Everglades Restoration is Topic at Sanibel Captiva Chamber Business Lunch

The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce welcomed Everglades Trust Executive Director Kimberly Mitchell as guest speaker of the business luncheon Sept. 13 at Sundial Beach Resort & Spa. Mitchell spoke about how to save the Everglades by uniting to fight a giant.

“We the people must have the same message, be on the same page, to be effective,” Mitchell said. “The Now or Neverglades declaration is that message.”

The Sanibel & Captiva Chamber hosted a Now or Neverglades Declaration signing in August, while the City of Sanibel was among the first cities to enact an ordinance in support of saving the Everglades. Mitchell explained the problem with Lake Okeechobee discharges flowing east and west instead of south, as nature intended.

“The Everglades is in a state of collapse right now, from not enough fresh water,” Mitchell, whose father was the sixth man to walk on the moon and her inspiration to fight for the Everglades, said.

Mitchell is a former West Palm Beach City Commissioner who served from 2002 to 2015. During her Commission tenure, she was a leading proponent of water supply management for the city and region. Mitchell’s understanding of the need for Everglades restoration is rooted in her leadership during numerous droughts, water shortages and polluted water releases from Lake O.

Mitchell’s well-rounded career also includes working as a governmental affairs professional in Tallahassee where she specialized in local and state representation, and management of local, state and national campaigns.

Adventures in Paradise sponsored the October business lunch. Owner Evelyn Stewart gave away a cruise for 50 passengers aboard any of Adventures in Paradise vessels.


Sanibel & Captiva Chamber Welcomes The Clam Shack as New Member

The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting to welcome new member The Clam Shack. The restaurant, which opened Sept. 21, 2015 in the former Greenhouse Grill space, serves up authentic New England-style seafood.

“Our lobster rolls have proven to be popular on the island,” said Chef Mark Thomas, who owns The Clam Shack with his wife Laurie.

The menu is a smaller version of its sister restaurant, the 10-year-old Clam Bake in south Fort Myers. “We chose the best from our Clam Bake menu and brought those items to Sanibel,” said Mark, a graduate of Johnson and Wales University with more than 30 years experience in the food industry.

The menu may be a smaller selection, but it includes Ipswitch clams, stuffed quahogs and two kinds of chowder. There is the more traditional New England-style chowder and the broth-based Rhode Island chowder Mark grew up with in West Warwick.

“Sanibel reminds me a lot of the town I grew up and lived in for many, many years,” said Mark. “We are happy to be here, feels like home.”

The Clam Shack’s 50 seats have been filled by locals and regular visitors looking for tastes of the north or something different on the island. “We have received amazing support from the community,” said Laurie. “Everyone has been so welcoming.”

“We also extend a warm welcome Mark, Laurie and their Clam Shack to our islands,” said Chamber President Ric Base. “We wish them continued success.”

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Chamber Hosts Ribbon Cutting To Welcome New Member Sanibel Sweet Shoppe

Sanibel, FL (Nov. 4, 2015)The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce held a Ribbon Cutting to welcome Sanibel Sweet Shoppe as a new member. The event was hosted at their store located at 2330 Palm Ridge Road, in Palm Ridge Plaza, on November 4th.

Beth and Tim Musser, owners of the Sanibel Sweet Shoppe, are on premise daily creating their handmade fudge, sweets and hand dipped Italian Ice. You’ll also find salt water taffy and molded chocolates in the shape of shells in their shiny glass cases that give the shop an old fashioned sweet shop feel. They will be baking special cookies and candies just in time for the holiday season this year.

“We are thrilled to be a part of the wonderful business community on Sanibel and Captiva and hope the island residents will stop in and enjoy our sweets!” said Sanibel Sweet Shoppe owner Beth Musser.

Ric Base, President of the Chamber of Commerce added, “The Chamber welcomes the Sanibel Sweet Shoppe to our islands and is pleased to have them join our family of successful businesses.”

For more information visit them at www.Facebook.com/SanibelSweetShoppe.



Chamber Congratulates E-Awards Nominees

Sanibel, FL (Aug. 27, 2015) – The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce wishes to congratulate their wonderful staff and volunteers for their many nominations at this year’s E-Awards held Thursday at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Estero. E-Awards recognize individuals and businesses throughout Lee County that impact guests to our area in positive ways. Being nominated is quite an honor and puts you in a group of extraordinary people. Once again the visitor center staff made an exemplary showing with the following individuals being nominated by island guests: Mike Baldwin, Julianne Kirkpatrick, Anne Liese, Allen Myers, Orlene Shimberg, Barry Solomon and George Veillette.

In addition to the chamber staff, the following Chamber business members were recognized for their professionalism, customer service and exceptional service to the tourism industry:

Restaurant-Honorable Mention – Russ Boorman – RC Otters
Restaurant-Winner-David Rashty – Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina
Other – Honorable Mention – Whitney Blair – Royal Shell Vacations
Good Samaritan – Honorable Mention – Billy Kirkland – Billy’s Rentals
Good Samaritan – Winners – Captain Skip Laney and Captain Brian Holaway – Captiva Cruises
Attractions – Honorable Mention – Dorothy Buchholz – Broadway Palm Dinner Theater
Attractions – Winner – Bill Hammond – Endless Summer Charters
Accommodations – Honorable Mention – Dawn Jewell – Caribe Beach Resort
Accommodations – Winner – Bob Fodor – Beachview Cottages

 “On behalf of the chamber and wonderful business community on Sanibel and Captiva Islands I am pleased to wish all the nominees, finalists and winners for the exemplary customer service and in some cases life-saving efforts in making our islands a sought after and desired vacation destination”, stated Ric Base, the President of The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce.

The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce Earns State Recognition

Sanibel, FL (Aug. 25, 2015) – The Francis P. Bailey, Jr. Visitor Center on Sanibel has been named one of only thirteen official Florida Certified Tourism Information Centers in association with a new VISIT FLORIDA program.

The VISIT FLORIDA Certified Tourism Information Centers (CTICs) Program brings VISIT FLORIDA recognition to Visitor Services facilities around the state, providing these facilities and their staff with benefits that enable successful promotion of travel to and throughout Florida.

To become an official Florida Certified Tourism Information Center, visitor centers must meet requirements specified by VISIT FLORIDA, such as: centers must be a VISIT FLORIDA Partner, centers must be open year-round at a minimum of five days per week, centers must be located in a convenient and accessible location for the ease of travelers, and centers must have access to parking and restroom facilities to accommodate visitors including persons with disabilities.

“VISIT FLORIDA is not looking to franchise visitor centers,” said David Dodd, VISIT FLORIDA Vice President of Visitor Services. “The VISIT FLORIDA Certified Tourism Information Center Program is focused on presenting a consistent Florida message and a quality Florida experience for all visitors to the Sunshine State.”

“We are very proud of our staff and volunteers who look after the many visitors that come through our doors each and every day” said Chamber president Ric Base

The Francis P. Bailey, Jr. Visitor Center is located at the entrance to Sanibel Island and welcomes over 165,000 visitors each year. The Visitor Center is open 365 days a year and provides visitors with comprehensive information about things to do, places to visit, where to stay, shop or dine.


Bailey’s Marketplace Holds Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on Sanibel Island

Sanibel Island, Florida – May 19, 2015 – After more than 115 years of serving residents and visitors on Sanibel Island, Bailey’s General Store expanded its presence with the addition of a new location. Bailey’s Marketplace, located at Sundial Beach Resort and Spa, is officially open for business.

Bailey’s, the premier grocer on Sanibel Island, marked the occasion with a well-attended ribbon cutting in the company of business leaders, city officials, visitors, and Chamber of Commerce members and guests.

Bailey’s Marketplace is a slimmed-down version of Bailey’s General Store, carrying the highest quality fresh produce, tender meats, succulent seafood, wine and beer, deli meats and sandwiches along with gifts and beach supplies.

In 1889, Frank P. Bailey started the Sanibel Packing Company, which packed various goods and shipped them to buyers. As the demand for food on the island grew, so did the packing company. The packing company expanded to meet the increased demand and evolved into Bailey’s General Store.  And now, Bailey’s has expanded again with its new location on the west side of the island to once again meet the ever-changing needs of residents and visitors alike.

Owners, Richard and Mead (granddaughter of Frank Bailey) credit Bailey’s longevity to two key factors: a long history of exceptional, friendly customer service along with the drive to meet the needs of their customers. “We were delighted to see so many people joined us for our ribbon cutting,” said Richard Johnson, Bailey’s co-owner. “And with the multi-million dollar investment in property improvements, that have been made at the Sundial Beach Resort & Spa, the feedback we got from residents and visitors alike was that the location is ideal,” he concluded.

“We were proud to celebrate this great addition to one of Sanibel’s long time Chamber of Commerce members, providing another location for their quality products,” said Ric Base, President of the Sanibel Captiva Chamber of Commerce.

The Bailey family has been involved in their community throughout their history.   They believe in giving-back to the community and help many people along the way.  “This is one more opportunity to treat Sanibel Island residents and visitors to Bailey’s “Platinum Rule”:  Treat others as they want to be treated,” said Mead Johnson, Bailey’s co-owner. “We are delighted to expand our service.”

Bailey’s Marketplace is located on 1451 Middle Gulf Drive at the Sundial Beach Resort & Spa, Sanibel Island providing food supplies, sundries, wine and beer.

For more information, visit Bailey’s General Store or call 239-472-1516.

Bailey's at Sundial Ribbon Cutting May 12 2015 (1)


Sanibel, FL (April 21, 2015) – The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce held a Ribbon Cutting to celebrate the newly renovated property and updated amenities at Sundial Beach Resort & Spa on April 14, 2015.

Sundial, the premier beachfront condominium resort and spa on Sanibel Island, marked the occasion with a very well attended ribbon cutting in the company of business leaders, City officials and Chamber members and guests.

The enhanced facilities include a new state of the art fitness center, a Kay Casperson Lifestyle Spa and Boutique, the Slice of Paradice poolside pizza and ice cream parlor, a Sanibel Sea School campus and Bailey’s Marketplace, a new well-stocked onsite grocery.

“We were delighted to see so many people join us for our ribbon cutting” said Phillip Starling, Sundial’s newly appointed General Manager. “It enables us to introduce our new Sundial Beach Resort and Spa enhanced offering to so many of our good friends and supporters” he concluded.

“We are proud to celebrate this great addition to Sanibel Island’s beachfront resorts” said Ric Base, President of the Sanibel Captiva Chamber of Commerce. Present at the Ribbon Cutting was Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane, City Manager Judie Zimomra and Councilmen Chauncey Goss and Jim Jennings.

Located on 1451 Middle Gulf Drive, Sanibel, Sundial Beach Resort and Spa offers spacious fully equipped condominium accommodations in various sizes, complete with kitchen, living room, and dining area.

For more information visit www.sundialresort.com or call 239-472 4151.

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Chamber Hosts Ribbon Cutting for Sanibel Sprout

Sanibel, FL (February 6, 2015) – The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce held a Ribbon Cutting to welcome The Sanibel Sprout in its new location in the Bailey’s Center at 2463 Periwinkle Way on February 4th 2015.

The Sanibel Sprout, a popular organic, vegan, and juice bar café, also offers a range of groceries, vitamins & supplements and inspiring home decor. The Sanibel Sprout moved to the Bailey’s Center last November and has established itself as a very busy and successful business in this central shopping location on the island. ”We like to think of ourselves as Sanibel & Captiva’s number one resource for all things natural and healthy,” said Nikki Rood, co-owner with her mother Edith Rood.

Edith Rood, co-owner added, “We are committed to providing our customers with the highest quality organic foods and products to support the process of internal energy production and renewal.” The Ribbon Cutting ceremony was performed by Nikki and Edith Rood along with City Council member and former mayor of Sanibel, Mick Denham and Chamber President, Ric Base.

The Sanibel Sprout offers a custom, weekly, vegetable & fruit organic co-op basket that members can order each week. The baskets contain the freshest in-season produce available. The Sanibel Sprout is now located at 2463 Periwinkle Way in the Bailey’s Center and is open daily from 8:30am to 7:00pm. For more information give them a call at 239-472-4499.

Sanibel Sprout Ribbon Cutting small- 2.4.15

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce Hosts Ribbon Cutting for the SS Hookers Restaurant

Sanibel, FLA (Nov 7, 2014) – The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce hosts Ribbon Cutting ceremony on November 5th to welcome one of their newest members, SS Hookers. More than 350 people came out to celebrate the opening of the 5,000 Sq. Ft. new restaurant which features waterfront dining, outdoor decks, full service restaurant, full bar, fish market and a gift shop. The event also raised more than $2,000 for the local charity, Pace Center for Girls, through a silent auction held in the restaurant during the Ribbon Cutting.

The fishing inspired restaurant at Punta Rassa overlooks Sanibel and the Gulf of Mexico and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. SS Hookers pays tribute to the home of big game fishing, serving up American cuisine with a Cajun flair. Anglers can buy their bait, have their filleted catch cooked by the chef and also order a range of Angler’s Boxed Meals To Go.

Sandy Stilwell, CEO and Owner of Stilwell Enterprises, said “I am very pleased to be celebrating the opening of our newest restaurant” said Stilwell. “This has been a long project – we began the planning process for SS Hookers more than three years ago but I think you will agree that it was worth the wait!”

SS Hookers is located at 17501 Harbour Point Drive, Fort Myers, to the right of the Sanibel toll booths. For more information about the restaurant please call 239-689-3857 or visit them at  http://sshookers.com

SS Hookers Ribbon Cutting November 5 2014-a

Sanibel Island Restaurants – Blue Giraffe Spotting!

The Blue Giraffe is sure to put a smile on your face when you dine at this laid-back restaurant on Sanibel Island.

Sanibel Island is well-known for its wildlife, birds and offshore dolphins, but it is also home to the Blue Giraffe! Designed to make people smile, this unlikely sounding animal is actually a casual dining experience at Periwinkle Place on Periwinkle Way.

This informal Sanibel Island restaurant has outdoor tables on a shady wooden deck to create the tropical island feel that most visitors are looking for on Sanibel Island. When it’s too hot (or slightly chilly) there’s plenty more tables indoors. Speaking of tables, checkout the beautiful designs on each table; they were hand painted for the Blue Giraffe by a local artist.


The Family Friendly Blue Giraffe

Open 7 days a week from 7am till 8pm or later (they won’t turn anyone down if they show up past 8pm), the Blue Giraffe has breakfast, lunch and dinner covered with some great classics and delicious seafood specialties.  Also, for those that like to sleep in…breakfast is served till 12pm!

Kids get their very own menu of favorites such as mac-n-cheese, chicken tenders and hot dog with choice of fries, fruit or chips. They are sure to enjoy finishing off their meal with a hand-dipped cone of Edy’s Grand Ice Cream in a variety of scrumptious flavors, before heading for the nearby playground.

Dining at the Blue Giraffe should start and end at the full liquor bar where signature frozen cocktails, a range of wines and frosty mugs of your favorite domestic or imported beer help everyone chill out and celebrate another beautiful day on Sanibel Island.


Breakfast Lunch and Dinner at the Blue Giraffe

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast from 7am – noon daily at the Blue Giraffe with some mouthwatering favorites cooked to order. Eggs prepared many ways – 2 eggs your way, steak and eggs, food truck tacos (a variation of Mexican tacos), egg sandwich, eggs benedict, eggs and salmon or crab cakes, or make your own omelette.

Cinnamon French Toast, granola, pancakes, chicken and biscuits – the Blue Giraffe does them all. No wonder it was voted “Best Breakfast” by “Best of the Islands”!

After 11am, the menu switches to lunch which features some delicious appetizers such as the award winner crab cake, sesame calamari, coconut shrimp, fried wings, steamed mussels and mini bbq pork sliders with zesty coleslaw.

The bountiful fresh salads at Blue Giraffe are well worth making the journey for, all beautifully presented. Try the Bistro Salad – a mixture of greens, strawberries, mandarin oranges, walnuts and blue cheese in a raspberry vinaigrette – Yum! There is a Greek Salad, Caesar Salad, Wedge Salad, Spinach Salad and even a Taco Salad, so something for every day of the week with a variety of proteins that can be added to any salad.

Sandwiches, wraps and melts are equally innovative including a thai fish wrap, fish tacos, Portobello mushroom sandwich, marinated steak sandwich, Cuban, Rueben, fried chicken BLT and much more.  And don’t forget the variety of burgers made with black angus beef – wasabi burger, tex-mex burger, and surf and turf burger are just a few.  Definitely no giraffe meat!

Dinner at the Blue Giraffe offers items like coconut mahi-mahi, crab stuffed salmon, stuffed chicken, pork chops, NY strip steak, lobster ravioli, and Caribbean style baby back ribs.  I don’t know about you but my mouth is watering!

If you’re worried that no-one will believe you had a Blue Giraffe experience, you best pick up a T-shirt, souvenir cup or even a stuffed animal from the hostess desk to prove you really did!

This article provided by Must Do Visitor Guides. Discover more Must Do Travel Insider articles featuring the best tours, restaurants, and things to do on your Southwest Florida vacation here.


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