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Island businesses recognized during Best of the Islands luncheon

September 28, 2016
By ASHLEY GOODMAN ( , Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

Almost 200 island businesses and organizations attended the Best of the Islands award luncheon last Tuesday at the Sundial Beach Resort & Spa.

Each year, islanders vote for their favorite businesses and organizations through the recognition program sponsored the Sanibel Captiva Islander and the Island Reporter.

Votes are cast on ballots found in paper and counted by an outside, third-party contractor.

Article Photos

Almost 200 island businesses and organizations attended the Best of the Islands award luncheon at the Sundial Resort & Spa.


Mark Martens, senior advertising account executive at the Islander looks forward to Best of the Islands every year.

"We love working with all of the Sanibel and Captiva businesses putting together ads, collecting ballots and celebrating with all of the winners. This year we had over 125 categories which included five brand new categories. We had a record number of participants. Many businesses competed and won for the very first time. The best part of this event is our awards luncheon that was held at the beautiful Sundial Beach Resort & Spa. They catered a fantastic lunch buffet and wonderful desserts were provided by Bailey's General Store. We had almost 200 business owners, managers and guests who attended. A great time was had by all. We look forward to next years event that will be even bigger and better," Martens said.

Sundial itself won Best Event Facility, Best Full Service Resort, Best Tennis Courts and Best Tiki Bar.

Island Therapy, which is owned by Rachel Tritaik, was a first-time winner this year. They won Best Massage Therapy.Tritaik credits her staff for making it happen.

"Having my therapists and staff recognized as being the best, makes me feel very proud. They work so hard to provide a quality experience for Islanders, and we are so grateful to those who voted for us," Tritaik said.

Island Therapy opened in 2009 and provides a variety of therapy for island residents and visitors alike. The facility also educates patients on exercises they can do at home.

Long-time winner "Best" winner, Bailey's General Store, walked away with five awards including Best Bakery, Best Coffee Bar, Best General Store, Best Grocery Store and Best Wine Selection.

Calli Johnson, project manager at Bailey's General Store said it feels good that the community acknowledges their efforts.

"We are extremely excited to win in a number of categories and are grateful for the opportunity. It feels good to know that the hard work we are putting into the store is paying off. We do our best to add to the quality of products and services we offer at the store and we are excited to hear the readers of The Islander see the value we provide," Johnson said.

Donna Puma, owner of Pinocchio's has won Best Ice Cream 12 years in a row, Best Gelato for three years and Best Frozen Yogurt for two years.

"Our family considers ourselves very fortunate here at Pinocchio's as the recipient of these Best of the Islands awards for our frozen confections. We are proud of all the recognitions we have received in past years, both locally and via social media for our ice cream products. However, the Best of the Islands awards are special to us. They are all about the kudos we receive from our islanders and neighboring businesses which make up our island family who have supported Pinocchio's Original Italian Ice Cream throughout the years," Puma said.

Geppetto's Beach Foodies won Best Beach Food To-Go and Best Croissant Bakery, bringing her total to five this year.



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