In this episode, Mark Baratto sits down with owners Matt & Katie Wills of The Spice & Tea Exchange of Key West.

This episode was recorded in December of 2019 and I wanted to wait for them to be back open after the COVID shut down.

We talk about how they took a leap of faith to start a brand new business in Key West, how they work the family dynamic, and how a “little rub goes a long way 😎.”

More on The Spice & Tea Exchange

At The Spice & Tea Exchange, we offer a variety of fine spices, handcrafted seasonings, loose-leaf teas, salts, sugars, gifts, and more! Explore gifts and accessories in the best local gift shop in town. Whether you’re new to the culinary scene, own your own food service business, or are simply looking to add a bit of spice to your life, our friendly and knowledgeable staff can help you find the perfect menu additions! We’re known for our over 85 handcrafted seasonings, which we hand-mix in store daily. Stop on by to watch our Spice Masters at work!

Website: https://www.spiceandtea.com/key-west

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

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/spiceandtea

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

511 Greene St, #102
Key West, Florida 33040

305-741-7352
[email protected]

Our doors are open and we’re offering curbside pickup and Free Shipping over $50 on local phone orders!

In this episode, Mark Baratto sits down with Steven, the food and beverage director for Matt’s Stock Island Kitchen & Bar and the Salty Oyster Dockside Bar & Grill at The Perry Hotel.

We discuss how these two restaurants get all their amazing food, the incredible brunch deal, and what the heck a fishmonger is ;).

This episode was recorded many months ago and I’m happy to say that the brunch deal is still going on!

More on Matt’s Stock Island Kitchen & Bar

At Matt’s Stock Island Kitchen & Bar, the ingredients speak for themselves. It’s American Coastal Comfort Food—simple, comforting, and delicious in a way you’d never expect. Whether you bring in your own fresh catch for us to prepare or come in to order just a few dishes, you’ll want to try everything on the menu. Plus, our gift cards make the perfect present for your favorite foodie

Website: https://www.perrykeywest.com/eat-and-drink/matts-stock-island

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

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mattsstockislan

In this episode, Mark Baratto sits down with Paradise Restaurant owner, Christian Velez.

This was recorded before the pandemic shut down, and I hope they get as busy again as they were during this interview!

This is one of the shortest episodes I’ve ever done because Christian was not only working the bar but helping take orders, serving food… this guy was really doing it all!

More on Paradise Restaurant

Website: http://www.restaurantparadisekw.com

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

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

It began with two brothers born in Miami, FL but raised in their family’s homeland in Medellin, Colombia. Christian Velez and Julian Velez, now 25 and 30, respectively. While living in Colombia, their family decided to move to Miami with hopes of building a life that included their dreams and visions. Once reaching the USA, their parents placed them in a soccer program known today as Kendall Soccer coalition, making great teammates that eventually turned into family along the way.

This was the beginning of their soccer career and as time passed, they were granted the special opportunity to continue playing soccer at a university level with a scholarship. From Kendall Soccer Coalition to Florida Gulf Coast University, it was looked as a giant step with goals of making it professionally. Unfortunately, things took a turn when everything seemed so great when hardships and internal family matters broke up the unity amongst the Velez family. While Christian remained in school to complete his degree, his brother left to Colombia.

Over a span of 5 years, the brothers were distant but remained in close communication with hopes to one day create a legacy together to honor the family and everything their parents sacrificed for them to be where they were today. Together they planned to move out of their comfort zone all the way down to Key West. Working counted hours and sleepless nights, they saved onto eventually open their one gift shop “Life in Paradise.” They recognized the amounts of visitors who showed up next door to their neighbor’s side, known as “Juan loves Lucy.’ A very popular restaurant that ran for more than six years. After years passed, they planned to one day envision a restaurant next door to accompany their citing store. A restaurant that encompasses the culture they’ve been able to ___? in Colombia and the melting pot up in Miami, they wanted to create a place for everyone and anyone. And so they opened an international cuisine for tourists from all over the world to have a taste of a variety of dishes ranging from Colombia, Cuba, Peru, USA, and Mexico. Today what you see is the work and labor that brings stout the restaurant, known as Paradise. For behind every storm, be sure to know there is a paradise waiting for you. We gladly welcome you to ours.

In this episode, Mark Baratto sits down with chef and co-owner Babeth to discuss how the business was affected during the COVID-19 shutdown, how this family-owned business is surviving, and some tips on doing the same.

This is my first interview back after the shutdown and we laughed, shared stories, and I ate… a little too much!

More on La Grignote Artisan French Bistro

Website: http://lagrignotecafe.com

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

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/La-Grignote-170784603348283/

OUR STORY: A FRENCH COUPLE LIVING THE AMERICAN DREAM

La Grignote cafe is family-owned by Joel and Babeth, a couple in life. After falling in love with the island on his first visit to Key West in 1995, and spending a year there, it took Joel 20 years to fulfill his dream to move there permanently. In the meantime he met Babeth, a french baker aspiring to open a bakery in Florida, and they opened “La Grignote” in September 2016.

“We decided to make everything from scratch with high-quality ingredients. We also want to be a part of the neighborhood, the community not just cater to tourists.”

Today, we are recognized as the best bakery, place to eat by the whole community.

We have gotten so successful that we opened another bakery called “La Petite Grignote” located on 517 Fleming street in Key West.

La Grignote Cafe
1211 Duval Street
Key West, FL, 33040, USA

La Petite Grignote
517 Fleming street
Key West, FL, 33040, USA

Phone: 305-916-5445

This episode is a first for me. As some of you may know, I record these episodes months in advance and have collected 6 months’ worth of podcasts to put out.

With times like this, I reached out to Scott Atwell, the Executive VP & CEO of the Key West Chamber of Commerce to bring you as many helpful tips as we can for your business. We recorded this episode on April 2nd, and it is airing on April 3rd, so we can provide the best up to date information.

You may have heard my offering within this episode. Below is my email address, and if you don’t have a website or social medial account and you are a Key West business, I am offering my service free of charge to get you up and running.

You can email me at [email protected] and we can have a chat about getting you up and running.

Also, if you want to start your very own podcast, I put together a how-to guide found here: https://backyardsofkeywest.com/how-to-start-a-podcast/

Lastly, here is the COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan Application link I mentioned: https://covid19relief.sba.gov/

More on the Key West Chamber of Commerce

“The mission of the Greater Key West Chamber of Commerce is to serve its members and maintain and promote a viable economy for the businesses and working people of Key West”

For more information on how the Key West Chamber can help you or your business please contact them at 305-294-2587.

Website: https://www.keywestchamber.org

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

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

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

Small Business Help

A message from the Chamber:

There are four different programs featured in our recent newsletter, shared by SBDC. These include: 

• the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program
• SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program
• SBA Payroll Support through the CARES Act
• Florida DEO Payroll Support Program. 

These loans are different than ones that have been offered in previous disasters.

For the recap of those programs shared in the newsletter, go to https://bit.ly/347v4o7

For the FAQ forwarded to us by US Senator Rick Scotts Office on the CARES Act, go to https://bit.ly/343eZjd

For the Coronavirus and a Business Assistance Program Information sheet provided by Monroe County, go to https://bit.ly/3aNcaFu

Several of our local financial institutions can assist their customers with SBA loans, although they are waiting for further instructions from the Federal Government you can reach out to your local bank for future guidance. 

First State Bank of the Florida Keys 
Existing First State Bank customers who would like to be contacted to apply as soon as the SBA program is released, can fill out a Contact Request Form on the Bank’s website www.KeysBank.com/sba-loan-contact-request

or contact Brad Lutz, AVP Commercial Lending,
at 305-293-7163 or [email protected]  
For non-SBA loans, call 305-296-8535.

BB&T, now Truist
Both new and Existing clients seeking CARES solutions should contact Jay W. Hall or Dale Bittner directly at:  
Jay W. Hall: 305-292-3832 or [email protected]
Dale Bittner: 305-292-3842 or [email protected]

Centennial Bank
Existing Customers can reach out to their loan officer directly; non-customers can contact Mark Todaro at 305-676-3145. 

IBERIABANK 
Existing Customers can contact the following:
Jacqueline Luhta, Business Development Officer, 305-809-8987
Trich Worthington, Group Branch Manager, 305-289-5820

***NOTE*** This episode was recorded months ago before the Coronavirus began.

If you like this episode, even the tiniest bit, please reach out to Rodriguez Cigars and order from him online to help support: https://rodriguezcigarskeywest.com

Use promo code:  FAMILIA to get 20% off.

In this episode, Mark Baratto sits down with a third generational owner of Rodriguez Cigars, Danny Difabio.

We talked about a number of origin stories, like how Danny’s Grandfather coming over from Cuba, how the business made it down to Key West, and how it was Danny’s destiny to take over the family business.

More on Rodriguez Cigars

In 1947, the Rodriguez Family began the masterful art of cultivating tobacco on their private plantation in the town of Siguaney. The tobacco plantation was called, La Finca de Carmencita. Located in the Las Villas province of Cuba, La Finca de Carmencita specialized in growing, aging, and curing filler tobacco leaves for numerous manufacturers throughout Cuba.

By 1952, La Finca Carmencita employed over 20 workers and grew over 120,000 pounds of tobacco annually.

Eight years later, the Cuban government nationalized the private plantation and the Rodriguez family was forced to immigrate to the United States.

In 1971, the Rodriguez family found a new beginning on the beautiful island of Key West and established the Rodriguez Cigar Factory.

Founded in 1984, we stand as the oldest cigar manufacturer in the Florida Keys preserving the historical cigar manufacturing industry that began in Key West in 1831. As the years passed new generation of family members have expanded manufacturing operations to Nicaragua and we are proud to be working with some of the finest tobacco in the world. Rodriguez Cigars are exclusively constructed with vintage leaves that have been hand-selected, aged and constructed through the traditional Cuban manufacturing process.

Website: https://rodriguezcigarskeywest.com

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

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rodriguez.cigars

Twitter: https://twitter.com/rodriguezcigars

Address: 113 Fitzpatrick St, Key West, FL 33040

Phone: (305) 296-0167

Normal Hours: 9:30AM – 4:30PM (Monday – Sunday)

In this episode, Mark Baratto sits down with Alex Risius (Assistant Program Director) and Mill McCleary (Executive Program Director) to talk about the data behind what’s happening to our coral reefs.

We talk about how Reef Relief® is making a difference on a global scale, and how tiny changes you make, can make a big difference to our oceans.

Reef Relief® is a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to improving and protecting our coral reef ecosystem.

Reef Relief® Goals

  • Focus on rigorous science to educate the public & advocacy toward policymakers to achieve conservation, protection, and restoration of coral reefs
  • Increase public awareness of the importance and value of living coral reef ecosystems
  •  Increase scientific understanding and knowledge of living coral reef ecosystems
  •  Strengthen grassroots community-based efforts to protect coral reef ecosystems
  • Design, develop, support, and implement strategies for marine protected areas associated with coral reef ecosystems
  • Encourage and support eco-tourism as part of sustainable community development that protects and preserves coral reef ecosystems
  • Strengthen our organizational capacity to carry out our mission

Reef Relief is a registered 501(c)3 organization.

Website: https://www.reefrelief.org

Instagram: https://instagram.com/reefrelief/

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/reefrelief

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/thereefrelief

Pinterest: https://pinterest.com/reefrelief/

Email: [email protected]

Our Work

Discover Coral Reefs School Program

This program provides ocean education to over 6,000 K-12th grade students from public and private schools throughout the Florida Keys. The Discover Coral Reefs School Program, teaches K- 12th grade students from Key West to Miami the importance of ocean and coastal ecosystems through activities in the classroom and on the water. The program supplements the current science curriculum of these schools by focusing on marine science lessons that are of particular importance to students and families residing in Florida.

Coral Camp

The Coral Camp Summer Program uses interactive activities and field trips to teach children 6- 14 years of age about ocean ecology, coral reefs, marine life and sustainability. Camp activities include lessons on the identification of common corals, fish, and invertebrates, oceanography, tides, symbiosis, snorkel etiquette and leave no trace principles. Each year Reef Relief offers scholarships sponsored by local businesses and community members so that children regardless of income have a chance to participate in this unique program. Over the summer, 260 local and vacationing youth will take part in the program.

Community & Environmental Stewardship

In partnership with community groups and government agencies, Reef Relief coordinates volunteer programs that cultivate an attitude of stewardship within the community. Since 2010, Reef Relief’s coastal clean-up program has removed over 150,000 lbs of marine debris from the shores and waters of the Florida Keys.

Reef Relief has partnered with the City of Key West to educate residents and visitors about stormwater and local water quality through the Stormwater Education and Outreach Project. The Key West High School Reef Relief Club and alternative spring break volunteers each year have stenciled storm drains throughout the City of Key West with no dumping messages. Other Stormwater Education Programs we run include our “Skip the Straw” Campaign, “Protect your Skin, Protect our Reef” sunscreen campaign, and our storm drain stenciling project.

Reef Education

The distribution of nearly 100,000 brochures to Florida Keys locations including resorts, hotels and guesthouses, Chambers of Commerce, educational facilities, visitor centers and more are an important way to educate the public about our fragile ecosystem. Information found in the “Don’t Teach Your Trash to Swim” poster, “Coral Reef Guide for Kids of All Ages” brochure, “Coral Reefs” brochure and the “Florida Keys is a No Discharge Zone for Boater Sewage” brochure are all important resources to inform the general public. Join in our efforts to improve and protect our coral reef ecosystem.

Policy Guidance

For 32 years, Reef Relief has made, considerable progress to improve water quality and protect, fish and wildlife of Florida’s coral reef ecosystems by working with environmental, scientific and governmental leaders in Florida. Reef Relief’s State Program Director Dr. Jeff Sharkey and his staff at the Capitol Alliance Group are a driving force for improved water quality. In support of this effort, Reef Relief become a member of the Everglades Coalition in 2012. The Everglades Coalition is an alliance of 57 local, state and national environmental organizations. It is dedicated to the full restoration of the greater Everglades ecosystem encompassing the lakes that connect to Lake Okeechobee, the River of Grass, Florida Bay and the Florida Keys. Reef Relief will continue to monitor Federal and State activities on water quality, ocean policy, fisheries, and marine species.

Key West Marine Park

In 2012, Reef Relief took over management of the Key West Marine Park through a partnership with the City of Key West. This swim park will become a focal point for Reef Relief’s marine education and scientific programs. These will include the design and implementation of a snorkel trail by Reef Relief staff, partners, and volunteers within the Key West Marine Park. This will be the first interpretive snorkel trail in North America. The park provides an interactive outdoor learning site for students of all ages. The three buoyed areas are for swimming and snorkeling and are closed to motorized vessels. For boaters, there are two access lanes to the shoreline. Key West Marine Park brochure

The public can access the Key West Marine Park from four locations: South Beach at the southern end of Duval St., Dog Beach at the end of Vernon Street, the Mary and John Spottswood Waterfront Park at the foot of Seminole Street, and Higgs Beach from Reynolds Street to White Street.

The Marine Park is located off of Higgs Beach at Atlantic Boulevard, 525 Angela Street. Free to the public

Reef Relief Environmental Center

The Reef Relief Environmental Center introduces visitors, school groups, and community members to the coral reef ecosystem, its threats and what can be done to protect our marine world. A theater shows free daily films related to marine resource issues. A variety of brochures and other printed materials are available to learn more coral reefs and the issues affecting them. The center is located in the historic Old Town of Key West.

The Reef Relief Environmental Center is located at

631 Greene Street in Key West, FL 33040

Open Monday – Friday

Hours 10am-4pm. Free admission.

In this episode, Mark Baratto sits down with Len Johnson, the co-owner of Better Than Sex – A Dessert Restaurant, to talk about where Len’s wife Dani gets her inspiration as head baker, and how she “tested” her recipes on all their dinner guests.

We talk about the genius behind the restaurant’s name (it was all Dani’s idea), how they had the “guts” to even start this business after the recession, and how changing their client focus catapulted the brand.

Be on the lookout for the Better Than Sex podcast, and don’t forget to visit any one of their many locations to try, “Cookie Nookie Pie,” Between My Red Velvet Sheets Cheesecake,” “Peanut Butter Perversion,” “The Morning After,” just to name a few.

More on Better Than Sex – A Dessert Restaurant

Our dream began in 2003. As newlyweds, I was eager to make my husbands every desire a reality, so when he exclaimed to me “I want dessert!”, I wanted to impress! 

Four hours later after patiently waiting, a fully decorated two-layer Oreo Cookie Cake appeared. Len was a happy hubby.  He proclaimed it ‘amazingly delicious’ and said: “wow if you can do this, what else can you do?”   I am not one for letting go of a challenge and really wanted to “show him” what I could do! Then began the odyssey that leads us to today.

My love of baking stemmed from fond memories in my Italian family’s kitchen alongside my mom. So, I continued and began teaching myself how to bake.  I collected all of my recipes, saved receipts, and took photos of everything I made. Something guided me to do this without reason for several years.  Our concept for BTS had not formed yet. I would bring my creations to work and test them out on friends and co-workers.  They would often exclaim “you should do this for a living.”  Len and I secretly agreed.

When Len said to me ‘write a menu’ and “I’ll write the business plan,” challenge #2 was accepted.  We knew we wanted to create an after-dinner experience, an extension of an evening in a romantic and sophisticated sexy atmosphere.  And so, it begins….

In 2006 we threw a Valentine’s Day Dessert party at our house and invited a few unsuspecting friends. Some of the dessert items we have on the menu today were tested on them. Our idea to open a dessert-only restaurant was officially validated that night. 

We put our twisted minds together and had an incredibly fun time creating what is now Better Than Sex – A Dessert Restaurant. 

On May 20, 2008, we officially opened at our original location, 411 Petronia Street to a full house!

We always believed in our idea and ourselves, however, the road after was a bit more challenging. The first reviews were less than positive and at one point we only had a few thousand dollars to our names. We Never Quit!

Then in 2010 Better Than Sex was featured on the Travel Channel and the rest is history. By 2012 the little location on Petronia Street was standing room only.  We needed a bigger restaurant. It was decided to pick up and move to the current Key West location. Our last night at the Petronia location featured our team and guests picking up their tables and chairs and walking them down the block and setting them up in the new space.

On December 26th, 2015 we opened our Orlando location.  Len and I met over 20 years ago waiting tables in Orlando and it seemed like a perfect fit for our second spot. Orlando opened its doors to a packed house and has been successful since.

Coming full circle, on Valentines’ Day of 2016 we were blessed to have been featured on CBS Sunday Morning. As you can see, Valentine’s Day is significant to BTS.  “We valentine, all the time.”

We are passionate about what we do and now want to share that opportunity with other like-minded people. We are currently offering our concept to franchise nationwide.  

And to think, this was all born from an Oreo Cookie Layer Cake.

Back in 2003, as husband and wife, we made a promise to ourselves….“Lists do work, agreements work, if you believe it, have a partner that can hold you accountable, you can and will make it happen.”  We always will!

With Passion, Dani Johnson – Co-Founder

Website: https://www.betterthansexdesserts.com

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

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

Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/better-than-sex-a-dessert-restaurant-orlando-5

Trip Advisor: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g34345-d1068339-Reviews-Better_Than_Sex_A_Dessert_Restaurant-Key_West_Florida_Keys_Florida.html

Franchise Inquiries: https://www.betterthansexdesserts.com/franchise/

Music Playlist: https://players.customchannels.net/betterthansex/index.html

Artwork provided by: https://www.loversart.net

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

In this episode, Mark Baratto sits down with artist Eric Anfinson. We spoke about how the first time he picked up a paintbrush he hated the result but fell in love with the process.

It was this love of “doing” that had him coming back for more, eventually creating a client base around the world.

I particularly LOVE this episode because it touches on how important the process is.  If all you care about is the outcome, you may be in for a life of sorrow, but when you love the process, you will have a life of true fulfillment. 

More on Eric Anfinson

Eric Anfinson’s painting journey began in the fall of 2001 after he moved to a 2×4 mile island where the Gulf of Mexico & the Atlantic meet. 

Anfinson is part of a well-established creative collective in Key West, Florida . . . an island known affectionately by locals as ‘the rock’.  The remote location & unique community continue to offer rich subject matter for Anfinson’s work. 

The people that call this island home, & those who pass through, live on in the faces & figures in Anfinson’s paintings.

A self-trained painter, Anfinson’s work is in collections throughout North America & Europe. 

Anfinson, a native of Minnesota, paints full-time from his home-based Mockingbird Studio in Key West, Florida. 

Art is everything & sometimes simply an essence.
It is the tool that I use & that uses me in return. 
It is my best & most critical friend.
But these words mean nothing by themselves…
the work – the active process – is what matters most
.

– Eric

Website: https://ericanfinson.com

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

STUDIO

Mockingbird Studio  –  owner:  Key West, FL  /  2007 – present

Represented by Gingerbread Square Gallery

305-296-8900
1207 Duval Street, Key West, FL