In this episode, Mark Baratto sits down with yogi, chef, and all-around awesome person, Sofia Artola.

We talk about the transition going from student to teacher to business owner, moving locations (5 times), and incorporating the cafe into the space, creating a full organic experience.

More on Shakti Yoga

Shakti Yoga is committed to offering you sound, wise instruction in a context that honors the ancient traditions of Hatha Yoga. Our classes are nurturing, safe and non-competitive, with an emphasis on lightness and laughter when appropriate.

Shakti Yoga’s current class schedule focuses on Flow. Flow is an evolving form of traditional hatha yoga that focuses on integrating intention, breath and movement, awareness and alignment, strength and flexibility, and “your practice with daily life.” Instructors weave together teachings that can inspire physical, energetic, mental, and pure bliss states of consciousness.

Sofia Artola has been teaching yoga for 18 years. She is a graduate of the Sai Ayurvedic College and Wellness Center & has an Associate Degree in Vedic Studies. A native of Nicaragua, Sofia has been an island resident of Key West, Florida for over 30 years.

In 2005 Sofia started Shakti Yoga & five years later she moved Shakti to the current location at 1114 White St. In 2015 she expanded the space & launched Mayanjali Cafe & Boutique. Mayanjali has recently grown to include nourishing meals, specialty dinners & cooking classes.

Website: http://shaktikeywest.com

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

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

Location: 1114 White St, Key West, FL

Phone: (305) 587-4285

More on Mayanjali

IT ALL STARTED WITH A DREAM…

I am a traveler.

On a yoga sabbatical in 2003 I learned the power of food. While trying to live the true yogic life, I found my way to an Ashram in India and lived with a family who taught me the ritual of making the morning meal. The preparation taught me how to make simple traditional meals.

Food is seen as communal and rich in custom; the rite of practice. A time to slow down and be conscious of what we consume; recognizing the energy we create.

A whole new universe opened up to me of how important food was.

My practice had been getting on a mat in order to reawaken the body and energy. With this experience, I began to awaken to the energy of food.

This was the dream… to share that awakening with the community in Key West and beyond.

In the progression of this yogic life, I have found my Dharma. My life’s purpose. Transforming simple ingredients into foods that heal your body, mind and nourish the soul.

I am extremely blessed to share this with others.

Website: https://mayanjali.com

Location: 1114 White St, Key West, FL

Phone: (305) 587-4285

In this episode, Mark Baratto sits down with celebrity chef Graham Dailey of the famed Cafe Marquesa.

We talk about his early beginnings at the Peninsula Grill as the Executive Chef, to professional kitchens in New York City, where he worked under well-known Chef Anthony Bourdain.

Later on, Chef Graham moved to Paris and became the first American to apprentice at the Michelin star-rated Hotel Lutetia, one of France’s most prestigious hotels; to now find his new home in Key West at Cafe Marquesa.

More on Cafe Marquesa

One of Zagat’s highest-rated restaurants in Key West.

No visit to Key West is complete without a trip to Café Marquesa, a local and tourist favorite Key West restaurant. For a memorable dining experience, Café Marquesa’s “Contemporary American Cuisine” does not disappoint. Specialties include grilled meats and fresh, local seafood, complemented by inventive appetizers and salads as well as fresh baked bread and desserts made daily.

Diners at the 50-seat restaurant catch glimpses of kitchen theatre behind a hand-painted trompe l’oeil wall. Large mahogany-framed mirrors give diners a view of the entire restaurant. Specialties include locally caught fresh local seafood, complemented by inventive appetizers and house-made desserts.

Based on seasonal availability, our chef selects the finest seafood, meats and produce to design the menu. Our team of talented chefs presents innovative interpretations of classic dishes nightly. Our award-winning Cafe Marquesa will delight your tastebuds with many delectable entrees that you won’t be able to decide which one to choose. But save room for dessert!

A cozy bar is available for drinks, light bites, dessert, and coffee or full meals. Friends and hotel guests meet at the bar prior to dinner and before or after the theatre. It is a great place to begin or end an evening!

Website: http://marquesa.com/cafe-marquesa/

Cozy, high-end hotel eatery celebrated for its genteel ambiance & inventive New American cooking.

Located in: Marquesa Hotel

Address: 600 Fleming St, Key West, FL 33040

Reservations: opentable.com

Phone: (800) 869-4631

Hours: Monday – Sunday: 5:30PM–10PM

More on Chef Graham Dailey

Drawn to culinary arts at an early age, Peninsula Grill Executive Chef Graham Dailey transitioned from teenage summers working on fishing and shrimping boats in the Gulf of Mexico to professional kitchens in New York City, where he worked under well-known Chef Anthony Bourdain. The high-energy, two-year opportunity inspired Dailey to become a professional chef. Dailey moved to Paris, enrolled in the famed Le Cordon Bleu, and became the first American to apprentice at the Michelin star-rated Hotel Lutetia, one of France’s most prestigious hotels. Chef Dailey returned to the United States in 1997 and joined Peninsula Grill as a member of the restaurant’s opening culinary team. After serving as Chef du Cuisine, he assumed the role of Peninsula Grill Executive Chef. 

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

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/graham.dailey.7

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GrahamDailey

Best Chefs of America: https://www.bestchefsamerica.com/graham-dailey

In this episode, Mark Baratto sits down with the family (almost the entire family) behind Tropical Vibes Cones & Bowls.

We talked about family values, how the business got started, and how their love for the community is the driving force for the business.

More on Tropical Vibes

A one of a kind, eco-friendly company, family and 🇺🇸 veteran-owned Ice cream shop. Happily serving Brazilian Açaí Bowls, Hawaiian Shaved Ice & Thai Rolled Ice Cream.

YouTube: youtu.be/PqE3_0QQMl8

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tropicalvibes.keywest/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tropicalvibes.keywest

Address: 411 Greene St, Key West, FL 33040

Hours: Monday – Sunday 11AM–10PM

Phone: (305) 906-1100

In this episode, Mark Baratto sits down with Michael Halpern to talk about life at the famed Southernmost House, his wife’s beautiful foundation (Michelle’s Foundation), and the wonderful things the B&B is doing for the community.

We share some NYC stories, revel in how kindness and old school morals matter, and how Michael pulled off the cleanup of the “quiet end” of Duval Street.

More on The Southernmost House

Relax, Unwind, & Escape

Surround yourself in upscale elegance at the magnificent Southernmost House.

When you take a dip in the zero-entry heated pool that is perched directly on the oceanfront, it feels like the crystal-clear waters ebb and flow into the horizon. Find out why our famous bed and breakfast has been the Key West, Florida boutique hotel of choice for Presidents, royalty, and famous figures like Ernest Hemingway.

Relax, unwind, and escape from everyday life on the quieter end of Duval Street in a gorgeous setting that stretches out around our charming, restored Victorian house.

Website: https://www.southernmosthouse.com

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

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

Trip Advisor: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g34345-d600878-Reviews-The_Southernmost_House-Key_West_Florida_Keys_Florida.html

The Southernmost House

1400 Duval Street
Key West FL, 33040

Phone: 305-296-3141
Email: [email protected]

In this episode, Mark Baratto sits down with Raymond Vazquez of the famed real estate brokerage firm, Truman & Co.

We talk about oil spills, fly fishing, and of course Real Estate 🙂

More on Raymond:

Raymond has been assisting buyers & sellers since 2005. His diverse background means he is one of the few real estate agents who truly understands their role as a Broker/Associate. His market knowledge & understanding of every client’s needs leads to a well-managed, exciting real estate experience.

Website: https://keywesthometeam.com

Instagram: https://instagram.com/raymondjvazquez

CONTACT RAYMOND:

[email protected]

(305) 395-1777

1205 Truman Ave / Key West, FL 33040

THE COMPANY

Truman & Co. specializes in Key West real estate and real estate in the Lower Keys. We have some of the most respected Realtors in the Key West area. Our agents together with their individual teams of real estate professionals have joined together to form Truman & Co. Real Estate Services.

Truman & Co. has since its inception consistently been the top-producing real estate firm in Key West and the Lower Keys. 

In this episode, Mark Baratto sits down with Key West local Nick Norman to talk about where he started, and where he is going.

We find out how he got started with music and how he is constantly working to “sharpen the sword” of his craft.

This is one of my favorite interviews so far because Nick is so easy to talk to and talks about his career as an open book. 

More on Nick Norman

Immediately recognizable, Nick is known for two distinctive gifts: his soulful voice and infectious smile. It’s hard to imagine that as a young boy he was told he would never be good enough to sing in the church’s youth ensemble in Columbia, South Carolina where he grew up. Today he is truly the man with a golden voice; a talented singer/songwriter who delights his audiences with soulful and inspirational performances. 

It was during his childhood when Nick first acquired his passion for music; his father played guitar, while his mother encouraged him to write. Attending Baptist church exposed him to the awe-inspiring power of the choir. “It was how I first learned that you can truly make people feel what you feel, by believing in what you are singing. They sang from their hearts and that is something I believe that cannot be faked.”

As a young man listening to South Carolina’s emerging musicians of the time, such as Edwin McCain and Hootie and the Blowfish, he was also drawing from the styles of legendary artists including Stevie Wonder and The Band. Inspired by an eclectic array of influences Nick created a sound all his own.

Branching out from his home state he performed on stages all over the southeast, eventually finding his way to the Southernmost City of Key West in 2006. As his solo acoustic shows were drawing crowds, Nick’s songwriting was steadily being fueled by the artistic vibe of the island blending with his native southern roots.  

In 2010,  Nick collaborated with longtime friends Jon Stone & Lee Brice resulting in the recording of his first studio album Hey Cheater. This heartfelt album gave fans a raw look into the personal hardships of Nick’s life by putting his heart on his sleeve in songs such as  “Libba Don’t Call” and “Varela St”. Quickly becoming a Key West anthem, “Good Whiskey” can be heard by local musicians throughout Key West on any given evening. 

He has performed his original music on stages across the country that include City Winery, The Filmore, Listening Room Nashville, Key West Theater, Rams Head, Vina Robles Amphitheatre, Melody Tent and Island Time Music Festival. He has opened for acts such as Lee Brice, Lee Ann Womack, Edwin McCain, The Wailers, and The Doobie Brothers and founded the highly sought after “Sunday Ramble” concert that features local Key West musicians.

Website: https://www.nicknormanmusic.com

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

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

In this episode, Mark Baratto sits down with Alessandra Torre, an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty-two novels.

We talk about how a summer project turned into her first novel, and how tweaking a couple of words on the Amazon description had her go from 10 sales per day to over 2000 per day.

If you are interested in writing a book, publishing, or how to even get started, this episode is for you!

More on Alessandra

A New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author, Alessandra Torre has written twenty-two novels, including three New York Times bestsellers.

Her first book, Blindfolded Innocence, was a breakout hit, rising to the top of the ebook charts on Amazon where it attracted the interest of major publishing houses and garnered Torre her first print deal with Harlequin HQN. Less than twelve months later, Torre signed a second six-figure print deal, this time with Redhook (Hachette) for the Deanna Madden series, an erotic suspense trilogy.

Torre has been featured in such publications as Elle and Elle UK, as well as guest-blogged for the Huffington Post and RT Book Reviews. She is also the Bedroom Blogger for Cosmopolitan.com. In 2017, her New York Times bestseller HOLLYWOOD DIRT, was released as a full-length film by PassionFlix. Torre’s novels have been translated in seventeen languages and are distributed in over thirty countries.

Torre is the creator of Alessandra Torre Ink – an authors community and online school with over 10,000 members. She is also the founder of INKERS CON, an annual authors conference. A self-publishing advocate, Alessandra speaks frequently to universities, conventions and author groups.

From her home in Key West, Florida, she devotes several hours each day to various writing projects and interacting with her fans on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. When not battling her husband at Scrabble, she chases her pet chickens, three dogs, and shoos away iguanas.

To stay informed, consider subscribing to Torre’s popular monthly newsletter.

Available for: Book Signings, Speaking, Keynotes, Interviews, Promotional Events.

Agent: Maura Kye-Casella, Don Congdon & Associates, Inc
Contact her at:  [email protected]

Website: https://www.alessandratorre.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alessandratorre4/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Alessandra-Torre/e/B0095WFMGQ/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/AlessandraTorre

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AlessandraTorre0

Twitter: https://twitter.com/readalessandra/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/atorreauthor/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwoc0NYWzikybgJs8GgX_AA

In this episode, Mark Baratto sits down with the CEO/ Co-Owner George Fernandez.

We talk about the more than 60 different species of butterflies and rubbing elbows (more like beaks), with Rhett and Scarlett at the Flamingle (a meeting with 2 local flamingos).

George explains how they delight all or your senses with sounds, colors, aromatherapy smells, and of course, wonder!

Learn about how the Conservatory started, and how it was just named one of the best Butterfly Conservatories in the US.

More on Butterfly & Nature Conservatory

Walk Among Hundreds of Living Butterflies and Colorful Birds!

Feel your stress fade away as you enter our magical world of butterflies. Relax and be amazed as you stroll through our tropical paradise. Walk through a magical and inviting environment filled with hundreds of the most beautiful winged creatures in nature. During your breathtaking journey, you will experience an impressive collection of flowering plants, colorful birds, cascading waterfalls and trees that set the stage for the “flowers of the sky.” Witness a variety of some 50 to 60 butterfly species from around the world, along with over 20 exotic bird species, all under a climate-controlled, glass-enclosed habitat.

In The Learning Center, explore the butterfly anatomy, physiology, life cycle, feeding and the migratory world of the Monarch. Also, get a rare close-up view of a variety of live caterpillars feeding and developing on their host plants. Browse through our unique Gift Shop offering a wide assortment of butterfly and nature-related items. Wings of Imagination, the Butterfly Gallery, offers original artwork by artist Sam Trophia. The acrylic shadow boxes depict the butterfly’s beauty preserved and suspended in an art form in a spectrum of colors, shapes and sizes – your perfect piece of art from your vacation in Key West

View Their Live WebCam!

Website: https://www.keywestbutterfly.com

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

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

Hours: Conservatory 9am-5pm

Gift Shop & Gallery 9am-5:30pm

Location: 1316 Duval Street Key West, Florida 33040

Email Us: [email protected]

​Call Us: (305) 296-2988

In this episode, Mark Baratto sits down with Matthew Nooner and Raymond J. Vazquez, the owners of The Local, Butcher & Market.

We talk about where the idea came from (hint, it was over drinks), and how Matt and Raymond went from idea to execution.

If you are in a family business or work with loved ones, this episode is a good one because we go behind the scenes on how to navigate working and living together.

More on The Local Butcher

Locally owned and operated specialty butcher shop & market located in Key West, Florida. We do our best to fulfill any special orders. Open 7 days a week.

Offering a wide selection of Beef, Pork Chicken, Seasonal Game, Imported Cheeses & other various items.

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

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pg/TheLocalButcherandMarket

1202 White Street, Key West FL

Phone: 305-741-7207

Hours: 10AM – 7PM

In the episode, Mark Baratto sits down with Kyle Carter to talk about a whole lot of live music.

We talk about his involvement in the Songwriters Sessions, Songwriters Festival, and his own creation, Mile 0 Fest.

Kyle and his family were living, what most consider to be a “comfortable life,” but something was missing.

After falling in love with Key West, Kyle sold it all and took his love for music to his newly beloved island paradise.

Living a “comfortable life” may sound good on paper, but in the end, going after your dreams is what LIFE is all about.

More on Mile 0 Fest – (Jan 28 – Feb 1)

Mile 0 Fest was founded in 2017, with its first year of production being 2018. It was created on the principle of producing a festival that checked all of the boxes: 

  • Fantastic Line-Up – that has repeat and fan favorites back every year, but also brings in new faces, and fresh talent. The best in Red Dirt Americana
  • Location, Location, Location – A destination that was enjoyable for everyone! Key West has everything, beaches, fishing, water-sports, history, shopping, dining, dancing, its the perfect vacation.
  • Fan Bliss – A festival that puts the fans first. No overcrowding here, we are a boutique festival with an attendance cap.  Over a short period of time, our attendees have become family. With almost every state represented, music fans from all over the country come together once a year to celebrate the common thread that binds them. The Love of great music.
  • Flexibility – You want to come as a VIP and have all of your lodgings, passes, and extras are taken care of with a one-stop-shop? You got it! We have an incredible concierge staff that can make that happen. You want to book everything yourself and just get a pass to the festival? We can do that too! (Check out the Packages and Passes page for more detailed information) 

What is Mile 0 Fest? Mile 0 Fest is a 4 Day Red Dirt/Americana Music Festival in Paradise (aka Key West). 

When is Mile 0 Fest? The third annual Mile 0 Fest will be January 28th-February 1st. We have our Duval Street Kick-Off Party on Tuesday, January 28th, 2020. It is open to the public and is a free show for everyone. So although the festival is a four-day festival, you want to come in the day before and enjoy the kick-off party. 

Where is Mile 0 Fest? Mile 0 Fest is held in Key West, Florida. We utilize numerous stages all over the island with our biggest stage being the Truman Waterfront Park Amphitheater. Local venues like The Smokin’ Tuna, Irish Kevin’s, Durty Harry’s, Viva Saloon, The Southernmost Beach Resort & Cafe, The Southernmost House, Sunset Pier, Cowboy Bill’s, Key West Theater, The San Carlos Institute, Fury Cruises and many more are also utilized throughout the week to provide ample opportunity to check out Key West while enjoying your favorite Red Dirt/Americana Artists. 

Who Plays Mile 0 Fest? Only the best in Red Dirt & Americana. Past year’s performers have included, Trampled By Turtles, Turnpike Troubadours, Stoney Larue, Shinyribs, Mike & The Moonpies, Jamie Lin Wilson, Jamie Wyatt, John Moreland, John Fullbright, American Aquarium, The Great Divide, Cody Canada & The Departed, Bonnie Bishop, Todd Snider, Paul Thorn, Pat Green, Jason Boland & The Stragglers, The Mavericks, Walt & Tina Wilkins, Jason Eady, Courtney Patton, William Clark Green and many more. 2020’s line-up is looking to be the biggest yet with Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Robert Earl Keen, Randy Rogers Band & Whiskey Myers taking the headlining spots. Click HERE to see the full 2020 line-up and past year’s line-ups. 

Website: https://mile0fest.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mile0festkeywest

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mile0festkeywest

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Mile0Fest

Florida Weekly Article: https://keywest.floridaweekly.com/articles/mile-0-fest