In this episode, the tables are turned as Mark Baratto sits down with podcast host Kelly Hopkins on her show The Local Side of Key West. We talk about my art and how I got started, social media, and how I started my podcast.

This interview happened in the gallery right after I interviewed Kelly for my podcast (episode found here).

More information on Mark Baratto

Mark has over 20 years of experience in marketing, sales, operations, & events. Backyards of Key West Gallery owner, Artist, brand creator and local Key West podcaster.


In this episode, Mark Baratto sits down with Barefoot Billy’s owner and creator, Billy Mosblech. We talk about how Billy got started as a suntan lotion salesman in 1988, how he made his way into watersports, and how some tragic business events helped catapult his business to the next level… with a ton of hard work.

More on Barefoot Billy’s

In 1988, Barefoot Billy established himself as the best darn suntan lotion salesperson in Key West. But Billy felt there was something greater calling to him. In 1992, a Key West legend was born: the Barefoot Billy’s Island Jet Ski Tour. Some say Billy had a unique vision to be the first to offer an around-the-island jet ski experience…others say it was a tourist on a jet ski rental that just kept going and going.

Today, Barefoot Billy’s has grown to also offer our popular Catamaran Cruises, all kinds of Land and Beach rentals, and our expert island concierge services to connect you to all the best Key West has to offer. It turns out Billy was right, there’s more to a great Key West Vacation than just suntan lotion. And with our locations in Casa Marina, The Reach, Marriott Beachside, and Garrison Bight Marina you can find us virtually everywhere!


Phone: (305) 900-3088
Email: [email protected]

4 Convenient Locations

Casa Marina Resort, 720 Seminole Street Key West, Florida 33040
Reach Resort, 700 Waddell Avenue, Key West, Florida 33040
Marriott Beachside Resort, 3841 N Roosevelt Boulevard, Key West, Florida 33040
Garrison Bight Marina 719 Palm Ave, Key West, FL 33040

In this episode, Mark Baratto sits down for a round two talk with Scott Gerke. We talk about his video projects, what direction he is going and what drives him to keep going.

If you missed our round 1 interview, you can listen here:

More on Scott Gerke

Fueled by curiosity since childhood, I have always wanted to explore the opportunities that life presented in front of me. It’s the connections I’ve made along the way that has helped shape who I am today.

I am a full-time DJ in Key West, Florida, and I made it a goal to create a life for myself that allows me the freedom to travel the world. Throughout my adventures, I always carried a camera and used it as a tool for a greater adventure. I knew I was onto something, but never made time to grasp it’s full potential.

It was at the beginning of the pandemic and after losing all of my work as a DJ, that I was then able to jump on an opportunity in filmmaking. Life as a DJ is back, but my video series has taken on a whole new life of its own and I am so grateful for all the new experiences it has presented me with.





In this episode, Mark Baratto sits down with rapper Mike Stack.

We talk about when he began singing, why he took a pause from rapping, and how he is laying down the foundation in his own backyard of Key West.

More on Mike Stack


You can find all the links to Mike’s music here:

In this episode, Mark Baratto sits down with Wicked Lick creator, John Smotryski.

We talk about how he and his wife Amanda Velazquez made their way down to Key West and got into the ice cream business.

More on Wicked Lick

In 2018, John Smotryski and Amanda Velazquez packed up their lives on mainland Florida and set out for new beginnings in Key West, a tropical island in the Straits of Florida. Betting on himself and his ability to start a business, John cashed in his retirement savings in the pursuit of a new career. The couple started Wicked Lick with the intention of not only starting a new, exciting chapter in a tropical paradise, but also bringing the very best tasting ice cream to the community. John and Amanda set out to make it even more thrilling by using liquid nitrogen to freeze the cream.


Address: 335 Duval St, Key West, FL 33040

In this episode, Mark Baratto sits down with Carlos Martin who’s been in Key West for over 30 years in the hospitality industry.

We bounce around a lot for the episode talking about changes on the island and the Island City House Hotel.

Mark on the Island City House Hotel

One of the best places to stay for families and groups, our Old Town Key West hotel has maintained a long-standing reputation for providing impeccable hospitality in a gorgeous setting with incredible amenities. Situated in Historic Old Town Key West, sits this unique property that is comprised of three separate buildings, The Arch House, The Cigar House, and the Island City House. The oldest operating Guest House in Key West, Island City House Hotel offers guests an exceptional experience. 

Our historic property is a family-friendly destination offering a warm atmosphere to socialize and enjoy each other’s company. Featuring many modern amenities, including free Wi-Fi, daily snacks, and refreshments in all suites, a gorgeous pool with roomy sundeck, on-site bicycle rental, and more, our hotel in Old Town Key West, Florida has much to offer each and every guest. Let our concierge lend their expertise to your vacation planning needs. From making dinner reservations to securing ticket packages to suggesting the best and most iconic places to visit, we have you covered.


Phone: (305) 294-5702
Address: 411 William Street, Key West, Florida, 33040

Property Map:

In this episode, Mark Baratto sits down with Liz from Hammerhead Surf Shop.

Liz has always been in retail, specializing in helping turn around lagging businesses. When she was in Key West, she ran into the Hammerhead Surf Shop with some ideas to help, and the next thing she knew, she came on board as an owner. We talk about this journey and where she is taking the business.


Hammerhead Surf Shop is located in the famous Key West Historic Seaport along the harbor-walk waterfront. We only offer the best brands in the surf industry to keep you looking your best downtown or out on the water. We keep up with the latest trends and have something for everybody. Hammerhead Surf Shop is Key West, Florida’s Premier Surf Shop and your one-stop-shop for fashion.


201 William St
Key West, FL 33040

Opening Hours
Mon-Sun: 9am – 9pm
T: 305-509-7708
E: [email protected]

In this episode, Mark Baratto sits down for a round two talk with Co-Owner of Key West Finest and realtor, Amber DeBevec. Our first time getting to know each other was September of 2021 and you can listen to that episode here:

This episode is full of a lot of laughs as we catch up with where Amber is at with her Off Duval and On Duval guides and her overall marketing business.

More about Key West Finest

From beautiful secluded sandbars and clear turquoise waters to exciting watersport excursions, whether sailing on the sea at sunset or tasting local cuisine on a food and cocktail tour, Key West has innumerable memorable experiences to offer. Allow us to be your local guide to find you the best activities in paradise. Instant message us by clicking the bouncing blue message ball or call/text 203-273-9401





In this episode, Mark Baratto sits down with Key West local musician Jason Lamson for round 2!

We talk about how things have changed since our last interview, one year ago (found here). We also talk about his up-and-coming show at the Key West Theater on Saturday, Jun 18 – get tickets here.

More on Jason Lamson

A soul-filling, southern vocalist fusing island style, down-home soul, and a touch of funky personality to create a unique sound filling the live music scene of Key West, Florida.

A fan of both old and new music, from classic rock to reggae jams to country standards to hip-hop beats, Jason’s style is a collective representation of these genres and more. His musical style doesn’t fit into a box: it’s fluid, one sound lends itself to the next, like one emotion leads to another until you’re immersed in sound and feeling.

Jason’s performances include a combination of original songs and covers at private events and the top live music venues in Key West including Green Parrot Bar, Sloppy Joe’s, and Margaritaville. And while you typically have to be at one of his shows to hear his original tunes, you can catch a song Jason co-wrote with friend and bassist Claire Finley, “Run,” soon to be featured on the Playing for Change Band’s first original album.

A man who lives to make and share his music, Jason has live gigs almost daily in Key West. Good music needs a good audience… check out his schedule and make a plan to hear him play your favorites, as well as his. Want him all to yourself? Jason is also available for private bookings and collaborations around the country – hit him up for more information. Thanks for visiting and don’t forget to check out Jason’s new music releases! Peace.