SRQ Magazine | Love Local — April 2019

Page 1

APRIL 2019



6 0


74470 93873

APRIL 2019





BesT of SRQ Local


APRIL 2019 | $4.00 US

L I V E L O C A L | L O V E L O C A L


FIN2-SRQAPR19_Cover.indd 1

3/19/19 2:34 PM

Ads-APR19.indd 2

3/16/19 4:59 PM

Ads-APR19.indd 1

3/16/19 4:48 PM

Ads-APR19.indd 2

3/19/19 1:13 PM

Ads-APR19.indd 3

3/16/19 4:49 PM

Ads-APR19.indd 4

3/16/19 4:49 PM

Ads-APR19.indd 5

3/19/19 1:13 PM


This page: 2019 H of the Year Best Lan Platinum Winner, C Property—DWY La Architects; Architec Leader Design Stu Design by SAWA D Studio.

April 2019

BEST OF SRQ LOCAL | THROWBACK TO THE 90S It’s been 20 years since SRQ magazine first hit mailboxes in the (941) and beyond, and the sunshine’s only gotten sweeter since—as evidenced each year with the annual Best of SRQ Local Competition, giving mad props to the bangin’ local businesses that make each season better than the last. This year, we celebrate the here and now with a little trip to the way back when, to where it all started, to that weird and wonderful superunknown we remember simply as the ‘90s. Hold on hella tight and stay frosted, this trip ain’t for scrubs. Written by Phil Lederer, Brittany Mattie and Jacob Ogles. Photography by Wyatt Kostygan.

SRQAPR19_TOC.indd 6

3/19/19 1:09 PM


N.J. Olivieri and Kelly Olivieri Gilliland

A FA M I LY DY N A S T Y Horizon Mortgage Corporation has lead the way in commercial mortgage banking on the West Coast of Florida since 1979. With a milestone of 40 years to celebrate, the Sarasota-based enterprise looks back on its humble beginning and its upwinding success as a father-daughter powerhouse—grown to be one of the most trusted and sought-after mortgage lenders in the region. With four decades of building contacts, market insight, operative leverage and customer relations in the financial marketplace, Horizon Mortgage Corporation remains a force as a full-service real estate advisory group at its core. Having developed the ability to secure loans not typical of what most banks offer, which are inclusive of land loans, mezzanine or second mortgage financing, portfolio loans, equity raises, construction financing and more, it continuously pioneers what it means to be a mortgage broker in such a fluctuating and variable market. A S P E C I A L B R A N D STO RY M A R K E T I N G F E AT U R E | S R Q M A G A Z I N E | A P R I L 2 0 1 9

BrandStory_V2_2019-04-HORIZONMORTGAGE.indd 7

3/19/19 1:16 AM

HORIZON PAST, PRESENT & FUTURE HORIZON MORTGAGE’S INVALUABLE CAPABILITY to close any type of commercial transaction can be ascribed to the unique background and story of President/ Founder N.J. Olivieri and daughter Kelly Gilliland, Executive Vice President. Together, they’ve created a collaborative balance in business, using both their strengths to excel as a household name in the industry. From genuine customer service and taking the time to understand every client’s personal and financial situations as well as their goals, to their tireless focus on eliminating risk, and providing intuitive expertise in underwriting both the asset in question, as well as the credibility of the borrower and the marketplace, customers find themselves in caring and capable hands at Horizon Mortgage. Before Horizon reached a closing average of $350,000,000 a year in commercial mortgage placements, $175,000,000 a year in real estate sales and closing $500,000,000 in equity placements, President N.J. Olivieri put his time in, working for several commercial mortgage-banking firms around the U.S., before moving down to Sarasota and self-starting Horizon Mortgage Corporation in 1979. For the past 40 years, Olivieri’s highly-regarded reputation and consistent deal closings have catapulted Horizon to be one of the largest commercial banking companies on the West Coast of Florida, and recently named the 59th largest commercial lender in the United States by National Real Estate Investor magazine. Though home-based in Sarasota, Horizon has steadily built a clientele and base of lenders nationwide—closing on multiple noteworthy transactions in 42 states—with property locations in Chicago, Nashville, Oregon, Denver, Houston, the St. Regis Hotel in Ft. Lauderdale, seven assisted living facilities in St. Louis and a $45,000,000 permanent mortgage on the On-The-Avenue Hotel in New York City. With Sarasota’s burgeoning development showing no signs of slowing down, the majority of financing and sales have been placed for local clients, properties and projects, such as The Postcard Inn on St. Pete Beach, Sarasota One office building on John Ringling, Lido Towers, Turnbury Apartments, Gateway Office Park, Palmer Crossings shopping center and so many more. N.J. Olivieri is also known for renovating 21 commercial buildings for The City of Sarasota, including putting his stamp on Downtown touchstones like the redevelopment of Towles Court, the artist community for which he received a beautification award by the city. Olivieri also stays active in commercial construction financing—having closed the construction loan, as well as placed the equity for the Ritz Carlton Sarasota— one of the first projects ever to build condominiums above a hotel. He continues to be recognized in the community and throughout the industry, for not simply his closing volume, or elite financing experience, but the degree of patience and resourcefulness that comes with each and every borrower’s situation, and fulfilling a role of facilitator/mediator with the banker. Moreso, his involvement in the community—holding chairman titles, founding local chapters, staying a member of various organizations and serving on several national committees—has especially put Horizon Mortgage on the map. His business acumen and role of family man for six daughters gives him the negotiation ability to complete any difficult business transactions thrown his way. Odds were, one of Olivieri’s daughters would step in to her father’s shoes. Kelly Gilliland decided to come on board with Horizon in 2000, and since, the

$4,100,000 PF Chang’s Construction Loan

$35,000,000 Portfolio of Ground Leases Revolving Line of Credit

$11,000,000 Regatta Pointe Marina Refinance

$98,000,000 Ritz Carlton Hotel and Condos Construction Loan

A S P E C I A L B R A N D STO RY M A R K E T I N G F E AT U R E | S R Q M A G A Z I N E | A P R I L 2 0 1 9

BrandStory_V2_2019-04-HORIZONMORTGAGE.indd 8

3/19/19 1:15 AM


$15,500,000 Aqua Condominium Project Construction Loan

$15,400,000 Princess K Boutique Hotel Construction Loan

$24,000,000 Lakewood Ranch Main Street Refinance Permanent Debt

$4,196,000 Lake Osprey Office Acquisition Loan

BrandStory_V2_2019-04-HORIZONMORTGAGE.indd 9

two have created one of the most respected and sought after mortgage lenders around. “Throughout my career, I knew I wanted to learn more and keep growing,” says Gilliland, now the Executive Vice President.“Dad was so successful and reputable; I thought, who better to teach you everything than your own dad? He’s been an excellent teacher throughout my entire life already.” For the past 19 years, Gilliland has successfully assisted commercial real estate clients with permanent financing, construction financing, mezzanine financing, including joint venture partnerships. Over her career she’s successfully closed on numerous commercial mortgage placements including the Aqua Condominium Project construction loan, as well as the refinance of Lakewood Ranch Main Street. She is also a Florida Licensed Real Estate Broker, and her learned experience and expedited knowledge in the industry working alongside Olivieri has accumulated into namesake victories—placing debt with banks, life companies, permanent lenders and private lenders, for all types of properties ranging from self-storage facilities, medical office buildings, retail, industrial, restaurants, offices, mixed-use projects, health clubs, mobile home parks, hotels and apartment complexes. With such a wide array of borrowers and transactions to note, Olivieri and Gilliland have come to be known as problem solvers—encompassing a list of loyal returning customers to show for it. “In this industry, you have to have it all. You have to be a people person to understand what your client is trying to tell you, and you have to be structured,” says Olivieri. “Shoot it straight with us; tell us your problems and tell us what you want to accomplish. That’s the only way we can really help you solve them. We already know up front we can solve them.” From $500,000 mortgages to multi-million dollar loans, Horizon structures transactions to fit the special needs of its borrower to help eliminate any potential concerns they may have—ultimately achieving “the closing” of the borrower’s choice and often finding rates lower than many local banks in regard to permanent loans and non-recourse financing, due to their long-standing relationships with a variety of lending sources. And as always, the Horizon team stays true to its quality customer service mission with a tight-knit hospitality feel, which prides itself on working on an exceedingly confidential basis with their clients—understanding first and foremost the sensitive nature of the financing and real estate business. “We are very well known by all for our customer service,” mentions Gilliland. “We have a tremendous amount of continual, repeat customers with whom we’ve worked with for many, many years.” With 40 years under their belt, Horizon shows no signs of slowing down, as they have proven themselves to be a recognized, steadfast leader within the community as well as within the commercial real estate industry.

3/19/19 1:16 AM



PERMANENT MORTGAGES Long-term, fixed rate debt arranged through life companies, pension funds, savings banks, commercial banks and Wall Street investment houses on all types of income producing properties.

MEZZANINE AND PREFERRED EQUITY Debt or equity to enable borrowers to obtain close to 100% financing for existing properties as well as property acquisitions.

CONSTRUCTION LOANS 1-3 year Construction Loans at fixed or Libor-based pricing on all types of properties such as rental apartments, condominiums, retail centers, office buildings, hotels, self storage, assisted living facilities and industrial properties. BUILDER LINES OF CREDIT AND A&D LOANS Construction financing to allow homebuilders/developers to acquire and develop subdivisions as well as lines of credit to allow builders to construct model and spec homes. CREDIT LEASE FINANCING Long-term, fixed rate debt on all types of credit related tenants, self-liquidating loans with balloon payments and residual value insurance (RVI) if applicable. EQUITY VENTURES Proven ability to seek out an equity partner / institutional partner to provide up to 100% financing through preferential rates of return, to be determined exit fees or participation in cash flow, sale and refinance proceeds.

BRIDGE LOANS Short-term loans usually 2-5 years for Interim Financing such as renovations, tenant improvements and/or Acquisitions. Libor and fixed rate loans available. LAND LOANS Land loans are financed typically at 50 -75% of their value. Usually these loans are from 1-3 years with or without recourse/personal guarantees.

DISCUSS YOUR PROJECT WITH AN EXPERIENCED ADVISOR. 6 7 7 1 P R O F E S S I O N A L P K W Y W E S T, S T E 2 0 2 , S A R A S OTA , 9 4 1 - 3 6 5 - 0 4 5 0 . H O R I ZO N M O RT. C O M

A S P E C I A L B R A N D STO RY M A R K E T I N G F E AT U R E | S R Q M A G A Z I N E | A P R I L 2 0 1 9

BrandStory_V2_2019-04-HORIZONMORTGAGE.indd 10

3/19/19 1:16 AM


SRQ360 18 Inside the Brand 122 RSVP MARKETING FEATURES 7

BRANDSTORY Horizon Mortgage 103 Provisionist 110 Nosh This page: Umbrellas

1296’s appetizer of baked feta topped with olive tapenade and toasted pine nuts; and, artist Dasha Reich in her studio, photography by Wyatt Kostygan.

SRQAPR19_TOC.indd 11

srqist 21

Local humorist Lee Volpe finds a new writing partner in her pet pig, Officer. Sparkly circus performer, architectural businesswoman, philanthropic yoga instructor—Erika Cain is a triple threat. The Ringling Museum hosts an exclusive choreographic ceremony of Chanoyu, to learn the Japanese mastery of matcha.

culture city 27

Moving Ethos concludes its Ringling Museum residency with girlwoman. The lost art of Henry St. Claire finds its way to Sarasota. Coloring outside the lines at Andrea Dasha Reich’s home studio. Taking a breather with Janet Eilber of the Martha Graham Dance Company. Sam Alfstad talks gallery memories.

agenda 46

What will consolidating USF’s campus mean for Sarasota-Manatee?

cargo 99

The best part of waking up is Good Morning Goods —sourced for those vying for ways to stop pressing the snooze button. The fashion runway trends of Summer 2019. Jeweler McCarver & Moser celebrates its 40th anniversary with the inclusion of Robert Procop’s prodigious Exceptional Jewels Collection. Firmo Construction and Lunardi Architecture tackle overgrown, unkempt and narrow lots inIndian Shores neighborhood to bring elevated, modern and affordable living.



Don’t be fooled by Umbrellas 1296’s upscale appearance, because inside another tastefully restored historic building lies food that will beg the question: how did they do that? A bevy of European bakers and chefs bring Old World comfort and cuisine.

giving coast 116

Highlights from the independent nonprofits in the region.

wanderlust 124

A modern-day Oz across the Overseas Highway, Hawks Cay Resort offers stories and sustenance, animal sightings and maybe even a shot at world peace.

3/19/19 1:25 PM




Phil Lederer


Wyatt Kostygan


Jacob Ogles



Jena Robustelli Tricia Robustelli







Ashley Ryan Cannon


Suzanne Munroe Julie Mayer Magnifico




Aidee Rodriguez

APRIL 2019


GET SRQ DAILY The magazine in your hands offers enormous insight into our community, but the most informed in our community follow our constant coverage of Sarasota and the Bradenton Area in SRQ Daily. The electronic newsletter is a must-read in thousands of inboxes. Check our special editions: the Monday Business Edition, the Wednesday Philanthropy Edition, the Friday Weekend Edition and the much-discussed Saturday Perspectives Edition, featuring a diverse range of opinions from the region’s top pundits and newsmakers. SIGN UP ONLINE AT SRQMAG.COM

GET SRQ DAILY The “SRQ” in SRQ magazine originates from the designated call letters for the local Sarasota Bradenton International Airport. “SR” was the original abbreviation for the airport before the growth in total number of airports required the use of a three-letter code. Letters like “X” and “Q” were used as filler, thus the original “SR” was revised to “SRQ,” much as the Los Angeles airport became “LAX.” As a regional publication committed to the residents of and visitors to both Sarasota and Manatee counties, SRQ captures the place that we call home.


SUBSCRIBE TO THE PRINT AND DIGITAL EDITION Join our readers in the pleasurable experience of receiving SRQ magazine in your mailbox every month. 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. When you subscribe online, your first print issue will arrive in your mailbox in 4–6 weeks. For immediate access to the digital edition, subscribe directly at our flipbook. Subscribe online at SRQMAG.COM/SUBSCRIBE. Contact us via email at Vol. 22, Issue 216 Copyright © 2019 SRQ MEDIA. SRQ: Live Local | Thrive Local. Sarasota and Bradenton is published 12 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 24 issues. Single copies are $4 at area newsstands.

UPFRONT_SRQAPR19_Masthead.indd 12

3/19/19 12:06 PM

Ads-APR19.indd 13

3/16/19 4:50 PM

2 0















941-365-7702 X211

3/16/19 5:04 PM


3/16/19 5:05 PM




3/19/19 2:28 PM

Ads-APR19.indd 17

3/16/19 4:50 PM

Inside the Brand NEXT—Hear Me Roar Leadership and Awards Luncheon, May 2, 2019

itb Geralyn Lucas, Keynote


Dorothy Butler Gilliam, Trailblazer

Hear Me Roar Leadership and Awards Luncheon

SRQ MEDIA was pleased to host the 2019 SMARTgirl Leadership and Mentoring Summit at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota on Friday, March 15, 2019. Powered by the SRQ MEDIA Women in Business platform, SMARTgirl is an innovative program designed to engage girls in 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th grades in imagining their future careers and creating the tools they will need to succeed through mentorship, soft skills training and hands-on workshops with some of the community’s top women leaders. The crowd of SMARTgirls arrived to the Hyatt Regency Sarasota bright and early—ready for a day of engaging, empowering programming. The guests were welcomed by two workshops designed to spark creativity: a Mythic Story Station and a Superhero Team Station. Faciltated by the SMARTgirl Class of 2019 Mentors and SRQ staff, the activities were great icebreakers that encouraged team building and creativity. The SMARTgirl Class of 2019 Mentors helped facilitate the next part of the program— the Dream Career Incubator. Nearly thirty volunteer mentors who represented a wide variety of professions each ran three mini-mentor sessions. The team of SMARTgirl mentors offered direction and advice to the girls, asking questions about their interests and where they can see themselves in the future. Our mentors also offered the young leaders insight into the professional world and encouraged the girls to follow their passions and dreams.

THURSDAY, MAY 2, 2019, 10:30AM-1PM HYATT REGENCY SARASOTA SRQ MEDIA will host the fifth annual Women in Business Hear Me Roar Leadership and Awards Luncheon on Thursday, May 2, 2019 from 10:30am to 3pm at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota, featuring a nationally-recognized keynote speaker, a noted luminary who has made a significant impact in their field and the announcement of the winners from this year’s 2019 Women in Business Competition. SRQ MEDIA is pleased to announce Geralyn Lucas as this year’s Hear Me Roar Keynote Speaker. Lucas is the best-selling author of Why I Wore Lipstick To My Mastectomy and accomplished producer whose book was made into an Emmy-nominated movie and inspired collaborations with designer Betsey Johnson and Stila cosmetics. Legendary civil rights journalist and the first black reporter for the Washington Post Dorothy Butler Gilliam will be honored with the Women in Business Trailblazer Award. Tickets are $75 per person. Table sponsorships at $850 for a full table and $425 for a half table available online at SRQHEARMEROAR.COM

Seaside Bank Hyatt Regency Sarasota Community Foundation of Sarasota County New Balance Sarasota Waterworks Members Club Diamond Vault Saks Fifth Avenue Sarasota

The 2019 SMARTgirl Leadership and Mentoring Summit luncheon began with a welcome by Mark Smith of The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art, followed by inspiring remarks by the SMARTgirl Keynote Speaker, Roxie Jerde of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. Encouraging the audience of SMARTgirls to demonstrate curiosity, comaraderie and collaboration in their everyday lives, Jerde noted that, “Everyone in this room has the potential to impact a cause, another person and our community.” Jerde described the impact that her experience as a former Girl Scout had on the way she views collaborative thinking and shared, “All of us are smarter than one of us.” The SMARTgirl Leadership and Mentoring Summit ended with a dynamic anti-bullying workshop led by Blair Bloomston of Game On Nation.

CALL 941-365-7702 X 221 FOR DETAILS.




3/19/19 12:47 PM

Ads-APR19.indd 19

3/16/19 4:50 PM

Ads-APR19.indd 20

3/16/19 4:50 PM




Author Lee Volpe finds her favorite character in Officer the Mini Pig. Phil Lederer


the author Lee Volpe went to the hairdresser and came home with a pig. “Most people come home with a perm,” she quips. Small enough to fit in her cupped hands, she named him Officer the Mini Pig. Seven years and 100 pounds later, Volpe’s bristly and boar-toothed bedfellow (yes, he sleeps in the bed) is her constant hoggish companion, riding boats in Wisconsin, living it up at the Red Roof Inn, eating bananas from Starbucks, chasing golfers off the neighboring greens and, in a recent development, writing children’s books. The first in a planned trilogy of ‘Pig Tales,’ This is Me stars a baby Officer, bullied and searching for a place where he belongs, meeting friendly animals along the way and traveling from the ocean to the moon in his quest for family. And while the nowvegan Volpe may do most of the writing, with Officer curled up at her feet and smiling in his sleep, it’s his unapologetic and off-kilter charm that remains her inspiration. “This is him,” she says. “There’s not one thing I would change about him.” SRQ



3/18/19 10:29 PM



Descended from circus artists and international magicians, Erika Cain was naturally selected to become an inveterate performer. Brittany Mattie This page: Marco

Peters poses with a couple of flippered friends, Stella and Kitty, at the Sarasota Sea Lion Preserve.

HER GRANDPARENTS? A slackwire artist from Greece and a juggler from Italy, traveling to The States in the 40s to join Ringling Brothers

Barnum & Bailey Circus. Her parents? “The First Lady of the Unicycle” and “The James Bond of Magic.” Born in Vegas, Cain embraced her family’s legacy as illustrious entertainers. From a mystifying illusion dubbed “The Levitating Lady,” performed with her father and photographed on the cover of MAGIC Magazine at Siesta Key Beach, to making history as the first female/youngest person to ever attempt and complete a blind-folded drive, Cain globe-trotted throughout her 20s as an alluring cirque gypsy. Eventually settling in Sarasota, she got down to business with Sarasota Architectural Foundation, as an underground design enthusiast, turned director of operations. Stage lights and structures gradually shifted to spiritual readiness. “I’ve hung my rhinestones up for yoga pants,” she says today, “as I’m on my own path to becoming a certified instructor and eventually author/public speaker.” Many who know Cain know her as one of these three versions—the showgirl covered in sequins and maquillage, the stylish executive from SAF, or the yogini bearing a natural face and top knot while guiding others through the Dharma Footprint Project. “I’m fueled by all these passions—not tied to one specific creative outlet,” she says. “By immersing myself in different artistic ventures, I’ve been able to see that inspiration is constantly surrounding me. I’ll be the first to admit I’m no pro, guru or master of anything—but I’m passionate about life.” And where an affluent arts community runs as wild as Sarasota, a budding species of right-brained creatives like Cain emerges, learning to thrive off their evolution. “Simply because one thing plays a beautiful song on my heartstrings, doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for another tune,” Cain says. SRQ PHOTOGRAPHY BY WYATT KOSTYGAN 22 | srq magazine_ APR19 live local


3/18/19 10:32 PM

Ads-APR19.indd 23

3/16/19 4:51 PM



Herbal aromas aerate from lacquer ceramics, as sounds of instrumental Guzheng render a soundtrack to the sunbeams seeping through glass apertures. Brittany Mattie

SUCCUMB TO THE TRANQUIL MEDITATIVE VIBES. Guests experience an intimate Japanese tea demonstration and tasting, presented by Local Tea at Ringling Museum, with host and sensei sipper Dr. Michelle Liu Carriger performing the choreographic ceremony of Chanoyu, also called the “Way of Tea.” A circle of VIP members took part in the narrative act—blending the graceful etiquette of preparation and presentation of serving a bowl of freshly whisked matcha, or powdered green tea. Guests embarked on their cultural experience shoeless, becoming acquainted with the cypress wood floor for the time-honored ritual, which boils down to origins in 16th century Japan, influenced, by Zen Buddhism practices. Today, it’s evolved into a synthesis of social interaction and aesthetics. Preparing a bowl of tea while pouring all one’s attention into Chanoyu’s predefined movements is a process not centered around simply imbibing tea, but the art of serving it with a pure, open heart. Taking place at The Nancy L. Ellis Tea House—the newest addition to the Center for Asian Art by architect Glenn Darling with custom craftsmanship by Dale Rieke—the space lends itself to a harmonious blend of Sarasota Modern architecture and traditional design, allowing guests to take in the surrounding nature and dissipate the cares of daily life. “We are one of the few art museums in the US with an active, functioning tea house,” notes Rhiannon Paget, curator of Asian Art at The Ringling. “Sharing tea in this beautiful, tranquil space is a wonderful way to learn about Japanese culture and stimulate the senses.” SRQ



3/18/19 10:34 PM

Thank you to the Regional Workforce Council for their leadership in establishing the first collective set of community workforce development legislative initiatives. Purpose: The Regional Workforce Council enhances the success of its member organizations by synthesizing regional needs to create a unified voice in public policy advocacy, funding partnerships and workforce initiatives.


Increase vocational education opportunities

Equitable funding for technical institutions •

Fully fund Sadowski Housing Trust Fund •

Amend CNA certification requirement


SRQAPR19_V3_CareerEdge.indd 1

Ads-APR19.indd 25

3/19/19 1:30 PM

3/19/19 1:31 PM

Ads-APR19.indd 26

3/16/19 4:52 PM



Moving Ethos company dancer Victoria Mora.


The women of Moving Ethos Dance Company make it personal at Ringling residency. Phil Lederer

culture city

TECHNICALLY, IT’S ONLY BEEN SIX MONTHS since Moving Ethos Dance Company

became the inaugural recipients of the Ringling Museum Spotlight Florida performance residency—a new aspect of the institution’s revamped New Stages series. But Moving Ethos Artistic Director Leah Verier-Dunn estimates it’s probably been closer to a year since the company first began working on the performance that will make its world premiere in the Historic Asolo Theatre this month, when the residency concludes. And while it’s been only 11 years since the dance company performed its very first concert in that very same theater, Verier-Dunn may have been working on this piece her entire life. “It feels like we’re coming home,” she says. “It’s full circle.” Entitled girlwoman, the four-dancer production began as so many of Moving Ethos’ do—with a nagging thought that Verier-Dunn’s brain cannot evict. In this case, it was the brain of a woman about to become a mother of two, while also running a dance company and still trying to keep it all together and make it look easy. “I live inside a circus I created,” she says, “and I was recognizing that I already understood the role that women played in society—the role that we’re expected to play versus the one that we actually play, the pressures that come from outside and the pressures that come from ourselves.” Looking at the women in her own life—her mother and her 96-yearold grandmother, both still in the area—she saw the same unrealistic expectations



3/19/19 11:44 AM

culture city

Above: Moving

Ethos company dancer Jess Pope rehearsing in-studio.

of perfection and poise in a timeless and exhausting trend. It’s Ginger Rogers to Fred Astaire, and that famous quote: “She did everything Fred Astaire did, but backwards and in heels.” That’s what girlwoman is about to Verier-Dunn. “It’s ultimately about the experience of being a woman,” she says, “and how that can be incredibly graceful and messy, simultaneously.” But any seed needs space to grow, and Verier-Dunn is quick to bring her dancers into the choreographer’s circle from the get-go of any project. She asks them about their relationships with their mothers, about the difference between a girl and a woman and when/if they felt that change. She asks them when the world stopped being innocent and full of possibility. “The work that we do is very personal,” she says, “and it’s important that whoever is in the work is bringing a big piece of themselves to the process.” The group splits up to journal individually and reconvenes to discuss. Verier-Dunn always starts with such writing assignments, to challenge her dancers. The actual choreography comes later. “We’ve been movers for our entire lives,” she says. “Why start with the easy thing?” It’s building context for the performance, says Victoria Mora, a 27-year-old dancer with the company and one of the four taking part in girlwoman. Through this self-reflection and discussion with other dancers, she’s been exploring her own conception of what it means to be a woman (or a girl) in today’s world and bringing it to the studio for transformation into more personal choreography that can somehow hew closer to the truth than her prose. “Those things that I can’t say with words,” Mora says, “I can express with my body.” Sometimes it feels too personal, and sometimes it can even be scary to share, but that only confirms to Mora that it’s something she needs to say. And those are the bits that Verier-Dunn wants, creating an open and collaborative space to collect them all, while she keeps an eye on the big picture, forming and shaping the performance to that ultimate goal. “I need pieces of them,” she says, “ to know how to light it on fire.” SRQ

28 | srq magazine_ APR19 live local


3/18/19 9:56 PM

Ads-APR19.indd 29

3/16/19 4:53 PM

culture city


On a post-impressionist’s posthumous pilgrimage to Sarasota. Phil Lederer LIKE ALL GOOD FRENCHMEN, Henry St. Clair loved

art—of this there was no doubt. A moneyed fellow born 1899 in the Normandy region of France, he ventured south as an art restorer, working for the National Museums of France and eventually bringing his trade to its Parisian epicenter at The Louvre, where he could spend his days with the artists he so admired. But St. Clair had a secret about how he spent his nights, one that wouldn’t out until his death in 1990, when a nephew discovered near 2,000 original paintings, created from 1920 to 1970 and hidden away in a nondescript barn on the property. At first, no one knew what to do with them, but as word spread and St. Clair’s star began to posthumously rise, the bidding wars began—one gallerist found his fortune, another got booted from a Palm Beach convention and the last of the St. Clairs somehow wound up in Sarasota. “I was just mesmerized,” says collector Diane Kaslow, of the first time she saw St. Clair’s work. She had just moved to Paris on business, didn’t speak the language and took to wandering the galleries, museums and antique shops where the visual language required no translation. A post-impressionist, St. Clair took his cues from the likes of Eugene Boudin, capturing the beaches of Normandy with a similar attraction to idealized scenes of French coastal life, and Raoul Dufy, whose exuberant color palette reflected an early adherence to the short-lived Fauvism movement. He worked on painter’s board instead of canvas, combining thick indicative lines with a thin wash of paint to create an This page:

Collector Diane Kaslow at Galleria Silecchia, where the last of her works by Henry St. Claire, also pictured, are currently on display.

30 | srq magazine_ APR19 live local



3/18/19 9:55 PM

Ads-APR19.indd 31

3/16/19 4:53 PM

culture city

This page:

Works by Henry St. Claire currently on display at at Galleria Silecchia.

airy and almost transparent effect, like a memory gone ghostly with age. Kaslow called her husband to let him know she was about to buy four paintings on the spot. “Why don’t you just buy one?” he said. Kaslow conceded, but the specter of St. Clair haunted her. Everywhere she went on the streets of Paris, she began to see his work—and the prices were going up. Two weeks before she returned to the states, at an outdoor show near the Bastille, Kaslow made up her mind. “I can sell these,” she said, and bought six to bring back to a gallery in Nantucket. Four sold in a week, and everyone wanted to know the same thing—“Where can we get more?” Enter Jean Charles La Porte, the unknown and unkempt gallerist who originally purchased the 2,000 paintings from St. Clair’s nephew, slowly restoring them and introducing them to the market 30 or so at a time, trying to build a name for himself and St. Clair at the same time. “Scruffy,” Kaslow describes him, with crazy hair and an untucked shirt but “punching above his weight class” nonetheless. Striking up a friendship with La Porte, Kaslow became the sole American with inside access to St. Clair’s body of work, alongside a cabal of five Parisian dealers. And every time La Porte would release a new batch, Kaslow would cross the pond to pick up 15 or so to bring back to her Nantucket clientele. 45 sold in the first year, with prices ranging from $3,000 all the way to $20,000. Over the course of six to seven years, all involved enjoyed the fruits of

this partnership. Kaslow continued to sell at record numbers, even expanding her focus down south to Florida, where she began to sell St. Clair’s paintings from a mobbed 10x10 booth at the annual Palm Beach Jewelry, Art and Antique Show. La Porte became a bonafide gentleman art dealer, with combed hair, pressed suits and an invitation to the Parisian salons. And St. Clair enjoyed a second life, as the art world at large began to take notice. But nothing gold can stay. Today, La Porte is dead, and the last of the 2,000 paintings sold off. St. Clair’s ascent has temporarily stalled, as the discovery leaves the honeymoon phase and the lack of scholarship begins to weigh on collectors’ minds, creating a feedback loop difficult to escape, with both scholars and collectors waiting for the other to make the plunge first. Even Kaslow experienced backlash, disinvited from the Palm Beach exhibition after other proprietors complained that her prices were undercutting competition, as the apparent disconnect between St. Clair’s commercial appeal and critical scholarship resulted in high demand for a comparably lower price tag than the rest of the vendors would have liked. But Palm Beach’s loss is Sarasota’s gain, as the final 23 St. Clairs of Kaslow’s collection have made their way to the walls of Galleria Silecchia on Palm Avenue, having traveled near 4,600 miles and 100 years to get here. And in a town of collectors and art appreciators, perhaps St. Clair has been forgotten for the last time. SRQ

32 | srq magazine_ APR19 live local


3/18/19 9:57 PM

Ads-APR19.indd 33

3/16/19 4:54 PM

culture city

TURNING 93 YEARS OLD THIS MONTH, the internationally acclaimed Martha Graham Dance Company remains pretty spry for the oldest dance company in America, continuing to wow audiences across the world and commission new works from up-and-coming choreographers to push the boundaries of contemporary movement. And with the company swinging through Sarasota this past February at the invitation of the Sarasota Ballet, SRQ took a moment with Artistic Director Janet Eilber to talk preserving a legacy, embracing change and the importance of breathing.

WITH ATTITUDE Artistic Director Janet Eilber on the future and philosophy of the Martha Graham Dance Company. Phil Lederer

How do you put together a show like the one we saw in Sarasota? We wanted to show the audiences different periods in Martha Graham’s long career. So, we have one of her famous Greek works on the program [Errand into the Maze], we have one of her most beautiful abstract expressionist works—that’s Diversion of Angels—and we have a solo, Ekstasis, which really shows the beginnings of her new style of dancing. It’s from 1933, and it was a very important solo in terms of the discovery of her style. She discovered how meaningful the movement of the torso could be in that solo, and that’s elemental to her dance style.

Why the torso? Martha Graham was dissatisfied with the dance of the 1910s. Early American dance was a very escapist and decorative, vaudevillian type of 34 | srq magazine_ APR19 live local


thing. She wanted to express real human concerns and emotions, and she discovered that our emotions ride on our breath—when you laugh or when you sob, there’s this impulse from the center of the torso. And she took that to the next step. She developed it theatrically. Is this the “contraction and release” that Graham often spoke of? Absolutely. The contraction is the exhale, when your torso empties and curves into itself, and the release is the inhale, when the torso expands and sends energy out. Those two movements are the motor of all Martha Graham movements—the coiling in of energy of the contraction, and the spewing out of energy of the release. And there are hundreds of different contractions, hundreds of different releases. It’s the driving force behind all of the dancing that we do.

All of the dancing comes from the torso? Well, the core informs the extremities. If you wanted to throw up your arms, it begins in the center of the torso, it begins in the back. Like a baseball pitcher, for example. When he throws, he doesn’t just throw with his arm; he uses the entire weight of his body. He curls into a grand contraction on his back foot, and then he releases the whole torso, releases the arm, releases the ball. The whole weight of the body is behind that movement. The name Martha Graham has weight behind it, but is it ever intimidating as well, as shoes to fill? No. Martha was so much about the future, and she was so much about change. She was never a person to say, “You have to do it the way we did it 20 years ago. You have to dance my roles exactly the way I danced them.” She was quite the opposite. When I danced some of her roles, she encouraged me—expected me—to bring myself to each role, and to use my unique power. She was very empowering, and I’m still riding on that expectation. She would not want us to be reverential about the past.

Yet what remains constant, even as the company celebrates 93 years? The one thing Martha held onto was the emotional message, the emotional impact. As she allowed dancers’ legs to go higher, and jumps go higher, and she adjusted choreography for audience expectations, the core theme of each dance was revered. And everything that was adjusted, was adjusted in light of what that message had to be. What I take from Martha is that we embrace change, but we maintain the power of the message. What do you hope an audience will take away from a night with the Martha Graham Dance Company? People will recognize the genius of Martha Graham and that her works are timeless, and they’ll be enthralled by our current company. Our dancers are spectacular 21st century athletes. They’re passionate, they’re sexy, they’re beautiful, and they bring these masterpieces to life. SRQ


3/18/19 10:00 PM

Ads-APR19.indd 35

3/16/19 4:54 PM

culture city

COLORS OF EXPLORATION In the lab with the gladdest mad scientist in Sarasota. Phil Lederer

HEAD OUT TOWARDS MYAKKA, past the highway and the sprawling

development, to where the lots are wide and the canopied roads narrow. Past the supermarkets and the schools and the sea monsters, where the Florida green goes on forever and the map simply says, “Here be artists.” Know your destination by the sculpture given center stage in the yard, the bright yellow metal coiling up the mailbox like an artist’s caduceus, beckoning the curious down the pitch-black drive to a mammoth studio erected in secret and now thrumming with life. Here, away from the prying eyes of a people who may not understand, Andrea Dasha Reich carries out her artistic experimentation free from judgment, free from tradition and unrestrained by the boundaries of mere mortals. “The moment I came here and built this, it changed everything,” Reich says, who jumped from a “studio” comprising a pair of repurposed bedrooms to this 2,900-square-foot, two-story creative candyland full of natural light and opportunity. And it’s already full to bursting with the multi-colored abstract painting and sculpture blanketing every wall, table and available surface, their kaleidoscopic ecstasy a stark contrast to the white walls and concrete floors underneath. To enter Reich’s studio is to cross a portal into Reich’s world—a personal wonderland where color reigns supreme, higher than gravity and brighter than the Florida sun. “People don’t understand that colors affect you tremendously,” Reich says. “I need the feedback from the colors. I get depressed if I work with greys, but the color red immediately lifts my spirit. I get high.” Designed in part by the artist herself, a multitude of windows arranged high along opposing walls ensures maximum sunlight throughout the day, and, minus an elevated office atop a pair of rooms in the back, the vast expanse remains open to explore whatever artistic fancy springs to mind—which could change by the day. And that’s the way Reich likes it. “If I have an idea,” she says, “I like to execute it immediately.” Even the interior walls have wheels, so Reich can rearrange or clear space at will, depending on the day’s experiments. This is where she mastered her resin art—those vibrant and textured constructions hovering somewhere between painting and sculpture, instantly recognizable but impossible to imitate—and this is where she put it to bed. “I just can’t do it,” she says with a sigh. And while the decision stems in part from practicality (resin is heavy), the figurative weight may have been the greater determinant. “I stretched it to the maximum,” Reich says of the medium, and after years of painting and pouring and sculpting, it seems the artist may simply have gotten bored. And boredom is simply not allowed. 36 | srq magazine_ APR19 live local


3/18/19 10:03 PM

This spread:

Surrounded by her art and flanked by photos of friends and family, Andrea Dasha Reich creates a world of her own in vivid color.

So in the last few years Reich has focused her efforts elsewhere— latex—creating great wall-hanging tapestries like harlequin cobwebs, each strand applied by hand in streams of dripping pigment. “I’m just beginning,” she says, and just as she spent years experimenting with resin, so she expects to take her time exploring the possibilities of this new medium, holed up in a room in the back, surrounded by redtipped bottles filled with colored liquid latex of her own devising. “Each mistake creates new ideas,” she says. “By not following convention, I get the greatest results.” Meanwhile, dominating the center of the main room like a great rusted torture device from the Dark Ages, incongruous to its surroundings and stridently unaware of this fact, a newly purchased slab roller represents the latest in Reich’s artistic expeditions—the world of ceramics. The artist takes another look around her studio. “It’s getting too small,” she says. SRQ



3/18/19 10:03 PM

interview with

Right: With Alfstad& Editions, gallerist Sam Alfstad invests in the Rosemary District and Greater Sarasota.


Marketing master turned arts advocate Sam Alfstad on the gallery game, lessons learned and why supporting the arts means supporting Sarasota. Phil Lederer

FRESH OFF A MORE-THAN-SUCCESSFUL CAREER in advertising up in New York City, Sam Alfstad came to Sarasota in 2012, having sold his business and semi-retired, but with entrepreneurial dreams of artistic abundance. Setting up shop in the Rosemary District—presciently pre-revitalization—the next six years saw the relative newcomer investing heavily in his newfound home, opening avant-garde galleries, assisting Sarasota Contemporary Dance through a triumphant rebrand and relocation, and spearheading unprecedented public art partnerships. The commitment continues today with Alfstad& Editions, a new printshop and community art-space in the heart of the Rosemary. Fruitful if not lucrative—but always interesting—the course of true love never did run smooth.

What was your initial impression of Sarasota? Like a lot of people that were new to Sarasota—a lot of arts and culture organizations for a small town. You think, “Wow. People are supporting art. It would be a great place to open a gallery.” I wasn’t quite ready to retire. I’ve always been interested in the arts, and so I thought, I’ll just start a gallery. Pretty naïve thought.

Why a gallery and not a private collection? I thought it would be fun. I care about art and I enjoy meeting new artists, getting to know them and helping their careers. That’s something I will always take away from what I’ve done. I met the local artists here—Andrea Dasha Reich and Mike Solomon, Michael Wyshock and Jorge Blanco. I also met artists from all around the world. Hans Weigand, I went out to Vienna to meet him and bring him here to do a show. Anne Patterson is from New York. And I consider them friends, and I want to support them. How did you prepare? I talked to Allyn Gallup. I talked to Kevin Dean at Ringling College. I talked to a lot of people who knew a lot about Sarasota and its history with art. I talked to Mike Solomon, going back to his father, Syd Solomon, and all the abstract expressionists. Artist after artist was here. John Chamberlain was here. It was on its way to becoming a real, secondary center to New York. Was The Ice House fun? We had a lot of fun. Big space, big pieces, big shows. But you had to have big art to fill those walls, so it was expensive. And you had to have a big show; that was expensive. There was no way it was economically

38 | srq magazine_ APR19 live local


feasible. A lot of fun, and a lot of big shows—and it certainly made a splash in Sarasota—but at the end of the year, I said, “This isn’t the way to do it. Let me figure it out.” How did you approach Alfstad& Contemporary differently? We could still do the things we were trying to do, which was bring contemporary art from around the world and give contemporary artists here a place to show. But it had a much bigger front space and would be smaller than what we were doing. We could concentrate on smaller shows, smaller pieces—really get into it—and maybe it would be more economical. Was selling the point? The Zimoun installation, for example, literally could not be sold. Well, selling certainly wasn’t my forte. We were having great shows. People were coming. Big opening nights, people were always raving about it. The media here was very good to us. We were a lot of fun to write about and come look at. But we weren’t so good at the sales part. What’s the vision behind Alfstad& Editions? It’ll swing more into education, with classes, and Chris Schumaker being able to pass on what he knows. And giving people, either well known artists who need the equipment or amateurs who want to exercise their artistic abilities in new ways, a place for them to come and do that. This will be a place for artists of all levels to come and really exist, and learn, and talk—more of a community organization. People can come and sit on the couch, talk with each other and learn from each other, go downstairs and use the equipment, really make art.


3/18/19 10:06 PM

interview with sam alfstad


3/18/19 10:05 PM

interview with


And you’re stepping back from the day-to-day? Chris is taking over. Chris has been with me for the last five years—a graduate from Ringling, and print-master. We decided to scale back, that he could handle everything. He could introduce the printmaking classes. He’s always wanted to pass on what he does, and I’ve always been excited about printmaking, always liked the texture of it. Why prints? Prints are a way to appeal to the emerging collector. I’d always heard about emerging artists but, when you stop and think about it, there really are emerging collectors. Young people that don’t just want a poster on the wall anymore, but can’t really afford the higher prices of a painting or something like that. Prints are a great way for them to segue into the bigger art world. Art is going to influence their life. Is that where your emphasis on public art comes from? It’s been shown in city after city, in place after place in the world, art really brings in a lot of people. There is one heck of a lot of great art here, a lot of monumental art, and people maybe don’t know to look. A lot of it grew out of the Season of Sculpture. I’ve always had a fantasy of creating a website for Sarasota, highlighting where all the different pieces of public art are, what they are and where they came from. And making a little map, so people could go find it and explore the city that way. We’ve got a great monumental piece by Hans Van de Bovenkamp, Stella in the Wind, we’re trying to get seated here in Rosemary. Do we have to rely on the city for monumental art? Monumental art within the city has kind of been ceded over to the city. People feel the city’s going to do that—and the city is doing a pretty good job. But, there are other ways for the city to show art and be involved with art. Whether it’s murals, which is starting to happen here in the Rosemary, or monumental art. If we could get the backing to bring the Season of Sculpture back, that would be great. The fact that that isn’t happening right now is a shame. But a lot of people have to stand up. It could make a big difference in the economy. How do we amass that support? Sarasota is known as a cultural place. A lot of people say it. But, Sarasota really needs to take that mantle and own it. We should be using marketing and communication tools to tell everybody else in the country, and Europe, and the world, that this is a cultural center. Right now, Sarasota’s in competition with every other city in Florida. A beach is a beach is a beach. I don’t care if Dr. Beach says you’re number one or number 15, a beach is a beach is a beach. How do you get those people that are coming for the warm water and the beaches to come to Sarasota instead of someplace else?

How do you? A smart, well-shaped, strategic marketing plan, where you make Sarasota the capital of culture and cuisine in Florida, would be worth a billion dollars. A lot of people don’t realize how a marketing campaign works. It’s not just shooting what you want to say out to the world. It’s also telling the people that are inside the company, or, in this case, inside the city. That word of mouth is so much more powerful than anything you can put on TV or anything else. And it’s free. But we have to believe it. Everybody here in Sarasota has to know it and be selling the same story again and again and again. It’s better for the hotels. It’s better for the restaurants. Everybody profits from it, and that makes Sarasota grow. What’s standing in the way? We don’t have that unifying vision. But we’ve got the basis to start it with the great cultural institutions that are here. Sarasota can deliver like almost no place in Florida. SRQ

Right: Ba’al

and Yizhaq public art in front of the Sabal Palm Bank building on Ringling Blvd.

Boaz Vaadia Last May, Sarasota welcomed a grand new addition to its public art portfolio with Ba’al and Yizhaq, a monumental sculpture from the late Israeli-American artist Boaz Vaadia, who passed a year prior. Situated on Ringling Boulevard, just West of the Sabal Palm Bank building, the installation cost upwards of $200,000, and only came about by way of a novel collaboration between the City of Sarasota, developer Dr. Mark Kauffman and Alfstad, representing Alfstad& Contemporary. And while Alfstad hoped this tripartite agreement would set the stage for similar future partnerships between the City, develop-

ers and community-minded private businesses to bring international art to the area, meeting the artist provided its own indelible memories. “I got to go to New York a couple times and meet Boaz. He has since passed away. Certainly, getting to know Boaz and spend time with him was great. I got to talk to one of the best sculptors in the world. At the end of his life, he was very philosophical about art, and very realistic about some of the difficulties about the art. It’s something—that time, those words—that I’ll always treasure. It was beautiful. He was a very special artist and a special human being.”

40 | srq magazine_ APR19 live local


3/18/19 10:07 PM

Ads-APR19.indd 41

3/17/19 3:19 PM


HIGHLIGHTS SCF’s Associate in Arts degree is for students who, upon graduation from SCF, transfer to a public or private college/university to earn a bachelor’s degree in a specific area of study. SCF’s Associate in Science Degree provides practical training and critical thinking skills to help you succeed today and advance tomorrow. SCF offers six Baccalaureate degrees in the areas of Early Childhood Education, Health Services Administration, International Business and Trade, Nursing, Public Safety and Emergency Management, and Technology Management. SCF offers more than 28 technical and advanced certificates that train students in a specific field. Select certificates can be earned while a student is pursuing his or her associate degree. Offered in the fields of Biotechnology, Business, Education, Electronics, Engineering, Entrepreneurship, Graphic Design, Homeland Security, Marketing, Paralegal/Legal Assisting, Technology and Web Development.


tate College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) is committed to being innovative, responsive, and the community’s resource for quality higher education. Together, its deans boldly engage students and stakeholders to ensure SCF’s curriculum meets workforce needs. The deans’ vision and expertise lead SCF’s concierge-style student services with flexible scheduling, convenient campus locations and an affordable education. The college offers resources that help students succeed at half the cost of a large university and classes include about 25 students on average. Financial assistance is available in the form of scholarships, federal financial aid and/or payment plans.

“SCF offers a complete college experience and should be considered among one of your first choices. Our faculty, students and alumni speak as to the reasons why and I encourage you to ask.” —Dr. Carol F. Probstfeld, President of State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota

SCF’s 29 workforce degrees, 28 certificates and six bachelor’s degrees offer expansive career possibilities. An array of signature programs boldly engage students and the community. From accelerated dual enrollment, a top-rated nursing division, honors programs, rigorous science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) degrees, to partnerships such as Gator Engineering, SCF is at the forefront of teaching the skills today’s employers demand. Students also benefit from access to athletics and the fine and performing arts. Corporate and Community Development provides noncredit continuing education, personal enrichment and some credit-related programs with services at SCF locations and community, business and industry sites. Workforce Solutions enhances the technical, leadership, management and interpersonal skills of employees and organizations with classes provided on site, on an SCF campus or online. SCF HAS CAMPUSES IN BRADENTON, LAKEWOOD RANCH AND VENICE AS WELL AS ONLINE.


SRQAPR19_SCF.indd 42




S R Q M AG A Z I N E | A P R I L 2 0 1 9

3/18/19 12:42 PM

SRQAPR19_SCF.indd 43

3/18/19 12:42 PM







The SRQ Magazine Localpreneur of the Year program recognizes entrepreneurs who are running locally-owned businesses with purpose and passion, and who have earned the respect of their peers in the following areas: corporate acumen, innovation, philanthropy, leadership and community impact. Judges were selected based on their expertise and leadership in their fields, experience as entrepreneurs and connectivity to the Sarasota | Bradenton region. We would like to thank the readers of SRQ magazine for nominating this year's honorees, our judges for setting aside the time to engage with this year's 100+ pages of applications and all of our locally owned businesses that cultivate and engineer the success of our local economy and community each and every day. We look forward to engaging this year's Leadership Circle in future entrepreneur programming.



The State of the Economy | Localpreneur of the Year Awards “We’re going to be dealing with a hangover effect for some time. Tourism touches many lives here. One out of every five individuals in the workforce in our community is directly or indirectly in tourism. It’s like the perfect storm. You have more supply and maybe flat to less demand— you can do the math and you can know that it’s going to be a struggle. Even though water is coming back to that blue that we’re used to, the fact is there’s still that negative perception and image out there. In today’s world of social media, there were 10 billion negative press impressions of red tide in our community. It’s been very challenging moving forward. And that’s why I believe it’s imperative that our convention and visitors bureaus in both counties, Manatee and Sarasota, provide the financial resources to overcome the damage that has been done.” JEFFREY MAYERS, THE RESORT AT LONGBOAT KEY CLUB

“What we really saw and are continuing to see is a ripple effect outside of just hospitality, real estate and lodging. And that is the impact to particular small businesses, those that are vendors or service or product providers to the workforce within our hospitality and tourism industry. It absolutely had a ripple effect beyond just what you would immediately think of from the impacts of red tide. Our focus was on bringing assistance

and awareness to the need for local people to live like a tourist, but beyond that is the message that got out from a national perspective. We had calls every day.” JACKI DEZELSKI, MANATEE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

“The longer term challenge we’re going to deal with is not so much even the thing itself, but the doubt. That doubt is a real factor and it doesn’t go away even with just one news cycle. Whatever the causes are, it’s been going on for a long time, it’s cyclical and we can’t pretend it’s not going to come back. I hope we have a much broader conversation as a community. How do we plan ahead? I believe that across party lines you will see a unified effort within the state of Florida to address water quality.” DRAYTON SAUNDERS, MICHAEL SAUNDERS & COMPANY

“If anybody proposes to put an oil rig off of one of our beaches, we have no trouble all getting up in arms and saying that’s never going to happen. And yet this problem of fresh water runoff is something that each of us plays a part in. And this has to play a role in these recurring a toxic blooms. International investors have many options, and if you say “toxic tide” and “recurring” in the same sentence, you’re done. We’re behind the eight ball and we need to get out in front of it.”

“I wish that the State of Florida would allocate more dollars to market this state as a business destination. There is a whole lot of money. Just give us a piece of that, so we can compete. What do people think of when they think of Florida? Disney World, retirement and Miami. If you’re a business owner thinking of moving your business, it doesn’t necessarily say there’s going to be a wonderful workforce. So we have to work that much harder to communicate the message that this is an excellent business destination.” SHARON HILLSTROM, BRADENTON AREA ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION

“I’ve never met any business who’s afraid of competition. The competition’s a good thing. Iron sharpens iron and it’s a lot of reasons why you see districts pop up, where you see a lot of automobile dealerships near each other, you see a lot of entertainment businesses near each other, you see a lot of restaurants. Because competition begets better business and we know that. In recruiting companies here, the main question that local businesses have, is are you subsidizing bringing competition in to compete with me? Are you giving my tax dollars to outside companies to come here and compete with me?” KEVIN COOPER, FORMERLY OF THE GREATER SARASOTA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE




3/19/19 12:50 PM



“I was blown away to be named Localpreneur of the Year. I love this community and consider it my honor to serve - whether my amazing team and I are serving up our signature menu items or doing our part to support the wonderful organizations, businesses and nonprofits that make up this amazing community. Thanks to everyone who supports Mattison’s and to SRQ Media for putting forth a program that recognizes the important contributions area leaders make through their philanthropic efforts.”

Chef Paul Mattison, executive chef and owner of Mattison’s Restaurants and Catering, operates a successful culinary group on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Located in Sarasota and Bradenton, each Mattison’s restaurant location is unique to its neighborhood, offering Chef Paul Mattison’s signature menu items, outstanding service, and quality ingredients, while supporting the community, regional farmers, and culinary suppliers. Chef Paul grew up in New York, cooking and gardening alongside his Italian grandmother, Esther. He began his culinary career at age 15 in a local Greek restaurant and was encouraged by the restaurant’s owner to attend the Culinary Institute of America. Upon graduating, he went to Aspen where he refined his skills working at Piñons, a one-of-a-kind Zagat rated restaurant. In 1991, Chef Paul relocated to Sarasota as the executive chef and proprietor of the Summerhouse Restaurant establishing him as a celebrated local chef. In 2001, he and Jason Sango created the Mattison’s concept which includes three unique restaurant locations, a catering company and a culinary travel operation.



Mattison’s Catering Company is an award winning, full service inhouse and off-site caterer offering certified, experienced, professional event planners and custom menus for weddings, corporate or family events. Mattison’s City Grille offers open air, al fresco dining in the heart of downtown Sarasota. Mattison’s Forty-One is a highly acclaimed local restaurant boasting casual, fine dining elegance in South Sarasota. Mattison’s Riverwalk Grille in Downtown Bradenton offers family friendly, casual dining on the beautiful Riverwalk. Mattison’s is the in-house caterer at the waterfront Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall offering preshow dining and events. All three restaurants offer live entertainment. Chef Paul’s commitment to serving locally sourced, provincial, antibiotic, hormone and pesticide free ingredients is paramount to his business mission and a driving force behind all he does. Chef Paul states, “It is exciting, yet challenging, to be at the forefront of using locally sourced menu items and items that are raised the right way, but it is the right thing to do. This commitment to quality has the power to change the health of our consumers and help family farmers and small business owners thrive and prosper. That is important to us.”




SRQAPR19_Mattisons.indd 45

3/19/19 1:33 PM



University of South Florida, Sarasota-Manatee braces for consolidation. THE SARASOTA EDUCATION COMMUNITY CELEBRATED when the University of SouthFlorida Sarasota-Manatee five years ago won separate accreditation as an independent college. The recognition from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools meant independent budgeting power and the ability to offer complete, four-year programs without students ever having to drive to the University of South Florida’s main campus in Tampa. But now that’s all about to disappear. Rather, the University of South Florida works rapidly at the consolidation process, unifying all the campuses within the university network into a single entity once more. Regional Chancellor Karen Holbrook says this move will improve the overall standing of USF, just the third university in Florida to earn coveted “preeminent” status. She assures local leaders the change will allow engineering and science programs to thrive in Sarasota, which will now have more academic offerings than ever on campus. “We are already feeling a lot of the positives,” she says. For those who worked for years toward earning 46 | srq magazine_ APR19 live local


accreditation for USFSM, consolidation remains a bitter pill. But it also seems the focus of Tampa leadership for a school yearning for national recognition and that has seen campuses splinter off before. University leadership promises this change will be good for everyone that earns a degree embossed with the school’s green and gold seal. When the University of South Florida named Arthur Guilford as regional chancellor for its Sarasota-Manatee campus, the administrator took on several long-term goals. One of the most ambitious? Winning the campus independent accreditation. From 2007 to 2014, the work became the largest project during his tenure on campus. “To be honest, there is something demoralizing about spending seven of your last working years on implementing something, then having it undone in the next two, three or four years,” he says. The whiplash felt by Guilford may feel more personal, but it’s shared by a community slowly sold on the advantages of USFSM’s independence, only to be told quickly to buy

Jacob Ogles

into consolidation. The saga in some ways dates back decades. USF opened its main campus in Tampa in 1956 and over the next 20 years quickly expanded its footprint. The university by 1974 boasted six teaching sites across Florida, including space on the stillprivate New College of Florida. Then when New College merged into USF in 1975, USFSM as a branch campus was born. But as the school grew, so did its campuses. USF once had a campus in Fort Myers, but formally closed it in 1997 as Florida Gulf Coast University offered its first classes. New College in 2001 broke from USF once more, this time becoming an independent school in the State University System; USF kept some property to maintain USFSM as a regional campus. And in 2008, the state authorized Florida Polytechnic University, replacing USF’s Lakeland campus. The school formally started offering classes in 2014. While those campuses looked to split from USF, university operations in St. Petersburg and Sarasota looked at a different route. The Florida Legislature directed those schools instead to ILLUSTRATION BY WOODY WOODMAN

3/18/19 10:24 PM

earn independent accreditation. The goal was to establish a network of schools within the SUS—to make the University of South Florida something akin to the Cal State system in California or the University of Houston in Texas. That was the directive for Guilford, who led the search committee for a Sarasota regional chancellor, only to be tapped himself, and took the reins at USFSM. By the time he retired, the school had its own hospitality program housed there. Students had the ability to take classes in St. Petersburg or Tampa with no bureaucratic fuss. The school started offering classes to freshmen for the first time, and a student could earn a bachelor’s degree in a few select fields without ever having to leave Sarasota. More importantly in terms of autonomy, Guilford had complete control over his own budget. The school maintained a joint police force with New College, but for the most part could use tuition from Sarasota students entirely on the Sarasota campus. There always remained some resistance to the idea. While the Florida Legislature mandated USFSM earn accreditation, the SUS Board of Governors refused to ever recognize the St. Petersburg and Sarasota campuses as independent schools. Guildford attended Board of Governor’s meetings, but was not allowed to present on behalf of the school. And as far as SACS was concerned, the school maintained everything it needed to keep its accreditation in 2016. At that point, the school offered 17 complete bachelor’s degree programs. But further north, a competing agenda started to take hold, one that would prioritize national prestige over local authority. State Sen. Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, started working toward becoming Senate President from almost the moment he won his Senate seat in 2012. The first Southwest Florida lawmaker to lead a chamber since John McKay in 2002, Galvano said his goal the entire time was making sure he had the power to make Tampa Bay the leader on government, business and policy in the state. “I’m focused on doing the best by everybody in the state and to fulfill this role as it’s required,” he says. “But you don’t stop being parochial.” The day he formally won election as the next Senate President in 2017, he sat down with USF President Judy Genshaft, and told her of his plans for the school. He wanted the 61-yearold school to become a preeminent university. But that involved dropping the independent accreditations for the satellite campuses. “It's only going to bring more opportunity to Sarasota and Manatee,” Galvano says. Genshaft said she would let lawmakers decide what to do, but quickly started to assemble a list of benefits to the University. Already a top-tier research institution, counting the entire student body toward the university’s population would show its


importance to the state of Florida. There are other reasons consolidation would need to happen as well. USFSM officials note the school boasts the highest percent of graduates that have jobs immediately upon graduation (though they admit that’s largely because much of the Sarasota student body hold jobs before they even start taking classes). Rolling the best metrics from the satellite campuses into USF’s profile makes the school look stronger all-around. In January 2018, Genshaft issued a fullthroated endorsement for consolidation to faculty on all campuses. “We believe there is the potential for significant benefits to our students," she wrote. "Benefits like enhancing the reputation of the entire USF system and having all students graduate from a preeminent research university, or helping students graduate faster and with less debt by providing a wider variety of course options and majors, including those in health care and engineering. Or the benefits of graduate research and PhD opportunities in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Sarasota-Manatee." The Legislature moved ahead with consolidation. Regional Chancellor Sandra Stone quickly stepped down as chancellor, and, as a professor, raised concerns about the plan. At a town hall in March, she stressed students in Sarasota, most of whom live an hour or more from the Tampa campus, must be able to complete degrees without travel. But if the goal was priming USF for preeminence, it worked. In June, the Florida Board of Governors voted unanimously to designate USF as a “Preeminent State Research University.” Only the University of Florida and Florida State University previously enjoyed the status. “This critical designation will have an exponential impact on our continued efforts to grow our research enterprise, provide the highest-quality education to our students, strengthen our partnerships and help us make an even bigger difference in our community,” Genshaft says. In this coming fiscal year alone, the formal upgrade in status guarantees an extra $6.5 million in state dollars will flow to the school (though it will be controlled entirely by a Tampabased Board of Trustees). When Genshaft announced her retirement last fall, achieving preeminence stood as her chief achievement in 18 years helming the university. Holbrook came on the new regional chancellor in January 2018. And she notes that USFSM does not yet enjoy that preeminent status and won’t until consolidation completes. Indeed, she says she’s had to face some skepticism from Tampa officials worried adding Sarasota and St. Petersburg students into statistics will threaten standing.

She spoke to lawmakers in February about the boosts of consolidation, which will formally be complete by fall of 2020, for the Sarasota campus. The school this fall will see 37 new classes offered in a variety of programs, most for majors where students previously must make Tampa their home campus. While USFSM post-independence started serving students specializing in occupation-oriented fields like nursing and hospitality, there will now be more offerings in engineering and tech. Indeed, the campus’ chief local ask from lawmakers in this year’s legislative session will be funding for a new 75,000-square-foot STEM facility to open on the Sarasota campus. “This is going to contribute to the economic development in our area,” Holbrook promises. State Rep. Newt Newton, D-St. Petersburg, says he believes the move will ultimately serve all parties well. “Now you can get a four-year degree from a preeminent university without ever leaving home,” he says. It’s a message he’s tried to stress to people in Sarasota and St. Petersburg concerned about the change. Guilford hopes that’s all true. While forfeiting independent accreditation smarts, he acknowledges there are some obvious benefits to consolidation. But he hates that USFSM leaders no longer control their own budget. They can’t recruit freshmen into the new dorms on campus, and ultimately become a satellite campus. His major concern now remains that USFSM stay a regional campus, and not get relegated to being a teaching center that facilities would be kept for classes but no programs would be headquartered in Sarasota. But he also worries no tenured professors will want to work in Sarasota, and all top academic talent will go to the Tampa campus. “My gut says the money tied to preeminence isn’t going to travel to St. Pete and to Sarasota,” he says. Holbrook disagrees, and says it’s in the best interest of USF’s main campus to keep academics thriving at all campuses. Those new programs and classes coming to USFSM can only be offered if the main campus continues to fund capable faculty. “The only thing we need to keep programs going is demand,” she says. Most importantly, nothing for now will be going away from the Sarasota-Manatee campus. She envisions a growth in options for students here. And with so much invested in USFSM to date, she has no doubt the school will remain a branch campus. “I’m not so pessimistic,” she says. As for Guilford, he’s now retired, and despite leading the SACS independent accreditation, no one working on consolidation has ever called him about what should happen with the process now. “I just don’t think anybody knows what the full ramifications will be,” he says. SRQ

3/18/19 10:27 PM










BesT ofSRQ Local It’s been 20 years since SRQ magazine first hit mailboxes in the (941) and beyond, and the sunshine’s only gotten sweeter since—as evidenced each year with the annual Best of SRQ Local Competition, giving mad props to the bangin’ local businesses that make each season better than the last. This year, we celebrate the here and now with a little trip to the way back when, to where it all started, to that weird and wonderful superunknown we remember simply as the ‘90s. Hold on hella tight and stay frosted, this trip ain’t for scrubs. Written by Phil Lederer, Brittany Mattie and Jacob Ogles. Photography by Wyatt Kostygan.


3/19/19 3:34 PM

F I R M S •

This page, center row:

Jessica Featherstone, Pamela Hernandez and Mallory Moretti. of Berlin Patten Ebling. Men, clockwise from top to bottom:

Will McCombs, Jamie Ebling and Evan Berlin.

Left to right:

Patrick’s Kress Burger vs. Main Bar Sandwich Shop’s Aztec sandwich.


3/18/19 11:12 PM




IF THE ANCIENT TEXTS ARE TO BE BELIEVED, the highest form of the

Sarasota takes its brunch seriously and this year’s competition had no shortage of hungry voters making their voices heard. Station 400 served up a solid Platinum victory on the back of a spectacular Truffle Eggs Benedict and some wicked pancakes, while MADE strikes Gold with Bloody Marys and Billionaire Bacon. Duval’s picks up some Silver for its Shrimp, Crab and Lobster Cake Bennies, beating out Bronze winner Sun Garden Café and its healthful brunch options by a single vote. Rounding out the brunch table, Boca Sarasota and Louies Modern both garner Honorable Mentions. —PL

cow is the burger—making the worshippers of the golden calf perhaps not so much wrong, as they were simply premature, and making every local burger shack a potential house of worship. But which are worthy of your patronage and post-patty penitence? Patrick’s 1481 takes home the Platinum award yet again, practically reaching burger sainthood at this point, with Smack’s Burgers & Shakes nipping at its heels like a heretic at Gold position. Gecko’s Grill & Pub shares the Silver chalice in a tie with the newcomers at The Overton, and Shakespeare’s Pub says its prayers to the Bronze. Not to be excluded, Hob Nob Drive-In and Gulf Gate Food & Beer make the list as Honorable Mentions. —PL

Station 400

Marilyn Highland (on Station 400): My favorite breakfasts include the Breakfast Fry Up and the build-your-own omelets, with brie and bacon my goto choice. Station 400 is one of the few restaurants that consistently cooks eggs the way you requested. Whether over easy or over medium, they always get it right. And their omelets are not overcooked and brownish. Their wheat toast is extra tasty, and their hash browns are excellent. When I meet friends for lunch, my favorite is the Havarti grilled cheese with the yummy jam on it. Fries are also a must. Definitely my favorite place. Laura Lovejoy Sambursky (on Station 400): I love Station 400 because it is close to home, family-friendly, has awesome servers and offers plenty of vegetarian options—including the imperative almond milk for my morning coffee! Christy Hutson (on MADE): My family and I love MADE! We go there several times a year for brunch. They remain my favorite spot for a spicy Bloody Mary, and their BGFT Benedict is something I’d splurge on anytime! We’ve visited for b-day celebrations, going away brunch and just because it’s Sunday and why not? So lucky to have local places like MADE right here isin SRQ. Britt Rader (on Duval’s): I really love the ability to sit out front of Duval’s on a quiet relaxing Sunday and enjoy our beautiful Florida weather. I absolutely LOVE the Lobster Eggs Benedict. It’s indulgent, delicious and pairs perfectly with a mimosa . . .or three. Terry Black (on Sun Garden Café): Terrific array of healthy, wonderful tasting food presented with style.

Patricks 1481

Thomas O’Hare (on Patrick’s 1481): Sully created his Sarasota tradition for many years. He gives a very good product for a decent price, and Sarasota loves it. Tourists and native Sarasotans love Patrick’s because it’s solid—good food, great atmosphere and great staff. Tonya Gowan (on Patrick’s 1481): Sully is from the original Marina Jack crew and he knows what makes a good burger.

Christine Botti (on Patrick’s 1481) They never fail to provide the best Bunless Burger Benedict!

Diane Lane (on Smack’s Burgers & Shakes): There’s something

about that special sauce! And, being able to get a bison burger close to home is full tilt! David Clark (on Gecko’s Grill & Pub): Delicious & affordable! $5 burger day cannot be beat! Kathy Martella (on The Overton): So fresh and tasty. Once you try it, you’ll know why too! Adrian Moore (on Shakespeare’s Pub): English pub atmosphere and food, plus killer giant burgers with delicious exotic ingredients. Messy but amazing. Amy Paul-

ishak (on Shakespeare’s Pub): Horseradish cheeseburger—need I say more!



WHETHER IT’S THAT PERFECT STAPLE PIECE FOR YOUR FOYER, or the couch that tests your skills as a human to get up and do other than sink into its comfiness all day, these home decor and furniture stores make the the interiors you drool over in magazines come to life in your very own dwelling. Matter Brothers is applauded for its uncrowded adult playground, ruling in at Platinum, while Home Resource moves on up this year to the Gold. Voters appointed Blu Home and Soft Square a tie for Silver, in addition to a stalemate with Sarasota Home Collection and Baer’s Furniture for Bronze. —BM

Karen Godmere Kanis (on Matter Brothers) If you are into coastal and/or contemporary interior design and furnishing a house, Matter Brothers on Clark is a playground. It’s huge, but not over crowded. When you walk in, you get a bit giddy with anticipation. I appreciate that I can take my time to stroll and imagine, as well as check out the outlet in the back, without feeling pressured. When I was ready to buy, the sales team was helpful and professional. Yvonne Naese (on Soft Square): Amazing contemporary pieces at great prices, and staff is not all high and mighty. Rob Stueber (on Sarasota Home Collection): Showroom rocks big city talent.

IF YOU WANTED “LIKE MOM USED TO MAKE,” THEN YOU’D STAY HOME. Going out for a sandwich means going beyond the child’s play of

peanut butter and jelly, to a place where foodie boundaries are meant to be crossed—and with delicious results. Main Bar Sandwich Shop serves up a Platinum award alongside Aztecs and Italians, while the folks at Anna’s Deli bring home a Gold award to show off next to its Surfer Sandwich. The Silver award gets a split order between the ingenious innovators over at Kurto’s Chimney Cakes and the local-centric menu at Michelle’s Brown Bag Café, and trailing by one vote, Duval’s makes yet another appearance in this year’s rankings with a Bronze award for those Shrimp Po’ Boys.—PL Michael Henshaw (on Main Bar Sandwich Shop): Main Bar has the best sandwich on Earth. It’s the Aztec. The crazy thing is I ate at the Main Bar for years before discovering it. My go to was “The Ringer,” but one day my friend and I tried the Aztec and our lives were forever changed. I’m not exaggerating by saying it’s one best sandwiches ever created. If you’re ordering it make sure you ask for some extra sauce on the side. Bonnie Rowley (on Anna’s Deli): Surfer sandwich is a classic. Niko Athena (on Kurto’s Chimney Cakes): Way to take a traditional dessert, give it a new look and make the world love it! Congrats! Erika Budai (on Kurto’s Chimney Cakes): Amazing grab-and-go urban food. The best is the Cajun shrimp salad in the everything bagel chimney cone. Samantha Emelock (on Michelle’s Brown Bag Café): Friendly staff, a menu based on local attractions, fresh produce and rotating specials. Marcy Greenspan (on Duval’s): Duval’s is consistently excellent, no matter what entree you order. srqme.com_ APR19 live local | 51


3/18/19 11:17 PM


WHETHER STARTING YOUR DAY BEFORE THE SUN or making sure you last long after its

absence, it’s hard to understate the importance of a reliably good cup of coffee. And if five years as reigning champion is any indication, the folks at PERQ have it mastered, bringing home yet another Best Of SRQ award and further cementing their place in the pantheon of local legends. But in a stellar debut showing, The Overton brings stiffer competition than seen in years, closing out with a Gold finish after a fierce bout. The Clever Cup takes the Silver as smoothly as it serves up those Honey Lattes, and Pastry Art and LeLu Coffee Lounge tie for the Bronze—PL

BEST LEGAL FIRM Berlin Patten Ebling

Shree Sastry (on PERQ): Coffee never tasted so good just the way they make it. Great service. Great vibe and atmosphere. Truly one-of-a-kind. Marc Cabanig (on PERQ): This place gave me hope and swayed my decision to move from Los Angeles, confidently! Terri Barcus (on The Overton): Amazing coffee, sophisticated options, wonderful staff, modern atmosphere—they put so much energy into their coffee and food, it’s inspiring. Linda Kindig (on Clever Cup): Because it’s cool and local and it’s not Starbucks. Brock Leach (on Pastry Art): I love the neighborhood gathering atmosphere of the place, and then there are the pastries... oh, the pastries. So what’s not to like? Laurie Troost (on LeLu Coffee Lounge): Excellent coffee. Groovy vibe. Healthy, fun, creative breakfast. Super service. We love this place. Cynthia Bennethum (on LeLu Coffee Lounge): Love this coffee. Get it shipped to my house in PA. Siesta Snow is my favorite! Marlane Wurzbach (on PERQ): I live within walk-

Marlane’s 90s photo.

THE BERLIN PATTEN EBLING WINS in court translated into a big verdict from our readers, who give the law firm a Platinum rating this year. And they did it without a single white Bronco car chase. The legal eagles at Williams Parker land a Gold award with some LA Law-level style. Icard Merrill celebrated a Silver victory, while Shumaker, Loop and Kendrick attorneys must settle for Bronze this year.—JO

Theresa Skrzypkowski (on Berlin Patten): Everything they do is a cut above the rest. Their communication skills, use of technology and loyalty to clients is a cut above the competition. Brock

Leach (on Williams Parker): In all cases, they went beyond the call of duty, bringing a combination of expertise, professionalism and personal values that would be hard to surpass. Years ago, when I asked around about estate planning attorneys, Ric Gregoria was widely recommended as the best of the

best, and Ric has exceeded even those expectations. James Wil-

liamson (on Shumaker, Loop and Kendrick): They’ve always delivered excellent advice and contract work. Saralyn Abel Dorrill has helped me with personal and business real estate transactions. Jennifer Compton has provided sage counsel across several business areas. Mike Warm (on Shumaker): Juan Villaveces is the best. He is always available and has a way with clients and customers that puts even the biggest issues at ease.

ing distance of the shop, and it has impressed several of my northern houseguests who happen to take their coffee very seriously. I don’t make coffee myself and only drink it when I’m pretending to be a grown up. But showing off my new hometown to my discerning friends and family makes life easier and more enjoyable for all concerned. In addition to being a Sarasota cheerleader, I believe in shopping locally whenever possible. So of course I took our friends for a nice neighborhood walk down to PERQ instead of anything like a Starbucks.


Sweetberries Eatery and Frozen Custard WE’RE AS SURPRISED AS YOU; this is the first time this category’s run in the Best Of competition. Frozen treats have certainly come a long way from screwballs, snow cones, big dippers and Powder Puff girl-shaped ice pops found stamped on the side of ‘90s neighborhood ice cream trucks. At some point, it became a culinary artform. Considering the number of new, standout gourmet scoop options in existence, it seemed appropriate to name the king of cones. Here’s the scoop—Sweetberries Eatery & Frozen Custard takes home the Platinum title for its custards and concrete shakes. Close behind is Siesta Key’s Orange Octopus in Gold and Abel’s Ice Cream in Silver for its creative housemade flavors. Meanwhile, Main Street’s Gelato To Go ties for Bronze with new kid on the block, opening only this past December—sliding into the competition like a sneaky DM—welcome Local Chill. —BM

Jason Flatch (on Sweetberries): Sweetberries is hands down the best icecream I have ever had. No ice cream place can top them. Adrian Moore (on Orange Octopus): The first warm January evening after we moved here, we walked down to Orange Octopus. Sitting out front, watching locals and tourists coming and going and sharing our many flavor choices around the family, we realized this ice cream was amazing and the setting made it sublime. The hardest part is not going back too often and giving up on our waistlines! Marie Bonilla (on Orange Octopus): Orange Octopus is a gem in Siesta Key! Not only do they have amazing flavors—the sea salt caramel and the Kentucky bourbon are beyond amazing and love that everything is made in house— the interior of the shop is so nice and modern, clean and just feels happy. And Ollie the Octopus is so cute! Karen Diamond (on Abels): Because they have hard frozen yogurt and coconut milk ice cream. The owner is friendly and it is always clean. Fun creative flax. Yvonne Naese (on Gelato to Go): This is the real deal, just like I had in Tuscany. Not overly sweet, just perfect to allow the unique flavors to stand out. Aurec Senenoi (on Gelato to Go): This will be some of the most authentic gelato you can find in town. They use no fillers, no unneeded sweetness and no heavy thickeners to fake you out. All legit, real, gelato here. And here the flavors taste exactly like they’re named. A hidden gem in Sarasota that’s extremely underrated. Tracy Frascone (on Local Chill): Siesta Key’s newest ice cream shop has a uniquely different menu with homemade ice cream, candy and more with indoor and outdoor seating. 52 | srq magazine_ APR19 live local


3/19/19 2:32 PM



3/19/19 12:55 AM


OVERALLS, CHOKERS, DENIM VESTS, fanny packs, bandanas, neon

windbreakers, crop tops, platform sandals and plaid skirts—some of this stuff has circled its way back into our hearts and wardrobes, but don’t play Clueless—there’s a clear winner when it comes to timeless fashion. A round of applause for Burns Court’s L.Boutique, which claims its seventh year of Platinum trophies. Foxy Lady’s two locations give them a run for their money however, close behind in Gold. Molly’s two locations as well, prove fashionably on point in the Silver landing, and Main Street’s Lotus Boutique sees fit to step into the competition as the Bronze holder. —BM


Doreen Clyne (on L.Boutique): Local owner, gorgeous clothing, shoes and jewelry. Wonderful employees who provide professional, kind and caring service. The ladies are passionate about their work and love keeping women looking good, fashionable and hip! Caren Levin (on L.Boutique): L.Boutique provides personal service that is missing from most shopping experiences today. Their staff takes the time to find items that actually look good on you. They are friendly, patient and knowledgeable. I love shopping here. Amazing selection for whatever event you need, from a black tie event to casual daywear. Pam Trapani (on Foxy Lady): The clothes. The service. The free beer and wine while shopping. Kelly Liebel (on Molly’s): Wonderful owner and staff, always can find something that you need at a good price. Leslie Laven (on Lotus): Fashion forward, huge selection, amazing staff. Harmoni and her crew make everyone feel special. It’s always fun to be in Lotus and there’s never a hard sell! They truly enjoy their customers.


The ladies of L.Boutique.


Boca Sarasota

LAST YEAR WAS THIS CATEGORY’S FIRST TIME in the Best Of competition, and proved to

be a popular one to vote upon. You guys sure love your happy hours. This year, it’s interesting to see some return winners mixed with a couple of different candidates altogether. Cheers to Boca Sarasota for moving up to the Platinum title this year. And to Gecko’s Grill & Pub for kicking down the doors from not even placing last year, now taking home Gold. Meet us at Element or Selva—who tie for Silver—for light bites and post-work drinks. Meanwhile, Mattison’s and Michael’s On East both raises the bar to Bronze, respectfully knocking The Table Creekside completely from the running.—BM

Helen Harrington (on Boca): Love to have their zucchini fries with my cocktails. Jenny Courtney (on Boca): Great deals on wine and flatbreads Gwendolyn Roberts (on Gecko’s): It’s all day, every day. Terri Gagliardi (on Gecko’s): $3 Titos. Joseph Loewy (on Element): Element’s Happy Hour is also Classy Hour. It’s nice to have an upscale atmosphere and service, with craft cocktails and fine wine at a great price. My favorite is the Smokey Corinthian Leather. Gabrielle Connor (on Selva): Small bites of full menu items and cocktails at half-price? You literally can’t get that anywhere else in Sarasota.

54 | srq magazine_ APR19 live local


3/18/19 11:32 PM



3/19/19 1:15 PM



swims to the top of our survey once again with a Platinum finish Hugh and Buffet both easily called. Gold Winner Sarasota Jungle Gardens also provides a place for kids to run wild. The Children’s Garden and Selby Rainforest Garden tied as Silver winners offering a place for kids to get a little loony. The Ringling and Big Hat Habitat tied at Bronze. —JO Crystal Phillips (on Mote): You learn so much and it also helps with keeping local sea life safe. Lou

Walton (on Sarasota Jungle Gardens): Set in a beautiful natu-

BEST GOLF COURSE University park country club

WHAT GOOD IS THE PERFECT CLUB WITHOUT THE PERFECT COURSE? SRQ voters chipped in on their favorite spots to hit that hole in one. University Park Country Club came in way under par for a Platinum

win, with voters citing a perfect balance of beauty and challenge—not to mention friendly instructors. Meanwhile, Laurel Oak Country Club cuts a few strokes off its game to roll into a Gold finish on an immaculate green, and The Ritz-Carlton Concession Golf Club celebrates the Silver under the subtle roar of a golf clap. And playing out the back nine, Lakewood Ranch Country Club comes back to the clubhouse with Bronze. —PL Judith McCann (on University Park Country Club): A beautiful. challenging course in pristine condition. Clinton Whitelaw (on University Park Country Club): The course is always in excellent condition and they have the best PGA instructors.

Scott Stevens (on Laurel Oak Country Club): You can actually play a lot of it without house interference. Claire Moxcey (on The Concession): Great course and golf pros are professional, kind and eager to help! Sandra Shahinian (on Lakewood Ranch Country Club): A wide variety of amenities and two clubhouses—and the French fries are the best!

ral wildlife preserve, the attraction allows a unique interaction with an assortment of exotic birds, animals and flowers as one walks along the “jungle trails.” Will Diamond (on Selby Gardens): I brought my 4- and 5-year-old grandchildren there. They loved the koi pond and the waterfall into the pond. They were interested in the amazing diversity of plants. But mostly they loved the children’s play area. There, they created their own plays with the stage set up and props, swung on the tire swing and hammock and were immersed in using their creativity. Ashley Murphy (on Children’s Garden): From the maze to the tire mountain and the sandpit, there’s just the right amount of activities to keep them busy, all while letting them connect with nature. Mary Garcia (on Children’s Garden): My 1-yearold son loves exploring each corner of the garden. He especially enjoys walking through the tropical rainforest and the pirate ship. When he goes through the tropical rainforest, he is always smiling as he gets splashed. Kathy Martella (on Big Cat Habitat): On our first trip with our granddaughters, they thoroughly enjoyed the hands-on experience with the goats and feeding the ‘big cats.’ Deby Rutledge (on The Ringling): As a child, I was taken to The Ringling Museum many times. My awareness, interest and love for the paintings and artists were kindled by the exposure. Taking my own children and accompanying classes of elementary children on field trips there has reinforced my belief that this is an experience (and treat), which enriches minds and hearts.


Left: Dr. Michael Crosby, President and CEO of Mote Aquarium

Nuovo Salon


Mary Kate & Ashley’s blonde bobs or crimping Tyra Banks’ mane, but these stylists know a thing or two about classic hair dos. A clear winner sweeps up the heated competition with an astounding flow of votes to boast about. This year, Nuovo Salon triumphantly overthrows its opponent for Platinum(blonde). Snipping away the title for Gold still is Cutting Loose Salon. And tallying up the rest of the votes in this voluminous category was seriously splitting hairs. Marmalade and Yellow Strawberry measure up for a tie in Silver, while Fresh Salon and Spa Hollywood also align for a ponytail tie in Bronze. —BM Marietta Varga (on Nuovo): I’ve been going there for 26 years. The place is like going to visit your family— everyone is wonderful, service is outstanding, waiting time is great. I recommend it to everyone. Danielle Logue (on Nuovo): When you move to a new area, it’s hard to find someone to cut and color your hair. I have been fortunate enough to find two artists at Nuovo! I recommend them to my friends and new residents. Not only do they have wonderful people, they also carry Aveda products that are great for me and the environment. If you haven’t been to one of their three locations, you should make an appointment today. Marsha Kolb (on Cutting Loose): Any person knows that moving to a new town is overwhelming in many ways and perhaps the most daunting task (other than finding new medical professionals) is finding a new hairdresser. Cheyanne had been recommended to me and not only did she go above and beyond in listening to my story and hair needs, she also recommended theaters, restaurants and shops. She is so warm and genuine—and has a great laugh! From Sierra, a receptionist, to Mary, an assistant to Cheyanne, all were concerned about me and making sure I felt beautiful and comfortable in my new hometown. It’s an appointment I look forward to every other month! Helena Thomas (on Yellow Strawberry): They get your haircut right the first time. Jennie Courtney (on Fresh Salon): The best eyelashes extensions and facial treatments I’ve ever had.

56 | srq magazine_ APR19 live local


3/18/19 11:32 PM



3/19/19 12:54 AM


Beneva Flowers

STOP AND SMELL THE ROSES—OR WHATEVER FLOWER YOU PREFER at Beneva Flowers, the Platinum winner this year. Of course, our readers also highly recommend Gold Winner Flowers by Fudgie, the force behind many a weddings, to Best Friends’ and otherwise. Victoria Blooms showed up with a centerpiece showing and landed the Silver spot while Bee Ridge Florist fans delivered the shop a Bronze. —JO

Annette P Landes (on Beneva Florist): I have been the recipient of several floral designs and each was creative and beautiful. Deborah Pruett (on Flowers by Fudgie): I hired Flowers by Fudgie for my daughter’s wedding, her baby shower four years later, my parents’ 60th wedding anniversary party, my son’s engagement celebration and a friend’s bridal shower. Becki listens to you and stays within the budget you give her, as well as makes suggestions to keep your costs reasonable.

BEST HOTEL STAYCATION The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota


heroes continue to improve the quality of life of younger generations and always have our kids’ best interest in mind. The Platinum winner proves to be a real Full House. Forty Carrots is celebrated for its family-centric foundation and education programming. Children First secured a spot in Gold. And the competition remained thick with many a ties. shared Silvers go to Child Protection Center and Girls Inc., while EasterSeals SWFL and Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County scored ample votes for Bronze finalists. —BM

Left: Beneva Flowers bouquet in a 90s-inspired fanny pack.

MAKE SURE YOUR WALKMAN HAS JUICED BATTERIES, grab some burned CDs and the paper map out of your car console, we’re heading on a vacay... give or take about 10 minutes away. It may seem a strange concept—we live where people vacation. But look around—it’s a pretty damn beautiful place to call home. When you’re able to block a weekend for a (941) “getaway,” look to book your next staycation at The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota, which wields a fivestar performance for Platinum. Enjoy the creative happenings in the heart of downtown’s Art Ovation Hotel who check in to the Gold suite. Then soak in the panoramic rooftop views at The Westin Sarasota, whose hospitality brings them in at Silver. Lido Beach Resort finishes with Bronze amenities, acclaimed by tourists and locals alike. Deserving of Honorable pillow mint mentions—The Hyatt Regency, Zota Beach Resort, Longboat Key Club and The Sarasota Modern. —BM

Lynn Morris (on The Ritz-Carlton): Any time I want to indulge, this is the place. I love the healing waters in the spa. I love the Beach Club and sitting by the pool and being served—it’s heaven. Karin Lui (on The Ritz-Carlton): We stayed there over July 4th, and one of the ladies in the spa was talking to my son and found out how much he loved Ninja Turtles at the time. She went and had the pastry chef make him a cake with Ninja Turtles all over it for absolutely no reason and it made his entire stay. Doreen Clyne (on Art Ovation): Husband surprised me for my birthday in September. It was the best kickoff to my birthday month celebration. Very artsy and creative rooms, main entrance. Pretty city view of SRQ. Angela Kienzle (on Art Ovation): The art vibe is incredible and you feel so chic staying there! Barbara Bourgoin (on The Westin): The rooftop bar is fabulous— bright, great pool and amazing views of Sarasota. Michelle Teeter (on LBR): Drinks poolside and a walk to soft sand.

Mary Garcia (on Forty Carrots): My one-year-old and I enjoy the free group classes they offer at the local Sarasota libraries, Partners in Play (PIP). Forty Carrots comes to the local libraries and offers free parent-child classes. They bring various toys, sensory, musical, building blocks, books, and place them in different sections of the room. My toddler enjoys going from section to section and playing with the different toys. Towards the end of the session, they do circle time and everyone sings and dances to nursery rhymes. It’s a great way for my child to interact with other children and a great way for me to enjoy being outside of the home in a safe environment with my child—all for free! Joe Dzialo (on Children First): Access to high quality, affordable education is a fundamental human right. Children First of Sarasota is a World Class provider of educational services to Sarasota‘s most vulnerable children from birth to age five. Thank God for the Children First organization and Children First mindset. Michelle Lane (on CPC): Child Protection Center is doing the hardest work known. They help identify, protect and defend our children from horrific atrocities. There are far too many children being victimized today, and the team of experts at the Child Protection Center are there to investigate, treat and support children preemptively and post-trauma. It is terrific to see this vital cause recognized. It shows our community cares for its most vulnerable—not just in thought, but in action. Jannon Peirce (on EasterSeals): Where abilities shine six weeks in, supported by education, early intervention and pre-employment programs. Michelle Wieckowski (on BGSC): So many positive activities there to improve the future. 58 | srq magazine_ APR19 live local


3/18/19 11:40 PM



3/19/19 12:54 AM



COLD-PRESSING ITS WAY into the Best Of competition for the first time, our region proves to be a real juicers’ paradise—full of pineapple carving, kale harvesting and immunity elixir shots. But no one even came close to touching CROP, who whisked its way to the Platinum position for its ultra freshness and nutritious vibes. Then taking the Gold medal for a ride in its standout food truck, SaraFresh proves some of the best juice can be made on the move. St. Armand’s Green Zebra stays upbeet about its Silver standing and Venice’s Island Organics deserves

a standing ovation for its sweet performance in Bronze. —BM Cynthia Bennethum (on Crop): Fresh variety of healthy juices that taste great! No better way to start your day off right. Love this place every time I come to Sarasota. Abby Odierna (on Crop): CROP has been flourishing into a wonderful company—with it only being five years old, it has spread so much awareness to others and has inspired people to be healthy, along with healing the sick. They are the only juice company in Sarasota that does juice the right way, with organic produce and glass bottles that make it so refreshing to drink. With their wonderful three locations, they have the best customer service and employees anyone could have. I’m telling you, it gives you the best results, making you feel so good. Christie Harpring (on SaraFresh): SaraFresh uses organic local veggies. Plus, if you would like to use your own glass bottles, SaraFresh will fill them up to help to cut down on plastic usage! Lisa Hartley (on SaraFresh): Lynn’s juice is delicious and energizing! Her love for local ingredients is inspiring and evident in every cup and bowl. Her passion and commitment to her customers’ health and the community makes SaraFresh the choice for SRQ. Olivia Schwartz (on Green Zebra): I love bringing my friends and family from out of town there—it is absolutely delicious and such a fun environment. I am an athlete, and Green Zebra always hits the spot after a hard practice. My favorite thing to do is bring my homework and enjoy a fresh juice and a healthy snack. I recommend it to everyone all the time! If you are starting a cleanse or new diet, start it at Green Zebra and enjoy food that is good for you and tasty. Tina Jensen (on Island Organics): The freshest ingredients and the place is small but so cute. Left: Polpo’s Bee

Sting pizza and CROP juice.


Detwiler’s Farm Market THE SUPERMARKET CHAINS don’t hold a monopoly in the market of localvores. Detwiler’s Farm Market bags the debut Best Grocer Platinum

Winner honor this year. But not far behind, celebrated Sarasota staple Morton’s Gourmet Market continues to feed a loyal customer base, enough to secure a Gold victory. —JO Joy Randels (on Detwiler’s): From local eggs, meat and cheese to organic produce, there is simply nowhere else in the area like it. They have a real butcher shop, farmers market, deli and health food boutique inside of one store that’s open six days per week. Barbara Bourgoin (on Detwiler’s): The sales are fabulous. The ice cream is a big draw when you can get a Big Olaf’s cone for $1.50 vs. $5-6 on Siesta Key. Jackie Barron (on Morton’s): I love their locally made chocolates and sweets! Of course, it’s also a Thanksgiving tradition to get our turkey and all the fixings from Morton’s. What makes Morton’s stand out from an increasingly crowded specialty grocer market is the true neighborhood feel you get the second you step through the door.


Polpo Pizza

WE HAVEN’T SEEN THIS CATEGORY RUN SINCE 2015. Fast forward four years, and Sarasota and Manatee counties could fill an entire parking lot with a thriving variety of mobile kicka** kitchens. Hence, the outpour of votes and contenders fighting to make the rankings. Twirling its pizzas truck-side, Polpo’s takes Platinum. Fire Tacos claims the Gold for its on-the-go Cali-Mexican delights. And Peachey’s Baking Co. was incredibly close to prevailing, just a few votes behind but plenty of donuts to show for the Silver title. Smokin Momma Lora’s BBQ and SaraFresh call a draw for Bronze, while defeating Kuwai Venezuelan Street Food and Mouthole BBQ who deserve tasty Honorable Mentions. —BM

Yvonne Naese (on Polpo’s): Polpos pizza is superb, the perfect Naples (Italy) thin but chewy crust. They use great quality ingredients that result in a very fresh taste. Rebecca Pendergast (on Fire Tacos): The best, fast, authentic lunch truck around. Lisa Redhead (on Fire Tacos): Fire Tacos is our go-to place on Tuesdays—they have dollar tacos and they are amazingly delicious. We have been known to go there other times during the week too, but you can’t beat it for a buck on Tuesday! Donna McKee (on Peachey’s): I voted for Peachey’s/ Amish Baking Co. because their donuts are simply delicious—light, airy and just the right sweetness. Just when you think it looks too big to eat at one sitting, it’s gone. Too good to wait. Rhys Miller (on Smokin Momma): An inspired, creative take on west coast-style food—delicious options for everyone, including vegans! Grace Johnson (on SaraFresh): A juice truck is out of the ordinary but adds so much to the food truck community and the SRQ Farmer’s Market. 60 | srq magazine_ APR19 live local


3/19/19 1:22 PM



3/19/19 12:54 AM


SIMULTANEOUSLY ONE OF THE MOST DECISIVE and indecisive categories of the entire competition, the question of candlelit dinners and amorous atmosphere revealed a clear victor in Platinum-winning Ophelia’s on the Bay, with its on-the-water environs and perfect mood lighting wooing voters by the droves. But that’s where the honeymoon ends. Indigenous seals the deal within the cozy confines of its intimate Links location, earning a solid Gold win from the voters, but Element and Bijou Café erupt into a lover’s quarrel over the Silver award, while Michael’s on East and Euphemia Haye tussle over Bronze. —PL

Diane Colby-Kost (on Ophelia’s on the Bay): Ophelia’s offers a quaint, waterfront dining experience that always feels special without feeling stuffy. Their menu is diverse and the meals are high quality. The strings of lights by the outdoor tables on the dock set the mood for a romantic evening and we love that ambiance. My husband and I choose Ophelia’s for our anniversary celebration and we are always glad. Victoria Cobb (on Indigenous): The intimate setting works. We love that the tables are scattered around the remnants of what used to be a Florida bungalow. Our favorite spot is the back room where the bar is. The wine menu works for our tastes and the seafood is always amazing, as it should be, considering the chef’s devotion to sustainable seafood. For me, knowing I’m making good choices for the environment while I’m indulging in a delicious meal makes it easier to enjoy a romantic date night. Barbara Carey (on Bijou Café): We always think of the Bijou as a special occasion restaurant, even though the pricing is in line with many other restaurants in Sarasota. Diners tend to dress up a bit more there. The ambiance is quiet elegance, the staff is always professional and the food is classic. Laurie Gomes (on Euphemia Haye): You just can’t beat all those little white lights—it creates such a special, romantic ambiance. R. Julio Diaz (on Euphemia Haye): Our first experience was special because we were able to see the chef prepare the meal while still feeling like it was our own space. The food was fantastic and the bar lounge area is great for live music and dessert.

Below: April White of DSDG Architects takes us back to this quintessential 90s movie.



“spice up your life” in more ways than one. The Platinum winner continues to be renowned by locals for her clean eye and exceptional taste. April White of DSDG Architects garners the leading lady title once again this year. Dynamic duo Donna McKee & Denice Peoples of Double Vision hold on to their Gold ranking, as does Ana Santa Maria of Apex-Studio, taking home a shiny Silver piece of decor for her track record in ensuring a space truly feels like “you.” And finally, Hillview underdog Chelsea Dunbar of Blu Homes, creatively curates her way into Best Of for making the design process from start-to-finish fun. —BM Leanne Yarn (on April White): April White is a young interior designer beyond her years. April’s strong background in architecture has made her a perfect fit amongst a team of male architects. Her design aesthetic is clean, contemporary and consistent, whose innovative designs are becoming Sarasota’s new look for interior design. She’s in a work environment with lots of men, holding her own. Amanda Blanco (on April White): Amazingly hard working individual—will stop at nothing to design the house of your dreams. Ann Dellarco (on Double Vision): Two is always better. Dynamic duo who are able to effectively bring interior dreams to life while remaining within your budget! They truly believe that budget should never prevent you from creating the home of your dreams! Katie Scarfone (on Double Vision): What can’t you love about twins who have style? Easy to work with, unique ideas, listens to their clients and end result reflects client. Vanessa Dolan (on Chelsea Dunbar): She is so stylish and fun to work with.

there’s something about


62 | srq magazine_ APR19 live local


3/18/19 11:46 PM



3/19/19 12:52 AM


IF MAKING AMAZING DONUTS IS A CRIME, then someone call the cops, because Five-O Donuts has once again glazed right over the competition on its way to the Platinum spot in this year’s contest, with hungry hordes clamoring for more croissant donuts and creative toppings. Similarly felonious, Peachey’s Baking Company holds the Gold position on the down-home doughy wisdom of its simple glazed donut, while the outlaws of Of Kors Donuts enter the scene at Silver with organic and vegan options. Rounding out the winner’s circle, Shipley’s Do-Nuts takes the Bronze. —PL

Nicole Chapman (on Five-O Donuts): The first time I walked into Five-O and saw all the donuts, I think the world got a little brighter, angels might have sung and I started salivating. These donuts make me happy any time I eat them. But if I had to narrow it down, I would say my two favorites are The S’Mores and the Super Trooper (maple icing with bacon—because anything with bacon is OK in my book). Emmalee Legler (on Five-O Donuts): The variety in their specialty donuts is fantastic. Plus, the traditional glazed are the best in town. Michelle Milazzo (on Five-O Donuts): I have been to donut shops all over the country and no one holds a candle to this place. Every week they have new, creative ideas. Their donuts are huge and full! They do not skimp on their fillings or toppings. Even the names of the donuts are fun and creative, along with the fun police theme of their locations! It doesn’t get any better than this! Yvonne Naese (on Five-O Donuts): The chocolate cronut is crazy good. Jayme McHale (on Peachey’s Baking Company) Tradition and simplicity! Peachey’s understands that the best recipe stands on its own. It doesn’t need mounds of toppings to enhance the taste or for visual effects. Nope. Peachey’s doughnuts WOW in size and a warm, melt-in-your-mouth glazey goodness that tastes fresh from first bite to last! Shauna Longshore (on Peachey’s Baking Company): I just tried Peachey’s for the first time last month and no other donut I’ve had can compare— they’re so melt-in-your-mouth delicious! Scott Moudry (on Peachey’s Baking Company): Trust me, get their weekly schedule, drive there and try a glazed donut—you will not be disappointed! Melts in your mouth. Adrian Moore (on Of Kors Donuts): I’ve been taste testing local donut shops for years. I long thought Five-O was the best, and they are great, but Of Kors beats them in a head-to-head taste test. The cronuts in particular are melt-in-your-mouth good. Sandra Quinn (on Shipley’s Do-Nuts): We brought some for my coworkers—they crazy stupid loved them! I guess everyone one proclaimed it a cheat day, because they were gone in a flash. The doughnuts just ‘don’t all taste the same.’


Left: Five-O Donuts, cookie monster, sprinkles and maple bacon.

Nancy’s BBQ


Elliott Himelfarb (on Nancy’s BBQ): I’ve enjoyed Nancy’s Bar-B-Q since

reigns supreme yet again in the contest of consummate barbecue, more than doubling the votes of its closest competitor and pulling down a Platinum as easy as pork from a spare rib. But making a strong showing and steadily gaining since its arrival, Brick’s Smoked Meats bares its teeth and shows its appetite at Gold, with folks raving about everything from the tender brisket to the decadent s’more in a mason jar. Aldays’ BBQ saw a loyal contingent of localvores carry them to a Silver finish, while Pride of the South BBQ circles just below at Bronze. —PL

she opened the doors to her downtown location. Pork, ribs and chicken are smoky and nicely cooked, but brisket is the true star. Crispy, almost charred ends are an occasional treat if the timing is right. My favorites of the many side dishes are the edamame succotash and sweet potato mash. The screen porch dining area is casual and you often meet interesting fellow diners while enjoying lunch or dinner. Joanie Spadaro (on Nancy’s BBQ): Because it’s Nancy’s. She’s a local legend, always making her food interesting and delicious! Adrian Moore (on Nancy’s BBQ): They do the meats right, and that is core of a good bbq joint. I love the atmosphere and their brisket is to die for. Joy Randels (on Brick’s Smoked Meats): BBQ is great and the sides are killer, combined with craft cocktails, beer and a conscientious staff. Olivia Schwartz (on Brick’s Smoked Meats): The atmosphere is perfect for a night with family or friends. The service is efficient, and the food is so good! One of my family’s favorite spots. Aurec Senenoi (on Brick’s Smoked Meats): The simplicity and smokiness of the brisket is unmatched. Salt and pepper. Done. That’s how a brisket should be. Order it moist and you got yourself an umami bomb of five ingredients: USDA Prime Brisket, salt, pepper, smoke, & time. The smokiness flavor and perfect saltiness is the reason why Brick’s is the best BBQ in town. (And doesn’t need any barbeque sauce.) Terri Barcus (on Alday’s BBQ): Local, delicious hits-the-spot food, quick service and easy parking. Karen Kanis (on Pride of the South): Savory, moist and hearty portions, And fried green tomatoes and cornbread. 64 | srq magazine_ APR19 live local


3/18/19 11:51 PM



3/19/19 12:51 AM




WINE, WOMEN AND SHOES a Forty Carrots Family Center

DR. Ted Meyer

Parents and grandparents entrust their children’s care in the hands of Dr. Ted Meyer, the Platinum-winning pediatrician this year. Dr. Robert Weiss of Weiss Pediatrics also got a good share of votes, winning Gold, while Dr. Katherine Keeley appears in these pages once again at Silver. Dr. Howard Fuchs and Dr. Scott Featherman share Bronze status. —JO Ashley Wallace (on Weiss Pediatrics): Saying that Dr. Weiss and his staff treat your child like their own is an understatement. I seriously feel like he looks at my kiddos and interacts with them as if they were his grandkids. Reva Holcombe (on Weiss Pediatrics): Dr. Weiss is a very kind man. I interviewed his practice before deciding to make him my pediatrician. He and his wife were both there, answered all my questions and made me feel very comfortable. Kelly Liebel (on Dr. Katherine Keeley): We have gone to Dr. Keeley’s practice for 17 years. She is kind, has the most wonderful bedside manner for the children and is very informative for the parents. She absolutely puts her patients at ease and talks in an angelic voice. Ana Santa Maria (on Howard Fuchs): Dr. Fuchs was my pediatrician growing up, and is now my children’s pediatrician. He is kind, gentle, loving, and we love the fact that he listens to the parents. He understands that nobody knows your children better than you do.

Wine, Women and Shoes

event rises up as bell of the ball and Platinum winner of this category. Meanwhile, Giving Hunger The Blues, a music festival that helps The Mayors Feed The Hungry, played a Goldwinning set for our readers. Selby Orchid Ball at the botanical gardens named for the same patron nabbed the Silver space. Florida Cancer Specialists’ Party Under The Stars tied with the Designing Daughters Gala as Bronze winners —JO Allison Imre (on Wine, Women & Shoes): This event is coined “Best Day Ever” not only because of the festivities but also for the good feels you leave with, knowing how many deserving children you helped. This event is truly the “Shoeper Bowl!” Terry McKee

Where else do you spend the day with your favorite girlfriends, sporting amazing shoes (women and men!), drinking fabulous wine, all while raising half-a-million dollars for an organization that does so much for parenting in the community at-large? Samantha Haynes

(on Giving Hunger The Blues): I first attended because I have a love for music and a heart for those less fortunate in our community. This is no stuffy party! Giving Hunger the Blues is, by far, the most fun charity event of the year!

Amy Glasow (on the Orchid Ball): Selby Gardens is a place of God’s beauty, the closest thing to heaven here on Earth. Shelly

Glenn (on Party Under The Stars): This is not a typical gala as it is relaxed and fun. There are food stations with expert chefs. This year there were circus entertainers and a record crowd of nearly 300 attendees.

(on Wine Women and Shoes):

Left: Dr. Ted Meyer festooned with iconic 90s toys


WHO BOASTS A WINNING VISION IN THIS CONTEST? Readers clearly see Center for Sight as the top optic service locally, naming it Platinum winner. But Spectacle Gallery comes into focus as a Gold winner just behind it. Eye Associates will soon see a Silver award hanging in those offices, while Coastal Eye Institute can fit its Bronze certificate for the

finest frame. —JO Barbara Anderson (on Center for Sight): My husband was a patient of Dr. Lahners and Dr. Fezza. He has been going to Center for Sight for three years. The treatment you get at Center for Sight is top notch. Amy Schneider (on Spectacle Gallery): Dr. Doyle’s exams are very comprehensive and professional, and she is an absolute delight. And, no small thing, when I get my new glasses, I can see! The selection of frames is unbelievable. Ray Benjamin Kiekel (on Spectacle Gallery): They went above and beyond to stay open late one night when I first reached out with an eye issue and couldn’t get in touch with anyone else. Jayne Steiff (on Eye Associates): Dr. Tomas Schwartz performed my cataract surgery and cornea transplants. He and his staff are awesome and I would give them a ten-star rating if possible! Amber Gager (on Coastal Eye Institute): Dr. Silverman is wonderful. He treats my son great and really listens to what he has to say whether it is about his eyes or school. I have been seeing Dr. Sambursky for six years. He performed my LASIK surgery. I feel very comfortable with him.

66 | srq magazine_ APR19 live local


3/19/19 1:21 PM



SARASOTA FORD 707 S Washington Blvd, Sarasota | Located where US 41 Meets US 301 941.366.3673 |


3/19/19 12:51 AM



IN A REGION RICH IN CHARITABLE CAUSES, Cat Depot once again pounced


gets all shaken up like a carriage on cobblestones this year, with newcomer Screaming Goat Taqueria emerging victorious to claim Platinum status in a landslide, thanks to everinventive and always fresh toppings. El Toro Bravo ascends the rankings this time around, coming in at Gold, while Mi Pueblo falls two spots but holds on to the Silver position by its fingertips, edging out the folks at Wicked Cantina by a single vote.—PL Yvonne Naese (on Screaming Goat): Screaming Goat has fresh flavors, not a lot of fried or greasy ingredients. They have very creative combinations, including several awesome vegetarian. They use great quality ingredients and their attention to the little details is amazing. Sindy Slowinski (on El Toro Bravo): Best Mexican food in town by far. Ruben & Connie, the owners, are great & treat you like family. Lisa Carnes (on Mi Pueblo): My favorite Mexican restaurant. All their food is authentic! Doug King (on Wicked Cantina): Best house and happy hour drink ever—the house margarita it is all you need. Above:

Screaming Goat Taqueria taco on 90s music concert posters.


IF THE EYES ARE THE WINDOWS TO THE SOUL, then surely hair is at least a fine bit of roofing—the sort that catches the eye, but not the rain, and, if left to its own devices, will grow entirely out of control, much to its owner’s professional and financial ruin. With so much at stake (and a straight-razor to your throat), the particulars of coifcentric decision-making may not come easily, but the SRQ voters have your back (but you’ll have to shave it yourself). Modern Gents rises tall like a proud pompadour to secure a Platinum win—with as much, if not more, endorsement from the wives as from the gents—and Burns Court Barbers and American Shave match each other snip for snip to part the Gold award perfectly down the middle. Trimming up the edges, The Barber on Central Avenue sweeps up a Silver award, while The Barbershop 941 combs over a Bronze. —PL

Cindy Weinrich (on Modern Gents): Wonderful atmosphere! It even has a bar in the back! My husband really enjoys getting his hair cut by Chris! Sam Mossler (on Burns Court Barbers): Having grown up in Sarasota, I had the pleasure of trusting my youthful coif to some of the finest old-school barbers the world has known. They were unpretentious but undeniably class acts. Most of the old timers have sold their chairs or retired, sadly, but Burns Court Barbers possesses that old school sensibility. Their work is artful but their sensibility is grounded in the great traditions of their vocation. Angela Kienzle (on American Shave): What I love about American Shave is that when my husband goes too long without a cut, he goes in a 3 and comes out a 10! They absolutely have an attention to detail. Marie Bonilla (on The Barber): I went with my fiancé when he got a cut at The Barber—Francisco is just great! The shop is super-clean and modern, Francisco runs on time and he really knows his craft! Great cuts at super-reasonable prices

past all competitors. As always, readers love anyone taking care of smelly cats and the Sarasota pet center continues to dominate this cat-egory year after year. But In The Pink, a local organization serving women with cancer, enjoyed plenty of support and secured Gold status, thanks in part to the noticeable difference made in so many of our readers’ own lives. Vintage Paws Sanctuary made sure dog lovers represented on the list, winning Silver recognition. The Dharma Footprint Project

stretched out enough support for a Bronze finish.—JO Mary McGrath (on Cat Depot): The cause is important to me because I think a kind society tries to care for animals and prevent overpopulation and cruelty. Lily

Hildewig (on In The Pink): I first became aware of it from a friend who was having a mastectomy, then I had to have one. Providing forms and bras free of charge is so helpful, physically and mentally. The women who work there are very kind, compassionate and caring. Joan Levy (on In The Pink):I am a three-time cancer survivor. I desperately searched for a store in Sarasota that could help me in my time of need and found In The Pink, a true haven that gives loving and sensitive support to cancer victims. They turn what is unbearably painful and difficult into something comforting, by infusing kindness and peacefulness into every aspect of their store and services. Andrew Santry (on Dharma): Their service is devoted to providing lifelong tools for individuals to make a positive change in their lives and everyone they meet.

68 | srq magazine_ APR19 live local


3/18/19 11:59 PM



3/19/19 12:50 AM

John and Phillipa Cannon Please share a brief history of your company. We started John Cannon Homes almost 31 years ago. Together with my wife, Phillipa, our team members and our trade partners, we have designed and built approximately 1,400 luxury custom homes across Southwest Florida. Today, as in the beginning, you will still find us in the office and out in the field as we continue to oversee every aspect of our company’s operation. Our philosophy is that building your home is the fulfillment of your dream, the culmination of all that you have worked for your entire life, and it should be respected as such.

tise with superior home construction practices. When our client’s partner with us in the Design/Build process, they play an active role in the planning and designing of their home. From our professionally staffed Design and Drafting Department to our Interior Designers to our Project Managers, our team is involved ever y step of the way. While most builders can draw a floor plan, partnering it with quality materials and expert super vision takes experience, skill and the attention to detail that you can expect from and will receive with a John Cannon Home.

What products and services do you offer? We tailor the home building process to each client’s unique wants and needs. Our team works closely with our clients to design their home starting with either a clean sheet of paper or by modifying one of our many award-winning floor plans. Our 4,000 SF Design Center is where our clients meet with their personal Design Liaison to select their finishes–both interior and exterior. We believe in the “freedom of customization”. It’s your home– you can customize your plans, your elevations and your selections to match your lifestyle.

Plans for the future? I hope to continue to build beautiful homes where families can make memories, where friends are welcomed and elegantly enter tained, homes that are filled with life, love and laughter… and homes that make them happy. It’s made for a ver y satisfying career!

What is unique about your business that sets you apart? We specialize in the Design/ Build approach which couples design exper-

What does it mean to be recognized as a winner in the Best of SRQ Local 2019? We love where we live, and love where we build, and while there are many builders in this area –and we all are proud of our work–to be recognized as one of the Best of SRQ Local 2019, makes this award personal to me and the entire John Cannon team.

JOHN CANNON HOMES 6710 Professional Parkway West, Suite 100 | Sarasota, Florida 34240 | 941.924.5935 CGCA18551

SRQAPR19_JohnCannon.indd 70

3/19/19 1:14 AM

SRQAPR19_JohnCannon.indd 71

3/19/19 1:14 AM


Jason Cannon, Associate Artist at Florida Studio Theatre in homage to the 90s cult film The Blair Witch Project.

BEST PERFORMING ARTS GROUP Florida Studio Theatre and Asolo Repertory Theatre

THE SHOW MUST GO ON! Especially at

these winners for Best Performance Arts Organization. Taking a bow in the Platinum position, Florida Studio Theatre and Asolo Repertory Theatre share the stage this year with an even audience split—and both praised for atmosphere, diversity of production and quality of cast and crew. Taking home the Gold, Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe wowed viewers with incredible musicality and intimate performances, while the traveling shows of the Van Wezel garnered a Silver finish for the lovable Purple Cow. And, in the midst of a big move down to Lakewood Ranch, The Players Centre for Performing Arts hoists the Bronze. —PL Colleen Maguire (on Florida Studio Theatre): Florida Studio Theatre does not only put on amazing plays, musicals, cabaret and improv, it offers great classes for all ages. A couple of Friday nights a month, adult students perform in Mixed Nuts performances in front of other students, friends, family and anyone who wants to watch new budding talent emerge. For $5, it’s a fun way to spend a Friday night. Karen Bastis (on Florida Studio Theatre): Florida Studio Theatre is reminiscent of NYC Off-Broadway in terms of overall quality—selection of plays, quality of actors and relative intimacy of venues. I find the topics very thought-provoking and the performances emotionally moving. What more could one want from a theater? Diana Dawson (on Asolo Repertory Theatre): The selection of productions is diverse. They have a committed to the local community—they’re not just another theater. It is also a spectacular venue. Pam Waite (on Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe): They consistently have high quality standards and extremely talented performers! Their shows always move my emotions and give me something to think about. I never leave disappointed. Marilyn Highland (on Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe): We started attending performances at WBTT three years ago. We now hold season tickets. Nate Jacobs has done an amazing job heading up this troupe, with top-notch performances utilizing the most talented of actors. Kerri Bauer (on The Players): They offer so many fun kid activities and lessons.


Music Man, Asolo Repertory Theatre WHEN IT COMES TO BEST MUSICAL/PLAY, it seems like the Best of SRQ voters really liked them all, though Asolo Repertory Theatre’s winter production of The Music Man sang and danced its way to a decisive

Platinum win for the year’s competition. The Gold award becomes a double bill, with Venice Theatre’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream sharing the program with Florida Studio Theatre’s A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder. The Silver award goes to Asolo Rep’s Evita, marking the theater’s second but not final appearance on the rankings, as Bronze ends in a rare three-way tie between Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe’s Marvin Gaye, Florida Studio Theatre’s Always Patsy Cline and Asolo Rep’s Ragtime. —PL

72 | srq magazine_ APR19 live local


3/19/19 12:04 AM



3/19/19 12:50 AM


space close to your favorite retailers. Here are the storefronts sought out the most. A one-stop-shop for all things fashionable and fun, Shore bears the palm with a significant outreach of votes for Platinum. Shoppers make their way to Garden Argosy next, who’s eclectic displays of gifts and goods achieve Gold. The Met tags closely behind with Silver and Foxy Lady cashes in for the Bronze. —BM


J Mayer (on Shore): I absolutely love everything about it—the vibe, the apparel, the accessories...and, of course, the super hip restaurant upstairs. Krystle Harvey (on Garden Argosy): This store has something for everyone—whimsical and tropical goods, artisan jewelry and smelly things, but I gravitate towards the quirky and humorous items. I’ve purchased from this store the book, “What’s My Pee Telling Me?” for an older male friend, a “Sh*t List” notepad for a colleague and a very touching greeting card for a loved one. Diane Jerdan (on Foxy Lady): Foxy Lady has a great selection of clothing for women, whether you are looking for a dress to wear to a wedding or a casual pair of jeans, they have lots to choose from. Also, the sales women are helpful and accommodating. They are not pushy and offer helpful suggestions and feedback. All in all, shopping at Foxy Lady is fun and not stressful.

BEST HOME BUILDER John Cannon Lynn Morris (on Garden Argosy): I love tooling

around in there! Always a great spot to get a meaningful gift.

Lynn’s 90s photo.


WELCOME TO OCEAN BOULEVARD, where it may not be Beverly Hills, but

it has a certain charm and an interesting array of retail to shop after a day of getting salty and tan at the beach. For your coastal Florida attire and beach accessories, head to the drum circle to party with Platinum winner Beach Bazaar. Then pop in to Gidget’s, with the Gold medal in hand. Foxy Lady wins again, for its other Key location as a Silver finalist. Meanwhile, voters were torn when it came to Nutritious You, Marley Vibes and CB’s Saltwater Outfitters, with an unresolved tie for Bronze.—BM Josh Wayne (on Beach Bazaar): A Sarasota classic. Rachel Williamson (on Beach Bazaar): My favorite part about Beach Bazaar is that it is a family-owned business, even though it is in the center of a very touristy spot. When you walk in, you are treated like family. Even as a local, there have been many times I would get out to the beach and forget a towel, sunscreen, etc.— Beach Bazaar always has everything you need for the beach and it’s hard to leave without picking up a cute sundress or new suit. Cheryl Gregory (on Gidget’s): I was actually there yesterday and bought something for the condo and a couple things for me (three of course!). They have something for everyone, and the windows are always done up to bring people in. Pretty much the only store I stop in any more, it’s great. Gabrielle Knowlton (on Nutritious You): Amazing vegan and raw food, prepared with love. Carol Hartley (on Marley Vibes): The owner Bailey is salt of the earth.

WHILE MANY ‘90S BABIES were thumb-pounding on their Tamagotchis and Game Boys, these master makers would’ve probably been found building their moated castle fortress of Legos. Say Sweet Home Sarasota to Platinum winner John Cannon. Nautilus Homes follows suit with Gold, and Voigt Brothers Construction scrapes close behind with Silver. Bronze finalist, Josh Wynne rounds out this category, with Neal Communities, Murray Homes, NC Ferguson and Westin Hills—all highlypraised—worthy of Honorable Mentions. —BM

Gregory Arthur (on John Cannon): A reliable craftsman that demands excellence. Leanne Yarn (on Nautilus): Nautilus Homes is no longer Sarasota’s up and coming luxury home builder. Ryan Perrone, a second generation home builder, has expanded his business in just a few short years to compete with the biggest and best home builders in the Sarasota area. Not only is Nautilus known for their attention to detail and perfected craftsmanship, but Nautilus is re-landscaping Sarasota’s neighborhoods with a fresh new look. mantha Yell (on Josh Wynne): His hyper focus on the implantation of sustainable design and energy efficiency is matched only by his incredible attention to detail. His houses are like jewel boxes! He deserves everything because he gives everything.

BEST CONTRACTOR Voigt Brothers Construction


community when it comes to building some of this region’s finest infrastructures and enviable abodes. Platinum holder Voigt Brothers Construction jumps from third place last year, to the very top this year, while Ryan Perrone of Nautilus Homes keeps his Gold standing for going above and beyond the call of a contractor. Josh Wynne Construction and Westin Hills Corp. both win Silver—continuing to boast outstanding reputations among readers. Willis A. Smith was installed by voters as the Bronze finalist for their hyper focus on their people.—BM

Ed Kolodzieski (on Voigt): If you want it to be special, to be unique and to be done just right, then call Voigt. Brittany Hagan (on Nautilus): Ryan has an impeccable eye for design, uncompromising expectation of perfection for this clients, and gives a customer experience that is unparalleled in the building industry. Valerie Lemmi (on Westin Hills): They did outstanding work, happily accommodated my last-minute changes and they worked collaboratively with the condo association. Tim Holliday (on Willis Smith): Willis Smith has worked on, and continues to work on, some of the most interesting projects in the area. For example, the recent firehouse remodels, the old Sarasota High School building, etc. In addition, they are great supporters of the community through their involvement and participation with many nonprofits, as well as their business being consistently voted as a Best Place to work by their employees. 74 | srq magazine_ APR19 live local


3/19/19 12:08 AM



3/19/19 1:17 PM




IN A TOWN THAT LOVES ITS GOURMET FOOD, whether in restaurants or beyond, this contest was no easy service for any contender. But Michael’s On East served up on the most support from readers with the help of some always event-appropriate recipes that would make Monica Geller compliment the chef. Morton’s Catering tastes success as the Gold winner. Meanwhile, Zildjian Catering’s full service offerings and solid performance at a variety of events sold enough readers to secure Silver status while Innovative Dining cooked up a Bronze finish.—JO

Pineapple Yoga Studio

category spreads love across a number of different yoga studios in the region. But namaslaying Best Of again from last year, Pineapple Yoga Studio finds itself at the peak with the Platinum for her philanthropic esprit and community outreach. The Yoga Shack gals move to new digs in Rosemary and grasp the title of Gold, while Hot Yoga 4 You heats up the competition by flexing into the running for the first time with Silver to show for their flow. And Circus Soul and Body Heat join together for vinyasa victories in the Bronze bracket. Praiseworthy Honorable Mentions go to Rosemary Court Yoga, Garden of the Heart and Thavma Lakewood Ranch. —BM

Michael’s On East

Below: Yolanda Nash of Hot Yoga 4 You;

Claudia Baeza of Pineapple Yoga; Nikki Colorado and Courtenay Smith of Yoga Shack, recreating a Jane Fonda 90s workout moment.

Drew Effron (on Pineapple): Claudia and her staff not only talk the talk, but walk the walk. They are empathy in action. Her free classes are a blessing for those suffering from various mental and physical maladies. Jayme McHale (on Yoga Shack): I’m a yoga novice, and didn’t feel intimidated. In fact, it made me want to do more yoga! TYS makes it personal and meets people at all levels! Rosco Nash (on Hot Yoga 4 You): I love that they have far infrared heating and a ultraviolet light hepa air filtration system. It’s unlike no other studio. The instructors are amazing and they teach from the heart—it really is a second home for me.

Sharon Kunkel (on Michael’s On East): I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a Michael’s On East crab cake addict! They are lightly crunchy on the outside and rich, sweet and tender inside. Yum! Beth Roth (on Morton’s): Morton’s catered a wine tasting for us at our home on the beach—I hate to cook, and to entertain for that matter. That day, I walked the dog, took a nap and they did everything. When I looked outside it was like a miracle—everything was set up and beautiful. Elizabeth Talatinian (on Zildjian Catering): All the food was so fresh and delicious. The food was labeled by what farms the food came from that day. It was so wonderful to go to an event that size, and to be able to enjoy every meal that was served. Coral Pleas (on Innovative Dining): We had the engagement party here at the house with amazing pass hors d’oeuvres. The passed food was bite size fillet, mini crab cakes, fried risotto balls. Not your usual appetizers.

76 | srq magazine_ APR19 live local


3/19/19 12:14 AM



3/19/19 12:49 AM



readers recommend saving your dollars with a trip to Platinum Winner The Exchange (formerly The Women’s Exchange). Treasure Hunters who seek out Pretty Woman fashions without a trip to Rodeo may also want to check Fifi’s, the Gold winner. Any locations for Silver Winner Goodwill Manasota will offer deep savings, and Bronze Winner Laura Jean’s promises high-end brands for thrift shop prices.—JO

Diane Lane (on The Exchange): I am thrilled with everything I’ve purchased, from an armoire to lamps to two definite favorite dresses and a wonderful Kate Spade handbag, which was brand new. Paula Murray (on Fifi’s): I got a great pair of Jimmy Choo shoes last year that were affordable and in great shape. I have purchased many evening gowns for fundraising events, including a killer black gown by Tadashi. Also a fave black and white top that is really unusual; not the normal stuff you find in regular stores. I have sold some things at Fifi’s; they are easy to work with and keep track of what you’ve sold. Tim Holliday (on Goodwill): I go with my daughter and treasure hunt for cool clothes and decorative items. Have donated lots there. There are a lot of misconceptions about what goes on there, but once you really know what they do—turning donations into jobs, often for those who have barriers to employment, as well as making sure something happens to every donated item—it’s an amazing operation. Amy Paulishak (on Laura Jean’s): I found the most amazing Bed-Stu leather cross body satchel. This was such a find and I am not sure locals even knew how amazing of a find this was for this northeastern bred girl with many talented friends hailing from the real Bed-Stu neighborhoods.




BEST BREWERY Calusa Brewery


subject of old-school brewmaking. Leading the class of ‘19, Calusa Brewery remains kegged and Focus’d with savvy beertenders and funky craft brews— knocking last year’s popular kid from the podium and claiming Platinum prom king by a few votes. JDubs wins the Gold, for its community event vibes, Poolside-worthy beers and cool merchandise swag. Big Top Brewery keeps its place in Silver with local favorites like Key Lime Wheat and Hawaiian Lion, while hometown mainstay Motorworks taps in as the Bronze beauty of Bradenton.—BM Lissette Callejas (on Calusa): I love the beer selection and the environment. We’ve made it a weekly habit to go there and are never disappointed. Kayla Rigg (on Calusa): They nailed every beer they ever attempted. Albert Wooster (on JDubs): Every beer is top notch in each category. Passion Wheat and the Up Top are fab. Scott Watters (on JDubs): Small local brewery with a big reach across Florida. Great tasting IPAs. A. Rollings (on Big Top): Local boys were among the first and are still making innovative brews in a great environment. Sherry Davis (on Motorworks): Love sitting outside under the huge oak tree. I’ve never had a beer there I didn’t like.

Above: Thrift

frames from The Exchange.

on the map and a population long fostering its own personal MedRev movement, the Italian food better be on point. And with no shortage of options to choose from, SRQ voters proved decisive in naming the family-owned Caragiulo’s as Best Local Italian for 2019, with special mention of its Chicken Marsala and famous complimentary bread. Napule nabbed a Gold award in its inaugural year, with diners singing the praises of its authenticity and atmosphere, and Mediterraneo makes a splash at Silver with ovenfired pizzas. Also making its debut this year, Pazzo Southside takes the Bronze with one vote short of a tie for Silver, but lots of love for the veal.—PL Barbara Carey (on Caragiulo’s): We have been going to Caragiulo’s since we first arrived in Sarasota. The food is good (the lasagna is REALLY good), the pricing is very reasonable and the service has always been prompt. Angela Kienzle (on Caragiulo’s): Their bread is to die for, pizza is fantastic and they let kids make their own pizzas. Scott Maia Zildjian (on Napule) The only Italian pizza you’ll find in Sarasota. Everything Pepe makes is outstanding. Brigitta Sultana (on Mediterraneo): Hands-down the best italian in Sarasota. Consistently good for over a decade. Doreen Clyne (on Pazzo Southside): Great people, great vibes and awesome baked artichokes, pizza and eggplant parmigiana!


State of the Arts Gallery CREATING THE PERFECT ATMOSPHERE for a successful gallery that satisfies creators and clientele alike is an art unto itself, and David Steiner and Tre Michele, the duo behind State of the Arts Gallery, have clearly become masters of the craft, with SRQ readers voting theirs Best Gallery once again. Also hanging accolades next to the art this year, 530 Burns Gallery grabs some Gold to match the handmade jewelry, but from there the colors get muddier. Chasen Gallery and Grace Howl Contemporary Art tie for Silver, with gallery-goers criss-crossing the town in equal measure to fill their walls, while Alfstad& and Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art represent the Rosemary

District and Palm Avenue, respectively, with a neck-and-neck tie for Bronze.—PL Ashley Murphy (on State of the Arts Gallery): State of the Arts Gallery is a place that not only has great pieces of art from talented artists, but it is family-friendly. Our children have enjoyed viewing the sculptures and art pieces in the gallery over the last several years whenever we stop in. The atmosphere is very welcoming, without the typical pressure to purchase. Karen Diamond (on 530 Burns Gallery): A quaint, great location, and good selection of unique art. Elliott Himelfarb (on Grace Howl Contemporary Art): Grace comes by her curatorial skills the best way—she is also an accomplished artist whose vivid paintings set her apart from the rest. I’ve been to three or four shows at her gallery, and find the art to be among the most original in Sarasota. She takes chances by showing work with “edge,” far from the model condo art I see here too often. Melissa Lane (on Chasen Gallery): They are one of the many galleries in town that retains a sense of community— connecting art and people. Lynn Morris (on Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art) I knew Allyn, and love his wife and how she has continued his legacy.

78 | srq magazine_ APR19 live local


3/19/19 12:16 AM



3/19/19 12:48 AM


Mark Sultana, DSDG Architects WITH SO MANY MASTER ARCHITECTS TO NOTE in this mini metropolis

we call home, this category received an impressive amount of names from design enthusiasts and happy clients alike. For the fourth year in a row, Mark Sultana of DSDG Architects once again wins our poll with a blueprint laid in Platinum. Jonathan Parks of Solstice Planning & Architecture garners an impressive amount of votes, dubbed an architectural “genius” and nabbing Gold. Meanwhile, Clifford M. Scholz enters the Best Of competition this year, achieving kudos for Silver, and respectfully knocking Javier Suarez of Apex-Studio to the Bronze spot. Deserving of Honorable Mentions—Guy Peterson and Sweet Sparkman Architects.—BM Ed Kolodzieski (on Mark Sultana): Mark was our architect and we did win the SRQ Home of the year. The award pales in comparison to the thought and diligence he pours into every home. No one is better. Samantha Emelock (on Jonathan Parks): A refreshing contemporary architect that blends the best of the past with an optimistic future. David Ohrenstein (on Jonathan Parks): He believes architecture can make the world a better place. His work demonstrates a commitment to reaching these ideals and I especially love two of his latest projects, Art Ovation Hotel and Rosemary Square, putting Sarasota on the cultural map. Jeff Pflugner (On Clifford Scholz): I have known Cliff from the time that we were together in Leadership Sarasota in the mid-1980s. He was one of the designing architects in the initial stages of The Oaks Country Club. He has always been a civic-minded citizen of Sarasota, with a great deal of talent. I have worked with him and observed his work, and firmly believe he is one of the best architectural minds in Sarasota over the past 30 years. Marie Bonilla (on Javier Suarez): The Sabal Palm Plaza building is a work of art!



FOR THE FOURTH YEAR RUNNING, Smack’s Burgers & Shakes holds

on to the title of Best Local French Fries, wielding those golden-brown crinkle-cut fries like magic wands dipped in truffle oil and parmesangarlic, and casting their starchy spell across the land. But newcomer The Overton stalks close behind, with the string fry throwback earning a Gold finish in its first year on diners’ plates. Shore Diner, a perennial favorite, stays on the list but drops to Silver, while Mandeville Beer Garden splits the Bronze with another newcomer, Gulf Gate Food & Beer. Trailing by one vote, a third newcomer, Public House Tap & Grill, nabs an Honorable Mention.—PL Charles Ross-MacCormack (on Smack’s Burgers & Shakes): Never had a crinkle cut so damn delicious! Kristin Cooper (on The Overton): The size of the fries is enough to share with someone else, but the shoestring style makes them easy to devour alone. They are cooked in beef tallow, which makes them extra addicting and unique, but also can be cooked in coconut oil for a friendly vegan option. Samantha Emelock (on Shore Diner): Their truffle oil is beyond belief, and one order is perfect to share (or keep to yourself). Jayme McHale (on Mandeville Beer Garden): The sweet potato fries are next level. Waffle cut. Baked with a honey glaze. They will ruin you for all other sweet potato fries. Mike Rines (on Public House Tap & Grill): The Beer Cheese and Bacon Fries could be the best thing ever.

Cat Depot

HOMEWARD BOUND WE GO, to an adorable and feel-good category we all find ourselves melting in. Pass the lint roller and heavy Platinum medal to longtime winner and no-kill cat shelter Cat Depot. Nate’s Honor Rescue gave them a run for their money however, tailing behind in Gold, while Vintage Paws Sanctuary found a home as Silver finalist. An always go-to resource for adopting pets, the Humane Society of Sarasota County treats

itself to a Bronze biscuit. —BM Diana De Veer (on Cat Depot): Not only do they care for cats and people with utmost compassion and respect, they partner with Animal Services to help find homes and medical for cats found on the street, and take large groups of cats from hoarding and disaster situations. They make me wish I was a cat. Alecia Yancik (on Cat Depot): To visit is to love them, but their mission and their heart for animals is lived out in their facility and their work in the community for these sweetheart kitties. Darlena Strong (on Nate’s Honor): They go above and beyond to find pets in need and match them with loving families. Charles Renner (on Nate’s Honor): A great group—follows through with adoptions to make sure the animals and owners “fit.” Beth Getz (on Vintage Paws): Senior pets often get overlooked and end up spending their final time alone in a cold shelter. This rescue does amazing work helping those sweet seniors live out their golden years. Lora Erclauz (on Vintage Paws): They give dogs a chance that most rescues don’t—older dogs most times, with medical issues. Lisa Freed (on HSSC): Best run shelter I have seen in the whole country. Above:

Cat Depot “Catagotchi.”


3/19/19 12:18 AM



3/19/19 12:48 AM


Yoder’s Restaurant

BEING ARGUABLY THE MOST IMPORTANT MEAL OF THE DAY, you’d think nailing down the best dessert in town would be easy as pie, but a bevy of ties speaks otherwise, making this list no piece of cake. Yoder’s Restaurant slices its way to the Platinum spot this year, with locals and snowbirds alike going nuts for more Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie, but the Bananas Foster in the dessert loft brings Euphemia Haye to an uncomfortably close Gold finish. From there, the saccharine showdown gets out of hand, with C’est La Vie and Duval’s tying for Silver and a three-way tie between Der Dutchman, Of Kors Bakery and Pastry Art at Bronze revealing distressing fault lines beneath the buttercream icing of this beach community. —PL

Denice Peoples (on Yoder’s Restaurant): I am a baker and a cook, but, every year when Thanksgiving comes, my son requests a banana cream pie from Yoder’s. Thanksgiving doesn’t come otherwise. Kristin Helmuth (on Euphemia Haye): After a delicious dinner downstairs, it is a fun change of pace to go upstairs to the dessert room. Not available on display is my personal favorite, Bananas Foster. This dessert is meant for two people to enjoy, as it is a very large portion of pure heaven. Perfect to share for a date night. Ann Senenoi (on C’est La Vie) The almond croissant is worth cheating for. Loretta Beaumont (on Duval’s): Duval’s has a wonderful apple tart dessert with vanilla ice cream. Scott Stevens (on Pastry Art): Bread pudding made of danishes instead of stale bread. Richard Haynes (on Der Dutchman): Der Dutchman uses the finest ingredients, baked fresh every day from scratch, like mom used to make.

BEST LIGHTING Franklin Lighting

Left: Neon 90s outfit with Yoder strawberry rhubarb purse.


any of these illuminating light fixture boutiques with installation services. See your space in a whole new light, just by replacing your old, dull lamps with some upscale ambiance at Platinum winner Franklin Lighting. Embracing the puns, Light Up My Life flicks its switch to Gold. Bee Ridge Lighting proudly displays a glow of Silver, while Bradenton’s Lyteworks assembles itself for Bronze—BM Sonia Blais (on Franklin Lighting): For over 30 years, I had been looking for a particular vision of a chandelier for my dining room and all I could find were the same types of traditional or ultra modern chandeliers, none of which pleased me, until I walked into Franklin Lighting one day. Right there before me was the chandelier of my dreams. Also, it fit perfectly within my budget. Caren Levin (on Light Up My Life): This store has a huge collection. Every piece was checked before it was delivered to our home to ensure it was right, and unbroken. Totally recommend.



made it look easy this year, with on-trend menu and décor meeting laid-back atmosphere to win over the town and garner nearly twice as many votes as the closest competition. From there, it was a nailbiter, with Gold, Silver and Bronze all separated by one vote each. Ultimately, the delicious pasta and family feel of Pazzo Southside claimed the Gold, while Gulf Gate Food and Beer took Silver with creative offerings like Peanut Butter and Jelly Wings, and Napule and its pizza oven and Public House Tap & Grill hugged the Bronze. Earning too many votes to ignore, Spice Station rounds out the list as Honorable Mention.—PL Daniel Ohrenstein (on The Overton): The amazing courtyard, I can get Avocado Toast with Duck Egg and a Matcha Lemonade—all the things a Millennial could want. Colleen Maguire (on Pazzo Southside): Pazzo Southside has become a second home for me and my husband. We were there for the grand opening a year ago and have been there countless times since. The number one draw is the food. It is authentic New York Italian, so to truly appreciate that, you must try the baked clams, mussels, homemade mozzarella, veal spiedini, lobster or shrimp fra diavalo, and all of the pasta dishes. The sauces are unbelievable. My favorite entrees are the Lobster Risotto and Chicken or Veal Our Way. The Calore family run this restaurant with professionalism but make it feel personal. They will remember your names and do everything possible to please their customers. The pizzas need a special mention because the crust is out of this world. Come hungry. Rhys Miller (on Gulf Gate Food and Beer): I was just there last week, sitting outside on the patio, and they were firing pizzas out of their new pizza truck onto the paddle and right onto the plate on our table. So fun. Samantha Marciano (on Public House): Food is phenomenal! Poutine fries, burgers and so much more.


3/19/19 12:23 AM



3/19/19 12:47 AM

BEST JEWELER Diamond Vault

YOU MAY NOT FIND TITANIC’S HEART OF THE OCEAN in any local gem collections, but you can find high-quality jewels at Diamond Vault, our readers’

Platinum winner recommendation. Gold Winner Coffrin Diamond Jewelers also won the exclusive support. Carats Fine Jewelry & Watches timed in as Silver, while McCarver & Moser Jewelers locked in the Bronze win.—JO

Josh Kitchner (on Diamond Vault): Their customer service is tremendous and they are very patient with decisions. Jennifer Hardwich (on Coffrin Jewelers): My husband had my wedding ring made there, and it’s just really beautiful, unique and special to me. When I stop by to have it cleaned, I am treated like family. Shari Shepard (on McCarver & Moser Jewelers): My favorite piece is the last one purchased: a Baum & Mercier stainless timepiece. I asked the sales associate, a young man learning the business alongside his grandmother who worked there, for advice on selection. The Grand Lady offered suggestions based on my need for simplicity, quality and appearance. As it happened, I favored a piece identical to her personal watch, without the jeweled crystals.


AT A CAMPUS COOLER THAN WEST BEVERLY HIGH—and a learning environment where students occasionally go to class—Out-of-Door Academy

scored high on this test as readers graded it a Platinum winner. St. Martha’s Catholic School graduated up to Gold this year, and Bradenton Christian School earned a glowing letter of recommendation for the Silver. Incarnation Catholic School and Sarasota Christian School were Saved by the Bell with Bronze finishes.—JO Andra Hansen (on ODA): They are an amazing school with the best students and teachers. You can trust that your child will get the best education and have the support from the whole community. Sheila Smillie (on St. Martha’s): My son has been at St Martha since we emigrated from England in 2010, whilst in 3rd grade we had to make an urgent visit back to England due to a family member’s ill health. All the school faculty supported my son (being so young) on how to deal with the trip and possible outcome. Christine P. Dowell (on Incarnation Catholic School): I am a graduate of Incarnation, and currently

Left: The

perfect pairing for the ultimate 90s mix tape.


THIS PHILANTHROPY-RICH COMMUNITY wants businesses to do more than

show them the money. Plenty of companies devote a share of time and treasure to helping a range of causes. Readers celebrated Pineapple Yoga for offering more than stretch classes, naming the business the Platinum winner in this contest. Publix and Michael Saunders & Company tied as Gold winners for the support they provided for decades. Kerkering Barberio, Gecko’s and Detwiler’s Farm Market all ties at Silver. And to show just how many companies open wallets to good causes, readers also gave a three-way tie in this race to Anna Maria Oyster Bar, Michael’s On East and Cool Today for Bronze.—JO

have three students attending, as well as one who is a recent graduate. My daughter was well prepared with social, organizational and time management skills, as well as the necessary academic background. She transitioned smoothly to honors classes in high school. It’s such a great feeling to know that someone else is looking out for your child’s wellbeing. Deby Rutledge (on Sarasota Christian): Many caring, prayerful faculty members at Sarasota Christian make it their priority to know and encourage their students, desiring the best personal outcome for them.

Andrew Santry (on Pineapple Yoga): I am a trauma-informed yoga instructor. When I came to Pineapple Yoga Studio, I found a community focused on service to these and other marginalized communities. With the support of the studio, we quickly added two new yoga-for-addictions classes in Sarasota, these in addition to the near-daily classes that the studio offers free or for donation to other subgroups within our community. Bob Buren (on Detwiler’s): When Hurricane Irma just missed us, the Detwiler Family fed over 4,000 who had lost power. To handing out apples and bottles of water to our International guest rowing at Benderson Park. Luanne Kirschner (on Cool Today): The owner, Jamie takes great pride in his ability to make his customers happy. The company is very involved with several local nonprofits.

84 | srq magazine_ APR19 live local


3/19/19 12:27 AM


Now accepting new patients!



2016 Best of

SRQ local

Meyer Pediatrics is dedicated to making your children happier and healthier little people. We offer a morning walk-in hour, weekend hours, 24-hour on-call support, and same-day scheduling on all sick appointments. We treat patients from birth to 21 years of age and accept a wide variety of insurances. If you are about to become new parents or would like to become a new patient , please call the office. Let us help you with your registration or transfer. Or if you prefer, visit and choose the new patient tab to fill out forms on-line!!

Theo L. Meyer III MD, FAAP Arin Jackson, APRN • Cyndy Rodriguez, APRN 1666 Mound Street, Sarasota 34236 • Main Office: 941.365.5898 •



3/19/19 12:29 AM

3/19/19 12:46 AM

BEST CAR DEALERSHIP Wilde Automotive Group Beep beep. While nostalgic models like the Dodge Viper, VW Jetta and Pontiac Firebird may have been discontinued in the late ‘90s, we welcome the progressive production of today’s roadsters. On cruise control to the Platinum-plated odometer, Wilde Automotive Group triumphantly garnered the most vehicle-related votes—mostly, at its Honda dealer, and then parked its fellow Japanese make into the Gold spot, at Wilde Lexus. Sarasota Ford fills up a Silver tank of premium gas as a leading player, while Sunset Auto Group’s Chevy and Cadillac dealers prove well, alongside Gettel’s Nissan and Hyundai dealers—together detailing the Bronze medal to share.—BM John Wheeler (on Wilde Lexus): Wilde Lexus cured my car dealer phobia (I’ve avoided them for more than 40 years). The salesman was friendly and no pressure. The entire process was low key. And, I love my Lexus. Definitely returning. Allison Kummery (on Sarasota Ford): It’s like a mini amusement park. Diane Colby (on Sarasota Ford): Sarasota Ford treats their customers with respect and courtesy. They offer relaxation in massage chairs, a snack at their cafe and feedback as to how your vehicle is progressing through the service department. You are updated via text message as well. The service advisors explain all necessary repairs before moving forward. Judy Mason (on Sunset Cadillac): I went in to buy a car and came out feeling like family. Wish I could work there—the employees are that great. Karen Hughes (on Gettel): Whether you are buying a Toyota or a BMW, they really roll out the red carpet for you.

BEST SUSHI Pacific Rim The King is Dead! Long Live the King! In an upset years in the making, Pacific Rim ascends the Platinum Throne to claim the crown of Best


Sushi from perennial favorite Jpan, which has held the title for three years running (at least) falls to Gold. Was it the salmon or was it the “sexy” atmosphere—either way, it garnered Pac Rim enough votes to pull one of the biggest upsets of the year. Following up at a respectable Silver, Tsunami had fans raving about vegan options, while Yume rolls up a Bronze finish with Tuna Bombs and a fresh selection.—PL Barbara Anderson (on Pacific Rim): Love the owners, sexy on-trend atmosphere, great drinks, good music, love the vibe, top-notch service, friendly staff and excellent menu. Aurec Senenoi (on Pacific Rim): Their salmon is the best you can get in Sarasota. It is a non-GMO salmon fed a real fish diet. No grain feed or any artificial fattening feeds. The salmon has a great marble. Emma Swier (on Pacific Rim): I love Pacific Rim because of the freshness, tastfulness and overall exquisite experience they provide. Olivia Schwartz (on Jpan): I will never go anywhere else for sushi. The staff is wonderful, and the food is always fresh. My absolute favorite. Terese Bollman (on Jpan): Lobster Roll is so amazing, I can barely think about getting anything else on their extensive menu but am always happy when I do. The green tea is a wonderful treat as well. Angela Kienzle (on Tsunami): Always fresh and the environment is edgy and romantic at the same time. Jeffrey always ensures you have the best experience. Carol Hartley (on Tsunami): Sam, the owner, has done such a great job in bringing a very fresh and creative menu to us. Having live entertainment and great service is a huge plus.

BEST BREAKFAST Station 400 It may be that breakfast as the most important meal of the day is nothing more than a propagandist dream for the religious zealots and cereal tycoons of the 19th century, but it’s also true that most breakfast places stay open through lunch—so bring on the eggs and bacon. Station 400 holds on to the top spot this year, claiming a Platinum finish with a plate

3/19/19 12:32 AM



3/19/19 12:46 AM

full of Huevos Rancheros and Fried Green Tomatoes, while Sun Garden Café rises in the ranks like a homemade biscuit to take home the Gold. Toasted Mango Café and its ever-popular waffles with mango butter drop one spot to Silver, and list newcomer Oasis Café makes an entrance at the Bronze position. Trailing by less than a handful of votes, The Serving Spoon and Millie’s Café scramble up some Honorable Mentions.—PL Carol Pleas (on Station 400): We started going to the one in Lakewood Ranch when my grandson was old enough to love the trains.The pancakes are my regular go-to item. Terese Bollman (on Station 400): Who else can make Eggs Gringo this yummy?! Karen Diamond (on Sun Garden Café): I always get the Med Revival egg. It’s the best tasting egg dish I’ve ever had. The basil oil on top of the spinach, artichoke and feta cheese is as about as good as it gets. They give you fresh fruit, if you prefer a gluten-free option. Ingredients are always fresh, servers are always friendly and orders come out in a timely manner. And it’s in Siesta Key village! How can you go wrong? Susan Scarbrough (on Toasted Mango): The Toasted Mango is a dependably good breakfast place. Whenever you go, it is hot and delicious with no unpleasant surprises. Barbara Bourgoin (on Oasis Café): Oasis Café is a great neighborhood spot where you always run into friends. Their baked goods are the greatest temptation, but every breakfast entrée on the board is special because of the fabulous sauces and healthy combinations. Bonnie Rowley (on Millie’s Café): The food is fabulous. One of my favorites is the chicken pasta salad, which is served with lots of wonderful fresh fruit and topped with toasted almonds. Breakfast is a tough choice between the stuffed French toast and the Millie’s omelet. Vicki Dworski (on Serving Spoon): Hometown feeling and anything you like for breakfast can’t be beat anywhere else. Greek omelettes and pancakes. Yum.

BEST SALON Diane Lane Massage & Bodywork DIANE LANE MASSAGE & BODYWORK offers Sarasotans something

better than a Walk On The Moon. Readers dub the local coddler the

Platinum winner for Best Local Spa. The Met also pampers clients, who express satisfaction by naming the locale to the Gold. Flow Massage & Wellness rubbed enough readers right to secure the Silver slot. And Elements and L. Spa both tied for Bronze, offering service to put Phoebe Buffay to shame.—JO Lillian Blessing (on Diane Lane): I go to Diane for health reasons. She is the best. My wellbeing and health are important to me. She is worth the drive. Karen Diamond (on Flow Massage): I always ask for Samantha. She is knowledgeable of body mechanics, trigger points and pain relief. She uses and recommends essential oils and is extremely knowledgeable of their medicinal purposes. Marissa Rossnagle (on L. Spa):L. Spa is my favorite place to go for a relaxing massage. Once I was expecting, I was pleased to find that they offer prenatal massages, too! It’s 80 minutes of bliss. R. Julio Diaz (on Elements): I always ask for Amy. She has the right balance of pressure and style. It is always delivered as scheduled and consistently super.

BEST VETERINARIAN Clark Road Animal Hospital Whether the doggy needs a doctor or the cat needs a little care (maybe the bird needs a Band-Aid or the lizard needs some love?), these local vets have the full faith and confidence of the SRQ voters. Clark Road Animal Hospital avoids the cone of shame and comes home with a Platinum award to share with all its furry (and feathered) friends. Bee Ridge Veterinary Clinic and Bay Road Animal Hospital share the Gold with wagging tails all around, and Dr. Nina’s Animal Hospital snaps up the Silver like fresh catnip. Herding cats in the back, Sarasota Animal Hospital and Forest Lakes Animal Clinic wrangle up a split Bronze.—PL Cindy Gourley (on Clark Road Animal Hospital): We have started seeing Dr. Evelyn at Clark Road and we are very pleased. She’s very compassionate with the animals and we found them to be very helpful in making suggestions about what



3/19/19 12:46 AM

were the best medications for our animals. Carey Beychok (on Bee Ridge Veterinary Clinic): Bee Ridge Veterinary Clinic and Dr. Ronni Tudin are experienced in routine services as well as complex surgeries. Dr. Tudin is loving and compassionate and will never recommend a procedure or medication that isn’t absolutely necessary. He actually advised against a procedure I inquired about for my dog. Gary Weiner (on Bay Road Animal Hospital): Bay Road Animal Hospital is exceptionally good at the care they provide. Dr. Smith is easygoing and professional and their facilities are spotless. Heidi Napolitano (on Dr. Nina’s Animal Hospital): I have been bringing my two dogs to Dr. Nina for six years now and she and her entire staff are very caring and helpful. I have large dogs that do not always do well around other dogs/animals and the team tries very hard to get you right into a room so that you do not need to wait with other dogs. Leigh Anne Novak (on Sarasota Animal Hospital): It’s so nice to see the same staff visit after visit and be addressed by name—and my pets and I know who they are, too. They handle my pets with great care, and affection. My dogs love going to the vet.

BEST CPA FIRM Kerkering Barberio Adding up the support for Kerkering Barberio among our readers requires a whole lot of counting. The firm won the Platinum award as top CPAs. Suplee, Shea, Cramer & Rocklein accounted enough support to get a Gold award from this year’s returns. Miles & Thirion calculated a Silver win. Meanwhile, Cavanaugh & Co. and Natherson & Co. tabulated a tie for Bronze.—JO Michelle Mitchell (on Kerkering Barberio): Since setting up our accounts with Kerkering Barberio, I see their teams doing pro-bono work for various NGOs and know Partner Rob Lane was involved on the Bayfront Project. I like that they are a local firm and so involved in community support. Deby Rutledge (on Suplee Shea): Ray Suplee has been a friend for over 40 years, beginning as neighbors. He and Norm are very ethical, available


and trustworthy, as well as wise advisors. Carey Beychok (on Miles and Thirion): Sandy Thirion is prompt, responsive and knowledgeable. Her passion for her work and her desire to help her clients understand the daunting new tax laws is second to none. Denise Kowal (on Cavanaugh and Co.): As a fairly new firm when I moved to Sarasota in 1982, they built a consistent reputation as the go-to firm for not-for-profit organizations, which is why the Chalk Festival became a client of theirs in 2010. Luanne Kirschner (on Cavanaugh and Co.): My husband and I have known the owner of this firm for many years. Mr. Pender has grown his business by taking great care of all our business matters with professionalism and knowledge. Lynn Blackledge (on Natherson and Co.): Natherson & Co. are very knowledgeable about taxes in other states as well as Florida, making it easy when you move to the area from somewhere out of state. Their knowledge about unique tax situations and their responsiveness to questions throughout the year, not just tax season, is outstanding.


These days, it takes more than a line-up of bullfrogs pronouncing a brand name to get the attention of consumers. Digital sophistication and glitzy marketing put BCC Studio this year in the Platinum prime time this year. But Grapevine Communications scored enough endorsements to secure a Gold award. Alyssa Gay Consulting debuts on the list as a Silver winner, and Eclipse Agency got a wassup from enough voters to pick up a Bronze certificate.—JO RJ Díaz (on BCC Studio): Their work is second to none in SRQ. We’ve created a branding and market strategy along with branding collateral that we are very proud of. Brian Carlock has put together an intelligent and creative team. Lori Downing (on Alyssa Gay): This agency helped my workplace with a few aspects, as well as worked for a nonprofit I served as chair for and handled their account. Everything she did turned out very well. We were happy with her work and the results proved it by themselves.

3/19/19 1:20 PM




3/19/19 12:47 AM

BEST FINANCIAL ADVISOR Allegiant Private Advisors Which advisors will help investors find the next Google? Our readers turn to the market wisdom of Allegiant Private Advisors, this year’s Platinum winner. David White of Morgan Stanley proved a solid bet as well as Gold winner, while Gregory Carlson of Stifel Nicolaus wins the Silver. Jakob Hart of Hart Financial, Brent Campbell of Edward Jones and David Molineau ring in at Bronze.—JO Bonnie Hitt (on Allegiant Private Advisors): I would not hesitate to refer them to anyone. They are a fee-based advisor and do not collect commissions on the investments that they place their clients in, which was important to me. They are constantly involved with the customer in creating a financial plan and ensuring that the plan remains current by meeting with the customer on a regular basis. Carey Beychok (on Gregory Carlson – Stifel Nicolus): Gregory is not only my financial advisor, but a certified fiduciary. He looks at the entire picture of someone’s life, not only in present time but well into the future, and advises them with unparalleled knowledge. He treats each individual client as if they were family.


Dr. Si McAninch, Dr. Stephanie Cole, Drs. Jill Morris and Burr Bakke, Dr. Michael Dorociak, Dr. Thomas Bowles, Dr. Janet Bailey, Dr. David Schroeter, Dr. Ann Mooney, Dr. Thomas Doan, Dr. Douglas Fabiani, Dr. Adam Still and Dr. Jenny White. Who should you trust to operate miniature mining equipment in your mouth? Look no further than these Top 12 dental practitioners, as identified by SRQ’s smiling voters.—PL Karin Lui (on Dr. Si McAninch): He is just so great with the kids. They have no fear of the dentist,

and that is because of him and his great staff. Katie McDonald (on Dr. Stephanie Cole): Dr. Cole is truly one-of-a-kind in her field. She takes away the anxiety and fear from nearly every dental-phobic patient. Not only is she trustworthy, but also a compassionate, hardworking, independent woman who truly wants the best for her patients. She comes in early, stays late, or sees you on the weekend in case of emergency. She is a well-known individual in her community who always puts a (healthy, beautiful) smile on your face. Joy Randels (on Drs. Jill Morris and Burr Bakke): Jill & Burr are great. Jill corrected my TMJ years ago and they have a very unique practice. Both Jill & Burr are teaching dentists and I was excited to learn that her two children will also be joining the practice shortly. Sheila Vincent (on Dr. Janet Bailey): he first time I met Dr. Bailey was actually an emergency—one of my molars cracked while eating popcorn and my regular dentist (make that ex-dentist) said he did not have time for me. Dr. Bailey fit me in first thing in the morning and immediately relieved the pain I was in. One crown later, she invited me to continue to be her patient (who “invites” patients anymore?) and I have been there ever since. Her assistants are all 101% professionals and her daughter, Chelsea, is the best dental hygienist I have ever had—always gentle and kind and very thorough.

BEST SARASOTA ELECTED OFFICIAL Hagen Brody Is the voting booth starting to smell like teen spirit? A number of political newcomers make up the list of relative winners this year. Sarasota City Commissioner Hagen Brody wins this election with Bill Clinton-esque wit and charm, taking the Platinum spot. Sarasota County Commissioner Al Maio also proved a solid vote-getter as this year’s Gold winner. State Rep. Margaret Good rose to Silver status this election cycle, while Sarasota City Commissioner Jennifer Ahearn-Koch tied for Bronze with Sarasota County Commissioner Paul Caragiulo,

BEST OF SRQ LOCAL READERS COMPETITION—WINNERS SHOWCASE who just retired after dominating this category for years. —JO Thomas O’Hare (on Hagen Brody): He represents “us.” He is against the parking meters that twice before the city installed then ripped out at a cost of millions of taxpayer dollars. Dan Barzel (on Margaret Good): She’s genuine, involved and invested in the health of our community and state. Jessica Stevens (on Jennifer Ahearn-Koch): Jennifer actually cares about this town. She is not in her position to advance herself personally. She takes into account the history of Sarasota, as well as the direction we need to be headed in order to be a successful, safe and happy community.

BEST MANATEE ELECTED OFFICIAL Carol Whitmore and Mayor Wayne Poston Do we need a runoff? Manatee County Commissioner Carol Whitmore tied with Bradenton Mayor Wayne Poston for this Platinum award, bringing a little grrl power to a category long dominated by the city leader. Meanwhile, voters carried Manatee County Commissioner Vanessa Baugh to a Gold finish in this race among all Manatee area elected officials. —JO Marci Brown (on Carol Whitmore): A few years ago I put on an event at the Manatee County shelter. It turned into a huge event and I was told that Carol was there and wanted to meet me. A few hours later, I walked into the cat room and there was a very upset older woman who wanted to adopt a cat. I took the time to meet her at that point. Carol was a “friend to animals” when she believed no one was watching, which speaks volumes to me. Keith Pandeloglou (on Vanessa Baugh): Having someone with her experience and knowledge of the community participate in our small group, dedicated to keeping our street the vibrant Town Center that it is, said a lot to us all about her ability to be a community leader. SRQ


3/19/19 12:56 AM


“Homework is what I do best!” As a lifelong resident of southwest Florida, I have extensive knowledge of the area and its history. My family started developing local real estate in 1946—a tradition continued by my husband—which gives me an in-depth understanding of this market. I began my own career as a new home sales representative for several of the area’s finest builders, and then joined the RE/MAX Alliance Group, Florida’s #1 RE/MAX office, where I am a top-producing agent.

AWARDS AND CERTIFICATIONS RE/MAX International Platinum Club Award RE/MAX International 100% Club Award

The Suncoast has so much to offer; beautiful beaches, a vibrant cultural life, fine dining, and every sport and outdoor activity imaginable. I myself am an avid runner—a member of the Manasota Track Club—and enjoy participating in regional half-marathon races. Often, I enter 5K and 10K events for good causes to give back to a community I feel blessed to live in. I love Sarasota so much that I chose to raise my family here: my three sons attended local schools, and I am happy to share my insights into our public school system with other parents. I enjoy working closely with my clients, both buyers and sellers. As my clients know, when you work with me, you get me; you receive my personal attention. Sellers, I will match your property with qualified buyers through the global power of the RE/MAX platform; buyers, whether you are shopping for a home or condo, golf course or waterfront property—it would be my pleasure to help you find your place in the sun.

Institute for Luxury Home Marketing’s Million Dollar Guild Five Star Real Estate Agent Residential Construction Certified Certified New Home Specialist

RE/MAX Alliance Group 2000 Webber Street, Sarasota, Florida 34237


Each office independently owned and operated.

BOSRQ-REALTORS 2019.indd 94

3/16/19 5:24 PM


“Real estate is not a job, it’s a lifestyle.” Originally from Nottingham, England, Ryan moved to Sarasota, Florida, at the age of 21. This move across the Atlantic marked the realization of one of his first dreams. The fulfillment of a second dream began when Ryan followed in his grandfather’s footsteps and got into the real estate business. Licensed in early 2015, by the end of 2016 Ryan had closed over $20 Million in property sales. This extraordinary success in his first year– a time which is truly make or break in real estate– put him in a category few ever accomplish. After spending a year working separately, Ryan and Theresa soon realized the value that they could bring to their clients when working together. Since then, the RSTS Group have become recognized as one of Floridas most knowledgeable, elite group of realtors. What is unique about your business? Never taking success for granted, Ryan is fueled by a desire to innovate, take action and stand out from the crowd— constantly standing outside of the box and utilizing video and technology to showcase his properties but also not taking away from the good old fashioned business ethics such as personally writing thank you letters to his clients on his classic typewriter. For Ryan, it is about the experience of his customers, and the organizational process that his team must follow in order to be the best. He has an approach to every day that is unmatched, pushing the boundaries for constant and consistent improvement, understanding the market, and positioning his clients to win. Best advice for buying or selling property in the current real estate market? Do your due diligence and hire the right person, this is a big deal, it is not time to call in a favor from a friend. As a buyer it is important to get an agent who knows the market—and has the confidence to advise you on what is important and what is not. You want an agent that is going to check for open permits or un-permitted work, then know what to do with that data to guide you through the inspection process and have trusted home service providers on hand that you may need to call on during the buying process. As a Seller you need an agent who is on the ball, who responds to inquiries in minutes.

ABOUT RYAN SKRZYPKOWSKI “Real estate is not a job, it is a lifestyle, I feel unbelievably grateful to be able to do this in the place that I love—with the people that I love, serving clients that we love. I want my clients to be able to refer me to their closest friends and family members and to know that they will be taken care of” It means the world to be recognized by SRQ Magazine readers as a Top Realtor® To be recognized for the second year running is more than an honor to Ryan and his team! Thank you Thank you Thank You!!”

RYAN SKRZYPKOWSKI RSTS Group, Coldwell Banker | Global Luxury P 941.387.6630

BOSRQ-REALTORS 2019.indd 95


3/16/19 5:24 PM


“Don’t settle for something you don’t absolutely love!” Mike fell in love with Sarasota well over 30 years ago and elected to move here in 1990 from his hometown of Cincinnati after attending The Ohio State University. Mike prides himself on being able to communicate clearly and efficiently with people from all backgrounds. Keenly aware of the stress involved in buying or selling real estate, he learned the key to earning a client’s trust comes from effective listening and honest communication. With Mike, you are not only a client but also a friend for life. He contributes his success to the Concierge Service he provides, going above and beyond the typical obligations of a REALTOR®. From staging consultations to overseeing home improvements, he educates his clients about home improvements and design advice that will bring them top dollar in a short amount of time. From waterfront estates to condominiums, Mike is a Sarasota real estate expert and was recently named among the Top 25 Realtors for 2018 at Premier Sotheby’s International Realty. What do you love most about your job? “I love nearly every aspect of my job and it is evident in my enthusiasm and attitude. I love the way my customers’ faces light up when we find them the perfect home or when all their hard work preparing their home for sale gets an executed contract. Not allowing clients to settle for something they won’t absolutely love or is not perfect for them is extremely important to me.”

CORPORATE BIO Headquartered in Naples, Florida, Premier Sotheby’s International Realty has over 1,100 associates and employees in 40 locations throughout Florida and North Carolina. Premier Sotheby’s International Realty also benefits from an association with the storied Sotheby’s auction house, established in 1744. For more information, visit

What it means to be recognized by SRQ readers as a Top Realtor. “Being recognized for something I truly love to do is an incredible feeling. My 24-hour 7-day work ethic has proven successful and I am delighted that my customers have acknowledged my dedication and passion.” Best advice for buying or selling property in the current real estate market? “Go with your gut instinct. If you believe there is a better home for you then let’s keep looking and remember that numbers don’t lie!”


50 Central Ave., Suite 110, Sarasota, FL 34236 C 941.525.2740 E MIKEWARM.PREMIERSOTHEBYSREALTY.COM

BOSRQ-REALTORS 2019.indd 96

3/16/19 5:24 PM


Joseph McDonald REALTOR®

Voted one of “Sarasota’s Top 10 Realtors” by SRQ Magazine, Sarasota-native, Joseph McDonald is known for his genuine service, honesty, reliability, and passion for all things related to real estate and the customer experience. His multiple years as a sales agent have taught him that first-class service and counseling his customers to find what best fits their needs is not just a goal – it’s a requirement. His objective is always to make each individual feel like they are his main concern and focus during their home buying or selling experience. Joseph’s experience in real estate extends to his years spent at Premier Sotheby’s and with Neal Communities where he specialized in new construction. He was recognized with a Manatee/Sarasota Building Industry Association sales award for 2017-2018. Combined with his long-term connection to the region, Joseph brings his customers a wealth of knowledge in all areas of real estate. He also brings a strong entrepreneurial background, having owned four start-up businesses and experience in personal real estate investments.

941.375.9646 1605 Main Street, Sarasota, FL 34236 941.955.6600 |

READERS TOP 10 BEST SRQ LOCAL REALTORS® Ryan Skrypkowski, Mike Warm, Carey Beychok, Judy Wright, Brock Doyle, Barry Bright, Joey McDonald, Doug Parks, Valerie DeLieto and Andrew Vac. With shows like Million Dollar Listing and House Hunters, home owners and prospective buyers have been able to get a glance of the unpredictable nature of real estate and the self-motivated hustle and problemsolving mindset it takes to be a killer real estate agent. Allow us to introduce you to the Top 10 Readers Favorite Real Estate Agents that the Sarasota-Bradenton housing market has to offer: Ryan Skrypkowski, Mike Warm, Carey Beychok, Judy Wright, Brock Doyle, Barry Bright, Joey McDonald, Doug Parks, Valerie DeLieto and Andrew Vac. Deserving of honorable mentions are David Perkowski and Kim Ogilvie for fighting the good fight. —Brittany Mattie Sandy Malbrue (on Ryan Skrypkowski): Went the extra miles! Will get on a plane if needed to get contracts signed. I don’t know of anyone else that delivers that level of service today. George Mitchell (on Ryan Skrypkowski): He sold my property in 24 hours. Alyson Zildjian (on Carey Beychok): Carey works tirelessly to help her clients get the best deal, will answer the phone at all times of the day or night—even when she is on vacation she will work on your deal. Amazingly dedicated person and great human. Samantha McKee (on Judy Wright): She’s the “Wright” choice to make buying a home effortless. William Carter (on Mike Warm): Goes above and beyond whether it’s $200,000 or $4 Million. Treats everyone with respect and truly seems to love what he does. Julia Dees (on Brock Doyle): Has his finger on the pulse of what’s going on in the community always. Claudia Baeza (on Valerie DeLieto): She is approachable and no property is too small of her to help you with. Mica England (on Kim Ogilvie): She works hard, has a great team and international reach.

BOSRQ-REALTORS 2019.indd 97

3/19/19 11:05 AM

AWARDS Claudia Baeza Sarasota Magazine UNITY AWARD Winner 2019 Pineapple Yoga Studio BEST YOGA STUDIO Sarasota Magazine 2017 Pineapple Yoga Studio BEST YOGA STUDIO SRQ Magazine 2018 Pineapple Yoga Studio BEST Business Partnership Award from the, Community Foundation of Sarasota County


2018 Best of

SRQ local

Pineapple Yoga Studio What products and services do you offer? Pineapple Yoga Studio offers the practice of yoga for a diverse clientele–from the new yogi/yogini to the advanced practitioner. Our classes include: Gentle Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Alignment Flow, Restorative Yoga, and Vinyasa Flow. The studio also offers indoor cycling classes for those looking for a low impact, high-intensity cardio workout to shed those last stubborn pounds! We have added unique stress-busting offerings this year which takes your yoga practice outdoors such as: Sailing + Boat Yoga to secluded beaches, Stand Up Paddle Board Yoga at various secluded coves in Lido and Longboat, and private and semi/private Beach Yoga on Lido, Siesta and Longboat beaches. What sets you apart? What sets Pineapple Yoga Studio apart from all other studios is our welcoming body-positive approach to wellness and spirituality and our dedication to inclusivity. We believe the practice of yoga is for EVERY BODY no matter how adept at handstands you are. Our core message is one of humility, acceptance, awareness and belief in ONESELF. We want to spread the message that yoga can benefit EVERYONE, no matter your age, shape, size, or ability. Yoga is about showing yourself kindness and grace when it doesn’t feel like you can and giving yourself the space to ‘ebb and flow’ through the process of yoga and life.

How does Pineapple Yoga enrich the lives of your clients and community? We fully embody our ideals in every class we teach. While most teacher training programs focus on the postures, we focus on how to teach all populations by taking a deep dive into anatomy/physiology and the needs of special populations. Our training program is closely aligned with our community yoga programs. These specialized yoga offerings include: Yoga for the sustainable recovery from addictions (Y12SR), Yoga for Parkinson’s Disease (Mindful Movement), Trauma Sensitive Yoga for Anxiety and Depression, Cycling for Parkinson’s Disease and Yoga for Juveniles in Detention. The minute you step in the door you feel our authenticity and dedication to our clients’ experience. The message of ‘self-love’ is at the core of our studio. What do you love the most about what you do? The best part of working in the field of yoga and wellness is making a difference in people’s lives. That makes me and all the teachers extremely proud. What does it mean to be recognized in the Best of SRQ Local 2019? Being recognized in the BEST OF SRQ LOCAL 2019 means the world to our studio. We are a tiny studio in downtown SRQ but we have the BIGGEST heart of all! We are committed to the Sarasota community and we want everyone to know that we have their back.


BOSRQ-REALTORS 2019.indd 98

3/19/19 1:11 PM




Seize daybreak’s early hours with goods that get you revved and going. Brittany Mattie

THIS PAGE: The TOCCA Capri diffuser and bamboo will pique your olfactory senses and stimulate some internal conductivity with its grapefruit, melon, bougainvillea and electrifying cypress wood/amber notes. $35, Charlotte Grace, 64 South Palm Ave., Sarasota, 941-444-7969. Orange You Jelly facial cleanser by Sorella Apothecary, a botanicallybased, vegan skincare line will have you bright-eyed and bushy-tailed by the time you pop open the cap of its refreshing, awakening citrus elixir. $40, Pura Vie Spa, 1460 Boulevard of the Arts, Sarasota, 941-312-4402, @puravie. Mood Melt organic essential oil by Body Bliss emotionally uplifts your mood to soothe any forenoon anxiety and cheer your mood. Can be used in a diffuser, bath or with a morning massage by your S.O. $18, Pura Vie Spa. Lather up with the Kapha Energizing Body Oil by Shankara Naturals, naturally nourishing your skin with an invigorating blend of herbal extracts, while ridding the body of lingering fatigue or lethargy. $20, Pura Vie Spa. It’s a likely possibility that the EGOIST towel by Graccioza Luxury Bath Linens is even softer than your bed sheets. You’ll be rushing to get up and at ‘em for a morning hot shower, just to swaddle yourself in the Egyptian Cotton GIZA. $80, Charlotte Grace. Keep the ‘Things To Figure Out Later’ Jotter notebook on your nightstand, so once you wipe the sleep from your eyes you can scribble organized thoughts and a fertile checklist of tasks to cross off by day’s end. $10, Bookstore1, 12 South Palm Ave., Sarasota, 941-365-7900, @bookstore1sarasota.


CARGO_APR19.indd 99

3/18/19 10:36 PM


THIS PAGE: Nothing gets you motivated like a new pair of sneaks. Head out for an early jog with the patented Helion Super Foam on the CloudSwift by ON, designed to return energy as quickly as possible. The unisex running sneaker in Teal Storm is enough motivation to get vertical and get the blood flowing. $150, Fleet Feet, 711 South Osprey Ave. #1, Sarasota, 941-894-3338, @fleetfeetsports. Get groovin’ immediately, from sheet to street with the Trekz Air wireless Bluetooth Bone Conduction headphones. Hands-free and stimulatingly sound. $150, Molly’s A Chic & Unique Boutique, 711 South Osprey Ave., Sarasota + 1874 Stickney Point Rd., Sarasota, @mollysachicanduniqueboutique. Buddy Brew recently released its newest canned coffee from its BOLT collection. A sweet twist, the BOLT Lemonade provides as much citrus zing from natural handcrafted lemonade as it does heavily concentrated caffeine from its signature cold brew. $4, Buddy Brew, 1289 North Palm Ave., Sarasota, 941-374-7186, @buddybrewcoffee. Designed in Orlando, the trendy Corkcicle brand comes in a variety of portable bottle/thermos styles and colors. The Tropical Delight Canteen will allow you to bring along an ice cold smoothie or hot green tea along for the day’s ride. $20, Molly’s A Chic & Unique Boutique. 100 | srq magazine_ APR19 live local

CARGO_APR19.indd 100


3/18/19 10:37 PM

Ads-APR19.indd 101

3/16/19 4:57 PM


Sometimes everything is all black and white, especially this season, with polka dotted prints from head-to-paw. Burberry, Celine and Carolina Herrera want in on the monochromatic circular formations ranging from petite dots to showy spheres.

RUNWAY READY Fashion scrapbook–summer Trends to take from runway to the roundabout. Brittany Mattie


with your own wings—it’s time to soar and embrace that feminine frill you’ve been eager to let wild. And top designers like Noten, Valentino, Tom Ford and Loewe are lifting you off with thick, flowing necklines, plumagetrimmed handbags and feather-strapped mules.

ENDLESS SUMMER Hang ten with California girl-inspired styles that break the typical beach bum mold. Toss on a sassy-slouchy Jaws graphic tee by Calvin Klein, zip into a svelte neoprene wetsuit by Hermés and channel that inner surfer with Baja-worthy outfits from Michael Kors.

SCARF IT DOWN Scarf prints have a jaded reputation as tie-on neck accessories only for sophisticated ladieswho-lunch. These vintage-inspired prints are reinventing themselves with fresh looks—done up in colors and patterns in the form of Balenciaga retro-inspired shirts and new takes on boho-chic by designers Chloe and Etero.

BIKER BEWARE There’s no denying a new short on the scene. From beach to streets, women are rocking the longer, thigh-tight short. From Chanel, Fendi and Prada, all the big houses are on board with high-waisted, stretchy versions of the ‘I mean business’ bottom-huggers.

102 | srq magazine_ APR19 live local

CARGO_APR19.indd 102

3/18/19 10:40 PM



3/16/19 4:47 PM



Firmo and Lunardi invest in a new model in historic Indian Beach-Sapphire Shores Brittany Mattie ON A TUCKED AWAY STREET WEST OF THE TRAIL, where most residences

are decades old, Eric Collin of Firmo Construction and Leonardo Lunardi of Lunardi Architecture set a new paradigm with the Iroquois Avenue House. With only a 50-foot-wide lot to work with, the elongated midcentury modern spec home features an enviable back porch, four spacious bedrooms, three bathrooms, a laundry room, an airy open kitchendining-living space and 14-foot ceilings over copious natural light. And capitalizing on all the latest smart technologies and a vernacular blueprint to achieve LEED Gold certification brings it to a level of sustainability found most commonly in more luxury builds. But Collin and the team have the average, middle-class family in mind to afford them the ability to enjoy the pleasures of living in Sarasota without breaking the bank. “You really get all the benefits of living in a new, custom modern home,” says Lunardi, “And we pulled it off with a budget in mind to alleviate that elevated price point.” Bringing sustainable living features in a less expensive, and more usable home to the type of buyer that wouldn’t normally have access, has motivated this team to break ground on more of these style homes— mentioning three other projects now currently in their concept stages on the same street. “Eric and I both work on very high-end projects and in this style of home, it’s common to have this kind of quality,” says Lunardi, “But to bring it to an affordable level where you can be in a thriving urban, yet rural neighborhood, it’s very exciting.” SRQ


Iroquois Avenue House is currently on the market. For further inquiries, contact Firmo Construction, 205 North Orange Ave., #301, Sarasota, 941-917-0494.

Robert Procop Mines the rarest of gems globally Brittany Mattie

104 | srq magazine_ APR19 live local


the name Robert Procop to cull their collections and verify responsible sourcing. And now, the Robert Procop Exceptional Jewels Collection comes to Main Street, where McCarver & Moser celebrates its 40th anniversary. Captivated at an early age by the song of the stones, today Procop is a global force with laboratories and studios in Geneva, Hong Kong and Beverly Hills. He travels far and wide to mine the rarest, most exquisite gems, sometimes taking as long as two years to gather the perfect stones to complete even one necklace. His devotion to the art saw one piece specially selected for permanent placement in the Smithsonian Institute; his devotion to charity has made him world-renowned as the jewelry design partner for the elite, like Angelina Jolie and Brooke Shields. Perhaps most importantly to consumers today, Procop ensures precious stones and diamonds are sourced responsibly—knowing exactly where they came from, how they were mined and by whom—due in part to examining them prior to any polishing or tampering. “Procop is able to get them at a very early certification level that most people cannot,” says McCarver & Moser’s Michelle Raines. “Jewelry designers all around the world call on him.” SRQ

Ads-APR19.indd 105

3/16/19 4:57 PM

Ads-APR19.indd 106

3/16/19 4:57 PM


SUBTERFUGE AND FLAVOR Umbrellas 1296 catches the eye, but it’s after your belly Andrew Fabian UNDERSTANDING UMBRELLAS 1296 is an exercise in separating a book from its cover. If someone is to judge by appearances,

Sarasota’s newest restaurant looks très classy, with an alluring exterior finish signaling to passersby that lofty expectations are appropriate. Inside, the furniture and décor feel like a thoughtful mash-up of mid-century modern’s straight lines, the ornate craftsmanship of the Roaring ‘20s and maybe a touch of Andy Warhol in the color palette. The jaded diner may presume the food leans more on form than function—smaller portions plated to dazzle, the prominent use of unusual ingredients, perhaps even instructions on how best to consume food that feels more like artwork than sustenance and leaves the belly wanting though the eye is satisfied. And here is where reality diverges from expectation.

Left: Start the meal right with Umbrellas 1296’s appetizer of baked feta topped with olive tapenade and toasted pine nuts.


FORAGE_APR19.indd 107

3/18/19 10:13 PM


ETHAN STEINER, EXECUTIVE CHEF, built the Umbrellas 1296 menu to rely heavily on the aesthetics of flavor and fullness. “I want to make food that looks good, tastes good, and doesn’t make you feel like you got ripped off,” he says. For Steiner—humble despite his world class pedigree—it’s all about food-induced happiness. And though he has worked under notable names like Gordon Ramsay, he has managed to sidestep the magnetism of celebrity for a more blue-collar, food-first position where he can floor guests with dishes that explode with flavor, even when that dish features historically disagreeable vegetables. Brussels sprouts: reviled as a bitter green and often referred to with childish derision even by full-grown adults. Like Popeye did in the 60s with spinach, Steiner hopes to pluck the humble plant from vegetable purgatory with a preparation so unabashedly tasty, diners might actually feel guilty eating it. His rebrand comes in the form of an appetizer and starts with two ample handfuls of sprouts from his outsized meat paws. Placed in a wire basket, he lowers them into the deep fryer until their leafy exteriors have formed a crispy, charred layer. Once removed, Steiner tosses them in a house made blend of agave nectar, lime juice and the ever-popular Sriracha, before plating them with a pair of lime wedges. The resulting dish provides all the satisfaction of a meat stir fry, while the tang and kick of the sauce adds a nice top note to the roasted outer leaves. Another hearty starter, the baked feta, starts with dried feta cubes placed in a miniature cast iron casserole dish, where they toast in an oven for a few minutes. The feta cubes almost take on the look of fire-roasted marshmallows when they come out, and the final plating includes a dollop of olive tapenade, a sprinkle of diced parsley and toasted pine nuts, and an accompaniment of freshly grilled pita bread. Between the two appetizers, you could be forgiven for not bothering to rifle through the ample menu, though you

would miss out on a selection of salads that masquerade as everyday light fare but pack the punch of full-blown meals. The Chinese chicken salad features a verdant base of chopped romaine lettuce and napa cabbage that gets mixed with shredded carrots and almonds, then tossed with a generous portion of chilled and pulled chicken. A sweet chili vinaigrette dresses it all in a zesty sweetand-sour glaze. Finally, the salad is capped with diced scallions and chow mein noodles. Cool and crunchy, sweet and salty, light yet filling—all of the paradoxes make for a satisfying eating experience. And the salad is ready in a flash, so it works well as a quick lunch bite. For those that prefer a more chunky, deconstructed salad, the kale antipasto works well. It includes kale, pepperoncini and olives in an herb vinaigrette, served with a side of charcuterie meats and cheeses. Like the appetizers, these salad selections shrug off the notion that fine dining should exercise restraint in flavor and portions, speaking to Steiner’s principle that food should be as filling as it is mouthwatering. The blackened salmon dinner entrée serves as a window into Steiner’s more artistic side with a singularly satisfying combination of flavors and a final arrangement that shows a flair for the three-dimensional. The dish starts with a daub of sweet potato mash seasoned with chipotle and blended with heavy cream. Then, a quick, simple toss of arugula, salt, grapefruit wedges and grapefruit juice get placed on top of the mash. The jewel of the piece is the blackened cut of salmon, with the spicy seasoning seared onto the fleshy side and the skin of the fish, dashed with salt, on the other. The skin is “crispy and delicious,” says the laconic Steiner, and it offers a delicate flakiness that dissolves after a few light and crispy chews, serving as a perfect complement to the expertly seared meat. The blackened salmon, much like the restaurant itself, catches the eye with its impressive, stylish appearance—but, for Steiner and Umbrellas 1296, it’s your belly they’re after. SRQ

Above left to right:

A Brussels sprouts appetizer comes dressed up with agave, lime and Sriracha. A full bar promises the perfect pairing. Blackened salmon served atop a sweet potato mash and topped with arugula and grapefruit.

Umbrellas 1296 1296 1st Street, Downtown Sarasota 941-500-4810,

108 | srq magazine_ APR19 live local

FORAGE_APR19.indd 108

3/18/19 10:17 PM

Ads-APR19.indd 109

3/16/19 4:58 PM



SRQ’s Foodie Content Channel

15 SOUTH RISTORANTE 15 S Boulevard of the Presidents, Sarasota, 941-388-1555. ITALIAN RESTAURANT Right in the hustle and bustle of St. Armands Circle, 15 South Ristorante is an authentic Italian restaurant serving primarily Northern Italian fare with additional options to satisfy every craving. Whether you order a homemade pizza baked to perfection in their authentic wood-burning oven or prefer an authentic and fresh pasta dish – options are endless. Full Dinner 4:30pm-10pm. Pizza, Light Dinner 4:30pm-Closing.


CROW’S NEST MARINA RESTAURANT 1968 Tarpon Center Dr., Venice, 941-484-9551. CASUAL FINE DINING The Crow’s Nest is a casual fine dining restaurant, serving fresh seafood, steaks and other traditional Florida favorites. Located on the Island of Venice and nestled between the Gulf of Mexico on the west and the Intracoastal Waterway on the north and east, Crow’s Nest has become a waterfront fixture for surf ‘n’ turf. M–W 11:30am-10pm. Th 11:30am– 11pm. F-Sa 11:30am–12:30am. Su 12–10pm.


DUVAL’S FRESH. LOCAL. SEAFOOD. 1435 Main St., Sarasota, 941-312-4001. SEAFOOD Duval’s Fresh. Local. Seafood. is excited to announce: Duval’s Free. Local. Shuttle! Your experience at Duval’s should be what you’re expecting. For dinner, try the Chef Selected Fresh Catch, an offering of the freshest fish in the market, and fillet your fresh catch in-house. Featuring a 3-5-7 Happy Hour and late night. M–Th 11am–9pm. F–Sa 11am–10pm. Su 10am– 9pm.


ELEMENT 1413 Main St., Sarasota, 941-724-8585. MODERN MEDITERRANEAN In the heart of downtown Sarasota, you don’t want to miss the upscale Mediterranean grill, Element. Try their Sambuca shrimp with bacon crème, crisp prosciutto, tomato fennel compote and pine nuts. For dinner, their 12 oz. bone-in center cut porcini-encrusted veal chop is delectable. For a large party, order the table an entire roast suckling pig; which serves four to six guests and is cooked with apples, figs and shallots. Equipped with an extensive wine list and an enticing array of craft cocktails, dining at Element is a must-try experience. M-Th 4:30pm-10pm. F-Sa 4:30pm-11pm. Su 10:30am2:30pm, 4:30pm-10pm. F-Sa.


SRQAPR19_NOSH.indd 110

GECKO’S GRILL & PUB 4870 South Tamiami Trl., Sarasota, 941-923-8896. GRILL AND SPORTS BAR The Original Gecko’s—established in 1992—is known for hosting great parties and entertaining such sports celebrities as Michael Jordan and the White Sox, along with Sarasota’s locals and visitors alike. Gecko’s has continued its good fortune and expanded to the following locations: Twelve Oaks Plaza (Interstate–75 and S.R. 70) in 1998, Braden River Plaza (on S.R. 64) in 2002, Palmer Crossing (Clark Road and Honore Avenue) in 2006, Southside Village (Hillview Street) in 2010, S’macks Burgers and Shakes (Bee Ridge Road and Shade Avenue) in 2013 and Fruitville Road (Fruitville and North Cattlemen Avenue) in 2014.

MARINA JACK 2 Marina Plaza, Sarasota, 941365-4232. 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 slowbraised short rib. Open daily for lunch and dinner. M– Su 11:15am–11pm.


MORTON’S GOURMET MARKET 1924 South Osprey Ave., Sarasota, 941-955-9856. 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 latter, Morton’s fresh-made sushi, salad bar or ready-to-go tea sandwiches are longstanding local faves. M–Sa 7am–8pm. Su 9am–6pm.

OPHELIAS ON THE BAY 9105 Midnight Pass Road, Siesta Key, 941-349-2212. FINE DINING With indoor and outdoor dining options boasting incredible waterfront views of Little Sarasota Bay, Ophelia’s On The Bay is the perfect place to relax and enjoy a delectable meal. From their PEI mussels presented in a saffron-anisette broth to incredible cocktails such as the Pink Lady, you can’t go wrong. Happy Hour M–Su 5pm–6pm. Dinner M–Su 5pm–10pm. Sunday Brunch 11am–2pm.

PBNT 1409

Main St., Sarasota, 941-9149955. AMERICAN PBnT is serving up delicious pizzas, burgers, tacos. There are options for everyone, including gluten-free pizza crust and lettucewrapped burgers. PBnT caters to every craving for America’s favorite foods. Try their When Pigs Fly pizza, which is a BBQ base, topped with cheese, roasted pork, chopped bacon, onion and a BBQ drizzle or their Momo burger which is a double patty, sautéed mushrooms and onions, mozzarella cheese and mayo. If you are really hungry, try their American Dream, which is a cheese pizza, cheeseburger and a taco of choice. Fast, fun and friendly – PBnT is the perfect choice. M-Su 11am-10pm.


PIER 22 1200 1st Ave W, Bradenton, 941-7488087. CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN Pier 22 takes waterfront dining to a new level. On the mouth of the Manatee River, the picturesque setting is relaxing and the perfect backdrop 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 soft-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 11:30am10:30pm. Su 11am-10pm. Happy hour daily 3pm7pm and Sunday Brunch 11am-3pm.


SHARKY’S ON THE PIER 1600 Harbour Dr. S, Venice, 941-488-1456. SEAFOOD After 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.



3/18/19 9:33 PM

SRQAPR19_NOSH.indd 111

3/16/19 4:31 PM

SRQAPR19_NOSH.indd 112

3/18/19 9:37 PM

SRQAPR19_NOSH.indd 113

3/16/19 4:31 PM



Sarasota’s baked goods scene gets a delicious European injection. Jacob Ogles

THE LURE OF THE GULF COAST has attracted more business owners who grew up in the Eastern bloc but now want their shot at the good life.

“People are less afraid to move now,” says Anna Bridinger, a real estate broker at Pelican Realty who moved here from Poland four years ago. “Technology enables us to keep in touch with people at home, and Florida feels like paradise compared to Eastern Europe.” And with a culture steeped with a self-starter work ethic, many are opening businesses here. The results are sweet (and savory). SRQ

Kürtos Chimney Cakes


OfKors Bakery

This sweet comes courtesy of Hungarian baker Aniko Gulyas. She never made her living in food, but when she moved to Sarasota she grew nostalgic for a certain hometown snack. As a child, she clamored to buy this curly sweet during trips to the fair. Gulyas uses a 300-year-old recipe to present this dish to area sweettooths looking for something different than the mall pretzel. “The tubular shape makes it unravel itsself in a spiral as steam is coming out, so it’s fun,” she says. Gulyas has sold the snack at area farmers markets for years, not too different from fair vendors in Hungary. She also now also opened a shop at The Mall at University Town Center, but still sells her spirals and cones, doused in sweets or filled with meats, at area farmers markets. 941-726-8654,

Executive Chef Tamas Benkovics and partner Eva Katz for years sold primarily western flavors at Sunnyside Café, but this past year opened Tokaj with a distinctly more European menu. Benkovics included more options from his native Hungary, where he worked in the restaurant industry for 20 years before leaving the continent to conquer the states. Tokaj’s continental menu includes Hungarian favorites like foie gras, and some specialties you won’t likely find elsewhere on the Gulf Coast. He points out the Fogas file Zalai rakporkolttel, a grilled Walleye fillet with Zala-style shrimp ragout. “If you go to Budapest or Hungary, they will have the same dishes,” he says, though he does bring his own spin. The team also still offers up more American options at Sunnyside. 6516 Superior

The downtown Bakery satisfies those in need of richer options with an Eastern European twist. Ukrainian owners Alexander Korsykov and Marina Korsykova could have stuck in Eastern Europe to run a family chain of bakeries, but wanted to bring their Slavic flavors to an American audience. They opened a second location in The Landings. The Sarasota bakery offers a range of delicate pastries and tart tastes to Main Street foodies. Those include such Mediterranean favorites as Sfogliatella, an Italian pastry made with phyllo and flavored with ricotta, almond paste and a little orange zest, items showcasing eastern European heritage like OfKors’ take on the Napoleon, with multiple puffy layers of pastry brimming with custard cream. 1359 Main

Ave, Sarasota, 941-906-9444, @tokaj.sarasota

Street, Sarasota 941-330-2220. @ofkorsbakery

114 | srq magazine_ APR19 live local

FORAGE_APR19.indd 114


3/18/19 10:20 PM

Ads-APR19.indd 115

3/16/19 4:58 PM


giving coast Mote Leads Florida Red Tide Mitigation & Technology Development Initiative Recently, Florida House Representative and Majority Whip Michael Grant (District 75) sponsored House Bill 1135, to establish the Florida Red Tide Mitigation & Technology Development Initiative. This Initiative will focus on the development of innovative technologies and approaches critically needed for control and mitigation of red tide impacts that can cause devastation to marine life and harm local economies. This independent, coordinated effort among public and private nonprofit research entities will build upon the already highly productive cooperative red tide research program between Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and Mote, and will utilize applied science in order to develop and test innovative approaches and technologies


to determine the most effective and ecologically sound methods for mitigating adverse impacts from red tide. The initiative will have Mote collaborating with FWC, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, universities and other institutions to ensure the best and brightest scientists from Florida and around the world are brought together for developing new mitigation technologies. This initiative would be allocated $3,000,000 per year from new appropriations beginning in 2019-2020 fiscal year, with a continuous annual appropriation at this level through the 2024-2025 fiscal year.

One Person Can Make a Difference In May 1985, Dr. Gordon “Gordy” Klatt walked and ran for 24 hours around the University of Puget Sound track in Tacoma, WA, raising money to help the American Cancer Society. Friends, family

and patients watched and supported him as he walked and ran more than 83.6 miles and raised $27,000 through pledges to help save lives from cancer. As he circled the track, he thought of how he could get others to take part. He envisioned having teams participate in a 24-hour fundraising event. The next year, 19 teams were part of the first Relay For Life event at the historical Stadium Bowl and raised $33,000. After previously battling stomach cancer, Gordy passed away from heart failure on August 3, 2014 at the age of 71. But his legacy lives on. He shaped an idea that started as one man walking and running a track and helped turn it into a global fundraising phenomenon. Today The Relay For Life movement is American Cancer Society’s signature fundraiser dedicated to helping communities attack cancer. From team members to volunteers, everyone wants to remember those they’ve lost, help those affected today and give everyone a home team advantage against cancer.

3/18/19 10:51 PM

giving coast Children’s First Recognized with James E. Duffy Friend of Literacy Award Children’s First, Inc. was recognized by the Literacy Council of Sarasota with the James E. Duffy Friend of Literacy Award at its annual ‘Literacy Matters’ luncheon. Children First is a private, charitable, nonprofit organization that serves over 600 of Sarasota County’s most vulnerable children, birth to five years of age, and their families. Services are provided at multiple locations throughout Sarasota County. Children First realizes the value of early childhood education outcomes, and the bright futures that can be created as a result. They work to teach children the power of knowledge and the opportunities it can provide them, while also working with the parents to strengthen the family as a unit, as all work toward educational success.

All Faiths Food Bank’s Annual Campaign Against Summer Hunger This year, the Food Bank kicked off the annual Campaign Against Summer Hunger with a walk across the Ringling Bridge. The first ever Walk to End Summer Hunger was held on March 31 to


launch a six-week dollar-for-dollar match challenge of raising $1.4 million from April 1 through May 15 to fund food programs aimed to feed 40,000 children and their younger siblings who are at risk of going hungry over the summer. Hunger hurts our most vulnerable: children, seniors and veterans. In 2015, 44 percent of households in Florida could not afford basic needs such as housing, childcare, food, health care and transportation. In 2018, All Faith’s Food Bank worked with the community to serve 82,000 People in Sarasota and DeSoto counties, distributed 8.75 million meals (that’s 10.5 million pounds of food!). And they couldn’t do it alone— in 2018 48,678 Volunteer hours helped them carry out their mission.

Community Free Day at The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art will host a Community Free Day on Saturday, April 6, to celebrate the completion of the $100 million comprehensive campaign goal in the recent ‘The Ringling Inspires: Honoring the Legacy and Building for the Future’ campaign. The campaign will be officially complete in the spring and is an integral component of the recently completed Florida State University $1 Billion Raise the Torch campaign. Through the comprehensive campaign, the

permanent collection has nearly doubled through gifts of artwork and art acquisition funding. “The Ringling is an integral part of the tradition of excellence in the arts at FSU,” said FSU President John Thrasher. “The Ringling Inspires campaign has helped create a farsighted plan for caring for, housing and building collections. It considers the rich history of the campus and looks to the future by serving the wide and diverse audience of the greater-Sarasota area.”

Free Medicare Counseling Offered to Seniors and Adults with Disabilities Thanks to a partnership of the Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida and Goodwill Manasota, seniors and adults with disabilities who have concerns about Medicare and other health insurance options can receive free insurance counseling at some new, convenient locations. SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) counselors are now providing free, unbiased health insurance counseling at Goodwill Manasota community rooms at four locations in Sarasota County. The sessions began in March and are offered on Thursdays at the four Goodwill locations from 11am-2pm (by appointment only).

3/18/19 10:52 PM

giving coast Goodwill Partners with Area School for Students A partnership between Sarasota County Schools and Goodwill Manasota has enabled Exceptional Student Education (ESE) students from Booker High School to enjoy in-service training and job preparation skills at the Goodwill Mecca location in northern Sarasota. Seven students are learning on the job—five at a time, five days a week, for up to two hours each day—while earning school credit. Booker High School is just one of the schools participating in the Vocational Instructional Program, which is currently serving 34 ESE students, ages 16-22 / grades 10-12, with varying exceptionalities.

PECKY Gives Back to the All Star Children’s Foundation Patricia and Peter Estes of PECKY interiors have begun a campaign called “PECKY gives back.” This campaign will help the All Star Children’s Foundation raise awareness and funds for its cause. Pecky is working with vendors who are generously donating items. When these specific items are sold in the Pecky store, 100% of the


proceeds from the sale will go to the All Star Children’s Foundation. Items above are currently part of the Campaign. New items continually will be added.

CareerEdge Brings Region to the Forefront of Innovation with U.S. Chamber Partnership The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has chosen CareerEdge Funders Collaborative under the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, along with its partners, to pioneer an innovative workforce solution that uses technology to develop open source job descriptions, which will improve employers’ ability to source talent. As part of the U.S. Chamber Foundation’s year long Job Data Exchange (JDX) Pilot Project, CareerEdge will work with PGT Innovations and Four Winds Network Services to begin utilizing open data tool and resources to make manufacturing job information clearer and more accessible for education providers, the local workforce and employers. Participation in this pilot offers access to the latest technology and advances CareerEdge’s near decade of work in connecting employers and partners to create

regional workforce solutions. Translating job data to open data will create a universal language for employer signaling, allowing education, training and credentialing partners to create more effective career pathways infrastructure. With the improved job descriptions, educators can tailor curriculum, job candidates can more effectively prepare and employers’ needs can be better met, lending to the overall success of the region.

Children First Recognized at WEDU Be More Awards Children First was recognized as the 2019 Nonprofit of the Year at the 14th annual WEDU Be More Awards. As recipient of the Be More Unstoppable Award, Children First was chosen from a field of the Tampa Bay area’s most esteemed organizations. The winner was selected by an independent judging committee and given to the organization that, through a superior level of service, helps their constituency Be More. Children First received a second accolade, the “Be More Knowledgeable” Award, recognizing the longtime Nurturing Dads Program. The award is for the organization that, through a specific project, offers guidance,

3/18/19 10:53 PM

giving coast knowledge, and emotional or physical support aimed at improving specific aspects of community life.

The Barancik Prize for MS Research Awarded to University of California Researcher The Barancik Prize for Innovation in Multiple Sclerosis Research was recently awarded to University of California professor Katerina Akassoglou, Ph.D., for her work understanding the origins of nerve damage in MS and identifying potential therapies to prevent it. The Barancik Prize was established by the Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation to inspire original ideas in stopping the disease. The most prestigious of its kind in the MS scientific community, the annual award comes with $100,000 to be used at the discretion of the recipient. Akassoglou is the sixth recipient of the award. “This award is gamechanging,” says Teri A Hansen, President | CEO of the Barancik Foundation. “For most researchers, acclaim of this level comes at the end of their tenure. The Barancik Prize is aimed to recognize up and coming leaders in MS research and


incentivize breakthroughs.” Because MS affects a small percentage of the US population, research on the disease receives little to no federal funding. The Barancik family has been moved to support efforts to end MS for decades, because of a loved one afflicted with the condition. Most people with multiple sclerosis are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, and it affects women three times more often than men. The international prize is administered through the National MS Society.

Female Veterans Celebrated High School staff and several cadets attending Sarasota Military Academy recently created a documentary honoring local female veterans who were some of the first to serve in the United States Military. Upon completion, the documentary was presented to the veterans and their families at a luncheon event hosted by Atria Senior Living. “At a time when women’s positions in society were more defined and traditional, these strong and inspirational women became role models —not just for those around them, but for our young cadets today,” said SMA Captain Jennifer Vanston. “It was an honor for all of us to meet

these amazing women and learn about some of our country’s history through their life stories.”

Take a Seat on an Upcycled Tervis Park Bench Tervis will be partnering with the county to place recycled amenities such as benches in county parks. Each bench takes hundreds of tumblers and lids to create and is made with 100% recycled Tervis products. Two of the benches are currently available to see at the Tervis store in Osprey. Tervis products are made to last a lifetime, but that doesn’t mean tastes stay the same. On February 16 and 17 at select stores only, customers can trade in any of their classic drinkware regardless of condition to receive $5 off any new classic tumbler for each trade in.

Digging into Immersive Academics Wilkinson Elementary school kids had extra bigger smiles on their faces this past month, as the students had fun getting their hands dirty in an immersive experience of “H2 Oh

3/18/19 10:56 PM

giving coast No!”, programmed through the Education Foundation of Sarasota County (EFSC). This is the foundation’s fourth one this academic school year—planning and guiding week-long, handson activities outdoors for students at Sarasota County Schools. Classroom academics have come a long way from blasé PowerPoint note-taking and unenthusiastic rambling from a textbook. Enough research has come to show that immersive tactics prove much more impactful and effective for kids to learn the subject at hand. Funded by Consortium of Florida Education Foundations, FPL Connect and DART Foundation, the Wilkinson campus turned into a scientific “investigation and observation” zone. With a massive dirt hole shoveled deep into the ground, teachers and EFSC Director of Programs Kati Burns strategically hid educational items throughout for the kids to dig up and find, learn about their origins, brainstorm how it may have gotten there and how old it is. Objects such as types of lava rock, minerals and geodes, a time capsule said to be from years past, faux artifacts and fossils, shark teeth, indigenous plants, shells and acorns stoked an inquisitive second grader to ask a valid question,

“How does this stuff get into the ground in the first place?” Two science professors from USF Tampa came out to the courtyard for “H2 Oh No!” as well—rotating around to individually interact with the students, encourage them to write down their observations, gather evidence and discuss their exciting findings. As the kids unearthed buried discoveries with their magnifying glasses and archeology brushes, they learned lessons of evolution, species’ life cycles, parts of a flower and the rain cycle, all the while scratching the surface with their little excavation tools to learn first-hand about geology. And on a less vibrant, but notably important matter, kids stumbled across the “nasty, yucky stuff,” as a first-grader so eloquently put it, referring to the broken plastics, scrap parts from an old crop duster aircraft and man-made trash—hitting home the harsh realities dumped into the ground by humans. Localized lessons of watershed, land-based sources of pollution, causes of red tide and the impact of oil spills further opened kids’ eyes to the noticeable effects these present day occurrences have on their environment. “We really want to encourage this type of experiential activity,” states Jennifer

Vigne, president of EFSC. The foundation seeks Sarasota County schools to participate in this fun and deeply-engaging program. Largely, they are the schools that embrace lessons outside the classroom and have teachers who believe in collaborating with different subjects and across different grade levels. “It’s about the integration of all these things and experiencing cross-curricular activities. It helps to develop a real understanding at an early age, one that is memorable and sticks,” Vigne says. Because no one looks back on their schooling and remembers the days they sat in class and took notes. “This is 21st century learning.”

Barancik Foundation Grant Fuels Service Expansion at Forty Carrots Poverty and early traumatic experiences make a child more likely to experience damaging developmental effects and physical and mental health issues. Locally, 52 percent of babies are born into poverty, according to data from First 1,000 Days Sarasota County, a local initiative dedicated to supporting the wellbeing of mothers and babies. In response, a flexible $300,000 grant from the Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation has positioned Forty Carrots Family Center to increase services for families in Sarasota and Manatee counties with programs that have proven, lifelong positive effects. Over the next three years, the organization will be taking a strategic look at the community’s needs and developing an action plan in order to expand their services and pursue other opportunities for growth.

SMA Cadets Fund Water Well Construction in South Sudan Cadets at the Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) Prep middle school recently announced the completion of a well providing water for a village in South Sudan. The cadets chose the Water for South Sudan (WFSS) organization as the focus for the SMA Prep Interact Club annual service project and raised $5,000 to fund the well. According to a letter received from WFSS, the well is located in the village of Alatip in Mading-Juer, Tonj, South Sudan. Cadets received coordinates of the well, information about the village chief and residents, photos and details of the completed project. Led by SMA-CPT Jennifer Neff, SMA-MAJ Carol Pelletier and SMA-CPT Jane Clancy, the SMA Prep Interact Club is an extracurricular activity supported by the Sarasota Southside Rotary Club. The cadets and staff received a $1,500 grant from the Education Foundation and raised donations from Prep faculty, students and parents. SRQ


3/18/19 10:57 PM

Ads-APR19.indd 121

3/16/19 4:58 PM






MARCH 30 The Music Compound’s 5th annual Beer, Bands & BBQ is back on March 30, 2019 from 11 am 4 pm. It will be hosted at a new location, the courtyard of The Bazaar on Apricot & Lime, 821 Apricot Ave. Sarasota. Look forward to 10 bands including Kara & Kaleidogroove, students from Music Compound will perform between sets. Food trucks and beer will be available throughout the day. Admission is free and you are encouraged to bring your own lawn chair.VIP wrist bands are available for $15 and include food samplings and a beer.

APRIL 12 Sisterhood for Good has a passion for fashion and you can too at the Spring Sensations Fashion Show. Enjoy champagne, seated luncheon, cash bar and a runway show featuring WORTH New York and Debbie Dannheisser THREADS collections, as well as jewelry and eyewear trends. Bid on fabulous Silent Auction baskets and enjoy the company of your friends. Sisterhood for Good is an all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) women-only organization dedicated to helping enrich the community through its annual grant program. Tickets available online. Go Forth and Be FABULOUS!

APRIL 13 Join the vendors and friends of the Bazaar on Apricot and Lime, and enjoy a fashion show featuring swimwear collections from JP Holahan and IF by Roxanne, all with a fabulous Bloody Mary Bar. The Bloody Mary bar opens at 11am, with the fashion show at noon, but stay after for fun shopping! The event benefits Every Child, Inc., and 100% of money raised for Every Child goes back into the community to help children.


APRIL 25 Join NAMI Sarasota County for an evening to raise awareness and support youth and family mental health programs in our community. The event will include dinner catered by Michael’s on East, open bar, live auction and music and entertainment by the one and only Jonathan Cortez.

THE 21ST ANNUAL SARASOTA FILM FESTIVAL APRIL 5-14 Held annually, The Sarasota Film Festival emphasizes the best in cinema alongside exciting programs and events, with more than 200 films screened each year, including features, documentaries, shorts and kid-friendly picks.

RELAY FOR LIFE- CHARLOTTE COUNTY APRIL 6 The American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life is the world’s largest movement to end cancer. Money raised from Relay For Life helps the American Cancer Society save lives by funding groundbreaking research to discover cancer’s causes and cures, and help people facing cancer today with free programs and services. People form teams and raise money together leading up to the event. Then, everyone comes together for a night of fun that celebrates cancer survivors, remembers loved ones lost to cancer and unites all in a commitment to fight back against the disease.

RELAY FOR LIFE- MANATEE COUNTY APRIL 6 Beating our biggest rival takes more than breakthrough research. It takes things like the 24/7 cancer help line and free rides to chemo the American Cancer Society provides. Most of all, it takes you. Join Relay For Life. And help attack cancer in the community.

APRIL 12-13 Moving Ethos Dance Company presents the world premiere of girlwoman, an intimate portrayal of the glamorous and messy nature of being a woman. Follow three women as they navigate the demands of the world with an imperfect grace that is relatable and refreshing. Their strength is met with fragility as they transparently share their stories. In her characteristically bold voice, Artistic Director Leah Verier-Dunn leads the audience through a web of imagery that pulls at heart strings one moment and evokes laughter the next. girlwoman is a telling tale that challenges all to consider the complexities of the female experience.

BLOSSOM GARDEN PARTY APRIL 13 Join The Ringling for this floral affair celebrating the legacy of Mable’s beloved rose garden. Surrounded by blooming roses, enjoy musical entertainment, mimosas and a variety of foods along with a stroll in the gardens. As an enthusiastic gardener, Mable would be pleased to know that the grounds and gardens of the Ringling estate have grown into a park where visitors can spend the day smelling the roses and relaxing under the banyans. In recognition of Mable’s legacy, the net proceeds from this event will support ongoing maintenance and improvements of the Bayfront Gardens. Tram service will be available for transportation from the John M. McKay Visitors Pavilion. blossoms-garden-party


CELEBRATION OF INDIA FESTIVAL APRIL 26-28 Join The Ringling on A Journey Through India, a three-day festival exploring the many cultures of India. Created in collaboration with local community partners, the festival will celebrate the performing and visual arts, literature, flavors and thought of historical and contemporary India. Building on the excitement of the festival, The Ringling will present The Fabric of India. This exhibition of Indian textiles from the Victoria & Albert Museum, on view July 7–October 13, showcases more than 200 superb examples of historical dress, carefully preserved fabrics and cutting-edge fashion.

RELAY FOR LIFE VENICE APRIL 26 Beating our biggest rival takes more than breakthrough research. It takes things like the 24/7 cancer help line and free rides to chemo the American Cancer Society provides. Most of all, it takes you. Join Relay For Life. And help attack cancer in our community. SRQ

122 | srq magazine_ APR19 live local


3/18/19 11:00 PM

Ads-APR19.indd 123

3/16/19 4:58 PM



Reclaiming the florida keys from hurricane irma with an extensive renovation of Hawks Cay Resort on Duck Key. Wesley Roberts


OROTHY AND HER COMPANIONS set out on the yellow brick road to reach the Emerald Palace, a place of incomparable beauty and leisure. Today, the band of heroes would load into Dorothy’s SUV and head down a different fancifully-named road, the Overseas Highway. With gas prices nearing record lows, and the fantastic quality of the U.S. interstate system, they’d effortlessly find themselves arriving at Duck Key, and checking into Hawks Cay before you could say, “I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” And if they had reserved a villa, there would even be room for longsuffering Auntie Em and Uncle Henry too! Hawks Cay is truly a welcome break from reality. U.S. 1, with its perfect views and leisure—demanding speed limits is part of the magic, before you know it you will have slowed down, no longer running pace with the slings and arrows of the work-a-day life, but instead enjoying the island-life tempo. The day begins when the

sun rises, it ends when the sun sets (or the drinks stop flowing), and everything in-between is an opportunity to enjoy beaches, pina coladas, and Jimmy Buffet music. It’s always “island-o-clock” in the keys. Reaching Hawks Cay requires a final journey across a short private causeway, and you are here. The resort offers traditional rooms in the main building, and a separate section of attached two-story villas. The whole resort is lovely, but the villas are an extra- special treasure. With multiple bedrooms, upstairs and downstairs spaces, and full kitchen, this is truly a waterfront home away from home. The front porch of each villa opens onto a canal complete with a dock for securing a boat, and a lush green grass yard covers the small distance from your rear porch to the community dock. Many of our fellow visitors had trailered their boats with them from home, and now those same boats floated happily just steps away from each guest’s own villa.

This spread:

The sun rises over the pool at Hawks Cay Resort. The salt water lagoon offers a fun space for kayaking and paddle boarding. The Angler and Ale offers delicious Mason Mixers to fit any palate.

124 | srq magazine_ APR19 live local


3/19/19 1:08 AM

I found the villa experience to be a slice of Norman Rockwell’s old-time America plus powerboats. It was interesting to meet our neighborhood on our walks back and forth to the Hawks Cay main building with its dining, pool, and lagoon facilities. People from diverse backgrounds were all brought together by the common joy of a vacation in the sun. Our neighbors included many Floridia mainlanders, as well as tourists from the midwest. My kids played chase with a couple of adorable kids a few units away that greeted us with both “hello” and “hola.” It’s always interesting how different people can be away from their day to day stressors. A memorable quirk of our trip, I noticed that a Muslim family in traditional dress was staying in the unit attached to that of an orthodox Jewish family, complete with kippah and tzitzit. The odds of these two families being reserved next door to each other seems astronomical, but I saw the men outside on the shared dock talking pleasantly, so, one point goes to Hawks Cay for encouraging world peace. A neighbor gave us a good bit of advice for boaters, especially those staying for a longer trip. If you use the boat frequently, the convenience of the back-yard dockage is well worth the fee the resort charges. If, the neighbor told us in confidence, you are only an occasional boater, it’s cheaper to store your boat at the nearby marina. Hawks Cays offers a paradise for your children. The youth center is a sprawling facility with an art room, a game room (foosball table of course!), a volleyball court, a soccer field and an 18-hole miniature golf course shaded by a gorgeous banyan tree. I told my skeptical kids to watch for “baby dragons” during a round of mini-golf. The kid’s eyes bugged-out, cartoonstyle, when they spotted an enormous iguana with a black crest and a red wattle watching us from the banyan’s branches. Bring a bathing suit and things get even better. The splash-and-play area has fountains and a climbable pirate ship. A full-sized, shallow-depth pool and a food kiosk complete the area. Hawks Cay offers child care in three slots, from 9a-12, 1p-4p, and 5p-9p. The young man who served as camp counselor during our visit, William, was fantastic. I asked about the big screen TV on the wall and what movies they might watch during camp, and William replied, “Why would we watch TV? There is too much great stuff to do!” My kids loved painting and coloring reef and ocean themed art as well as playing outdoor games. They begged to go back for a morning session. On a scale of one to 10, the service was easily an 11. At every interaction with the team at Hawks Cay, we were met with a warm and rich smile. And when we had special requests, the staff went above and beyond. We bought food at a nearby supermarket to cook in our villa, on returning to our villa we found that we had secured neither butter nor salt. A quick trip to the main foyer and the positivity of the staff was such that they

approached my requests like it was a fun distraction for them, rather than a task. I walked away with a coffee cup full of salt, butter packets scavenged from the kitchen, and even a small container of soy sauce. The happy place feeling peaked on our last day when I went to check-out. I headed over early, and was probably the first person of the morning. As I came in

the big front doors, a member of the janitorial staff was polishing the floors, and, like a scene in a film, he was dancing with his push-polisher and singing along to the happy pop song coming out of the overhead speakers. Hurricane Irma gave the resort quite a beating. Everything on the ground floor of any unit or common space was washed away or destroyed by high waters, and had to be replaced. Of course, what one sees now is the result of the $55 million dollars of improvements, upgrades and facility enhancements. Everything is like new, because it is new. The staff still have stories though. Most spectacular of these is probably that they returned to the resort to find a full-sized yacht had been carried over the beach and dry land isthmus, and into their shallow swimming lagoon, where it sat for some time while repairs were underway. The marketing manager who gave us our media tour also told of how he, his wife, their three-month-old baby, and his mother-in-law had been evacuated from their home on Marathon. The home was irreparably damaged in the storm, but, because the mother-in-law srqme.com_ APR19 live local | 125


3/19/19 1:08 AM

This spread:

The trained dolphins at Hawks Cay Resort seem to enjoy performing as much as the audience does.Evenings in the keys are cool and refreshing. Tropical Vibes Key West offers giant Hawaiian shave ice treats, perfect for a sunny day.

had insisted on storing all the family treasures on the highest shelves, things like photo albums and other memories had survived. Like so many citizens of the Keys, he was grateful for the positives. Their new home has been built on stilts and to modern standards and his face lit up with joy when he spoke about the idyllic island life his baby would have growing-up. Storms come and go, but the island life survives. Hawk’s Cay is home to a plethora of animals, birds and iguana, but, more exceptionally, a half dozen fullgrown dolphins are also in permanent residence. If you are planning a trip, sign up now for one of the interaction programs. Touching and communicating one-on-one with the two dolphins our family was assigned, Hubert and Bobbers, was absolutely amazing. The sheer number of tricks that the dolphins know is unexpected, and the sense of fun that exists between these huge animals and their trainers was reminiscent of the bond between loving dogs and their trainers. The resort staff took lots of photos of my family and myself engaging with the dolphins. You can see all of us gaping with child-like joy as Hubert leaps and flies in the air inches away from our family on the floating dock. Of course the real wildlife is only a short jaunt away in Key West. That’s where the mimes, street musicians

and acrobats perform in the rosy light of the setting sun in Mallory Square and the key lime pies and daiquiris are universally served deliciously cold. It’s a very beautiful one-hour drive, and so a not-tobe-missed side trip. We left early and headed to our favorite breakfast destination, Blue Heaven. Some of the bloom seems to be off the rose though. Apparently Irma blew the colorful chicken population away, and the food just isn’t as exciting as it used to be. Their banana bread is still spectacular though. Next trip to Key West we will forgo breakfast there and try some new places, stopping by only to pick up a half dozen loaves of banana bread to bring home to friends and family. Every time we go to Key West, we enjoy both old and new favorites. We love the quirky character of Red Buoy coffee, and their famed donuts never disappoint. Next time, we will certainly plan ahead and make sure we have a reservation to visit Key West Room Escape, where they gave us a quick tour, but we couldn’t wait for the next open session in their escape rooms. My wife is drawn to the tiny bohemian store, Wanderlust KW, and we always find things there that we buy as gifts. Walking Duval Street brings joy, and it’s nice to see what’s new and what’s unchanged. A calm half hour shopping and browsing Books & Books @ The Studios of Key West is a nice, quiet change of pace from the sunny streets. With so many dining options, we didn’t make it to the on-premise Angler and Ale restaurant until the last day, and discovered maybe we had been missing something! We started with the Smoked Fish Dip and the Dill Pickle Chips. The kids demolished the dip, giving mom and dad time to crunch away at the pickles. The Conch Chowder is excellent—tomato broth, bacon and a splash of sherry, all conspire to make it a riot of salty and tangy. The Bison Burger was filling and excellent, but the real pleasure was the Mason Mixers, mixed drinks served in mason jars. I highly recommend the Mangrove Mojito—Conch Republic White Rum, mint, watermelon, lime and simple syrup. The Caribbean Mule with Ketel One Vodka, ginger beer, simple syrup, lime, muddled pineapple was also incredible. If I tried a third, I don’t remember it, but I can say for certain that the night was beautiful and the full moon lit the view with a gorgeous white glow. Leaving Hawks Cay Resort was tough on all of us. The kids were begging to stay for just one more morning at the youth center, and my wife and I both would have loved an extra morning lounging around the adults-only Tranquility Pool. There’s no better recommendation for a travel destination, than when you plan your return trip before you’ve even left on the last day, and if we had had Dorothy’s magical slippers, with their power to send one home, they would never get used. Hawks Cay Resort on Duck Key is the sort of place you will love when you visit, and you will want to share the discovery as well. We look forward to visiting Hawks Cay again, and the next time we come, it will likely be with a passel of extended family in tow. SRQ

126 | srq magazine_ APR19 live local


3/19/19 1:09 AM

Ads-APR19.indd 127

3/16/19 4:59 PM

parting shot


Martha Graham recasts the Myth of the Minotaur

THE HEROINE ARIADNE MUST CONFRONT the Creature of Fear three times before ultimately emerging triumphant in Martha Graham’s iconic Errand Into the Maze, a surreal adaptation of the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur, here recast to symbolize inner demons and fear of intimacy. Premiering in 1947 with Graham herself performing the role of Ariadne, the ever-popular ballet remains in the Martha Graham Dance Company repertory, and came to Sarasota this past February at the invitation of the Sarasota Ballet. — Phil Lederer , Photography by Wyatt Kostygan

128 | srq magazine_ APR19 live local


3/19/19 1:55 PM

Ads-APR19.indd 3

3/18/19 12:44 PM

Ads-APR19.indd 4

3/16/19 5:01 PM