In this episode, Mark Baratto sits down with Scott Gerke, a Key West local that many of you know – or will know real soon.

He created the Key West Full  Moon Experience, has an event company, is a local DJ, took a stranger on the most epic Key West adventure – and suffers from anxiety.

Like most of us out there, Scott may have looked like he had everything together from the outside. The great job, great apartment, the girl, the height (he is super tall), and living the island life… until he suffered from his first panic attack.

After many months of feeling lost, Scott did what any reasonable person did; he sold all of his stuff and build a tiny house out of his Sprinter Van.

Scott found himself driving all over the country and documenting his journey. A journey which you can find on his YouTube channel called, “Once a Stranger, Now a Friend.”

As someone who loves to meet new people, I created a little summer journey meeting random strangers and documenting the experiences I have with them, all through the power of hello. Life can bring us incredible offerings if we allow us to open up to all walks of life and that is what this series is all about. What I hope to gain from this journey is a better understanding of what makes all of us unique, with a new perspective on how each of us choose to live our lives.

~ Scott Gerke

We go in so many directions during this episode, but most importantly, want people out there that are suffering from some sort of mental health issue – YOU are not alone.

More on Scott Gerke

I live by the quote, “A stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet” and a believer in the power of hello. By accepting other for who they are and allowing them to be their true selves around us, we can live a pretty fulfilling and incredible life. All it takes is a simple hello. My ultimate goal with this channel is to create a mental health talk-therapy foundation, where people can use the foundation’s money to talk out their feelings with a professional and become the best version of themselves. With your support, we can make that dream become a reality. Please subscribe to my channel and let’s grow this channel, together. I am also a DJ and event producer in Key West, FL, and hope to celebrate an occasion with you someday 🙂

Website: https://www.scottcgerke.com

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/MrGerkman

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/scottcgerke/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gerkescott

In this episode, Mark Baratto sits down with Shots and Giggles owners Steve Kibbe and Hannia Rivera. We talk about how they got into the bar business and why they decided to open this local favorite.

More on Shots and Giggles

Shots and Giggles is located on the corner of Ann and Greene Street next door to Tattoos & Scars Saloon.  A local’s favorite known for its intimate setting.  S&G features over 60 craft beers, fine wine and premium liquors.

S&G will be celebrating its 9th anniversary this Thanksgiving of 2021.

Owners Steve Kibbe and Hannia Rivera have been a part of Key West for over 25 years.   Steve arrived in Key West via Sacramento, California, however he is often seen around town in an Eagles jersey.    Hannia, a diehard Redskins fan, arrived in Key West via Annapolis, MD is often seen wearing  her “I hate Dallas” t-shirt around town.

As lifelong restauranteurs and bar managers, Steve and Hannia are fortunate to have realized their dream of owning this little piece of hidden paradise.  

Website: https://www.shotsngiggles.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/shotsandgiggleskw/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shotsngiggleskw/

201 Ann Street
Key West, Fl 33040 
T  /  305-414-8272

In this episode of the Podcast, Mark Baratto sits down with artists Helen and Ben Harrison, to talk about their gallery on White Street, but in a surprise turn of events, ended up talking about their life at sea. I think the below quote sums it up – enjoy!

“In the 1970s my husband, Ben, and I spent four years building a thirty-eight foot sailboat in Costa Rica, a massive project for two gringos in a foreign country. Starting with a bare hull, we designed and constructed this giant sculptural object of functional art using self-taught traditional wood techniques that set the stage for my present work. While traveling and living aboard, which we did for 11 years, I began my transition from boatwork to sculpture.”

Read About Their Journey In Sailing Down The Mountain: A Costa Rican Adventure

More on Harrison Gallery

Located in the southernmost city in the continental United States, Harrison Gallery has become a local institution, earning a reputation as a destination for some of the best fine art in the area.

A privately owned and operated art studio and show space, the gallery was opened by Helen and Ben Harrison in 1986.

Harrison Gallery represents a select group of artists from whose work, along with that of the Harrison’s, make the gallery a truly personal and unique artistic experience that should not be missed.

Website: http://www.harrison-gallery.com

Instagram: http://www.harrison-gallery.com/instagram

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/harrisongallery

Ben Harrison’s music: https://open.spotify.com/artist/2Hy8T1RUaoSDiLKqElGFV4?si=b0ZIGZSIQGi4b24_qEgylg

In this episode, Mark Baratto sits down with Tom Carbone, the owner of Carbone’s Custom Firearms.

We discuss how Tom got into the business and his passion for bringing firearm safety and understanding to the Florida Keys.

Whether you are a gun lover or not, this is a great episode to get the understand from someone who has been in the business for decades.

More on Carbone’s Custom Firearms

The Florida Keys longest established Class 2 Manufacturer and SOT holder. Rock River Arms Inc Law Enforcement dealer in Monroe County. We have been supplying the needs of Military and Law Enforcement around the country. We are now open and ready to serve all residents of Monroe County and the country. Come to the only firearms business where we have walked the walk and talked the talk. No flash, no fluff.

Website: https://www.keywestguns.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/carbonescustom/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CCFKW/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/thomas-r-carbone-86a26a1b/

6810 Front Street,
Unit 2
Key West, FL 33040
Phone: 305-923-5455
[email protected]

In this episode, Mark Baratto sits down with Key West City Manager Greg Veliz (before the Covid-19 pandemic).

We talked about Greg’s journey from Conch to elected official, and all the bumps in-between.

I love and admire Greg’s tenacity and hope this episode teaches you that anything can happen with the right attitude.

More on Greg Veliz

The City Manager’s Department provides executive leadership in the management of all departments and enterprises of the City. The City Manager reports to the Mayor and Commissioners and responds to the needs of the public by proactively seeking public feedback.

Website: https://www.cityofkeywest-fl.gov/395/City-Manager

In this episode, Mark Baratto sits down with Hillary to talk about how she became a stylist, how she made her way down to Key West, and why she decided to open her own Beauty Lounge right in the middle of the Covid-19 crisis.

This episode is loaded with inspiration and is worth listening to (whether you are into hair or not :).

More on Cayo Beauty Lounge by Hillary

Our mission is to inspire the community of women by offering a unique and refreshing vibe, while providing top notch hair care and focusing on what we do best. Beautiful natural looking hair that turnsheads.

Meet Hillary. Some call her the ‘hairwizard’, Hillary is the owner of Cayo Beauty Lounge. She prides herself on her innate ability to really listen to the clients wants and needs and turning it into a masterpiece. Her style signature look is creating a perfect low maintenance color that stays beautiful overtime. Hillary loves trendy hair with a classic and natural appeal. Her advanced cutting training has allowed her to give each and every woman a cut that suits their face, shape and hair texture.

Website: https://cayobeautyloungekw.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cayo_beauty_lounge/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cayobeautylounge/

CAYO BEAUTY LOUNGE
218 WHITEHEAD ST,
KEY WEST, FL, 33040
On arrival KEYPAD ENTRY 2181.

(504) 881-6046
[email protected]

Parking Instructions: Pay to park available in the Margaritaville Resort. Public parking garage. Off Street parking available nearby. Please allow 15 min to accomodate for parking. Salon is located inside the building. Privae access, down the hall to the left.

In this episode, Mark Baratto sits down with Nance Frank, the director of the Gallery on Greene.

This is perfect for all you Key West history buffs out there.  We dive deep into the history of Key West homes, the people and the art.

We recorded this episode in the fall, before COVID-19 lockdown happened.  I am pleased to say that The Gallery on Green is fully operational and taking visitors on a daily basis.

More on The Gallery on Greene

The Gallery on Greene has consistently fomented curatorial and artistic practice through ambitious exhibitions programs, created in close collaboration with its artists with museums from New York, MCNY, AFAM, SSSM to Havana’s National Museum of Fine Art.

Our philosophy: The style pendulum swung away from overly furnished and cluttered interiors some time ago. The immediate reaction was one of clinical simplicity. We are now experiencing a hugely exciting period where key pieces of fine art or antiques are used to a stunning effect within contemporary interiors. This juxtaposition makes for an emerging sophisticated style, next to no other. 

Now we can appreciate the best of both worlds.

With the growing sophistication of the general public, people are looking more into expressing themselves at home than ever before. Comfort, style, quality, beauty, technology and investment are all keywords mentioned when furnishing and decorating a new home.

The Gallery on Greene is ideally positioned to advise on the acquisition of such integral items to enhance your living space and daily lives.

Website: http://galleryongreene.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thegalleryongreene/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/The-Gallery-On-Greene-174703195932962/

Gallery On Greene
606 Greene Street
Key West, FL 33040

(305) 304.2323
Havana – 011.535.413.362
[email protected]

Open 10am – 6pm Daily

In this episode, Mark Baratto sits down with the owner of Salt Island Provisions, Laura Richardson.

We talk about the origin story or Salt Island Provisions, how this island favorite is a hub for everything local; from salt to wine to honey to art.

This spot is a MUST for every tourist and local alike!

**Note that his episode was recorded before the COVID-19 lockdown, but I am pleased to say that Salt is still running at full steam!

More on Salt Island Provisions

SALT Island Provisions is a purveyor of fine goods handcrafted in and sourced from the Florida Keys.

We offer the indigenous essences of sweet and savory: wild honey and sea salt, harvested in small batches from the sun-kissed islands.

We believe in goods that are simple by nature and speak to the ‘spirit of place.’ It is our business to celebrate our island home by featuring local artists and artisans. 

Website: http://www.saltislandprovisions.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/saltkeywest/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SALTKeyWest/

Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/salt-island-provisions-key-west

830 Fleming Street  
Key West, FL
305-517-6088
[email protected]
Open 10am – 4pm Daily

In this episode, Mark Baratto sits down with Chief TuTu wearer, Jenn Stefanacci.

We talk about how this Jersey girl made her way down to the Conch Republic and how she created her cult-classic bar, 22&Co.

This was one of my favorite episodes I did, not only because of how cool 22&Co is but how cool Jenn is… bringing that NJ flavor all the way south.

**NOTE** This episode was recorded before the pandemic, so hours are changed. As of September 10th, 2020 – their hours are:

Monday – Thursday = 4pm – 12ish
Friday & Saturday = 2pm – LATE
Sunday = 12pm – LATE
Light snacks served at the bar.

More on 22&Co

Fresh cocktails. Fun bartenders. Tutus. Flamingos. Unicorns.
…Need we say more?

22&Co Key West
504 Angela Street
Key West, FL 33040

(305) 394-7244

Website: https://22andco.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/we_love_tutus/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/22tutuandCo/

In this episode, Mark Baratto sits down with the co-owner of The Green Pineapple at the Perry Hotel, Rebecca Schwab-Talpas.

We talk about her career start in retail, why she decided to open up the shop at the Perry, her yoga teachings, and her cookbook club :).

This episode was recorded months before COVID lockdown and since then Rebecca has taken most of her yoga classes online, so make sure to check out her schedule https://mindbody.io/locations/salute-to-the-sol

The Green Pineapple at the Perry Hotel

The Green Pineapple offers a lovely blend of goods and services to help you feel happy and healthier. Our lifestyle boutiques feature men’s and women’s apparel, handmade jewelry, accessories and much more.

Address
The Perry Hotel
7001 Shrimp Rd, Key West, FL 33040

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/greenpineappleperry/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/greenpineapple_perry/

More on Rebecca Schwab-Talpas

Rebecca is the owner of Salute to the Sol and has been teaching and practicing yoga in the Florida Keys since 2015. She is a certified yoga instructor, E-RYT 200, YACEP with Yoga Alliance. She enjoys creating an environment that allows you to tap into your inner and outer strength and flexibility. Although alignment is central to her classes, the joy of a yoga practice is that it is not taken too seriously. Smiling from the heart is where it is at!

Website: https://salutetothesol.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/salute_to_the_sol_yoga/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/saluetothesol/

Virtual Yoga Classes: https://mindbody.io/locations/salute-to-the-sol