Mark Blust is a Florida native who loves to cook, bike and run. He oversees three Sanibel Island restaurants in the Prawnbroker Restaurant Group portfolio as Vice President of Marketing and Operations. Recently, he was welcomed as a member of the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.
“Mark brings valuable skills honed over the course of his extensive career in the restaurant business,” said Chamber President Ric Base. “We are delighted to have him on the Chamber’s board.”
Prawnbroker is South Florida’s seafood specialist with five distinct restaurants on each coast. Three of the five west coast establishments are on Sanibel. The Timbers Restaurant and Fish Market carries the largest selection of fresh oysters and fish in Southwest Florida. It’s dinner-only menu highlights that uniqueness with a wide variety of tasty seafood dishes and limited steak options.
The Timbers, originally located on Rabbit Road, moved to its 12,000-square-foot Tarpon Bay Road location in 1991 and opened Sanibel Grill in the same building. The Grill was the island’s first sports bar with a casual menu, first established as a waiting area for The Timbers. It’s become less of a waiting area and more of a popular island hangout spot.
“The Timbers sets itself apart in many ways, but the freshest fish and oysters on the islands are at the top of the list,” said Blust. “It’s become a popular destination for sushi and sashimi.”
Matzaluna is the Italian “link” in the Prawnbroker chain. It opened in 1994 and quickly became Sanibel’s Italian kitchen. In addition to the island’s only wood-fired pizza oven, the menu offers traditional Italian favorites and ever-changing weekly specials.
Blust recommends the popular Mulberry Street Shrimp dish for its great combination of flavor. “It’s our signature dish, prepared with sauteed shrimp, capers and tomatoes in a sage cream sauce over pasta,” he explained. “Our rotating selection of local craft beers has also gained popularity.”
Blust has spent 15 of his 30-year career on the island and has come to rely on his decade-long business relationship with the Sanibel & Captiva Chamber. He says serving as a board member is “a great opportunity to contribute to the business community and pay it forward.”