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SRQ DAILY Oct 12, 2015

Monday Business Edition

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Monday Business Edition

"For architects, we are always obsessed with detailing and the essences of ideas."

- Toshiko Mori, CFAS guest

[Workforce]  Private Sector Growth By Industry

Job growth since 2010 has been most strong in professional services within the Bradenton-Sarasota-North Port metropolitan area, according to statistics released by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. State officials greet that news as a positive step toward better diversification in the economy and as an optomistic sign that higher wage jobs are returning to the market. 

[Merger]  Sunfresh Produce, Happy Foods Combine Forces
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

After a merger with Happy Foods of Southwest Florida last week, Sunfresh Produce reports it has become the leading regional produce supplier serving the Tampa-to-Naples market. With a renovated warehouse and an expanded inventory and list of suppliers, the company now hopes it can continue a pattern of aggressive growth and start offering prices low enough to compete for chain restaurants and other clientele.

The two companies have now been re-organized and will do business as Sunfresh Produce, with Happy Food owners now holding stock in the new company. Sunfresh has operated in Southwest Florida for more than 20 years and was purchased by Sarasota businessman Steve Clark in 2012. The combined company is now running at a $25-million rate of revenue, Clark said. “Sunfresh under its previous life was oriented toward small restaurants, pizza chains and sandwich shops, but when I bought it I changed the focus to go after more white tablecloth restaurants,” Clark says. The company in the Sarasota area works with such establishments as Libby’s Cafe and Bar, Duval’s and Blu Kouzina.

Happy Foods, meanwhile, operated in the Fort Myers-Naples market, where it was reaching capacity at its own facilities. A merger with Sunfresh made sense to owners there. “We’re taking the best of his [Clark’s] company and the best of mine,” said Terry Dean, Happy Foods owner. “Customer service is going to get even better.”

Dean will stay on with the merged company, where Clark serves as chairman of the board. Operations have been consolidated into Sunfresh’s Englewood warehouse. As Sunfresh had already recently expanded into the Tampa market, the service area now runs the entire Southwest Florida coastline. Clark said the company now has relationships with a substantial number of the region’s premier chefs, as well as approximately 50 local farms. “Many of those are specialty food providers or grow organically, which interests many of our top chefs,” Clark said. 

[Architecture]  Toshiko Mori Speaking at CFAS
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

Harvard professor and world-class architect Toshiko Mori will be in Sarasota for a special lecture Friday at the Center for Architecture Sarasota. Tickets cost $25 for CFAS members and $30 for non-members; students attend free. In advance of the event, SRQ Daily spoke with Mori about what people can expect.

You have designed some coastal homes in this region. How much time have you personally spent in the Sarasota area?  I did three buildings there, and at the time was coming every other week. I also have a very good friend in Sarasota, so I visit. It’s a beautiful area, especially if you ever spent a winter in New York.

What can you tell us about the lecture you will give and the exhibit on your work at the Center for Architecture Sarasota?  It will be a dialogue. It’s about my projects, which had to do with a tribute to five American masters, Mies van der Rohe, Frank Lloyd Wright, Paul Rudolph, Marcel Breuer and Philip Johnson. Some of my projects, I built next to those masters. Sometimes the buildings are in a dialogue with each other. 

What lessons should be gleaned from the masters?  What to do in terms of buildings, in their time and my time, was to ask how to deal with challenges. What do you do with climate change, or with a new code or crisis? There is some change in how I use certain conditions, all details that had to do with exterior details between the indoors and outdoors. It can be a bit esoteric, but for architects, we are always obsessed with detailing and the essences of ideas. 

[Exec Moves]  Day Joins RE/MAX

Realtor Cathy Day has joined the Bradenton office of RE/MAX Alliance Group. Day has more than 15 years of real estate experience, specializing in new home sales. She has worked with several builders, including Toll Brothers, where she was named Rookie Sales Manager of the Year; Ryan Homes, where she won the MVP award; and most recently Minto Communities. Prior to her career in real estate, she worked in sales and marketing with ClubCorp, owner and operator of private golf and country clubs. 

RE/MAX Alliance Group

[Opening]  Military Cut Opens in Sarasota

Military Cut, a full service lawn care provider, has opened in Sarasota. Military Cut provides precision lawn services for commercial, residential and government sectors. The company plans to contribute to local and national charitable organizations that support veterans. 

Military Cut, 1440 Main Street, No. 100, Sarasota, 855-USE-MCUT.

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.In the CocoTele department, SRQ DAILY is providing excerpts from news releases as a public service. Reference to any specific product or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by SRQ DAILY. The views expressed by individuals are their own and their appearance in this section does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. 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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