Gulfshore Business Daily: December 14

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Lead Photo: Chamber representatives celebrated with The Island Store owners and staff on Dec. 10. Details below.



A local survey from Gulfshore Business is taking the pulse of the community’s willingness to get a vaccine for COVID-19. Please take a few seconds to respond to a couple of questions and look for the overall results in a future issue of Gulfshore Business Daily. To take the survey, click here.

Credit: WINK News.


Starting today, Lee Health is making changes to its hospital visitation hours to protect the safety of patients and staff from the recent surge of COVID-19 cases in our community. Visitation hours are now noon to 6 p.m. until the number of COVID-19 cases can be reduced. Other specific stipulations also are in place, WINK News reports.


The Hangout by Two Guys, a new local restaurant and bar in Naples, opened Monday, Dec. 7, for dinner, happy hour and late-night. The idea is to actually be a local hangout, of course. “That’s exactly what we’re going for,” says Peter Falisi, who co-owns the business with his brother, Larry Falisi, executive chef of Two Guys Hospitality Group. “We grew up here in Naples. We know a lot of the locals here in Naples and we made a place that we would want to come hang out at. It’s really geared for the people that are here year-round, both price point and atmosphere, so that’s what we’re trying to accomplish here.” The Hangout’s 3,568-square-foot space is near Bealls in the Pine Ridge Crossing retail center anchored by Target and Publix on the southwest corner of Airport-Pulling and Pine Ridge roads. The Hangout, 2360 Pine Ridge Road, is open from 11 a.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday through Sunday. For more information, call 239-384-9072 or go to


Galati Yacht Sales recently opened a customer support center in Fort Myers to further expand its yacht services from Marco Island to Charlotte Harbor.  Galati already has four full-service operations in Naples, Anna Maria Island, Tampa and Destin dedicated to serving customers who purchase new and late-model yachts from the Florida-based business. “By relocating and expanding our Naples customer support center to south Fort Myers, we will be more centrally located and can better accommodate our customers,” says Mike Galati. In addition, Galati will open a sales office at The Luminary Hotel in downtown Fort Myers. That office, which includes slips on the Caloosahatchee River to showcase inventory, is scheduled to open in February. The company also is seeking to relocate its Naples sales offices to incorporate waterfront access and is actively recruiting for sales and service positions at its new Southwest Florida Support Center at 17601 Alico Commerce Court in Fort Myers.


The Caves Development Group is now accepting reservations for The Caves II, a luxury auto condo community of more than 40 completely customizable units. It will be adjacent to The Caves I, the original inspiration for the next-level vehicle storage community, which is located off of Cape Coral Parkway and Skyline Boulevard in Southwest Cape Coral. The Caves II will offer sizes from small caves to huge caverns, ranging from 450 to 1,650 square feet, with preconstruction prices between $99,000 and $329,000. Phase two will include a limited number of ‘castles,’ ranging in size from 2,000 to 3,000 square feet. For more information, visit


FL Star Construction, a division of FL Star, has been selected to construct the new Naples Narrative Coffee Roasters, as the coffee house expands into a second location. The new site will be located within the Eleven Eleven Central development located at 1111 Central Ave. and will encompass 2,500 square feet of space. The location will include an in-house coffee roaster and a menu that includes coffees, expressos, cappuccinos, lattes, cold brews, nitro cold brews and seasonal favorites along with tea, beer, wine, small bites and merchandise. Also available is a mobile expresso cart for events. FL Star completed the buildout of Narrative Coffee Roasters’ first brick and mortar shop in Mercato in Naples in June 2020, a facility that encompasses approximately 2,100 square feet, with 800 square feet of outside lounge and seating space.


The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce celebrated the reopening of the historic Island Store on Dec. 10 at 11500 Andy Rosse Lane on Captiva Island. The Bailey family, owners of Bailey’s General Store on Sanibel Island, reopened the store in October after purchasing it in 2018 and gutting and restoring it. Built circa 1915, the building has known many lives – from a beauty parlor and boarding house to a restaurant and, in 1940, a grocery store under the ownership of Jay “Ding” Darling, the namesake of the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel. The store currently employs four and will be hiring additional staff, according to Calli Johnson, fourth-generation owner-operator.


Nominations are open for the Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) 2021 Alumni Awards, including the Alumni of Distinction and Soaring Eagle awards. The nomination deadline is Jan. 15. Self-nominations are encouraged. Recipients will be honored at the Virtual Alumni Awards Celebration during Homecoming held on Feb. 19, 2021. Visit for award criteria and nomination forms. For questions, email



Video courtesy WINK News

Everblades return to hockey season with safety precautions

It’s a new beginning for the Florida Everblades and 12 other minor league hockey teams. While some teams decided to sit this season out due to the pandemic, the Everblades jumped at the opportunity to take to the ice once again, albeit with plenty of safety precautions. The last time the Florida Everblades hit the ice was in March, when they grabbed a 4-1 victory over the Greenville Swamp Rabbits. It’s made for a long offseason, and the players missed the game. Ten games are planned through mid-January, with the hope that more will be added. Tickets can be purchased online. If you plan to attend a game at Hertz Arena, you’ll need your face mask. Arena staff also has reseated the stadium, blocking out every other row so fans can keep their distance, WINK News reports.

Veronica Larriva

Larriva elected treasurer of Harry Chapin Food Bank

Veronica Larriva, a partner with McHale, P.A., was recently elected as treasurer of Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida. Larriva is a licensed certified public accountant and joined McHale, P.A. in 2008. Her area of focus is on forensic accounting, fraud investigation, Ponzi schemes and bankruptcies. She earned a Master of Science in accounting and taxation with a minor in business management from Florida Gulf Coast University’s Lutgert College of Business, where she graduated with honors. Larriva is a frequent guest speaker at her alma mater’s Forensic Accounting class, where she teaches and provides guidance to accounting students. She speaks fluent English and Spanish and has an advanced level of Portuguese. In 2019, she was recognized by Gulfshore Business magazine as a 40 under 40 recipient.  



Priority Marketing launches 2020 Holiday Gift Guide

Priority Marketing has launched its 2020 Holiday Gift Guide, a virtual platform encouraging the community to support local businesses and nonprofits this holiday season. The inaugural Holiday Gift Guide offers gift suggestions and donation opportunities in six categories: Charity, Experiences, Food & Drink, Health & Beauty, Home & Outdoor and Luxury. “This year, it’s incredibly important to support small businesses and local nonprofit organizations that have faced so many challenges in 2020,” said Teri Hansen, Priority Marketing’s president and creative director. “Hopefully our Holiday Gift Guide offers inspiration for Southwest Florida residents as they shop for their loved ones and consider year-end donations to help charitable causes.” View the Holiday Gift Guide here.

State Farm to award $2,500 grants for innovative teaching ideas

Cape Coral State Farm Agents Mike and Dawn Sullivan announce that State Farm will celebrate and reward innovative teachers during the pandemic. The State Farm Teacher Assist Program will award 40 Florida schools with $2,500 grants for creative educational projects. Starting at 4 p.m. on Jan. 11, 2021, teachers in Florida are invited to submit their innovative instructional ideas at the State Farm Teacher Assist Program website. State Farm Teacher Assist will accept the first 200 submissions and determine 40 grant recipients. The entry window concludes with the receipt of the 200th submission or on Jan. 15 at 11:59 p.m., whichever comes first. Entries will be scored based on three criteria: how students benefit from the project, how the project advances academic achievement and the innovation, creativity, and engagement of the educational project. 

LCSO gift distribution at The Children\’s Community Center

Lee County Sheriff’s deputies bring gifts, smiles to 160 children

It will be a Merry Christmas indeed for 160 students attending early learning programs at Child Care of Southwest Florida. A unique partnership between the nonprofit education provider primarily serving children from lower-income households and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office led to deputies playing the role of Santa in delivering presents just before the holidays. The Sheriff’s Office collected donations of toys from local businesses and community partners across the region. On Dec. 10, law enforcement officers made a special visit to The Children’s Community Center in Lehigh Acres, where they gathered as 20 students unwrapped early Christmas gifts. Additional presents will be provided to other students attending The Children’s Community Center, as well as some of their siblings. For more information about Child Care partnerships and sponsorships, call 239-278-1002 or visit

Cypress Cove residents, staff donate more than 500 toys

Cypress Cove residents and staff celebrated their 10th year of support to The Heights Foundation/The Heights Center’s annual holiday gift drive by donating more than 500 toys and gifts for children of the Harlem Heights community. The gifts, presented to representatives of The Heights Foundation/The Heights Center, will be a large addition to the hundreds of gifts distributed on Dec. 19 to Harlem Heights parents for more than 800 children throughout the nearby community. Cypress Cove, a south Fort Myers Life Plan Community located in HealthPark Florida, has participated in The Heights Foundation/The Heights Center holiday event since 2011. Since the start of its program participation, Cypress Cove residents and staff have contributed about 5,000 gifts toward the annual children’s giveaway.

NTRC receives grant to launch miniature horse therapy program

Naples Therapeutic Riding Center (NTRC), a non-profit organization providing therapeutic horseback riding and other equine-facilitated group services to children and adults with physical, social and mental health needs, received a $100,000 grant from The Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation to launch a new miniature horse therapy program. Two new miniature horses, Toulmin and Itty Bitty, were donated to NTRC and are a welcome addition to its now 16-horse therapy herd. In addition to having the minis on site for visitors to meet and spend time with, NTRC’s new mini traveling program will bring the therapeutic benefits of horses to worksites and organizations throughout Southwest Florida communities such as hospitals, schools, hospices, nursing homes, and rehabilitation centers. To learn more about the mini horse therapy program or to schedule a visit with the therapeutic minis, contact Rachel Vaa at 239-596-2988 or
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