Gulfshore Business Daily: November 25

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Amy Hall


Because of the Thanksgiving holiday this week, the Gulfshore Business Daily newsletter will not publish again until Monday. Until then, we wish a safe and happy holiday weekend for you, your family and your businesses. For SWFL restaurants open for Thanksgiving, click here. For a complimentary subscription to the print edition of Gulfshore Business, click here.


Lee Health’s HealthPark Medical Center is among the 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals again, joining some of the most elite hospitals in the country for top heart care. The honor marks the fourth consecutive year the hospital has earned a top spot on the list. IBM Watson Health’s 50 top-performing cardiovascular hospitals represent the very best heart care in the U.S. HealthPark Medical Center is one of only six hospitals in Florida to earn the designation. The annual study identifies top U.S. hospitals for inpatient cardiovascular services based on a balanced national scorecard of hospital performance metrics, including outcomes, clinical processes and efficiency measures. The study is part of the Watson Top 100 Hospitals program.


Pine Island Nicholas Coffee LLC purchased the retail strip center at 706 SW Pine Island Road in Cape Coral for $5.025 million. The newly constructed, 10,454-square-foot center on 1.6 acres sold with 100% occupancy from national retailers who filled several voids in the Cape Coral submarket. “Northeast Cape Coral is experiencing double-digit annual population growth, due partially to the newly installed water and sewer infrastructure,” said Bob Pekol, LandQwest Senior Associate and buyer representative. “As the population continues to grow here, you can expect to see continued expansion of service-oriented retailers.” LandQwest Founding Principal, Rokki Rogan, represented the seller, EBCP 700 Pine Island LLC.

Video courtesy of WINK News


Some retail is making a rebound in Southwest Florida. With options for customers such as curbside pickup, in-store pickup and regular in-store shopping, this flexibility may be why the Estero shopping mall Coconut Point just announced new retailers, WINK News reports. Adam Torres, owner of the new store Toy World near Dillard’s at the southern end of the outdoor mall, says he isn’t overly concerned with revenue, and parents of younger children will know why: There aren’t many toy stores around right now. “We have small kids and there’s nowhere to get good toys for them,” Torres says. “Amazon and online is cool, but it’s nothing like coming to a store and picking it out yourself.” In the few weeks he’s been open, he says the response from the community has been great. Toy World and other shops at Coconut Point have Black Friday deals running from Friday through Sunday.


Internationally renowned for handcrafted artisanal chocolates, Norman Love Confections is now open at University Town Center (UTC) in Sarasota. Located at 192 N. Cattlemen Road in the heart of the West District at UTC, Norman Love Confections’ sixth chocolate salon is the first of its kind, where Norman Love Confections pastry chefs “take the stage,” showcasing their artistic expression and creating beautiful “desserts of art,” while engaging guests in a fun, conversational and gastronomic dessert experience. The 2,000-square-foot Sarasota location offers the Fort Myers-based company’s award-winning ultra-premium, handcrafted chocolates, as well as specialty desserts, artisanal baked goods, novelty products and Artisan Gelato by Norman Love. Additionally, the Sarasota location has an outdoor patio and will serve a selection of wines and coffees. The Sarasota Chocolate Salon will also offer Norman Love Confections’ limited-edition holiday collections available for Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter and Mother’s Day. Learn more at


Dr. Scott Walters and Dr. Jennifer Long have opened Amazing Wellness and Chiropractic. The new facility, which officially launched in February, has a variety of treatment options for patient-centered care, including adult and pediatric chiropractic care, whole body light contouring, nutrition and weight loss programs, and peripheral neuropathy treatment. Walters and Long both focus on natural solutions to ensure patients receive comfort and well-being through the most researched chiropractic techniques and therapies, according to Amazing Wellness and Chiropractic.


Video courtesy of WINK News


Black Friday is a national shopping holiday, but because of COVID-19, it looks a lot different this year. Some retailers started sales weeks ago and will soon wrap up, and for the first time in years, most retailers won’t be open on Thanksgiving Day. Because sales are underway, experts say if you want a specific gift, order it online now before they run out. Apps are a good way to help you keep track of sales on hot items, WINK News reports. Also, it’s important to be aware of hoaxes on Cyber Monday and holiday sales. If they seem too good to be true, think twice about putting in credit card information. State Attorney General Ashley Moody just released her Holiday Consumer Protection Guide with some helpful information on keeping shoppers safe this holiday season.

Video courtesy of WINK News


This holiday season is going to be very different from those before, but one tradition will remain mostly the same, and you need to hurry up if you want to participate. If you want a Christmas tree, get one sooner rather than later. But 2020’s shortage isn’t because of the pandemic; there are just certain types of trees they aren’t getting in this year, WINK News reports. Safety precautions will be in place at places like Heath Christmas Trees on 13851 S. Tamiami Trail in Fort Myers. Masks are required for staff and recommended for customers. For one Southwest Florida Christmas tree farm owner, demand is already through the roof, but he’s doing his best to keep up, WINK News reports.



FGCU Foundation Board of Directors to meet Dec. 2

The Florida Gulf Coast University Foundation Board of Directors will meet by video/teleconference at 9 a.m. on Dec. 2. All public comments on action items must be sent by email to no later than 5 p.m. on Dec. 1. Comments will be read into the record during the meeting. Due to social distancing requirements for COVID-19, the meeting is available to the public via webcast at



Amy Hall

Crews Banking Corp. expands service at all four banks

Crews Banking Corp. (CBC) is enhancing customer service at all four Florida banks under its purview: Charlotte State Bank & Trust, Crews Bank & Trust, Englewood Bank & Trust, and Wauchula State Bank. The holding company previously consolidated each bank’s information technology, data processing, e-banking, and marketing departments into single entities. As part of the new support services department, the board created two new positions headed by Andrew Tate, and Amy Hall, a pair of longtime staff members with a wealth of experience and expertise in all aspects of the banking industry. Tate will serve as chief experience officer and Hall as customer engagement director of the new support services department. Tate and Hall currently are celebrating 15 years of service at their respective Crews banks. 

PBS Contractors hired Cala

PBS Contractors has welcomed Martin Cala to the team. Cala started his own construction company at age 20 and brings many years of project management and business experience. He will be responsible for project planning, coordination, and financial controls. Cala will keep clients informed of project updates and progress as a liaison. Cala graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University with his Bachelor of Engineering degree in civil engineering. Cala is licensed on the Florida Board of Professional Engineers.

Valerie’s House elects five new board members

Valerie’s House has added five new members to its Board of Directors. Elected to the Board for two-year terms are David Fry, owner of Dwell Florida, and owner/developer of The Marriott AC Hotel in downtown Fort Myers; Jaime L. Layne, owner/dealer operator of Victory Layne Chevrolet; Lisa O’Neil, Lee Health system director of marketing and brand management; Scott Shotwell, senior vice president and senior portfolio manager of The Northern Trust Corp. in Fort Myers; and Jaime Suanez, executive assistant to the owner of Storm Smart and executive director of The Rist Family Foundation. Other members of the Board of Directors are Gary Copie of Businessolver Inc.; Donna Caruso of New York Life Insurance Co.; Victoria Loyola of Markham, Norton, Mosteller and Wright; Lana Hollier of Sanibel Captiva Community Bank; Kristalyn Loson of The Nature Conservancy and Mike McMurray of Royal Shell Real Estate.

David Lawrence Centers for Behavioral Health employees earn statewide awards

David Lawrence Centers for Behavioral Health (DLC) announced that Acute Care Psychiatrist Edwin Gomez and Nursing Supervisor Ashley Valvano were named statewide award winners by the Florida Behavioral Health Association (FBHA) through their annual Awards of Excellence Program. The program honors the best in the state’s behavioral health workforce with a series of prestigious achievement awards. Gomez was named “Medical Professional of the Year,” while Valvano was selected as one of six “Behavioral Health Pandemic Heroes.” The FBHA is a non-profit organization that provides statewide leadership on behavioral health policy and practice. For more information, visit


Video courtesy of WINK News

St. Matthew’s House, Mission church give away turkey feasts for Thanksgiving

More than 600 families in Southwest Florida will have a Thanksgiving meal thanks to the generosity of the community. Families lined up Monday at St. Matthew’s House Thrift Store to get their pre-packaged holiday box. A line of cars stretched for blocks at the distribution site ahead of the holiday. Mission Community Church and St. Matthew’s House teamed up to provide 650 Thanksgiving meals on top of the thousands of pounds of food they normally give out twice a month. Pastor Jordan Rowe said he sees how much his community needs it. For the people in the cars that were lined up, it’s more than a turkey feast, it’s about a kind gesture that gives them the hope to keep going, WINK News reports.

‘Backpacks Full of Joy’ annual toy drive underway by CBIA 

For 23 consecutive years, the Collier Building Industry Association’s (CBIA) Sales & Marketing Council (SMC) has given back to the community with an annual toy drive. This year, the organization has reimagined this effort in an attempt to responsibly continue it, and is hosting a “Backpacks Full of Joy” Drive.“Since public health concerns complicate our traditional event with Santa’s helpers interacting with children, we instead are asking for monetary contributions which we will use to purchase backpacks and fill them with goodies and supplies,” said CBIA Executive Director Amelia Vasquez. Organizations are invited to make monetary contributions by Monday, Nov. 30, in the form of checks payable to CBIF with “Joy Drive” in the memo line. Each $25 donation will purchase a backpack for a child in need. Recipients of this year’s “Joy Drive” will be Pinecrest Elementary School and Shadowlawn Elementary School students. For additional information about sponsorship, volunteer and donation opportunities, email, click here or call 239-436-6100. 

Guadalupe Center seeking donations for Holiday Gift Shop 

Guadalupe Center is requesting donations of children’s gifts to restock its Holiday Gift Shop, an annual shopping experience that allows parents of Guadalupe Center students to select presents for their children. Through Dec. 4, Guadalupe Center will accept new, unwrapped donations of age-appropriate toys, clothing, shoes and other gifts for infants through teenagers. Each year, the Holiday Gift Shop provides presents to about 900 Immokalee students who otherwise might not receive gifts. Unwrapped gifts can be dropped off in North Naples at the Guadalupe Resale Shop, 12980 Tamiami Trail N., Unit 10; or in Immokalee at the Guadalupe Center, 509 Hope Circle. Additionally, monetary donations are appreciated and can be made online here. Guadalupe Center also has created an Amazon Wish List here


CAC raises $10,615 with Rescue Runway fundraiser

The Children’s Advocacy Center of Southwest Florida (CAC) has raised $10,615 for its programs and services for child victims of abuse. The organization thanks its second annual Rescue Runway sponsors—Lee County Sheriff’s Office, Brown & Brown Insurance, Edison National Bank, Markham Norton Mosteller Wright & Co. P.A. and supporter Seed and Bean Market— and online voters for King, Queen, Pet Costume and silent auction bidders for participating in the fundraiser. In addition to the grand total raised, the “Rescue Royalty Queen and King” have been crowned. After weeks of fundraising, the winners are Chloe for Rescue Royalty Queen and Barnaby for Rescue Royalty King. The Best Pet Costume Winner was Micky, dressed as “tiny Santa.”  For more information, visit

The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools to host grant ceremony

The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools will award approximately $79,500 to educators, schools, and administrators throughout the School District of Lee County through its Classroom and School Grants program on Nov 30.  The funding for this program comes from the support of Gold Sponsor Suncoast Credit Union and several other financial contributors. The program is also funded in part by a major grant from the Consortium of Florida Education Foundation, which is made possible by the State of Florida.
Don’t be the last to know what’s happening in Southwest Florida. Sign up for our free daily newsletter, Gulfshore Business Daily, to stay connected.


You May Also Like

Post-high school education on the rise

Little by little, Southwest Florida’s workforce is getting more skilled. The FutureMakers Coalition is an initiative by local leaders to raise the overall education level...

The Economy, the Pandemic and FGCU

The last 18 months have been an economic roller coaster for Southwest Florida. One would be hard-pressed to find any economist or soothsayer who predicted...