Captcha Image

Submitting Form...

The server encountered an error.

Form received.


Naples, Florida

Auburn Hills, Michigan



Toll Free 800.755.6441

Phone 239.676.9756

Let's Get Social


Client Press


    Fresh Fit Foods Hoping to Ease Cancer Patients’ Struggles


    NAPLES, Fla. – Fresh Fit Foods, a local meal plan and catering company with the mission to make healthy eating affordable, convenient and delicious, is hoping to help cancer patients in their struggle to battle cancer.


    The team at Fresh Fit Foods realized this need through a personal relationship.


    “Anything we can do to help ease their pain, or make their day a little easier is the least we can do,” says Nannette Staropoli, Owner of MARKIT Group, Fresh Fit Foods’ marketing agency. “At Fresh Fit Foods our main goal is to make healthy eating convenient and easy, and this is especially pertinent to those going through a cancer diagnosis.”


    Fresh Fit Foods is asking that anyone in Southwest Florida who is, or knows someone, battling cancer, please contact them at 239.595.2503. A 15% discount will be applied continuously for those fighting cancer.


    Fresh Fit Foods chefs prepare nutritious, delicious lunches and dinners available for convenient pick up and home or work delivery throughout Naples and Fort Myers twice a week on Mondays and Wednesdays. New customers can go online and choose from 10 differently priced monthly plans or try a one-week trial with no long-term commitment.


    Fresh Fit Foods uses fresh ingredients in all meal preparation. Everything on the menu is made from scratch. The current menu encompasses 48 different dishes spread across a six-week period. In addition to their standard meal plan, Fresh Fit Foods also offers dinner only plans, lunch only plans, diabetic and vegan friendly plans, and family style meal plans that can be conveniently delivered right to the office.


    Meals include  Loaded Quinoa, Bahn Mi Salad, Chicken Enchilada Casserole, BBQ Braised Pork, Chicken Marsala, and many more.


    Contact Fresh Fit Foods at 239.595.2503 or visit


    Academia Sanchez-Casal will host the USPTA National Clay Court Championship, May 19 through May 21 at its headquarters in Naples, Florida.


    Eighty (80) United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) coaches from all over the United States will compete in 14 different categories.


    The USPTA Surface Championships gives USPTA-certified Professionals an opportunity to showcase their playing skills and earn prize money. The tournaments are open to all USPTAcertified Professionals in good standing.


    In the Men’s Open Singles categories, top seeds include Stefano Ianni (No 1), Paolo Barros (No 2), Franco Mata (No 3) and Jose Luis Soto (No 4).


    In the Women’s Open Singles, Zuzana Zlochova is seed No 1 and Zorana George is seed No 2. The total prize money is $7,000.


    The women’s singles finals are on Sunday, May 21 at 9am, and the Men’s Singles finals will start after the women’s finals.


    Entrance is free for all attendees at the Academia Sánchez-Casal headquarters located at the former Naples Bath and Tennis Resort, 4995 Airport Pulling Rd N, 34105. Visit: www.ascflorida.





    The Sánchez-Casal Academy, located in Naples, FL offers top class training at facilities in three Continents; USA, Europe and China. Conveniently located at the former Naples Tennis Club & Resort, one of Tennis Magazine’s best tennis resorts in the world, Academia Sanchez-Casal – Naples, offers players from the USA and around the world the same top class junior training program that has made ASC – Barcelona one of the world leading academies.


    For local residents, ASC offers private membership to the ASC Club, that includes complete access to the social center that includes an Olympic size pool, full gym and social and tennis year-round activities. For more information, visit


    Naples, FLA ….Academia Sánchez-Casal (ASC) kicks off the second part of the Svetlana Kuznetsova Cup Series, a $25,000 Women’s Pro Circuit Tournament which runs May 14-21, starting with qualifying rounds on Sunday, May 14.


    The two-part series is sponsored by Germain BMW of Naples with total prize money of $50,000.  The first part of the series ran from May 7-14. Doubles winners were Sanaz Marand, age 28 from Katy, Texas and Emina Bektas, 24 from Indianapolis IN. Claire Liu, age 16 of Thousand Oaks, CA defeated Danielle Collins, 23 from Tampa, FL to secure the singles title. Liu came up through qualifiers, competing in 12 matches during the week to win the champion title.


    This is the second of three $25,000 USTA Pro Circuit clay-court women’s events held in May prior to the start of the hard-court season.


    Spectators will see many of the top ranked players that participated in the first part of the series, including Naples resident Lauren Embree, a former collegiate standout at the University of Florida who was named the National College Player of the Year in 2013.

    The Sánchez-Casal Academy, located in Naples, FL offers top class training at facilities in three Continents; USA, Europe and China.  Conveniently located at the former Naples Tennis Club & Resort, one of Tennis Magazine’s best tennis resorts in the world, Academia Sanchez-Casal – Naples, offers players from the USA and around the world the same top class junior training program that has made ASC – Barcelona one of the world leading academies.



    Svetlana Kuznetsova Cup Series



    Svetlana Kuznetsova Cup Series sponsored by Germain BMW of Naples

    Each tournament prize money total is $25,000 each, for a total of $50,000.

    Prize money is distributed as follows: $3,919 for the Singles winner, $1,437 for the Doubles team.


    May 14-21, second series, schedule:

    Sunday, May 14 to Tuesday, May 16 -  Preliminary / qualifying round

    Wednesday May 17 to Sunday May 21 - Main draw

    Saturday, May 20 - Singles Semifinals & Doubles Final

    Two (2) Singles Semifinals from 12PM

    Doubles Final at 5:00PM

    Sunday, May 21 - Singles Final

    Singles Final at 11:30 AM


    Location: Academia Sanchez-Casal (former Naples Bath & Tennis Club) Naples, Fla

    Websites:  and

    Social Media:  Facebook: Academia Sanchez-Casal, Florida + Twitter: @ASCFlorida

    Main Draw: 32 Singles / 16 Doubles

    Surface: Clay / Outdoor

    Prize Money: $25,000



    Free parking

    Guests are welcome to bring their own chairs; limited chairs are available

    Cash bar will be available

    Promotional codes are available through sponsors


    Tickets can be to be purchased at   Use ASC2017 for complimentary tickets


    Academia Sánchez-Casal operates as a private tennis and social club for the Naples community, while also serving as a tennis boarding academy, attracting students from around the globe. Sanchez-Casal was formerly the Naples Bath and Tennis Club.

    Notable tennis stars with deep connections to the Academy include:  Svetlana Kuznetsova, Andy Murray and many other top rated players.


    Emilio Sanchez images and interviews are available. Highlights of Sanchez’s career includes: 50 doubles titles, including the French Open and the U.S. Open, and 15 singles titles, including the Italian Open. With Casal, Sanchez was a men's doubles runner up at Wimbledon in 1987, the same year Sanchez won two Grand Slam mixed double titles — with Pam Shriver at the French Open and with Martina Navratilova at the U.S. Open. The next year he and Casal won a silver medal at the Olympic Games in Seoul.


    About The USTA Pro Circuit

    The USTA Pro Circuit was formed in 1979 to provide players with an opportunity to gain the professional ranking points they need to compete on the major pro tours. It has since grown into the largest developmental tennis circuit in the world, consisting of approximately 90 tournaments and nearly $3 million in prize money. The USTA Pro Circuit makes it easier and more affordable for American players to earn a pro ranking without having to travel abroad by offering so many competitive opportunities throughout the United States.


    Images, interviews, videography available upon request

    In studio tours, early morning shoots are available



    Nannette Staropoli, + 1+239.250.1030



    Naples, FLA ….Academia Sánchez-Casal (ASC) will host a Kid’s Day on May 13, 2017 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM. Registration is free for children with advanced registration at


    This is a great chance for kids interested in tennis to come and enjoy meeting tennis professionals while having some fun. Kids can enjoy tennis games, popcorn, face painting, cookies, inflatable bounce house with a slide, obstacle course, music, and much more! ASC certified coaches will be running clinics and giving away prizes as well.


    This is event is open to kids ages 12 and under. Families are welcome to join as well! The Women’s Pro Tournament singles semifinals will start a 12 PM the same day and will be followed by the doubles final. Free tickets to watch the tournament are available with advanced registration at using code ASC2017.


    ASC is committed to Florida and Southwest Florida residents with their ongoing dedication to foster professional tennis in this area through the organization of ITF, Senior, Regional and National USTA, as well as UTR tournaments.


    The Sánchez-Casal Academy, located in Naples, FL offers top class training at facilities in three Continents; USA, Europe and China.  Conveniently located at the former Naples Tennis Club & Resort, one of Tennis Magazine’s best tennis resorts in the world, Academia Sanchez-Casal – Naples offers players from the USA and around the world the same top class junior training program that has made ASC – Barcelona one of the world leading academies.


    For up to date information on ASC Kid’s Day, call 239.263.1818 or visit: or  Sanchez-Casal is located at 4995 Airport Pulling Rd N, Naples, FL






    Emilio Sanchez images and interviews are available.


    Academia Sánchez-Casal operates as a private tennis and social club for the Naples community, while also serving as a tennis boarding academy, attracting students from around the globe. Sanchez-Casal was formerly the Naples Bath and Tennis Club.


    Highlights of Sanchez’s career includes: 50 doubles games, including the French Open and the U.S. Open, and 15 singles titles, including the Italian Open. With Casal, Sanchez was a men's doubles runner up at Wimbledon in 1987, the same year Sanchez won two Grand Slam mixed double titles — with Pam Shriver at the French Open and with Martina Navratilova at the U.S. Open. The next year he and Casal won a silver medal at the Olympic Games in Seoul.



    LASER FOCUS - JAN 14, 2016

    Laser focus



     The best time to start a business may be in the worst of times.


    The recession had engulfed Southwest Florida when Jonathan Sigg started The Laser Lounge Spa in Estero in August 2009. Today, the company is franchising new locations, including its fifth location in Sarasota.


    Sigg, a physicians’ assistant, had moved with his wife, April, and two children 10 years ago during the boom years to a family condo in the area, easily landing good jobs at local hospitals.


    But Jonathan Sigg had always wanted to operate his own skin-care business. Sigg had some savings, but banks weren’t lending and investors weren’t in any mood to back a new venture.


    When Sigg’s personal skin-care specialist went out of business in 2009, he sensed an opportunity. The skin-care specialist owned a $25,000 laser hair-removal machine, but it was sitting unused in a closet, so he agreed to rent it to Sigg for $500 for six months.


    Sigg found an empty shopping center in a good location on Estero Boulevard that suffered from the lack of tenants. “I don’t have anything to give you,” Sigg bluntly told the landlord. So in return for eight months of free rent, Sigg promised to put up a sign and bring traffic to the center: “It’ll look like something’s happening,” he told the landlord.


    Armed with a $20,000 Home Depot credit card, the Siggs did most of the tenant improvements themselves. “We used to refurbish houses,” Jonathan Sigg says. “We worked day and night.”


    Sigg didn’t give up his emergency room job while he was building the new business. He would work a 12-hour night shift in the emergency room, come home to sleep for a few hours early in the morning and open The Laser Lounge Spa at noon. “I had to finance this somehow,” he says.


    When April Sigg couldn’t be there to help (by then they had a third child together), Jonathan manned the front desk, took calls, made appointments and did the laser hair removal procedures. “I did the whole thing myself,” he smiles.


    Because his overhead was low, Sigg could afford to undercut the competition with low prices. For example, he charged $199 for six sessions of underarm hair removal while he says competitors charged $1,000. “That alone drove a lot of people,” Sigg says.


    The word spread quickly. Within a year, Sigg moved the business to a larger space and hired a part-time front desk employee because of the growth in new customers. The Laser Lounge Spa started offering other services such as Botox injections, too.


    To fund the growth, Sigg turned to private investors in Naples who provided $100,000 in capital. Still, Sigg was careful not to quit his hospital job. “We wanted to pay off the guys and we didn’t want to take out more loans,” he says.


    By 2014, Jonathan Sigg felt comfortable enough to leave his hospital job to focus on growing the Laser Lounge Spa. Total revenues in 2015 have grown to $2 million, up from $1.4 million in 2014.


    To remain efficient and keep overhead low, Sigg centralized the administrative functions so that appointments come through a central call center and he purchased a handicap van to transport a mobile hair-removal laser that costs $75,000. He transports the laser from one of his four locations to another depending on demand so he doesn’t have to purchase an expensive machine for each office that might sit idle at times.


    Sigg has big plans. The fourth office in Fort Myers and a new office in Sarasota will soon be the company’s first franchisees. A franchise costs $50,000, plus 7% royalties.


    The franchise documents were recently completed, but Sigg says demand could be strong for his concept from plastic surgeons and skin surgeons who might consider it as an ancillary business. “This year we could open a half dozen,” Sigg says.



    Delicious Meals Delivered to Your Door



    Want to eat right in 2016? It’s never been easier (or tastier) than letting local chefs do the work for you.

    By Dorothea Hunter Sönne


    Blue Apron may have conquered the nation, but we’ve got one better in Southwest Florida. To help make resolutions stick well beyond the first few days of January—without compromising on taste—local chefs are cooking up meal plans and delivery services that bring healthy eating directly to your door. All operate in both counties, each meal comes in at no more than $15 and one-week trials are available throughout the year. All you need is a fridge, microwave (or stove) and voilà. Here’s how the top contenders stack up.



    Chef-owner: Chad O’Connor


    Plan set-up: 2 or 4 days per week with 1 or 2 deliveries per week


    Meals available: Lunch and dinner; lunch only; dinner only


    Specifics: Everything is gluten-free and dairy-free; there is a basic six-week rotating meal plan, plus plans for paleo, vegan and diabetic eating were released just before Christmas—as well as options to get “athlete”-sized portions or “family” dinners to include kids.


    Organics? Not an emphasis; will occasionally be used


    Vegetarian options? Yes, vegan


    For further information:, (239) 595-2503





    Chef-owner: Amber Phillips


    Plan set-up: 3 or 5 days per week with 1 or 2 deliveries


    Meals available: Breakfast, lunch and dinner; lunch and dinner; dinner only



    Specifics: New menus are written each week for gluten-free and paleo plans; everything is dairy-free; and Phillips tries to follow a strict paleo format with grass-fed beef and wild-caught seafood.


    Organics? Yes, predominantly used for all meats and produce


    Vegetarian options? Not specifically stated, but Phillips will customize plans for vegetarians and those with food allergies


    For further information:, (239) 595-3453





    Chef-owner: Ana Howe


    Plan set-up: Flexible—a “Secret Chef” menu with 5 entrees and 1 soup is written per week, and as long as 2 meals (they don’t have to be the same) are ordered 24 hours in advance, they will be delivered the following afternoon


    Meals available: Dinner (however, items could be ordered for use at lunch, and Howe is also willing to work with clients to create lighter lunches for a slightly lower cost as long as at least two meals at a time are ordered)


    Specifics: This is a highly flexible option for people who want chef-prepared, “clean” eating but are less concerned with following a strict diet.


    Organics? Mostly organic, especially produce (all “dirty dozen” fruits and veggies are always organic)


    Vegetarian options? Howe is considering having a set vegetarian or vegan option each week but hasn’t launched that yet—in the meantime she’s willing to tweak existing items based on clients’ needs.


     For further information:, (239) 564-6540


    WHAT WE LOVED TO EAT IN 2015 - DEC 30, 2015

    What We Loved to Eat in 2015



    As we welcome 2016, here’s a blast from the recent past of great local dining developments.


    By Dorothea Hunter Sönne


    January rolls in with high expectations: Record crowds will flock to our eateries, so it’s time to recap the best of what has been cooking over the past year.


    Natural (menu) selection: Fewer restaurants are posting $40-plus entrees (thank goodness!). But the biggest news is that smaller dishes have evolved to be a force to reckon with. From Cork and Barrel in Fort Myers, where the entire menu is shareable plates, to TAG: The American Gastropub in Estero and Mereday’s Brasserie Bayfront in Naples, which have adopted a primarily small-plate approach, it’s a winning formula for affordable and delicious dining.


    The late show: Before if you were out past 9 p.m., you’d be lucky if you could find a drive-thru that was still kicking. Now, kitchens are not only staying open but also developing menus that go beyond burgers and wings for discerning clients. Bar Tulia, 7th Avenue Social and Cork Soakers are soaring in this department.


    Crafty cocktailing: We’re reaching new levels of sophistication when it comes to bespoke drinking. Skilled mixologists are making thoughtful pairings of spirits on menus, and they’re often willing to get creative on the fly based on your drink of choice. The Standard in Fort Myers and Bar Tulia in Naples are leading the charge in their respective cities.


    Casual in anything but cuisine: We have officially said bye to the days where you need a jacket to have access to the best tables in town. In fact, spots where there’s not a white tablecloth to be found are serving some of the most intriguing and inspired dishes. (See our January issue out now for more.)


    Fast but not typical fast food: Gourmet food trucks are canvassing the area, hitting big breweries and office complexes alike. The Butcher’s Son, the brainchild of the family behind Johnsonville sausage, got its permit at the beginning of December, and the popular Organically Twisted announced around the same time it will be opening a cafe in the new year. Two fast-casual joints, one in Naples (Felipe’s Taqueria) and one in Bonita Springs (Ahana’s Bombay Grille), are taking a Chipotle-style mix-and-match approach to counter service but with better-quality products and, for Ahana’s, a home-spun, personal approach.


    Caped crusades: Lee County, we salute you. Cape Coral? You deserve our utmost respect. The profusion of niche eateries offering incredible food at lower prices has not gone unnoticed. An area that had often been seen as no man’s land by non-residents has come into its own and taken on an underground (admittedly a bit gritty) and exciting vibe that oozes creative culinary energy. This past year alone saw the reveal of these unique spots, all with their own merits: Time to Eat, Seven Oaks, The Office, Melograno and Water City Grill.


    Restrictions? No problem: No matter what diet you’re following, sticking to your plan without sacrifice has never been easier. Veranda E (one of our picks in the December 2015 feature story “Decisions, Decisions”) now has gluten-free, paleo and Whole 30 options. Patric’s, a cozy retro diner, has an unexpectedly great midday paleo menu. Eateries are also earning Blue Zones credits; caterers and home delivery services like Fresh Fit Foods, Sage Catering and Here’s How Catering have jumped on board, too; and Waterside Shops announced a True Food Kitchen is being built. Healthy and savory are not divergent goals.


    Since no analysis is complete without constructive criticism (restaurateurs, listen up!), here’s what’s on our wish list for 2016.


    DON’T hold the bread. It’s true we’re all guilty of wasting food—and now more than ever we don’t want Greenhouse-emitters crowding landfills (thank you, Paris accords, for refocusing our attention). But as devout diners-out, we’re on the fence about the recent trend of not having anything to start the meal. It doesn’t need to be brought automatically, but something—anything (be it nuts, crudités, olives, what have you)—that can be furnished on request would be a huge relief for when we rush into a restaurant famished.


    No reservations, potentially big problem. More and more places are shunning traditional booking systems in favor of a first-come-first-serve model. While we know for smaller restaurants it makes sense because no-shows can be crippling, most diners count on being able to arrive somewhere knowing they’ll be seated promptly. The non-system system can work more effectively at spots with large bars or communal tables (or a youthful crowd that doesn’t rely on reservations). But might we suggest an alternative? Take reservations in season (let summer be fair game), and have a clearly defined 10-minute “no show, no table” policy—or do credit card guarantees with a $50 cancelation policy.




    CrossFit Real Fitness seeks nominations for their “Change Your Life Contest“



    CrossFit Real Fitness, Naples premiere Cross Fit gym is seeking nominations for the second round of their "Change Your Life" contest. The contest seeks applicants interested in a healthy life transformation by learning how to exercise and diet correctly. Three winners will be announced December 30. Self-nominations are acceptable, as well as nominations on behalf of someone.


    Winners will receive access to the team of CrossFit certified trainers, along with full access to the CrossFit Real Fitness class schedule, and a personal nutritionist during the duration of the two month program.


    The contest is open applicants 18 years and older. Winners must have a positive attitude, a willingness to be coached, must commit to attending 4 workouts at the CrossFit Real Fitness gym per week, along with following instruction from their personal nutritionist which includes entering all food intake into the mobile application “My Fitness Pal”.


    “We are on a mission to help Southwest Florida discover a healthier lifestyle through fitness and nutrition. Our first round of winners were hugely successful with their transformations that we decided to add another contest this year,” says Cross Fit Real Fitness Owner Will Kastroll. “We recognize that intimidation and fear are common excuses for avoiding taking a first step toward fitness, and we want to make it easy for someone to take a step toward their long term health and wellness goals.”


    The program will last 2 months and kicks off January 2016. Previous winners have seen a significant progress in their overall health such as increased energy, better sleep, and a decrease in their clothes size.


    Interested parties can request an application by emailing or can complete the application in person at CrossFit Real Fitness, 2650 Immokalee Rd, Naples. . Applications are due December 29. Winners will be announced via email and on their Facebook Fan page at


    CrossFit Real Fitness is Naples premiere CrossFit facility in Southwest Florida. Athletes train in a clean, well-equipped 8,500 square foot air-conditioned space complete with towel service, showers and locker room. Our Certified CrossFit coaches are passionate about helping Athletes of all ages achieve their fitness goals with a commitment to our client’s safety and long-term health and fitness goals.


    Naples CrossFit Real Fitness offers superior programming for our athletes. WOD's (workout of the day) are available every hour on the hour, with the exception of Sunday, which is an open gym day. All workouts are scaled to individual fitness levels allowing any age or ability to complete the workouts. We also have a "New to CrossFit" membership, designed to introduce CrossFit to those who have never tried it before. We also offer a variety of Personal Training packages for those Athletes looking for a personalized approach to mastering a movement or simply experiencing CrossFit in personalized manner before jumping into group sessions.


    When it comes to equipment, we’ve got it all, and then some. Ropes, pull-up racks, rings, GHD machines, Jerk blocks, barbells, rubber bumper plates, kettle bells, dumbbells, Concept 2 rowers, speed ropes, all sorts of chains and bands. And as we grow, we’ll continue to add more.


    Workouts consist of constantly varied functional movements performed at a high intensity with the assistance of a Certified CrossFit Coach. Our Gym Hours and class schedule is the best in the region. We are open 15 hours a day during the week, starting at 5 am, 5 classes on Saturday and 4 on Sunday. CrossFit Real Fitness clients can choose from more than 12 classes per weekday and 5 on Saturday.


    We offer a large parking lot and a convenient location off of Immokalee Road.


    For more information, stop in anytime, call us at 239-325-8188 or visit for more information or to register for a CrossFit Real Fitness Trial session, visit www.



    New grill takes over at prime location



    He's been a restauranteur for three decades, in charge of multiple operations simultaneously, including Fort Myers Beach landmarks the Junkanoo and its neighboring Fresh Catch Bistro. Indeed, Alfredo Russo has been around the block.


    Still, he was beaming and giddy like a new dad Friday as his new endeavor, the Sunset Beach Tropical Grill and adjacent Playmor Tiki Bar, held its grand opening.


    "This is so wonderful," shouted Russo over the live music and din brought by a packed house despite a daylong drizzle. "This is emotional, because this will probably be my last grand opening. This community has been supporting me for 30 years, and here it is again."


    The event featured live music by the N2L Trio and a live remote broadcast by BOB FM.


    The restaurant, located at 1028 Estero Blvd. in the heart of Times Square, features a traditional American fare with an emphasis on seafood. Recently remodeled including the building of a massive deck, the setting provides for an end-to-end open view of the Gulf of Mexico and Fort Myers Beach's iconic pier.


    "I'm so proud to bring this building back to life, with its huge history going back to the 1930s," said Russo, who patiently waited out several delays in the remodeling of what had previously been the Top O' Mast. "It's an important part of the beach."


    The tiki bar itself was moved there in the 1950s from its location on the bay, where during World War II it was built behind the old elementary school and served as a lunch area, according to the history described on the restaurant's website.


    Local resident Linda Wenstrup was among the patrons, having first stumbled upon the restaurant when it first opened its doors Nov. 6.


    "What a wonderful setting and we had excellent food and service, too, so we wanted to bring some friends to see the place," she said. "So here we are, and we had no idea all of this was going on. It's all very exciting."


    Russo worked the room, greeting diners, only to be interrupted by a congratulatory kiss on the cheek from Christine Wolf, his company controller of 20 years.


    "I'm so happy for him," she said.


    Russo, who turns 60 in January, said he'll cherish this final go-around in the restaurant business.


    "The next grand opening I'll attend will see me on the other side of the bar," he said.


    Fact Box

    Sunset Beach Tropical Grill and The Playmor Tiki Bar

    Where: 1028 Estero Blvd. in Times Square

    Hours: Daily, lunch 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and dinner 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Bar food served until midnight.

    Fare: New American

    Reservations: None.

    Live music: Wednesday through Sunday, 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.

    Contact: call 463-1028 or visit



    Fresh meal deliveries a new trend in Southwest Florida



    SOUTHWEST FLORIDA - What's for dinner?


    From busy mom to young professional, it's a question nobody wants to deal with at the end of a stressful day.


    A new trend is sweeping the nation and is here in Southwest Florida -- fresh meals delivered right to your door.


    Freddye Hoopfer is a working mom with two teens.


    "I can just throw some chicken nuggets in the microwave for 40 seconds, throw some apple sauce on the side and then they have their meal," said Hoopfer.


    Hoopfer admits it's fast, but not always the healthiest. However, Chad O'Connor is part of a new movement sweeping the country -- fresh, healthy food delivered to your home.


    "It is fresh. It's prepared in house from scratch. Fresh vegetables in something you don't have to feel guilty about, and you still have all the convenience of fast food, if you will," said O'Connor.


    O'Connor's Fresh Fit Foods is one of many businesses popping up all over Southwest Florida that delivers fresh food you can prepare in minutes right to your door.


    One of his clients is Hannah Peterson. As a business owner, Peterson says at the end of the day deciding what to make for dinner is the last thing she wants to do.


    "I have decision fatigue. Am I going to go shopping? Am I going to cook or meal plan? I just end up not doing it because it's too much time too think about," said Peterson.


    From salmon to salad to portabella and chicken chorizo, Peterson says the meals are never boring.


    But what about the cost?


    We compared two local and two national food delivery services. They all average around $10 a meal per person.


    With local companies, the big difference is calories and commitment. All meals from Fresh Fit Foods are less than 500 calories, but you must commit to four meals a week for a month.


    DISH Delivery can go up to 675 calories per meal and requires a meal commitment used over time.


    Both can be cooked in minutes in the microwave or oven.


    Nationally, we checked Blue Apron and Hello Fresh. You actually cook the meal with delivered ingredients, but that can take 30 to 40 minutes.


    Hoopfer's family is so busy, one she and her daughter were home for dinner for a Fresh Fit taste test.


    Freddye loved it.


    "I think it's delicious," said Freddye Hoopfer.


    Her daughter, Amanda, not so much.


    "Just too picky," said Amanda Hoopfer.


    Freddye says $10 a person is just too much money to experiment with tastes, so it wouldn't work for her family.


    While O'Connor says he does deliver to some families, a lot of his clients are young professionals and seniors who want something fast and easy without all the work.


    Both local companies are fairly new. Already Fresh Fit Foods is making 6,000 meals a month and DISH is making...and it's not even season yet.



    Tin City center of stone crab celebration



    Season has returned.


    Hundreds of families, locals and visitors shut down Tin City on a breezy clear Friday night for live music, beer tents, games, dancing and, primarily, to crack more than 3,000 pounds of stone crab.


    The meaty, flaky local delicacy is typically found in the Gulf. It’s unique among fished game in that fishermen don’t necessarily kill the crabs to eat them. Their large black-tipped claws can be cut off, and the stone crabs tossed back to be caught again in a year or so when their claws have regrown.


    The Stone Crab Festival runs all weekend.


    If the Great Dock Canoe Race held every spring celebrates the end of season in downtown Naples, then the stone crab fest, now in its sixth year, has begun to mark the start of it.


    It’s time for many to gear up for more traffic, busier restaurants and longer work days, said Kevin Rooney of Pincher’s Crab Shack and a member of the Old Naples Waterfront Association, which runs the festival.


    “This is like our welcome back,” Rooney said. “And what better way to do it then with something caught right here in the Gulf.”


    The event helps draw attention, not just to the stone crab, but to a burgeoning food scene in Southwest Florida, said Derrick Peltz, Fort Myers native and recent runner up on the competitive cooking show “MasterChef.”


    “There is a great culinary scene here that’s getting bigger and better,” Peltz said. “I’m proud to be a part of it.”


    Stone crab season started Oct. 15 and runs until May.


    The last two stone crab seasons have been the lowest harvest totals on record — aside from the 2005-06 season that was marred by a hurricane, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.


    “The price has been at an all-time high, because of supply and demand,” said Frank McCloy, spokesman for the commission.


    In fact, stone crab prices rose so high last year that even though crabbers landed 2.2 million pounds of stone crab — the second lowest total since at least 1986 — the value of the catch was a record high estimated at $31.3 million, according to data from FWC.


    “Last year numbers were a little better than the year before, and this year should be about the same, but we don’t really do predictions,” McCloy said.


    Boats have only been in the water for a little over a week, but the early returns are looking promising for the season, said Rooney, of Pincher’s Crab Shack.


    “The traps have been catching them and the early feedback has been very favorable,” Rooney said.



    Get cracking, Stone Crab Fest returns!



    NAPLES, Fla. – Stone crab season is once again open, meaning the traps are being pulled and the delicious stone crab claws are ready to enjoy.


    Pinchers at Naples in Tin City is once again home to the annual Stone Crab Festival, featuring some of the freshest stone crab direct from The Gulf of Mexico. Festivities kick off Friday afternoon and run through the weekend with fun for the whole family.


    Highlights include the inaugural cracking of the first stone crab of the season by celebrity chef and “Master Chef” season 6 finalist, Derrick Peltz. Live music takes the stage all weekend long as headliners U.S. Stones, a premier Rolling Stone tribute band take the stage Saturday night.


    All throughout the festival you can enjoy more than 3,000 pounds of fresh stone crab and drink specials along with various other activities like, sightseeing cruises aboard the Double Sunshine or discounted jet ski and boat rentals from Pure Florida at Port of Naples Marina.


    For a full schedule of events on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, click here. Entry to Stone Crab Fest is free and is located at the Pinchers in Tin City at 1200 5th Ave. South in Naples.



    CityFest celebration hits town last week of October



    Naples CityFest is just two weeks away and many local businesses have already started preparing. The annual celebration connects the Naples and Waterfront areas in celebration of the city’s diverse traditions and newly established activities. Social and cultural uniqueness is one of the main focuses of the event, as well as encouraging those who attend to shop locally.


    Signature events include the Annual Stone Crab Festival in Tin City from Oct. 24-26. The two-day Stone Crab Festival was created by the Old Naples Waterfront Association (ONWA), which participates in a variety of historical, civic and cultural outreaches throughout coastal Collier County. The Annual Festival occurs each October and includes a vast number of activities and local specials for children and families in the Naples area. For a full schedule, click here:


    Other annual events included in CityFest are the Palette to Palate in Crayton Cove on Oct. 28 and the grand finale: the Halloween Spooktacular on 5th Avenue South on Oct. 31. The Palette to Palate invites guests to enjoy a glass of wine, restaurant specials and a walking tour of the local galleries and artists who keep Naples beautiful.


    More information about this event can be found here:


    On the final day of CityFest, locals can celebrate with their friends and children in a ghoulish fashion. Saturday, October 31 from 4:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. brings many activities on 5thavenue including children’s and adult costume contests, live music, and a number of advertised “spooky” activities.


    From 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., a street dance and a giant movie screen featuring fun and classic horror cartoons and movies will take place. In conjunction with Halloween Spooktacular on 5th, the Naples Art Association will also present Night at the Museum Haunted House at The von Liebig Center that evening. .


    Registration for all costume contests can be made online at starting on September 21 or on-site the day of the event. For more information, call 239.692.8436.



    Sunset Beach Tropical Grill and the Playmor Tiki Bar Hosts Two Day Job Fair in Ft. Myers



    In anticipation of the upcoming opening of the Sunset Beach Tropical Grill and the Playmor Tiki Bar, management is hosting a job fair Tuesday, October 13th from 9am -4pm and Wednesday, October 14 from 4 -8 pm.


    Interested applicants can apply in person only at the renovated location, 1028 Estero Boulevard, Fort Myers Beach. Applicants can apply for the full variety of hospitality positions, from hostess, to bartender, servers and kitchen staff. Part and full time positions are available.


    The new restaurant will be a complete renovation of the longtime Top O'Mast space on Fort Myers Beach with a new name, new look and new menu. The family style restaurant will offer guests a Caribbean-inspired menu along with plenty of ice cold cocktails, amazing beach views and an event-filled calendar.


    For more information about Sunset Beach Grill, visit

Our Press



    The Greater Naples YMCA is Going ‘Sock Hopping’



    The Greater Naples YMCA’s 2016 Sneaker Ball is going to be hopping – sock hopping, that is. The 11th annual charity event will take place on Saturday, Feb. 6 from 6 p.m. until midnight in the YMCA’s gymnasium. Attendees will enjoy delicious meals from some of Naples’ own top chefs, a silent and live auction, dancing, live entertainment and engaging activities.


    All proceeds benefit the Greater Naples YMCA, which provides a number of services to the community including developmental child-care, health and fitness services, social and athletic events, charity sponsorships and family strengthening.


    “You see residents from all walks of life – young, old, rich, on scholarships – benefitting from the services that the Greater Naples YMCA provides,” Event Co-Chair Nannette Staropoli said. “I personally have firsthand experience witnessing the valuable services the YMCA provides our community. A single mother employee of mine was able to get her two pre-schoolers into the school with financial assistance from the Y, allowing her to work and her boys to be in a safe, happy and developmentally productive environment.”


    In addition to the usual festivities at the Sneaker Ball, the Y recently announced a very special guest to provide the live entertainment. American Idol’s 2013 star Lazaro Arbos will perform John Lennon’s “Imagine,” followed by a special announcement. Arbos is a Naples native, having lived in the area since the age of ten and graduating from Gulf Coast High School in 2009.


    After finishing as the number six finalist on the 12th season of American Idol, Arbos has been an advocate for greater awareness of issues important to childhood development, thus lending his support to the Greater Naples YMCA mission to develop the new Gaynor Early Learning Center to serve Naples’ youth.


    Other entertainment will be provided by local philantrophist and Global Dance Champion, Shelia Davis, who will be performing as Shelia & The Pink Ladies providing crowd interactive dance segments.


    Live auction items include a trip for two for a week to the Westin St. John, a 27-foot SeaRay Sundancer, A Breitling Watch from Provident Jewelers & Breitling, a YMCA rooftop party for 100 people, and many more. Silent auction items include many different packages at the YMCA, a $500 Waterside Gift Card, dry-cleaning for a year, Norman Love chocolate for a year, a Naples Grande staycation, Naples Philharmonic box seats, and many others.


    Tickets for the event range from $150 to $10,000 and can be purchased here. For more information about the Greater Naples YMCA and the services they provide to the Naples community, visit the YMCA website.




    YMCA Ready to Rock Around the Clock with the 2016 Sneaker Ball + Sock Hop



    Tickets are now on sale for this year's 11th Annual YMCA Sneaker Ball scheduled for February 6 at the YMCA gymnasium. Co-chairs, Patrick Dearborn and Nannette Staropoli have mixed things up this year and added a Sock Hop theme, where guests are encouraged to bring out those poodle skirts, saddle shoes, rolled up jeans, T-Bird jackets and of course, sneakers!


    The event will include a 50's themed night with Live Auction, Silent Auction, Live Entertainment and Chef Tasting Stations. Some unique auction items include an opportunity to be the first person to host a cooking class in the new YMCA world class cooking center, YMCA themed children's parties, wine and dine experiences, 34 ft. boat and much more.


    All proceeds from the 2016 Sock Hop Sneaker Ball will provide necessary funding to support the upcoming Gaynor Early Leaning Center at the Naples YMCA. You can make a difference by becoming a sponsor or donating a silent auction item. Sponsorship opportunities are still available. For more information on how you can be involved, contact Nannette Staropoli at or call 239-250-1030 or visit



    A toast-worthy time



    The Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest promises memorable food and wine for worthwhile causes.


    Meet the private dinner hosts that are new this year.


    Michael & Helene Hall


    For the first time, a chef-vintner dinner will lay claim to Captiva Island.


    Helene and Michael Hall, first-time hosts for the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest, have accepted the challenge of throwing a party guests are sure to remember.


    "We're going to have fire dancers and we have a lot of crystal in the house, and our house is on the Gulf so it's going to bring in that feeling of ice; ice and fire,"

    Helene said.


    Along with the fire dancers performing their art on the deck of their infinity pool, the menu from chef Tim Duque of South Seas Island Resort will delight their 50 dinner guests. His courses will be paired with wines from Benovia winery in Santa Rosa, Calif.and their event coordinator, Kelly Williams, will breathe life into the fire and ice theme.


    The event is designed to be memorable and exciting, but the Halls have a focused goal, to raise $1,500 a guest to benefit the Golisano Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida.


    The couple have supported the hospital for the last 10 years through SanCap Cares.


    "We've been very blessed," she said. "We're very lucky and we like to give back.


    "It's very difficult when you know a child is ill and they need to be shipped to Tampa or Miami; it's very difficult on the family."


    Brian & Sonya Sawyer with Nannette Staropoli


    Sonya Sawyer and her husband, Brian, aren't new to the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest, but they will host a chef-vintner dinner for the first time along with Nannette Staropoli, owner of MARKIT Group in Naples.


    "To me, it's always a bonus to be able to host a fabulous party and plan it with a best girlfriend," Nannette said. "Since we both love Paris, it only seemed natural to have a midnight in Paris theme."


    Armed with the help of Shiraz Events, the hosts will work to create some sparkle and light throughout their venue, Vyne House in Talis Park, and offer dancing under the stars on the grand lawn. They're leaving it up to guests whether they'd like to dress contemporary or vintage Parisian, although it is black tie.


    While the dinners are traditionally held in a home, their chef Andrew Hunter of The Bay House will have a full kitchen to create the courses he'll pair with wines from Talley Vineyards, who is also new to the Wine Fest.


    Along with the fun, Staropoli and the Sawyers are excited to become more involved in raising funds for a local children's hospital and recognize the need.


    The Sawyers have had firsthand experience with traveling out of area for medical attention. In 2006, a year after their 9-year-old son Brandon was born, the family took him to see a pediatric urologist for surgery in Tampa.


    "I work for Home-Tech and we've contributed to the capital campaign," Sonya said. "We just felt that this area is in dire need of a great children's hospital and as parents of young children we want to support it."


    Art & Bev Cherry


    As first-time hosts several things struck Bev and Art Cherry about the complexities of a vintner dinner for the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest.


    There is the incredible outpouring of support for this charity and the young people it aids. There are the emotional tales of the infants and children who have benefitted from the millions of dollars raised.


    And then there are the wine glasses.


    "The sheer number you need," Bev laughed. "You start with the Champagne and then there are wine pairings with each of the courses, so at the table alone, you're looking at six to eight glasses at each setting."


    Multiply that by the 30 guests these retired bankers are preparing to host at their home in Naples, and that's a lot of stemware – fitting for a dinner themed, "Napa to Naples."


    The Cherrys are working with Todd Newman, a close friend who is also the vintner of Dakota Shy winery in Yountville, Calif. Their chef is Brian Roland of Naples-based Crave Culinaire.


    The evening is, of course, about much more than the 256 glasses that could be set out. The Cherrys will be welcoming several first-time Wine & Food Fest attendees to their dinner, with the goal of broadening the event's reach.


    "It's a very a nice introduction to a wonderful charity," Art said. "It's the Pied Piper. The more people you can get on board, the more people they bring with them – and that's good for everyone."


    Brian & Denise Cobb with Valerie & Jeff Gargiulo


    While the Cobbs and Gargiulos are first-time hosts for the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest, the vintner-dinner format isn't new to them.


    "My husband and I along with Valerie and Jeff are founding trustees of the Naples Winter Wine Festival," Denise said, "so we believe in wine and philanthropy."


    The Gargiulos will be featuring selections from their winery, Gargiulo Vineyards, in Oakville, Calif. at the Cobbs' home in Naples. Their dinner theme is "Venice on the Canal." The couples will team with Chef Jeremy Houston of The Capital Grille.


    The Cobbs have hosted 14 vintner dinners as trustees with the Naples wine festival, so they're hoping for a calm, relaxing evening with close friends come Feb. 27 – relaxing to the spirit, and the purse strings.


    "This is the dressing before the event, so we can pick their pockets the next day," Denise laughed. "It's important to have the food and wine, but also to explain why we're there, where the money goes, and to show people this is all for a great cause."






    Nannette Staropoli

    Owner/Chief Marketing Strategist, MARKIT Group


    Nannette Staropoli’s 10-year-old marketing and public relations services firm was founded in Pittsburgh and relocated to Naples nine years ago. The statuesque brunette, who was a single mother at 20 and finished college while daughter Fallon was a baby, has what she calls a contagious passion for philanthropy.


    Her signature “nonprofit marketing” has resulted in clients donating millions of dollars in goods, underwriting and sponsorships while creating good buzz for their businesses. Personally, Staropoli has created marketing programs for the Annual Senior Collection Drive, Suited for Success, Craving Fashion and more.


    She is a Make-A-Wish Foundation Executive Council member and Wish Granter; has chaired events benefiting Friends of Foster Children of Collier County, Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples and PACE Center for Girls; and was Fan Favorite and Top Fundraiser for the local Red Cross chapter’s Starstruck event in 2013.


    Sports authority: I am an avid tennis player. I’m on five teams and compete in tournaments. I’m also a golfer (18 handicap; I was a 13, but work gets in the way), and runner. I just trained for the Naples Daily News half marathon.


    Style essentials: I’m a fan of great basics: black slacks, crisp white blouses, tailored clothing and last but not least, great accessories—shoes and bags.


    Most-prized possession: My Aunt Rosemary’s brass teacher’s bell.


    Guilty pleasures: Designer shoes and purses, and coconut soufflé.


    Dog tale: I love my Chihuahua Bailey. I am a huge dog fan! We are a pet-friendly company.



    Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida Announces Chairs and New Members for President's Council



    Make-A-Wish Southern Florida is pleased to announce the 2014/15 Make-A-Wish Southern Florida President’s Council. The annual meeting to kick off the new fiscal year and welcome new Council members was held on September 10th at Angelina’s Ristorante in Bonita Springs.


    Jenny Foegen of the Naples Princess, Dylan Sanders with Fidelity Investments, and Amy Sedlacek of ABC7, will co-chair the President’s Council this year. Their term of service began on September 1 to coincide with the start of the Make-A-Wish fiscal year.


    Members of the council are: Gordon Bajema, Susan Battaglia, Chief Jim Bloom, Erin Blumer, Craig Chasnov, Rick Childress, Scott Craven, Michele Eddy, Tom Falciglia, Barb Gallo, Rick Gallo, Matthew Gordon, Jeff Jerome, Leo Mediavilla Ed.D, Jan Miller, Ron Miller, Brandy Ollie, Pam Price, Jesse Purdon, Andrew Sicnolf, Nannette Staropoli, Lynne Tarman, Sue Watts, Chris Wentworth and Judith Yevick.


    The focus for the upcoming fiscal year will be to grow awareness in the Southwest Florida community for Make-A-Wish and secure corporate donors through sponsorship and workplace giving in order to grant more wishes to local children.


    Make-A-Wish Southern Florida grants wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength, and joy. Thirty years of magic and more than 9,000 wishes later, the mission continues to share the power of a wish® with ailing children.


    For more information about Make-A-Wish, visit or call 239-992-9474 to get involved.



    Paradise Coast Wives filming around Naples



    Paradise Coast Wives, a new reality TV show set in Naples, will be filming this week at various locations in the Naples area.


    Among the many spots they will be filming at Thursday, Friday and Saturday are Zumba at a Port Royal gym, paddleboarding in the Gulf of Mexico, golf at Talis Park, spa treatments at Sharon M Spa, yoga at Joyful Yoga and lunch at Fiona's Cafe.


    The women are set to attend the Craving Fashion charity event on Friday night atWaterside Shops which is the only location open to the public.


    Produced by Naples-based ITZ Studios founders Chuck Ardezzone and Frank Monti, the show is still being pitched to the networks before it actually becomes a reality, is about the behind-the-scenes lives of women who live in "one of the most exclusive and wealthy enclaves in the world," said co-producer Paula Iacampo. "The show will reveal never-seen stories about how these fascinating women manage daily responsibilities to their families and businesses while spearheading charitable-giving initiatives."


    The cast members are:


    • Shemane Nugent, an award-winning television host and producer, is the wife of singer Ted Nugent. She is a published author of "Married to a Rock Star," a novel where she disclosed what her life was like on the road with a rock star husband. She also wrote "Four Minutes A Day: Rock 'n Roll Your Way to Happy."


    • Carole Allen is the wife of software mogul Arthur Allen. She's outspoken and stylish, a worldly and sophisticated half French/half Caribbean beauty who travels the world via a Gulfstream 550 aircraft with family.


    • Jane Bond-Rostron is married to Frank Rostron, owner of Bespoke Shirtmakers in the United Kingdom. Jane is a successful businesswoman who began her career as an international flight attendant, traveling around the world until she changed careers and became an interior designer. She also created Entertainment Management and recently added licensed real estate agent to her repertoire.


    • Jennifer Conery is a mother, grandmother, and entrepreneur and considers herself a lucky divorcee. Together with her fun-loving gay philanthropist boyfriend Steven Leonard, Jennifer devotes herself to The Conservancy of Florida, Naples Humane Society, Guadalupe Center and Opera Naples.


    • Tracy Wenkman is the wife of entrepreneur Greg Wenkman. Passionate about wellness/nutrition, Tracy is a "small town farm girl" who is a fan of shopping, Zumba and all things Italian, especially Pinot Grigio wine.


    • Leanne Thrasher Chang is a former Naples High School star athlete turned top model. She's the youngest wife at 29 years old and the only Naples native. A formerElite Model, Leanne is now married to Blair Chang, a top real estate professional and the founder of The Agency, a boutique luxury real estate firm. .


    • Elizabeth Fox, M.D. is a top plastic surgeon in Naples and mother of two sons. She is also an accomplished solo pianist and violinist. And, she is lover of Italian architecture. She works with Hollywood stars and spends time in Los Angeles taking care of her "A" list clients. But, you'll also find her not spending a great deal of time in her organic garden, digging in the dirt with her boys.


    • Nannette Starpoli owns a successful marketing company and has chaired more than 60 events in Naples. She and her daughter Fallon work together, representing a wide range of clients from both the corporate and nonprofit worlds, from event planning to fundraising. An avid tennis player, Nannette is passionate about achieving results.


    • Sharon DeLaura is the owner and aesthetician of Spa by Sharon M MediSpa & Makeup Studio. She lives with her husband Michael in Naples. Originally from Chicago, Sharon worked on the Oprah Winfrey Show as a make-up artist. She is currently developing her own makeup line.


    • Tess Chiodo was born in southern California. Her career includes beauty queen, dental hygienist, young Army wife during Vietnam, "bug and herb" farmer, life insurance sales and currently, health and wellness. She and her two daughters, Jacqueline and Emily, are the founders and teachers at Joyful Yoga & Spa in Naples.



    Reality show starts filming in Naples



    COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. -- Chuck Ardezzone, one of the founders of ITZ Studios, and his production company have a mission to show the world Naples, Florida. "We have the best women in Southwest Florida," says Ardezzone.


    Their newest show is all about the women - the housewives of Naples, Florida. "Really, really strong opinionated women. They look good, they have great style, they're smart, they're literally what reality TV shows were made of."


    ITZ went through an in depth casting process, starting out with 50 women who all wanted a chance to be on the show. Ultimately 11 women were cast. The show will be shot throughout Naples. From here, with the shops and restaurants at Mercato, to our beautiful beaches and Fifth Avenue. All to give viewers a true look into the life of a Naples wife.


    Meet two of the wives. "Actually, my husband said - after the show, Naples will never be the same and I do believe that," said Carole Allen.


    "Another one of lives adventures. I have no idea where it will lead or what it will do for me personally but I know at a minimum it will give some exposure to the fabulous charities that I love," said Nannette Staropoli, owner of MARKIT Group in Naples.


    And they all expect it to be entertaining and dramatic. But firs the television show needs to be shot, then picked up by a network. "Fingers crossed. There's buzz with the network execs already," says Ardezzone.

2017 © Copyright. MARKIT Group.

Captcha Image
Captcha Image
Captcha Image
Captcha Image
Captcha Image
Captcha Image
Captcha Image