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SRQ DAILY Jul 2, 2019

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"To receive recognition from such a prestigious organization really tells us what we do is top-notch."

- Morag Reid, Banyan Tree Chocolate

[Business]  Banyan Tree Chocolate Receives High Honor in National Competition
Brittany Mattie, brittany.mattie@srqme.com

Sarasota’s very own Banyan Tree Chocolate brought home multiple winning medals from a juried annual artisan chocolate awards, held on a prestigious level throughout North America. The International Chocolate Salon, which holds the ranking competition, was founded in 2007 by TasteTV and TCB Cafe Publishing and Media. Today, it is still renowned as one of the premier international bodies celebrating and honoring artisan and premium chocolates and confections with events held nationwide. Judges for the “Best of Salon” Awards Competitions include national and regional magazines, newspapers and blog editors, plus master chefs and food experts, many from the Academy of Media Tastemakers. The awards are based on the combined total number of votes received by each entrant from the Judging Panel. 

“I entered two of my gourmet truffles into the competition with the International Chocolate Salon—Hibiscus Liquid Caramel for ‘Best Caramels’ and Spicy Sunset for ‘Best Spicy Chocolate,’” says Morag Reid, founder and master chocolatier of Banyan Tree. Reid received her Master Chocolatier Certification in 2016 and has trained with Melissa Coppel and Richard Tango-Lowy—named two of the Top 10 Chocolatiers in North America. Her hand-crafted and hand-painted ganache bonbons take two to three days a batch to create, sourcing only fair trade-certified cocoa and all-natural flavoring ingredients. 

Results garnered the Hibiscus Caramel truffle—housemade caramel infused with hibiscus blossoms in a white chocolate shell—a Silver in Best Exterior Design, a Bronze in Best Packaging and a Gold in Most Unique. Meanwhile, the Spicy Sunset truffle—blood orange pate de fruit layered truffle with dark chocolate-chipotle pepper ganache—won the crowning prize for Top Spicy Chocolate. “Spicy Sunset melts fruity flavor, a creamy texture and the lightest hint of spice into a little piece of chocolate heaven,” the judges comment. It was recognized in other categories as, including a Bronze in Best Ingredient Combination, Bronze in Most Unique, a Gold in Best Taste and Gold in Best Flavor. 

The winners have the honor of being able to display and use the official TasteTV Winner Award title certification and logo merchandise in their store or with their products. “I was absolutely thrilled,” shares Reid.  “Our customers and clients are always saying how wonderful our chocolates are, but to receive recognition from such a prestigious organization really tells us what we do is top-notch.”  

Photo of the Spicy Sunset, courtesy of Morag Reid.

[ShopTalk]  American Woman
Olivia Liang

Fireworks ready, hot dogs cooked, flags out, beers chilled… but what to wear? The 4th of July has arrived and month-old Freck & Soar Boutique has you covered not only on Thursday, but all weekend long. Walk the beach in a Red Maxi Dress, cook out in a “Land That I Love” tee and party patriotically in a Navy Striped Jumpsuit. After a lifetime love affair with fabulous fashion, Sarasota-native Savannah Francis has hand-picked high style with reasonable prices on her digital storefront. From Stars and Stripes headbands and kimonos, to scalloped navy shorts and strappy red tops, celebrate from head to toe with Freck & Soar’s Independence Day Collection, with Americana tees and accessories currently 50% off.

Shop rompers, tops, dresses and bottoms in all styles online, and, for customers in the SRQ area, Francis will even make house calls to ensure the proper fit. Order now and local consumers will enjoy one-day delivery. 

Follow Freck & Soar Boutique on Instagram and Facebook @shopfreckandsoar, then shop online at the website below. 

Photo by Jenn Soos.

Freck & Soar Boutique

[Business]  Clickbooth Appoints Taylor Vice President of Affiliates

Clickbooth has announced the appointment of Brian Taylor to Vice President of Affiliates. Taylor has an extensive background in marketing and advertising, excelling in developing key relationships and providing support to the affiliate clientele of Clickbooth. Prior to joining Clickbooth, Taylor worked as a marketing representative for both Advanced Radiology Imaging Associates (2010 - 2013) and Rose Radiology (2013 - 2014). He joined Clickbooth in 2014 as a senior affiliate executive before accepting the position of Director of Network - Affiliates (2017 - 2019). In his new role as Vice President of Affiliates, he will oversee client relationships, develop new outreach opportunities, strategize lead generation and work closely with a team of account executives to manage customer experiences. 


[Community]  Mayor Alpert Joins Bay Park Project Conservancy Board

The Bay Park Conservancy has welcomed Mayor Alpert to the Conservancy Board and executive team. A family law attorney in Sarasota, Alpert has been practicing in Sarasota since her admission to the Florida Bar in September 2006, following her graduation from Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport in December 2005. Two years prior, in 2003, Alpert was appointed to the City of Sarasota’s Human Relations Board where she served until 2007. She was then appointed to the City’s General Personnel/Civil Service Board where she served until her election to the Sarasota City Commission on May 12, 2015.

Alpert joins fellow Sarasotan Steven Cover, planning director for the City of Sarasota, who has been a part of the project from the beginning, served on the planning board during the design and planning phase, and has sat on the conservancy board since its inception in January. 

The Bay Park Conservancy

[Business]  Community Foundation Appoints Board Members, Elects Officers

The Community Foundation of Sarasota County has appointed new members and elected new officers to its board of directors, which guides, oversees and cultivates the organization’s strategic planning and operations.

Nelle Miller, co-founder of BizTank, will serve as chair, with Daniel DeLeo, a partner with Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, assuming the role of vice chair. Outgoing Chair Richard Gans, shareholder with Fergeson Skipper, will serve as treasurer and William M. Seider, partner with Williams Parker Harrison Dietz & Getzen, continues as secretary. Joining the board for three-year terms are Lynn Wentworth, retired financial executive currently serving as director on three public company boards, and Matthew Sauer, executive editor and general manager of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Wentworth also currently serves as a member of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County’s Investment Committee.

Continuing their duties as board members are C.J. Fishman, Paul Hudson, Donna Koffman, Rodney Linford, Kelvin Lumpkin, Jeffrey McCurdy, Michael R. Pender, Jr., Richard Smith, Drayton Saunders, Felice Schulaner, Andrew Stultz, Marilyn Thompson, Terri Vitale and Mary Lou Winnick. 

Community Foundation of Sarasota County

[Law]  Williams Parker Attorney Reappointed Co-Director of Florida Bar Tax Section

Williams Parker has announced attorney Michael J. Wilson has been reappointed to serve as co-director of the Federal Tax Division of the Florida Bar for the 2019-2020 term. Wilson, a member of Williams Parker’s management committee and the firm's treasurer, practices tax, corporate and business law handling sophisticated tax planning and tax controversy matters and advising clients on significant business transactions. He serves as outside general counsel to businesses of all sizes in many industries. He is certified as a tax specialist by the Florida Bar and handles federal, state and international tax planning matters. Wilson also represents clients during the tax audit process, before the Internal Revenue Service Appeals Office, before the Internal Revenue Service National Office in requests for rulings and technical advice, before the Florida Department of Revenue in audits, appeals, and ruling requests, and before the United States Tax Court and the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation. 

Williams Parker

[SOON]  BUSINESS: SB2 Transformation in Philanthropy Symposium- July 25; 11:30am-1pm , July 25, Registration 11am. Program 11:30am-1pm.

Join us for the SB2: Transformation in Philanthropy Luncheon on Thursday, July 25, 2019 at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota from 11:30am to 1pm. The topic of discussion will be creating bold and resonant impact through the nonprofit mission. Registration opens at 11am. Panelists include special guests: David Moore of Moore Strategic Consulting, Sabeen Perwaiz of the Florida Nonprofit Alliance and Lilly Weinberg of the Knight Foundation. Tickets: $55/person. Table Sponsorships Available. Purchase tickets online at SRQSB2.COM. 

Hyatt Regency Sarasota, 1000 Boulevard of the Arts, Sarasota

[TODAY]  GALLERY: Cycle 5 , May 30 – July 5

In Gallery 1, Monumental, a group show, features small-scale sculptures. Next door, local artist Keith Crowley will exhibit a recent series of his meticulously layered photographically-based oil and watercolor paintings in his first solo exhibition at Art Center Sarasota. In Gallery 3, and featuring incisive and satirical investigations of the ego, sexuality, and competitiveness found on full display at gyms, Caitlin Albritton’s paintings and drawings of contorted figures address questions of gender issues and body politics.

Art Center Sarasota, 707 North Tamiami Trl., Sarasota

[SOON]  GALA: "Red, White & You" Bayfront Kickoff Party , July 3

Kickoff the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix Festival and 4th of July weekend at one of the biggest parties of the year! This event is a fundraiser for Suncoast Charities for Children. Guests will enjoy an open bar, island style food stations, live music and exciting live auction destination packages. Dress is Patriotic/Island Casual.


Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall - Grand Foyer, 777 North Tamiami Trl., Sarasota

[SOON]  SPORTS: Fireworks on the Lake 2019 , July 3, 7pm

Celebrate Independence Day a night early with music, food, concessions and a sky show on the water. Join in on a family fun, four-mile, patriotic themed race just before sundown, followed by the annual fireworks display on the lake. The race begins at 7pm, followed by fireworks at 9pm. Race participants get VIP parking for the fireworks, and a front row seat in the park after completing the race.

Nathan Benderson Park , 5851 Nathan Benderson Cir., Sarasota

[SOON]  SPORTS: Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix , July 5 – July 7

The first Sarasota Boat Races, called the Suncoast Offshore Racing Grand Prix, took place in 1984 and have become an annual event for thrill seekers and offshore boat racing enthusiasts. 2018 marks its 34th Anniversary. 

Hyatt Regency Sarasota , 1000 Blvd. of the Arts, Sarasota

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Annual Liberty Litter Cleanup , July 5, 7am-9am

Sarasota County is looking for volunteers to help clear trash on the beaches hit the hardest by the July 4th celebrations. Cleanup efforts will take place on Siesta Key Beach, Lido Beach, South Lido Beach, Nokomis Beach, North Jetty Beach and Blind Pass Beach.  All volunteers should report to the Site Captain at their cleaning location. 

Sarasota County , Various beaches

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: Artwalk Weekend , July 5 – July 6

The Village is a residential neighborhood with a commercial overlay that creates a true live/work/play atmosphere. For 15 years, it has grown from a neglected neighborhood to one of the most unique and visited places in Manatee County. Come visit, shop, dine and stroll through galleries and restaurants with live music and unique indie art during Artwalk Weekend.

Village of the Arts, 12th St. W

[SOON]  FILM: Gazebo Starlight Cinema Series , July 5, 8pm

Join the Gazebo Starlight Cinema series with this month’s movie: Percy Jackson & The Olympians. With a screen stretched around the Gazebo pillars and family flicks back-projected from within, what better place than the facing grassy knoll to relax in a beach chair or curl up on a blanket? Bring the whole family to kick off your weekend while enjoying the park! Support local Venice Avenue businesses by bringing snacks, dinner, ice cream (or gelato!) to the Gazebo to enjoy during the movie. 

Downtown Venice Centennial Park, 200 West Venice Ave.

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Splashin' Saturdays , July 6 – July 27, 10am–12pm

Join us at Splashin’ Selby Saturdays for water-themed activities, including water slides and games specifically geared for toddlers on up to children 10 years old. Enjoy the cool shade and Bay breezes under the banyans and around the lagoon and waterfall of the Ann Goldstein Children’s Rainforest Garden from 10am to 12pm.

This event runs Saturdays from July 6 until July 27.

[SOON]  FOOD: Oak & Stone PATIO PAW-TY , July 6, 12-6 pm

The PATIO PAW-TY takes place rain or shine at Oak & Stone's University location. The event fully benefits Nate's Honor Rescue, a Bradenton based animal rescue organization. There will be a raffle with prizes for both pups and people, as well as dogs available for adoption. 

Oak & Stone (University location), 5405 University Pkwy., Sarasota

[SOON]  MUSEUM: The Fabric of India , July 7 – October 13

This exhibition showcases over 140 examples drawn from the internationally-renowned holdings of London’s Victoria and Albert Museum and private collections. This exposition illustrates the variety, technical sophistication and adaptability of Indian textiles from the fifteenth to the twenty-first centuries. Through a range of historical dress, carefully preserved fabrics, and cutting-edge fashion, discover how Indian textiles have been interwoven with religion, politics and global trade for centuries. Or join the Curator of Asian Art Dr. Rhiannon Paget for a tour at the Gallery Walk and Talk, 10:30am–6pm on July 25. 

The Ringling, 5401 Bay Shore Road

[SOON]  MUSEUM: Museum of Art Mondays: Fabric Design , July 7, 10am

Join the Ringling staff in the Education Building for a fabric design art-making program, bridging active creation with artwork in the Museum. Then visit the galleries to find each day’s featured artwork and learn more about it from a docent!

The Ringling, 5401 Bay Shore Road

[SOON]  FILM: Art and a Movie: Summer Film Series , July 8, 1:30pm

See the showing of Käthe Kollwitz: Images of Life  as part of The Ringling and Monda Collections’ Summer Film Series. Ringling staff will introduce the film and lead a brief discussion about each of the three highlighted women artists of the series. Attendees are encouraged to take advantage of free Mondays at the Museum of Art to visit the exhibition before or after the film.

The Ringling, 5401 Bay Shore Road

[SOON]  THEATER: Sophisticated Lady: Songbook of Natalie Cole , July 13, 8:00pm

Cole’s career spanned decades and genres, from R&B to pop. Her greatest success was “Unforgettable… with Love,” made popular by her father, which sold over seven million copies. In this concert, Katt Hefner pays musical homage to Cole and her music. Hefner’s extensive credits include off-Broadway musicals, television, movies, jazz festivals and much more.


Manatee Performing Arts Center, 502 Third Avenue West, Bradenton.

SRQ Media Group

SRQ DAILY is produced by SRQ | The Magazine. Note: The views and opinions expressed in the Saturday Perspectives Edition and in the Letters department of SRQ DAILY are those of the author(s) and do not imply endorsement by SRQ Media. Senior Editor Jacob Ogles edits the Saturday Perspective Edition, Letters and Guest Contributor columns. For rates on SRQ DAILY banner advertising and sponsored content opportunities, please contact Ashley Ryan Cannon at 941-365-7702 x211 or via email

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