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 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 Mark Certonio, the creator of the Key West Food & Wine Festival.

We talk about when the festival was created, and what his driving force was to take on such a big undertaking. Mark also gives a great overview of what to expect as an attendee, and how you better get your festival tickets before they’re all gone (he’s not joking).

Mark also sits on the executive committee of the famed “Oldest House Museum” located on 322 Duval Street, which is where the interview took place.

**NOTE** If you want to hear a behind the scenes chatter, I kept the tape rolling as we rant about the future of Marketing,

About the Key West Food & Wine Festival (January 26 – February 2)

The Key West Food and Wine Festival is ​a series of wine and food-themed events showcasing a diverse range of wines and inventive cuisine, hosted by their passionate creators at iconic island locations.

Over 20 unique events including waterfront tastings, winemaker/chef collaborations, and local funky events that present an authentic taste of Key West, Florida

The place to be in January, the festival attracts thousands of culinary explorers from around the country who descend on the tropical island to escape the winter and delight their senses. 

Website: https://keywestfoodandwinefestival.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KWfoodwineFest

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

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

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCewWPtwbU6B–_1GIaTbBYw

About the Oldest House Museum

The Oldest House in South Florida is located at 322 Duval Street in Key West. The house and garden admission is $5.00 per person, children under 12 are free. We are open to the public from 10 am to 4 pm every day except Sunday and Wednesday. Staff and docents are available to provide historical information about the house and family, and to answer questions.

The house features family portraits and original furnishings, as well as other period pieces, ship models, and documents telling the story of old Key West. In the rear of the house is a spacious, peaceful garden, where benches invite you to sit and reflect. There, you will see the only surviving Cook House in South Florida.

Website: http://oldesthousemuseum.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/OldestHouseKW

In this episode, Mark Baratto sits down with the owner of UVA Wine Shoppe, Mark Gambuzza.

We talk about why he made his move down to Key West and how he got started in the wine business. Mark provides some great insights on how being patient and putting his customer first has not only benefited his business but his overall way of life.

Main takeaway: Happiness is the new ROI in life.

More on UVA – A CURATED SELECTION

We offer you a selection of the best wines from around the world, as do other fine wine sellers. But what makes Uva a unique wine shop is the experience we offer: we love to share our recommendations almost as much as we enjoy sampling our wines, so we’re happy to do both while we help you make an informed choice.

You can cozy up to our tasting counter to savor a glass, attend a wine tasting or join our monthly Wine Club where everyone has a favorite. Enjoy a special Uva cheese board. Special because Uva is now offering our personal selection of artisanal cheeses and meats unique to the Keys. Plus, you can take the party home with you, or send it to a friend—we’ll be happy to put it all together, deliver to your home, hotel or boat and let you take the credit.

All your wine and gift needs

Uva is the perfect choice to plan your wine selections for any meal or event. We offer customized gift baskets for any occasion. Discounts are available on any and all mixed cases of wine. We also provide free delivery in Key West and can ship to select states. Just stop in, call or email us, for info on how we can help add the right choices for your needs and budget.

“Uva is a proud part of the Key West Community. We encourage everyone to please shop local, to preserve the uniqueness and integrity of our little island. The heart and soul of Key West lies in the special people that live and work here, and by the generous nature of those that travel from all over, to enjoy and support our endeavors and bask in our special culture”

-Mark Gambuzza

Website: https://www.uvakeywest.com

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

519 Fleming St, Key West, FL 33040
(305) 735-4871

Monday – Friday: 12 PM–10 PM
Saturday: 12 PM–5 PM
Sunday: Closed

Mark’s Band, Parrothead Massacre: https://www.facebook.com/parrotheadmassacre

In this episode, Mark Baratto sits down with Michelle and Jessica Spottswood, the co-owners & “Tribe Leaders” of FYT Gym Key West.

We talk about how the idea of the business was birthed, how they have grown so quickly, and why putting their customers first has not only created raving fans but has turned clients into friends; truly living that Tribe concept to it’s fullest.

More on FYT

FYT (Find Your Tribe) is a full-service fitness facility! Inside you will find two large studio spaces hosting over 200 classes per month.

Circuit, Barre, and Yoga are our specialties! If classes are not what you’re looking for then come workout on your own or with our Certified Personal Trainers in our 1300 square foot gym space! Where you will find cardio equipment, free-weights, and selectorized pieces.

Website: http://fytkeywest.com

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

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

In this episode, Mark Baratto sits down with Scott Saunders, the CEO, and creator of Fury Water Adventures Key West.

We discuss how Scott almost flunked out of high school, quit college (the first time), and gave up on making anything of himself.

To any outsider, Scott would have been considered a “loser,” but it was that rock-bottom breaking point that caused him to go from zero to hero in one instant.

Have you ever felt unmotivated and didn’t really care about much? Scott did too, and his story will get you looking in the mirror and declaring, “enough is enough!”

**NOTE** We really get into the complete origin story at around the 13:00 minute mark, so stay with us, it’s worth the wait!

More about Fury Water Adventures Key West

TAKE THE ULTIMATE KEY WEST WATERSPORTS EXCURSION WITH FURY WATER ADVENTURES

Key West’s most popular attraction is the crystal blue waters surrounding our island paradise. For almost three decades visitors and locals alike have been choosing Fury Water Adventures as their number one excursion in and on the waters of Key West. Fury’s expertly maintained state-of-the-art fleet of boats will get you out on the water and back again with the utmost safety.

Choose from underwater explorations on one of Fury’s three catamaran Reef Snorkeling boats, thrills in the air on our Parasailing boats, a chance to see marine life without getting wet on our Glass Bottom Boat, or take in Key West’s famous sunset aboard one of our Sunset Sails or our Sunset Cruise.

For the real Key West watersports enthusiast, try Fury’s Combination Packages or Fury’s Ultimate Adventure that includes Reef Snorkeling, Parasailing, Jet Skiing & Kayaking.

At Fury we are dedicated to help keep the reefs we snorkel alive and thriving. Through our affiliation with “One Percent for the Planet,” we donate 1% of our total sales yearly to help restore and conserve our natural coral reefs.

Fury Donates a Percent of all Sales to Reef Conservation.

Website: https://www.furycat.com/

Instagram: https://instagram.com/furykeywest

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

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/furykeywest

Pinterest: https://pinterest.com/furykeywest/

FURY RESERVATIONS:

Toll Free:  (888) 976-0899 -or- Text:   305-930-8161 

PRIVATE CHARTERS: (877) 561-8825

WEDDING CHARTERS: (855) 847-8221