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SRQ DAILY Sep 16, 2021

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Freshly Squeezed Content Every Morning

" It's not bad, but I have seen days that are better."

- Steven Nunn, Nunn Better BBQ

-Couture DNA, featuring Rahelia Couture in September's issue of SRQ Magazine
[Culinary]  Food Trucks Serve Up Small Business Through Pandemic
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

The global pandemic has impacted a range of businesses negatively, including in the dramatically changed restaurant industry. But vendors in the food truck world, while finding ways to adapt to a shifting environment, also have reports of success. With Small Business Week in full swing, some of those rolling chefs share stories of triumph.

That includes Kurt Turner, who opened The Maine Line after moving to Sarasota in 2018. He said the changing habits of diners since last year has been a net positive for his company. When restaurants shut down in-person dining for a period last year, food trucks like his could continue operating largely as normal. Selling lobster from the back of a vehicle, he found a hunger among customers for fine food without the trappings of fine dining.

“People get lobster as a pretty nice meal,” Turner said. If people couldn’t order such a dish from a kitchen and have it served by a waiter, they still could order it from a window and sit with it at a park bench. “It’s been a positive for us from that perspective.”

For Steven Nunn, who has run a truck for Nunn Better BBQ since 2017 and served barbeque from a trailer for years before that, the last year isn’t quite comparable to pre-pandemic business in rerms of demand. But he has found an appetite for his roadside offerings. He runs his truck on weekends to events around the region, and he recalls sensing early on the desire many had for dining out when everyone was cooped indoors. He decided to advertise a special outdoor barbeque event in his own neighborhood, and within a couple days saw an online listing receive 25,000 views. He ended up serving food for up to 235 people in a single day, serving ribs from his trailer and other entrees from the truck to a crowd willing to wait as long as an hour to have an order filled.

It’s all fed a word-of-mouth campaign for Nunn’s food truck, and he reliably draws loyal fans of his dishes to events and stops. “I have good turnout every time I am out,” he said. “It’s not bad but I have seen days that are better.”

Both trucks help more than just the owners. Turner supports three employees, and at peak time times Nunn pulls in as many as five to work the truck,

Nunn and Turner each rely on social media to get the word out on stops, and as platforms become a more central part of the business model for food trucks, there’s also tools coming online for owners, Facebook just announced an invoice fast track program, as well as a small business funding portal.

For both, reliable customer bases have led to continued success even after restaurants fully reopened. But at the end of the day, those running trucks say the greatest keys to success turn on the basic principle of treating diners right so they come back and encourage friends to do the same. “We try and deliver world class customer service and make it all fresh,” said Turner, who figures he’s serving between 700 and 800 a week from his truck. 

Photo courtesy of Nunn Better BBQ

[ShopTalk]  Picnicking in Paradise
Chloe Cuyler, chloe@srqme.com

What comes to mind when you think of paradise? Bathing in the sun’s warm, golden rays? The fresh, crisp scent of ocean breeze tickling your nose? An abundant melody of seasonal, locally sourced snacks and confections? Sarasota Picnics is bringing paradise right to your backyard. A Frostproof, FL native, turned Sarasota resident, Emily Flood spent many summers fleeing the dead center of the state to vacation on Sarasota's spoiled coastline. Falling head-over-heels for this little slice of Gulf Coast heaven, Flood became inspired to give others, whether residents or visitors, a space to connect and relax without the concern of occupancy restrictions. Come May 2021, she launched Sarasota Picnics—now servicing the Siesta Key and Lido Key beaches as well as Bayfront Park. 

Through her full-service picnic coordination, you can create your perfect dining experience by selecting from a variety of refreshment packages—including seasonal meat and cheese charcuterie boards from Morton’s Gourmet Market, a Grazing Board of locally sourced fruits and veggies, a Brunch Platter option with Five-O Donuts and lastly, a Dessert option of various cookies and cakes. Flood and her team assist in selecting the location and take care of setting up your luxury outing with casual lounging, pillow seating, lanterns, a boho farm table, candles and more. 

Whether on a beach or in a park, celebrating a special occasion or wanting to turn an ordinary day into an extraordinary memory, Sarasota Picnics will take you on an unforgettable getaway—no plane ticket required. 

Photo courtesy of Sarasota Picnics, 863-589-6764, sarasotapicnics.com, @sarasotapicnics

[Funding]  The Bay Park Launches Friends of The Bay Campaign

The Bay Park Conservancy (BPC) recently announced its annual Friends of The Bay campaign. Launching September 18 and running through October 23, every member of the community can support the creation of a world-class park by becoming a Friend of The Bay. Through the campaign, The Bay Park aims to provide a meaningful way to make philanthropy accessible for everyone in the community. By donating as little as $25, anyone can help transform a parking lot into an open, accessible, free and welcoming public park. This year, multiple matching opportunities will make your gift more impactful. In addition to The Patterson Foundation’s matching challenge, an anonymous donor has offered to make an additional donation for each person that signs up as a Friend of The Bay. If The Bay can inspire 250 people to donate, the anonymous donor will add an extra $25 per person. If 500 people donate, they will add an extra $50 per person. If 1,000 people donate, an additional $100 will be donated per person - resulting in an additional $100,000 match towards the creation of the park.

The Bay is on track to fully open in the summer of 2022, providing an iconic destination that will welcome everyone to Sarasota. From sunset strolls to free park programs, The Bay offers park-goers a place to gather, connect, explore and appreciate Florida’s natural beauty.

To make a donation and become a Friend of The Bay, visit our campaign page here 

Photo courtesy of The Bay Park Conservancy

[Environment]  Solutions to Avoid Red Tide (START) Launches Regional Healthy Ponds Collaborative

Building on a successful pilot program that helped about a dozen Sarasota County communities bolster and beautify their stormwater retention ponds, Solutions to Avoid Red Tide (START) has secured a $250,000 grant from Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation to develop a regional “Healthy Pond Collaborative” initiative. The effort will officially kick off during a press conference on Wednesday, September 22, 2021 at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens' terrace behind the event center, 9:00 am – 9:30 am.

According to START, stormwater contributes 65% of the nitrogen in Sarasota Bay, which feeds red tide and causes other damage to water quality and wildlife. You may call them lakes, but the more than 6,000 bodies of water in Sarasota County are all manmade and only operate at 40% to 60% efficiency in removing the excess nutrients that contribute to water pollution. This new collaborative will help more neighborhoods upgrade their ponds and cost-share the improvements. It also will create and distribute a step-by-step pond enhancement guide, host educational focus groups, and do follow-up monitoring of pond enhancements. This effort looks to ultimately establish state-wide and national models that can be recreated in other communities. 

Partners include START, Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation, Sarasota County’s Neighborhood Environmental Stewardship Team, the UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County, and the Science and Environment Council of Southwest Florida. The work was in part inspired by Gulf Coast Community Foundation’s Water Quality Playbook. 

[Real Estate]  Laser Lounge Spa Brings Flagship Location to Downtown Sarasota

SVN Commercial Advisory Group has managed the $3.35 million sale of a four-story building that housed the John Carl Spa & Salon in downtown Sarasota. The property at 1345 Second St. will become the flagship for the Laser Lounge Spa, which has 10 locations nationwide, seven in Florida. Advisors from SVN Commercial Advisory Group handled both sides of the deal: Gail Bowden, Senior Investment Advisor, represented the seller and Ryan McDonald, Advisor, represented the buyer. “John Carl Spa & Salon was part of the Sarasota community for over 20 years,” Bowden said. “I am thrilled that Laser Lounge Spa will be taking over such an iconic building and will be ushering in a new vision of the salon and medical spa industry.”

Constructed in 2000 by local architect Max Lassiter, the building and covered parking facility contain more than 15,000 square feet, which includes an elevator and a European-style kitchen. A spiral staircase connects the third and fourth floors. The roof is fully accessible and offers panoramic views of Sarasota Bay. Jonathan Sigg and his wife, April, are co-owners of the Laser Lounge Spa chain. The centers provide a range of beautification and anti-aging services, including botox and laser skin-care. Sigg said they will operate the spa on the building’s second floor, using the third and fourth floors as short-term rentals for vacationers. The ground floor will contain a hair and nail salon. 

For more information on the SVN Commercial Advisory Group, visit suncoastsvn.com 

[Services]  Shumaker Adds Public Policy and Government Affairs Service to Sarasota Office

Shumaker is expanding the services it provides in its Sarasota office. The firm announced today that it will now be offering Public Policy and Government Affairs services, while expanding its Real Estate and Development teams. The additions were announced along with the hiring of attorney Michael R. McKinley, who has four decades of experience in Public Policy and Government Affairs. The first assistant county attorney hired in Charlotte County, he has extensive experience dealing with local governments and working with Florida public school districts. “I believe my background practicing in business law, zoning, commercial loans, planning and land use, administrative law and education law will serve me and our clients exceptionally well,” he says. McKinley will also assist with the firm’s real estate work relating to community associations, owners, and developers. 

[Voting]  Supervisor of Elections to Begin Mailing Vote-by-Mail Ballots for City of Venice and Town of Longboat Key Elections

Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Ron Turner will begin mailing vote-by-mail (absentee) ballots for the November 2 City of Venice General Election and Town of Longboat Referendum on Friday, September 17. A total of 154 ballots will be mailed Friday to absent military and overseas voters, including active duty military personnel, their spouses and dependents, and overseas U.S. citizens who are absent from Sarasota County, Turner said. This total includes 104 ballots to City of Venice voters and 50 to Town of Longboat Key voters outside the United States.

The initial mailing of 10,330 vote-by-mail ballots to domestic voters who have requests on file with the elections office is scheduled for Thursday, September 23. The total includes 8,458 ballots to voters in the City of Venice and 1,871 to Longboat Key voters. Following these initial mailings, ballots will be mailed daily.

A voter may request a vote-by-mail ballot in one of the following ways: online at SarasotaVotes.gov/VotebyMail; by phone to 941-861-8618; in-person at any of three elections offices in Sarasota, North Port or Venice. Requests for ballots to be mailed to a voter must be received by the elections office no later than 5 pm Saturday, October 23 to allow ample time for mailing and return of ballot. To be counted, voted ballots must be received in the supervisor of elections office no later than 7 pm on election day.  Turner reminds voters to return marked ballots early to avoid postal delays. 

Couture DNA, featuring Rahelia Couture in September's SRQ Magazine

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Arts A Blaze Studio: Saturday Morning Pottery and Donuts , September 11 – October 30, 10am

Bring your Coffee, Tea or Hot Cider and join Arts A Blaze Studio at 8111 Lakewood Main St. #107, Bradenton on Saturday Mornings throughout September and October at 10am. Free Donuts for every Painting Customer while they last.

[SOON]  GALLERY: New Color Perspectives Gallery , August 28 – September 24

The five newest artists at Art Uptown Gallery will be featured in the September exhibit, New Color Perspectives, showcasing their paintings, drawings and jewelry art. Diane Boone, jewelry artist; Peter Garon, Judy Gilmer, and Hunter Jay, painters; and Arlene Steinberg, colored pencil artist, are all local, full-time residents of national and international recognition. Meet the artists on September 3 from 6 pm to 9 pm at the First Friday public reception with refreshments at the gallery. The exhibit opens on Saturday, August 28 and runs through Friday, September 25. Art Uptown Gallery welcomes patrons and friends at 1367 Main Street where the diverse art works of 28 local artists are shown, Tuesday-Friday 11 am-5 pm (except First Friday when open until 9 pm), and Saturday 10 am-3 pm. www.artuptown.com. Telephone 941-955-5409 for further information

Art Uptown Gallery, 1367 Main St., Sarasota

[SOON]  MUSEUM: The Ringling: Experience Extraordinary Day , September 18, 10am-5pm

The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art is pleased to announce Experience Extraordinary Day, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021. Visitors will be able to experience the Museum of Art, Circus Museum and Bayfront Gardens free of charge. Visitors must pre-register to enjoy free admission. Register online at https://www.ringling.org/events/experience-extraordinary day. Please present either a printed or an electronic ticket at the admissions desk. The Ringling is open 10am to 5pm daily and parking is free.

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: Manatee Pride Festival , September 18, 12-5pm

We are please to announce that the 7th Annual Manatee Pride Festival is scheduled for Saturday, September 18, 2021, once again at the beautiful downtown Bradenton Riverwalk, from noon to 5 pm. We credit our sponsors, donors, vendors, volunteers, and patrons for making Manatee Pride the success it has become. We know and appreciate that you have supported Manatee Pride in the past, and we also know LGBTQ+ youth in Manatee County would not have a safe space in Manatee County without the corporate and community support we've received since 2010. We would welcome your continuing support at our 7th Annual Festival. In the past, all of the proceeds benefited Prism Youth Initiative Inc., a non-profit Florida corporation, however, in October of 2020, Prism Youth merged with Also Youth. Also Youth continues to provide even more services to the LGBTQ+ youth in Manatee County and all the proceeds will benefit the youth in Manatee County. Also Youth’s mission is Empowering LGBTQ+ Youth and their Allies, and Creating Inclusive Communities. Manatee Pride 2021 will again have live performers and renowned bands, great food at reasonable prices, beer, cider, health checks and more. We expect our attendance to meet or exceed our previous attendance record. Our all inclusive community is growing every day. 452 3rd Ave W., Bradenton

Manatee Pride

[SOON]  FILM: The Ringling: On Screen: Casablanca , September 17, 6:30pm

Academy Award winners Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman light up the screen in one of the most enduring romances in movie history: Casablanca. Rick Blaine (Bogart--The African Queen, The Caine Mutiny) owns a nightclub in Vichy-controlled Casablanca, frequented by refugees desperate to escape German domination. Despite the ever-present human misery, Rick manages to remain uninvolved in World War II now raging across Europe and Northern Africa. But all that changes when Ilsa Lund (Bergman--Gaslight, Notorious) walks through the front door of Rick's club. Rick must now choose between a life with the woman he loves and becoming the hero that both she and the world need. This On Screen will show on September 17 at 6:30pm at Historic Asolo Theater.

[SOON]  HEALTH: Let's Get Healthy Tampa Bay Wellness Expos , September 18 – September 26, 10am-2pm, 11am-3pm, 10am-2pm, 12pm-4pm

Let’s Get Healthy Tampa Bay Wellness Expos, Florida Penguin Production’s annual wellness expo series, is returning to 4 locations this September. (Brandon, Sarasota, Clearwater & Citrus Park) Each “Let’s Get Healthy Wellness Expo” will feature 30-40 wellness related resources & activations catered to patrons of all ages. From Geriatrics to Pediatrics, and holistic to modern, we have it all in one place for Tampa Bay to learn more about all the options available to them. Activities include fitness demos, free health checks, healthy food & drink samples, product sampling stations, a Teddy Bear Giveaway sponsored by Florida Blue, and dozens of vendors on display including many of the top Health Insurance brands, chiropractors, mental health, government services, primary care, fitness, and healthy food and drinks. Sponsored by Florida Blue, Liberty Dental Plans, Life Guard Imaging, and Your CBD Store. September 18th (10am-2pm) at The Mall at University Town Center - 140 University Town Center Dr, Sarasota, September 19th (11am-3pm) at Westfield Brandon Mall - 459 Brandon Town Center Dr, Brandon, September 25th (10am-2pm) at Countryside Mall - 27001 US Hwy 19 N, Clearwater, and September 26th (12pm-4pm) at Citrus Park Mall - Center, 8021 Citrus Park Town, Tampa.

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Virtual: Friends of the East Manatee Library: Heather Graham Interview , September 19, 1pm

Prepare your mimosas, sit back, and relax while Heather Graham shares intimate knowledge about her career and sneak peek into her upcoming book. “The Unknown” is the latest in the Krewe of Hunters series and takes place in New Orleans. A suspicious fire sets off an investigation that sends an agent to catch a serial arsonist roaming the shadowy streets of New Orleans... before the city burns down. Registration is open for the virtual event that takes place on September 19, 2021 at 1pm. Tickets begin at $15 and can be purchased at https://libraryfriendsemlwr.org/events. New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Heather Graham, majored in theater arts at the University of South Florida. She has written over 200 novels and novellas including category, suspense, historical romance, vampire fiction, time travel, and the occult.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: St. Armands Circle: Sol of the Circle: St. Armands Family Day , June 27 – September 26, 11am-1pm

Life on the Circle only gets better when days are bathed in the summer sun. Enjoy a breath of fresh air and immerse yourself in the perfect setting for adventure and fun. Join us for the “Sol of the Circle,” a series of special events for the entire family. St. Armands Family Day will take place every last Sunday from 11am to 1pm. Dates are June 27, July 25, August 29, and September 26.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Shades of Buble: A Three-Man Tribute to Michael Buble , July 13 – September 26

With three voices singing incredible songs like “Feeling Good,” “Moondance,” “Come Fly With Me,” “Home,” “Everything,” “Save the Last Dance for Me,” and many more, Shades of Bublé: A Three-Man Tribute to Michael Bublé brings the swinging standards and pop hits of Bublé to the stage in an unforgettable high-energy concert event. Shades of Bublé, created by Melissa Giattino and Ron DeStefano and produced by Drew Pournelle, will play beginning July 13 in FST's Goldstein Cabaret.

Florida Studio Theatre, 1241 North Palm Ave., Sarasota

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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