Profile: David Mota

■ BY SUE ERWIN He’s been offering authentic, tasty Mexican cuisine on the island since 2015, starting out as a vendor at the Boca Grande Farm & Fish Market. Since joining the Pink Pony team, David Mota has gained an even larger number of loyal customers. As of Tuesday, June 18, 2019, owners of the Pink […]

Profile: Debbie Baraoidan

■ BY SUE ERWIN Debbie Baraoidan has taught elementary school for 31 years, but the art she creates in her spare time is what makes her an even more special person. She owns Natureheart Clay Creations, a business known for creating one-of-a-kind custom memory mosaics. Debbie set up her booth on Park Avenue at the 8th annual […]

PROFILE: Ashley Scarpa

BY SUE ERWIN – Ashley Scarpa has been an entrepreneur in the restaurant business since 2006. Since April, she and her husband Glenn have been leasing the space that, until last summer, was home to PJ’s Seagrille located at 321 Park Ave. on the island. They own and operate Scarpa’s Coastal restaurant. The husband-and-wife team behind […]

Profile: Ozzie Lessinger

■ BY SUE ERWIN Ozzie Lessinger learned to fish before he could walk. His father, an avid fisherman, put 6-month-old Ozzie in a backpack carrier and placed a fishing pole in his hand and taught him to fish. Ozzie was hooked, so to speak. Originally from Tuxedo, New York, Ozzie moved to Tallahassee with his family when he […]

Profile: Mimi Carvalho

■ BY SUE ERWIN South Beach Bar and Grille Executive Chef Mimi Carvalho caught and released her first tarpon at the 2019 Ladies Day Tarpon Tournament, and she said the experience was absolutely exhilarating. “I was so excited, it was so thrilling,” she said. “Tarpon are such beautiful, strong fish. I have so much more respect […]

Profile: Richard Gordon

■ BY SUE ERWIN Chef Richard Gordon has been cooking up delectable dishes at Fusion for the past two years, and that’s a result of decades of experience dating back to when he was a teenager. “My first job was as a dishwasher when I was 15,” he said. “And since then, I’ve done just about […]

Profile: Parker O’Bannon

■ BY SUE ERWIN Persistent and adventurous is a perfect description for Capt. Parker O’Bannon. He is a sixth-generation Floridian born in Fort Myers and raised in Boca Grande. He is an only child, and he follows in the footsteps of 100 years of notable O’Bannon guides spanning four generations, who have hunted and fished all over […]

Profile: Tricia Heaton

■ BY SUE ERWIN Tricia Heaton describes herself as a needlepointing, party throwing, traveling bookworm. An eternal optimist who sees beauty in everything, she almost always has a camera in hand. Both her paternal grandmother and her mother were needlepointers, and she enthusiastically learned to stitch by the time she was six. “As a teenager I […]

Profile: Janet Johnson

Janet Johnson has one of the most scenic views she has ever had from a desk job. Her current position with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection as administrative assistant at Gasparilla Island State Park affords her a spot that overlooks the beach, lighthouse and Boca Grande Pass. Originally from Clarksville, Tennessee, Janet moved to west Tennessee […]

PROFILE: Becky Hunt

BY SUSAN ERWIN – Becky Hunt is passionate about pursuing her goals in life, and that diligent trait has clearly been passed along to her daughter, Evie, who has been The Island School reporter for the Boca Beacon since last fall. Becky was born in Clermont, Florida, a town just west of Orlando. “My parents […]