, the interior designer for this championship project. Unlike many other traditional Florida homes that tend to take on a primarily coastal-themed concept or mid-century modern design style, the Melancons’ home emits an adversely eclectic and funky feel. “Perhaps a good term for it would be ‘spritely, seaside chic,’” says Moss. “Being that we do mostly coastal-inspired design, this project still has those elements running through—like weathered wood tones, ocean blue colors, natural linens and textures, and bright white spaces—but integrated with sophisticated detailing in the custom casegoods, glam marble tiles, metallic accents and urban art. It was fun to add spaces that clients requested, like the theater room and the playroom, which make the home so unique, personal and liveable.” Ultimately, the lively design choices throughout the house reflect the young, active family that lives there. Of the standout elements running throughout the house, Moss’ favorite to


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create was the kids’ playroom. “The playroom was so fun because we don’t get to flex those whimsical muscles too oen,” she says. “We got a lot of enjoyment picking out the bulbous, uniquely shaped seating and the elements of surprise (like their kids’ names hidden in the word search artwork adorning the entire back wall).” In addition, the “smoothie room” off the kitchen has some noteworthy custom tile work and “is such a joyful surprise when you walk in,” says Moss. “We love that no space is too tiny to have an impact.” Meanwhile, in the theater room, the stained, paneled walls give the home theater a darkened, eclipsed ambiance—perfect for Friday night movies with the family or a late poker night with the couple’s friends. Beacon Home Design of Bradenton came up with the grand-slam architectural design of the waterfront home. And the contractor who made it come to life was Holmes Beachbased Moss Builders—co-owned by Emily Moss’ husband, Ryan Moss, who worked in construction on AMI for more than 13 years. Since Ryan Moss gained his contracting license, he has managed 60-plus homes on the island. “We love our builders and local tradespeople who make most of the custom design happen the way we imagine,” says Emily Moss. And, as far as art and decor are concerned, Emily Moss had a young and talented local artist, Elle Leblanc, hand-paint the playroom’s word search mural mentioned above. “Every project we take on is different, even if there is a coastal current that ties them all together stylistically,” Emily Moss says of working with clients to achieve their own version of “island time.” “Sometimes it’s more bold, sometimes more neutral. Good design should reflect the homeowners and how they want to exist in the space,” she says. “This project was a dream because we got to be creative in our use of repeated color pale•es, material selections and different styles under one roof—a li•le bit sophisticated, relaxed, dramatic, southern, coastal, kid-friendly...you name it. It was our job to weave those things together in a way that felt cohesive.” SRQH&D

Credits: Emily Moss, Interior Designer; Emilymossdesigns.com, @emiymossdesigns; Moss Builders, Custom Home Builder, mosscustombuilding.com; Beacon Home Design, Architectural Design, beaconhomedesign.com.



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CANDI MALBuRG AND AARON PERRY Living Vogue 1540 Main St., Sarasota, FL 34236 c: 941.281.5567 candi@livingvogue.com

ALEXANDRIA TWIGG Lucido Global of Keller Williams Realty AlexandriaTwigg@Lucidoglobal.com c: 941.350.7044 @srqrealestate




MARK BOEHMIG Michael Saunders & Company markboehmig@michaelsaunders.com c: 941.807.6936 MARKITSOLDFL.COM

ANDREW AND NATALIE TANNER Premier Sotheby’s International Realty Peter G. Laughlin Group Andrew Tanner c: 941.539.0998 Natalie Tanner c: 941.539.0989

AlexandriaTwigg.Sarasota. LucidoGlobal.com


TEAM DUNN Foundational to Team Dunn’s business is the notion of going above and beyond for all who hire their services no matter the price point. Known for orchestrating contractors, local tradespersons, moving services, and more, Lin and Maurice consistently provide an ever-expanding network of resources, honesty, empathy, and follow-through. Their commitment to each customer is to build a lifetime relationship on trust, communication, transparency, value, and longevity. Team Dunn works hard to ensure that each experience is exceptional and exceeds expectations. Partners Lin Dunn and Maurice Menager personify professionalism and

integrity. Their philosophy of exceptional client service and building “Relationships for Life” assures each relationship lasts far beyond the transaction process. Their 42 years of combined real estate knowledge and exceptional client care translate to stellar results for their customers, as well as within the industry. Lin and Maurice have consistently been recognized by leading broker Michael Saunders & Company for their top performance at the company’s iesta ey office, recipients of the ounder’s ward, and ohn McMahon Award. Passionate about Sarasota and the lifestyle it offers, Team Dunn’s reputation has become more than a history of benchmark sales, and they are often viewed as true ambassadors of the region in addition to distinguished real estate professionals.

Maurice Menager c 941-238-8119 | Lin Dunn c 941-809-2154 5100 Ocean Blvd. Sarasota, FL 34242 | TeamDunn.michaelsaunders.com

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“A home exudes energy, personality and character. It is a place where life happens and memories are made. It’s not just a house to us. It is YOUR home.” —srq premier realty


Known for stellar results, integrity, and gentility, Mark Boehmig sets himself apart

MARK BOEHMIG To Mark, real estate is about relationships and his purpose is to guide those who want to buy or sell residential property. For every customer he serves, Mark looks for the small details that make the experience important to the individuals so they can have an exceptional experience, as well as every need met. His promise to his customers is connection, commitment, and communication on every level. Supported by his experience and earning his GRI, CLHMS, and Ninja Selling Training, Mark ensures goals are accomplished and bonds are forged beyond contacts.

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from other real estate professionals in Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, and Sarasota just by being himself. His portfolio of customer success stories has placed him in the upper echelon of agents for leading Gulf Coast broker Michael Saunders & Company – named the highest performer for the company’s radenton office before transitioning to the akewood anch office. s your advocate, ark works tirelessly to promote your best interests working toward the goal of minimi ing inconveniences associated with the home buying and selling process. He does this through what he considers an integral part of his business, maintaining an open line of communication to keep you informed at all times. When selling, he works with you to achieve success by using his proven ark it old ome alue Maximizer.” Using his knowledge of digital and traditional media he covers every type of communication your potential buyer could receive. When you are buying, he works diligently to provide you with the best information and market data so you’re well-equipped and well-informed, putting you in a strong position for negotiating. More than a real estate agent, ark’s value is hard to duplicate. ark’s active community involvement and connections serve him two fold, allowing him a window into the agricultural, government, educational, and corporate facilities that allow our region to prosper and developing a strong network for his customers. e is a member of the owntown edevelopment Committee, ECD for the Lakewood Ranch Business lliance, and is involved with the lobal usiness ouncil. dditionally, he served three years on the Board of Directors for Realize Bradenton and is a 2017 graduate of Leadership Manatee.

Mark Boehmig, REALTOR®, GRI, CLHMS c 941.807.6936 MarkitSoldFL.com | markboehmig@michaelsaunders.com

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CANDI MALBURG AARON PERRY CANDI MALBURG As a native Floridian and proud single

mom, Candi is deeply rooted in the Sarasota/Lakewood Ranch area- This is her home. Candi loves to introduce clients to her city, its culture and community, as well as the local businesses and restaurants. Knowing the different neighborhoods inside and out, she has seen their changes and growth over the past 38 years. Her clients appreciate her extensive market knowledge and love for the community and people that live here. A keen eye for aesthetics and design, combined with 20 years of sales experience, Candi specializes in luxury and investment properties. Candi is a member of the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing as well as the National Association of Realtors. As a local entrepreneur and investment property owner, she helps her clients to make smart moves and investments. Additionally, Candi is an excellent and fierce negotiator, so it didn’t come as a surprise that she was able to negotiate $100K off the asking price during a sale. When andi isn’t selling real estate, you can either find her spending leisure time with her son at the skatepark, working out at the gym, or exploring the outdoors with her ikon . Whether you’re a luxury or first time home buyer, trying to score the perfect property or a cozy nest to raise your children, Candi is the Realtor for you! She will be your advocate and leave no stone unturned until you’re happy.

AARON PERRY Bad boy son of Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry, Aaron Perry was born and raised in Boston, MA, but frequently visited Florida throughout his life. Aaron has spent the better part of the last decade touring and running the social media accounts for Aerosmith, Joe Perry and The Hollywood Vampires, gaining his clients over 3,000,000 followers on Instagram and over 10,000,000 across social media in the first few years. With his extensive knowledge in all things tech and background in social networking, photography and social media, Aaron is able to put your home in front of potential buyers from all over the world. Having toured all four corners of the globe and everything in between, Aaron made his way to Florida during the beginning of 2020 and is now proud to call Sarasota, FL his home.

Living Vogue | 1540 Main St. Sarasota, FL 34236 c. 941.281.5567 candi@livingvogue.com

MISSION STATEMENT In the words of Douglas Adams “To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity”. In a copy-paste world it is our mission to bring authenticity and honesty back into real estate. We understand that often times this is not the case and money is usually the driving force in transactions. Getting our clients the most for their home is always our end-goal, but so is building relationships and helping to guide our clients in the right direction—one that never compromises integrity.

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ANDREW AND NATALIE TANNER “Fulfilling lifestyle dreams and creating outstanding results and value by delivering the highest quality of service that exceeds the expectations of our clients —every transaction, every day.” This client-focused vision and mission elevates Andrew and Natalie Tanner above and beyond with highly-evolved core values that guide their client relationships: inclusive, dependable, inspired, accomplished, intentional and notable.

A world-class fashion modeL with her image on Time Square billboards and magazine covers, Natalie traveled the world and gained an awareness of true luxury during photo shoots at spectacular homes and resort locations. After meeting Andrew in NYC, they married and settled in Sarasota to start a family. A mother of two, she knows that a property is not only an investment, but a place where families create a home to thrive, dream and build lifelong memories. With a keen eye for seeing the possibilities in a home, Natalie makes the buying or selling process joyful and easy. She brings her drive, persistence and nurturing to consciously connect sellers, homes and buyers. An accomplished and well-traveled business professional, Andrew imparts a global perspective to the discerning luxury client. British by birth, Andrew moved to New York City in his 20s where he established multiple European handmade clothing houses. Collaborating exclusively with Italian sartorial artisans, he clothed renowned film stars and Wall treet titans, garnering the trust of America’s elite. While immersed in New York’s haute couture, he met international model Natalie Laughlin, married and moved to Sarasota. Once here, Andrew shifted his professional focus toward renewable energy and sustainable building. e has built energy efficient homes, provided guidance to architects and builders to improve energy efficiencies, and owned a national solar company. Andrew has a clear understanding of the quality of workmanship, materials and products that make a home extraordinary. Already past the $100 million mark in sales volume for this year, Andrew and Natalie share some of their secrets to success: “We pledge to get to know you and give you the luxury of unhurried time to listen to your goals. We provide the tools, the staff and the know-how to cover every detail so you don’t have to. Our service is second to none. And outstanding results put more money where it belongs—in your pocket.”

Premier Sotheby’s International Realty Andrew Tanner c: 941.539.0998 Natalie Tanner c: 941.539.0989 PeterGLaughlin.com

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ANDREW AND NATALIE have built a distinguished reputa-

tion providing outstanding results in Sarasota’s luxury real estate market. As members of the Peter G. Laughlin Group, one of Sarasota’s top real estate groups, they consistently assist clients in making choices that positively impact their lifestyles and wealth.

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ALEXANDRIA TWIGG A Sarasota native her entire life, Alexandria Twigg started her real estate career in 2015. With a strong passion for the housing market and helping clients, Alexandria has excelled in her beginning years of real estate being a top producer on her team.

Alexandria Twigg was named Team Leader for the Sarasota Lucido Global Expansion Team, and voted Rookie of the Year for the Lucido Global Organization, the largest Keller Williams team worldwide, closing $896M in sales in 2020 for 2444 units. Alexandria attended the University of Alabama where she studied Marketing and Real Estate and moved back to her home town of Sarasota in 2017 to continue pursuing her real estate career with Keller Williams and Lucido Global. Alexandria is an avid advocate for young business professionals as an active member of the Suncoast Young Professionals Network and the founding President of Keller Williams Young Professionals Sarasota/Manatee Chapter. Alex has won the newcomer of the year award as well as the YPN member of the year from the Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee. Alex strives to lead her team members in growing their businesses while delivering an unparalleled level of customer service and client satisfaction at Lucido Global. Outside of Real Estate Alex serves her community as a member of the Junior League of Sarasota. MISSION ur mission to change lives by redefining real estate. Our purpose to deliver the ultimate real estate experience by providing incredible value, exceptional service, and family like culture. Our values are integrity, knowledge, results, culture, service, passion, success, style, teamwork, innovation.

Team Leader, Broker Associate & Partner Lucido Global of Keller Williams Realty c: 941-320-0548 AlexandriaTwigg@Lucidoglobal.com AlexandriaTwigg.Sarasota.LucidoGlobal.com @srqrealestate

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Step into the hot and humid limelight of sinful summer bliss with a foray of midsummer events, activities, to-do's and trends from satisfyin...


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