Latest News

Venice MainStreet has not set their biography yet

Island Organics

A young entrepreneur with a vision and a background in Integrative Nutrition, Owners Alexa and her moIsland Organics Photo to Usem, Kathy Dippolito founded Island Organics in 2013. Island Organics is Venice’s organic juice bar and café, and is proud to be celebrating its third successful year in downtown Venice.  

Island Organics opened their doors in March 2013 offering organic smoothies with super food add-ins, and organic fruit juices, with no sugar added. Over time and with popular demand, the menu expanded to include healthy breakfast and hearty lunch items.  

Keeping in line with its mission, Island Organics offers the best quality food in a fast-casual setting. The daughter-mother duo sources local and fair trade, and everything is made in house from scratch. While Alexa thrives on being creative in the kitchen, Kathy prefers the front of the house activities, from meeting and greeting the customers to managing the register.

Alexa shows off her creativity with the baked goods and two daily homemade soups, one vegetarian and one with protein (meat, poultry). Wraps, Paninis, Salads and Quinoa Bowls appeal to a wide clientele, including gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian.

At the young age of 13, Alexa developed a passion for healthy eating habits. In June 2013, she and her family moved to Nokomis from Philadelphia. Two things happened right off the bat. First, she went on a scavenger hunt to find a smoothie or organic juice, and came up empty. And second, she had a growing desire to share her knowledge of wise food choices with others.

Alexa explains. “I was always in the kitchen, and had my sights on opening a restaurant offering healthy food choices. I felt that this was crucial for a place like Venice and that’s when the vision was born to open Island Organics.”

They had thought about opening a second location, however when the space next door became available last November, it was the perfect answer to having a larger space. They removed the wall and a seating area emerged for their loyal patrons. Both women agreed, “It was the best thing we could have done. Now people can meet, sit and converse in a comfortable setting.

The open beam ceiling coupled with the exposed brick walls reveal the 100-year old sustainable building. The polished concreted floors and concrete countertops creates a natural feel ambiance. The space is light and airy with large windows looking out on to Miami Avenue. According to one local frequenter, “The personable staff will customize a smoothie, wrap, or sandwich. This place resonates with the feel of a community locale.”

Island Organics has a loyal following and a client base spanning many generations. “I am delighted by how many regulars we have,” Alexa exclaims. “It took a while in the beginning for people to find us, but now we are fortunate to receive a lot of the overflow from the festivals held on Venice Avenue. And we are looking forward to having a booth at the Chalk Festival again as that was a great venue for us.”

The staff of seven, including the owners, serves its customers daily from 9 to 5, Monday through Thursday, and 9 to 4 on Saturdays.  They are closed on Sundays.  The address is 231 Miami Avenue, Venice.

Continue reading
983 Hits

SEAFOOD FESTIVAL Sat & Sun, May 6-7, 11am-8pm

Venice Seafood & Music Festival

Come and Experience the first inaugural Venice Seafood & Music Festival, hosted by Venice MainStreet.Seafood Poster JPEG

Locals and visitors will be raving about this event until we do it again next year!  Prize-winning seafood dishes will be served up at Centennial Park on Saturday and Sunday, May 6 and 7, from 11am to 8pm each day. Admission is free. All of you seafood aficionados are invited to savor your local favorites from Blu Island Bistro, Brew Burgers, Burgundy Square Café, Café Venice, Captain Eddie’s, Cedar Reef, Crow’s Nest, Daiquiri Deck, Made in Italy, and Saltwater Café.

The Venice Seafood & Music Festival will offer a full menu of delectable delights.  Ready, set, sample a little bit of everything -- chock-full chowder, fresh-shucked oysters, tender Group Cheeks, Ahi Tuna and many more tasty surprises.  Local restaurants and seafood purveyors will prepare their mouth-watering creations on-site from fresh ingredients sourced locally from Florida’s coast waters. Meat and vegetarian dishes will also be available, as well as both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

And while you are dining with friends and family, tune your ears to the captivating sounds of live musical performances on stage by some of Florida’s and the region’s top musical talents.  Whether you are on your first appetizer or your last bite, enjoy the variety of musical genres filling the airwaves, from R&B, jazz, rock, reggae, and soul to hip-swaying Caribbean sounds. Saturday’s band line-up will feature Ocean’s Eleven Big Band, Spark Notes, Sarasota Steel Pan Band, Jah Movement followed by Sarasota Jazz Project, Kettle of Fish, Mac Arnold & Plate Full O’Blues, and Twinkle & Rock Soul Radio on Sunday.

We thank you in advance for your generosity as volunteers from the South County Food Pantry will be collecting non-perishable food items on both days of the Seafood Festival at the Centennial Park Kiosk from 11am to 6pm.

Join us for a weekend of delicious food and drinks and music while enjoying the camaraderie of family and friends and beauty that is downtown Venice.  We will lay the feast – all we need is you!  Visit for additional information including menus and the band performance schedule.

For more information, contact Venice MainStreet at 941-484-6722

Continue reading
1269 Hits

Orchestrating the Eggstravaganza is Fun for All Involved

The Annual Eggstravaganza Easter Egg Hunt, planned for Centennial Park on Saturday, April 15, 9:30am creates excitement for all ages.  The festivities culminate with over 500 happy, giggly children eagerly tripping over the coattails of the Easter Bunny and each other as they rush to scoop up 7,000 Easter eggs. The volunteers with their big smiles and extra-big hearts jockey for position to guide the children to find colorful eggs.

Managing this year’s Eggstravaganza, is Venice MainStreet’s Nick Sperry. Sperry is the Event Coordinator for this popular annual gooey sugar-fest. Planning starts early with the purchase of 7,000 plastic eggs that will hold candy, toys, or prizes provided by local merchants.

2017 Eggstravaganza JPEG

Each year in Venice’s Centennial Park, Venice MainStreet along with the members of Venice Lions Club set out those 7,000 eggs for different age groups – 1 day to 2 years, 3-4 years, 5-7 years, and 8 and up. “This event is popular with the members of the Venice Lions Club,” says Shelley Devine, project chair of the event. “Our members are delighted to hide the eggs, then help the little ones to make sure all are happy.”  

Just before the hunt begins, the Easter Bunny and volunteers from The Warehouse arrive to lead the eager children in song and dance, sure to include the popular Macarena. Music and entertainment provided by Venice’s very own Don Hay and Kathy Lehner, who brings extra fun to the event with her Easter themed jokes.

This year’s major sponsor, Modern Woodmen of America, is happy to participate in this popular Spring event. “Our support of this project is paid back to us in the pleasure of watching the kids grab those eggs,” says Casey Bolam of Modern Woodmen of America, “and in taking part in an event that means so much to community. It is a privilege to be a part of the Eggstravaganza.”

Erin Silk, Director of Venice MainStreet, reminds parents to bring baskets for the children and to arrive early to enjoy the entertainment. For more information on the event, phone Venice MainStreet at 941-484-6722.

Continue reading
624 Hits


Click Here to Read Past Issues of the Venice MainStreet Newsletter

VisitFlorida Logo

Our Platinum Partners

The Venice Company
Freedom Boat Club
Ehrhart Family Foundation