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Bennett’s celebrates a decade of donuts

Downtown Fort Myers shop unveils new donut and month-long anniversary specials  FORT MYERS, Fla. (January…

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Bennett’s celebrates a decade of donuts

Downtown Fort Myers shop unveils new donut and month-long anniversary specials
 FORT MYERS, Fla. (January 25, 2018) – In 2008, during one of the worst recessions in Southwest Florida, a former local morning disc jockey Bob Grissinger, aka C. David Bennett, took a chance on opening a donut and coffee shop in downtown Fort Myers.  A decade later that gamble has proven to be a good bet.
“As we celebrate our 10th anniversary we are so very thankful and humbled by the Southwest Florida community for supporting us,” said Grissinger. “We are proof that small, locally owned businesses can be successful, contributing members to our local economy.”
Grissinger opened the shop located off West First Street at 2011 Bayside Parkway, in a 2,000 square foot lovingly restored 1943 former home with partners Roger Munro, Frank Albano and Anne Munro.
Today the company has 16 employees and has sold more than 60,000 pounds of coffee and 1.8 million donuts over the past decade.
To celebrate 10 years, Bennett’s is planning some free giveaways, the unveiling of a new anniversary donut and a 10th anniversary special blend of coffee all month long.
Just like Bennett’s quaint little shop, it’s what’s on the inside that counts with their new Decadent Decade Donut. The donut starts with fresh yeast that after being allowed to rise for 90 minutes is cooked til light and fluffy. It is then robustly filled with both fresh blackberry and cream fillings and finished off with a fine sugar dust. According to Grissinger, each donut takes two hours to make.
“Our little downtown shop isn’t fancy or flashy,” said Grissinger. “You might even miss us and drive by; but once you walk inside you see that we are special. We don’t use typical ingredients you’ll find at national chains. We start preparing at midnight to make our fresh from scratch donuts and house roasted coffees.”
In addition to the Decadent Decade Donut, Bennett’s will offer a free Bennett’s travel mug to the first 100 customers on Thursday, February 8. During the month of February, they will also be offering a special 10th anniversary blend containing some of the best, most expensive coffees in the world.
“I like that they aren’t thick cake-based donuts, they are yeast raised from scratch and very light and fluffy. I could eat six and I would only feel like I ate one,” said Fort Myers resident and long-time Bennett’s patron Nicole Mazzola.
Over the past decade, Grissinger and his team have had a lot of fun offering unique items and even getting some national attention for their unconventional creations.
To celebrate National Coffee Day in 2009, they roasted and served a limited amount of the world famous kopi luwak coffee, otherwise known as “coffee poo coffee”. The coffee back then cost $190 a pound. Bennett’s sold samples for $10 and sold out by 9 a.m
“I can’t live without Bennett’s coffee; I’m probably at Bennett’s seven days per week and I average more than one trip per day,” said longtime Bennett’s customer and Fort Myers resident Phil Gaylor. “I enjoy the taste and the convenient location of Bob’s shop. I am addicted and through the years I’ve made acquaintances who drive a few times a week from Punta Gorda while they are visiting during the winter months.”
In 2013, Grissinger and Bennett’s baker Lisa Bronchetti competed against other donut experts in Donut Showdown premiering in the U.S. on the Cooking Channel.  The episode that Grissinger and Bronchetti were featured in was called “Carnival” and showed them making a Honey-Berry-Mascarpone donut; a fluffy Bennett’s doughnut covered in mascarpone icing, topped with three types of berries and then drizzled in honey. Grissinger was one of 42 fiercely competitive donut pros from across North America featured on the show. The show will have an encore airing of Grissinger and Bronchetti’s showdown on the Cooking Channel on February 16 at 8 a.m.
“Everything is homemade and that’s really hard to find anymore,” said Cape Coral resident Bronchetti, who has worked with Grissinger for the past 9 years. “It’s nice to work for someone that has such high standards for quality and customer service. And the customers are so wonderful. I’ve gotten to know so many of them and seeing them again and again in the shop is just fabulous.”
Bennett’s is known as the premier in-shop coffee roaster in Southwest Florida. They skillfully roast their coffee in micro batches as soon as the day before it’s ground, brewed and served, avoiding off flavors like bitterness and rancidity so often present in coffee roasted by less experienced roasters.
In addition to fresh roasted coffee and hand-cut-from-scratch donuts, Bennett’s also offers fresh desserts from Grissinger’s own recipe book including praline bread pudding and lemon bars, giving area residents an alternative for afternoon treats. It also features packaged whole bean or ground coffees, breakfast muffins, oatmeal and breakfast sandwiches. On the weekends, Bennett’s Strata (a layered baked breakfast dish) is a regular sellout. Tea lovers may choose from a large variety of Harney & Sons Fine Teas. Lunch offerings, including paninis, soups, sandwiches, three signature salads and Bennett’s  ‘Lobster Roll’, ‘Chicken & Donut’ and ‘Donut Dog,’ are available Monday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Bennett’s is open Monday through Sunday from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.
For more information, visit www.BennettsFreshRoast.com.

Shell Point’s 2017-2018 Concert Series welcomes Southwest Florida Symphony’s “From Copland to the Classics” March 8

FORT MYERS, Fla. (Jan. 25, 2018) – Shell Point Retirement Community’s 2017-2018 Concert Series welcomes…

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Shell Point’s 2017-2018 Concert Series welcomes Southwest Florida Symphony’s “From Copland to the Classics” March 8

FORT MYERS, Fla. (Jan. 25, 2018) – Shell Point Retirement Community’s 2017-2018 Concert Series welcomes Southwest Florida Symphony to the stage for a “Copland to the Classics” concert performance, beginning at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 8 at the Village Church at Shell Point, 15100 Shell Point Blvd. in Fort Myers. The event is open to the public, with tickets available for $25 online at www.shellpoint.org/concerts or by phone at 239-454-2067.
Conducted by Maestor Nir Kabaretti, the Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra will perform one of Mozart’s better-known early symphonies, No. 29 in A Major. Audiences can expect to be moved by this classical masterpiece, which is personal in tone and stands alone by combining an intimate chamber music style with a fiery and impulsive delivery.
The program will also showcase the Symphony’s principal trumpet, Kris Marshall, on Copland’s Quiet City, as well as 2016 Prescott Award Winner Cassie Drake, who will perform Viola Concerto No. 1 by Carl Stamitz.

About Shell Point Retirement Community           

Shell Point Retirement Community, founded in 1968, is a nonprofit continuing care retirement community located in Fort Myers, Florida. Shell Point offers independent retirement living, assisted living, and skilled nursing care for its 2,400 residents in an active, resort-style environment. Lifestyle amenities include deep-water boating access, six public restaurants, a championship 18-hole golf course, and many other recreational and educational activities. Learn more at www.shellpoint.org or 1-800-780-1131.

Europe’s Most Successful Opera Company to Perform Madama Butterfly in Fort Myers

FORT MYERS, FLA., January 24, 2018– The most successful opera company in Europe and the…

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Europe’s Most Successful Opera Company to Perform Madama Butterfly in Fort Myers

FORT MYERS, FLA., January 24, 2018– The most successful opera company in Europe and the U.S. will be in Fort Myers February 8 to perform Madama Butterfly, one of the world’s most famous love stores.
Teatro Lirico D’Europa will perform at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall on the Fort Myers campus of Florida SouthWestern State College, as part of the Fort Myers Community Concert Association 2018 season.
Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. concert are available at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall or by calling the box office at 239-481-4849.
Prices are $35 for lower balcony and $25 for upper balcony seats.  A limited number of orchestra and mezzanine seating is available at $55 each.
“This is an amazing and very rare opportunity to hear these musicians in concert,” said Fort Myers Community Association President Mary Lee Mann.  “Madama Butterfly has been playing to rave reviews throughout the country.”
Madama Butterfly is one of the world’s most famous love stories, inspired by the sights and culture of Japan. Teatro Lirico D’Europa travels with a full orchestra of 47 to 50 members and a chorus of 40 singers.
 
 
Teatro Lirico D’Europa was created in 1988 by the late Yves Josse, a former ballet dancer and French arts promoter, and George Lalva, a young Bulgarian opera singer.  The collaboration was a huge success in a very short time, resulting in tours with more than 250 performances in a single season throughout France, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Denmark, Spain, Italy, Sicily and Portugal.
Teatro Lirico D’Europa has now completed more than 700 performances in the US. at 120 different venues and has recently added performances in South America to its list of touring regions.
 
About the Fort Myers Community Concert Association
The Fort Myers Community Concert Association is an all-volunteer not-for-profit organization founded by the legendary Barbara B. Mann in 1949 to bring world-class entertainment to Southwest Florida at affordable prices.  The association consists of more than 1,700 members, underwriters and sponsors.  Performers brought to Fort Myers in the past by the association include The Israel Ballet, The Boston Brass, Minnesota Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Vienna Boys Choir, Violinist Itzhak Perlman, Flutist James Galway, Pianist Andre Watts, Violinist Joshua Bell with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields and many others.
 
 
 

Fort Myers Miracle to host 14th annual Ballpark Festival of Beers Jan. 27 Event to feature more than 100 craft beers, games, live music

FORT MYERS, Fla. (Jan. 24, 2018) – The Fort Myers Miracle will host the 14th…

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Fort Myers Miracle to host 14th annual Ballpark Festival of Beers Jan. 27 Event to feature more than 100 craft beers, games, live music

FORT MYERS, Fla. (Jan. 24, 2018) – The Fort Myers Miracle will host the 14th annual Ballpark Festival of Beers from 6 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 27 at Hammond Stadium at CenturyLink Sports Complex in Fort Myers. Presented by Nathan’s Famous, Sidelines Sports Bar & Grill and Nauti Hawg Bar & Grill, the 21-and-up event will offer an unlimited sampling of over 100 craft beers, food for purchase from local vendors, games and live entertainment.
To the enjoyment of any beer lover, the Ballpark Festival of Beers will offer a diverse selection of ales, pales, stouts and lagers throughout the evening. From local breweries to international favorites, guests can enjoy an unlimited sampling of more than 100 craft beers.
Tickets to the 14th annual Ballpark Festival of Beers are $30 in advance and $35 at the door. Designated driver tickets are available for $10 and include unlimited water and soda. For more information or to purchase tickets, call the Miracle offices at 239-768-4210 or visit www.miraclebaseball.com.
The Fort Myers Miracle are the Class-A Advanced Affiliate of the Minnesota Twins. To stay up to date on the Miracle, follow online at Miraclebaseball.com or through social media; Twitter: @MiracleBaseball, Instagram: fortmyersmiracle, Facebook: Fort Myers Miracle, Snapchat: ftmyersmiracle. Opening Night at Hammond Stadium is April 5 at 7 p.m. against the Charlotte Stone Crabs. For further information or questions, call the Miracle offices at 239-768-4210.
 

Dress for Success SW Florida kicks off second round of women’s employment program

Local program highlights mentorship and community partnerships  FORT MYERS, Fla., January 1, 2018 --Dress for…

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Dress for Success SW Florida kicks off second round of women’s employment program

Local program highlights mentorship and community partnerships
 FORT MYERS, Fla., January 1, 2018 –Dress for Success SW Florida is pleased to announce that the successful Women Empowered Through Employment Series (WETES) will be held again this year. Introduced in 2017, this original program provides mentors for women and builds awareness in the community, and strives to create partnerships with other nonprofits. The six week program kicks off with an orientation on January 10 and will be held each following Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. through February 21st at the Dress for Success SW Florida location in Fort Myers. WETES is open to eligible women in Southwest Florida at no cost.
WETES is an employer-driven program designed by Dress for Success SW Florida for unemployed and
under-employed women seeking jobs and new careers. The program aims to educate women through a variety of targeted career growth sessions including dressing for success, interview skills, and resume writing. Courses are led by area employers to share real world experience. Participating businesses include: Brown & Brown Insurance, Chico’s FAS, Inc., FGCU, First Florida Integrity Bank, Hertz, Image Matters, Lee Health, LeeSar, Shell Point Retirement Community, and Walmart. Karen Anderson, President of the Board of Directors for Dress for Success of SW Florida, is the chairperson for this exciting program.
Barbara Dell, CEO of Dress for Success SW Florida, said, “We are very excited to kick off our second session of WETES. It has been very successful because we designed it to meet the immediate needs of unemployed and under-employed women in the community. We want these women to work towards employment with expert guidance from local business leaders. This is also a great opportunity for employers seeking to hire new talent.”
Graduates completing the six-week program will leave with several benefits including an interview outfit, a resume, cover letter ready to customize to each employer, a personalized elevator speech for selling their strengths and abilities, effective job search tools, a social media profile, thank you note template, financial literacy training and budgeting plan. Each participant will also complete a practice interview with the participating employers and receive ongoing job search support through Dress for Success SW Florida.
WETES is co-sponsored by Chico’s FAS, Inc. and The Women’s Giving Circle of Southwest Florida, a fund of the Community Foundation of Collier County. The program is also supported by Walmart, Rotary Club of Fort Myers South, and Zonta Club of Sanibel and Captiva.
To register, contact Nickole Hendra at 239.689.4992 or visit www.dfsswflorida.org.
About Dress for Success SW Florida
Founded by Barbara Dell in 2010, Dress for Success SW Florida is responsible for both Lee and Collier counties. The mission of Dress for Success SW Florida is to promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women
by providing professional attire, a network of support, and career development tools to help them thrive in work and in life.  The non-profit helps women achieve self-defined financial and professional success. Dress for Success SW Florida serves job-ready women by referral only. For more information, visit
www.dfsswflorida.org or call 239-689-4992. Dress for Success SW Florida is located at 12995 S. Cleveland Ave., Suite 153, Fort Myers, FL  33907.
 

Shell Point’s 2017-2018 Concert Series presents Washington Saxophone Quartet Feb. 22

FORT MYERS, Fla. (Jan. 23, 2018) – Shell Point Retirement Community continues the Concerts &…

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Shell Point’s 2017-2018 Concert Series presents Washington Saxophone Quartet Feb. 22

FORT MYERS, Fla. (Jan. 23, 2018) – Shell Point Retirement Community continues the Concerts & Conversations program of its 2017-2018 Concert Series with a performance by Washington Saxophone Quartet at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 22 at the Grand Cypress Room at The Woodlands at Shell Point. As part of the Concerts & Conversations program, guests can enjoy fellowship and a dessert reception with the performers following the concert. The event is open to the public, with tickets available for $25 online at www.shellpoint.org/concerts or by phone at 239-454-2067.

Washington Saxophone Quartet taps into a rich repertoire from early music to newly commissioned works, drawing on a wealth of experience to reach listeners of every age and background. The instruments evoke the refined sounds of a string quartet, the rich harmonies of an organ prelude and the excitement of a jazz sax section. The widely-recognized ensemble has played on radio and television worldwide for nearly 35 years, in addition to performing recitals, informal concerts and master classes in the U.S., the Caribbean and China.

About Shell Point Retirement Community           

Shell Point Retirement Community, founded in 1968, is a nonprofit continuing care retirement community located in Fort Myers, Florida. Shell Point offers independent retirement living, assisted living, and skilled nursing care for its 2,400 residents in an active, resort-style environment. Lifestyle amenities include deep-water boating access, six public restaurants, a championship 18-hole golf course, and many other recreational and educational activities. Learn more at www.shellpoint.org or 1-800-780-1131.

NATALY G. MILIAN JOINS CASTELLANOS + TRAMONTE ARCHITECTS

CAPE CORAL, FLA., January 22, 2018 – Art Castellanos, president of Castellanos + Tramonte Architects…

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NATALY G. MILIAN JOINS CASTELLANOS + TRAMONTE ARCHITECTS

CAPE CORAL, FLA., January 22, 2018 – Art Castellanos, president of Castellanos + Tramonte Architects in Cape Coral, announces the hiring of Nataly G. Milian as a project designer.
Milian will be responsible for the design and implementation of commercial projects for the regional firm, which specializes in commercial design.
“We believe that Nataly’s experience will be a great asset to our firm as we grow to meet the needs of our clients,” Castellanos said.
Milian is a graduate of Jose Antonio Echeverria University in Havana, Cuba, with a Bachelor of Architecture degree.  She also served as a professor of architecture at the university for two years.
She worked for architectural firms in Miami prior to joining Castellanos + Tramonte.  Among her projects are 3D modeling for Pavilion Shopping Center in Naples, Georgian Gardens in Miami, Town & Country Center in Miami, and Liberty Square in Miami.
Castellanos + Tramonte Architects was founded in 2016 by Art Castellanos, AIA, and Jason Tramonte, AIA.  The firm, located at 1625 S.E. 46th St., Suite 2A, in Cape Coral, currently employs five people.
Together, the team has designed more than 150 buildings throughout Florida, including  high-profile projects on the Ava Maria University campus in Collier County, fire stations, shopping centers, government buildings, restaurants, 7-Elevens and much more from Florida’s panhandle to Naples.
In Cape Coral, projects include Culver’s, Orion Bank, Big John’s Plaza, Cape Paradise Resort, Gastroenterology Associates of Southwest Florida, Nevermind Restaurant, Time Warner Cable, Rib City, Cape Veterinary Practice, Providence Christian School, Associates in Dermatology, Associates in Digestive Health, Viscaya Prado Veterinary Clinic, Hope Methodist Church and others.
 
About Castellanos + Tramonte Architects
Castellanos + Tramonte Architects is a full service multi-discipline architectural firm in Southwest Florida. The firm specializes in commercial architecture, which includes fire stations, healthcare buildings, public facilities, office buildings, shopping centers, industrial/warehouse buildings and, most recently, private educational and assembly buildings. For more information, visit Castellanos + Tramonte Architects website at www.castellanostramonte.com, or on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/castellanostramonte/).

A Bite of Extra Goodness: FSW and Hilton Garden Inn Unveil the FSW Buc Burger

January 16, 2018 – FORT MYERS, FL – For all you burger connoisseurs in southwest…

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A Bite of Extra Goodness: FSW and Hilton Garden Inn Unveil the FSW Buc Burger

January 16, 2018 – FORT MYERS, FL – For all you burger connoisseurs in southwest Florida, there’s a new and especially tasty option: the FSW Buc Burger. It’s available exclusively at the Hilton Garden Inn, just steps from the FSW campus in Fort Myers.
 
It’s a mouth-watering half-pound burger cooked to perfection and topped with bacon, boursin cheese, bbq sauce and fried onion crispers served on a ciabatta bun. The FSW Buc Burger comes with golden Walk the Plank fries.
 
This hunger-satisfying feast is the creation of Hilton Garden Inn.
 
“Our goal was to create something that would not only display our Chef’s innovative culinary skills but tie in a way that our guests were able to experience the pride that the hotel has for the community here in Fort Myers,” said Trey Rich, General Manager, Hilton Garden Inn Fort Myers. Our team saw an opportunity to do this with our neighboring college and partner, FSW. After some creative and collaborative brainstorming, the FSW Buc Burger was born.”
 
“This is a burger made in heaven,” said Dr. Jeff Allbritten, President, Florida SouthWestern State College. “I appreciate how all the flavors complement each other. Of course, nothing goes better with this burger than the Walk the Plank fries.”
 
The Buc Burger with Walk the Plank fries is featured on the Hilton Garden Inn’s menu for only $13.99. The Hilton Garden Inn’s restaurant is open to the public daily for breakfast from 6-10 a.m. and from 7-11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Dinner is open daily from 5-10 p.m. Hilton Garden Inn Fort Myers is located at 12600 University Drive in Fort Myers.
 
 
 
 
 
 

MERSEY BEATLES “GET BACK” TO DOWNTOWN FORT MYERS FOR THE VINYL VIBES SERIES

January 16, 2018 - Fort Myers, FL - The Four Lads from Liverpool are back…

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MERSEY BEATLES “GET BACK” TO DOWNTOWN FORT MYERS FOR THE VINYL VIBES SERIES

January 16, 2018 – Fort Myers, FL – The Four Lads from Liverpool are back by popular demand! The Mersey Beatles return to downtown Fort Myers on Saturday, February 24th. This time, the fab four will appear for a matinee at 4pm and an evening performance at 8pm! Don’t miss this sure-to-sell-out Vinyl Vibes concert with the authentic Liverpool tribute band, the Mersey Beatles. The Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center is located at 2301 First St. in the historic downtown Fort Myers River District.
 
Mersey Beatles
Saturday, February 24, 2018
Matinee Performance: 4:00pm
Evening Performance: 8:00pm
Tickets – GA: $45 • VIP: $59
For tickets and info, visit www.sbdac.com
 
VIP Tickets Include:
Premier Seating
Mersey Beatles Free CD Download
Meet & Greet with The Mersey Beatles
Meet & Greet will start one hour before show time. The band will be available for pictures and autographs.
 
This Liverpool-based Beatles Tribute Band was the resident band for over a decade at the world famous Cavern Club, where The Beatles got their start. These childhood friends have played in 20 countries, selling out shows worldwide. Experience the Mersey Beatles as never before with their all new hits show! The show will start as the lads return in the familiar suits of Beatlemania and grow older before your eyes via several quick costume changes; they will take the audience on a trip featuring 40 of the greatest hits from all eras.
See for yourself why John Lennon’s sister, Julia Baird, said: “There are a lot of Beatles tribute bands from all over the world, and I’ve seen them all, but The Mersey Beatles are the most authentic I have heard.”
 
 

GULFSHORE OPERA BRINGS “VERY VERDI” TO THE SIDNEY & BERNE DAVIS ART CENTER

  January 16, 2018 - Fort Myers, FL - On Friday, February 23rd, experience “Very…

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GULFSHORE OPERA BRINGS “VERY VERDI” TO THE SIDNEY & BERNE DAVIS ART CENTER

 
January 16, 2018 – Fort Myers, FL – On Friday, February 23rd, experience “Very Verdi” from Gulfshore Opera! Gulfshore Opera presents beautiful renditions of classic opera works throughout their season. “Very Verdi” will feature arias, duets and scenes from powerful moments in the famous Verdi operas. The Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center is located at 2301 First St. in the historic downtown Fort Myers River District.
 
Gulfshore Opera Presents Very Verdi
Friday, February 23, 2018
Show: 7:30pm | Cocktails: 7pm
Tickets: $45
 
Gulfshore Opera’s mission is to enrich the community by presenting high quality opera theater and classical vocal music, to engage​ top professionals, ​regional​ artists and inspired community members, and to promote community well-being through performances and musical education programs. Gulfshore Opera promises to present the highest quality of operatic performances to SWFL, while maximizing accessibility for diverse audiences.
 
Serving Collier, Lee and Charlotte Counties, Gulfshore Opera promises to present the highest quality of opera theater and classical vocal music performances while maximizing accessibility for diverse audiences of all ages. Our Educational Outreach program is committed to community building through a youth development program that empowers at- risk children to strive for excellence through music.
 
Gulfshore Opera was founded in 2014 by Steffanie Pearce, who brings 30 years of experience in the field of opera. She is a producer, director, performer and teacher of the great art form and has performed around the world. She resides in Southwest Florida. For more info, visit http://www.gulfshoreopera.org/.