Anna Maria Island Sea Salt Florida – Bring Island Flavor Home

Anna Maria Island Sea Salt Florida is nothing like you’ve ever had. Sourced directly from the water around AMI, this is one product you must bring home from vacation!

Anna Maria Island Sea Salt Florida
This souvenir is a must!

Anna Maria Island Sea Salt Florida

Sea Salt Florida is a new local company to the Manatee and Sarasota area. Owner and Salt Master Tim Norwood develops only the highest quality sea salt. While he has big plans for the future of this specialty item, the entire process is a labor of love that started off small.

How did Sea Salt Florida get started?

Tim Norwood and his wife always thought they would open a winery. However, after moving to Florida that idea changed to salt. Florida isn’t known for having the best wines, but it does have plenty of salt water!

Like wine making, salt making is an intense process requiring a great deal of knowledge. At times the outcome can be unpredictably amazing, but always requires a creative mind and dedication to hard work. Essentially, Sea Salt Florida became Tim Norwoods Winery.

At 55 years old Tim spent the majority of his career as an engineer with a degree in architecture. Tim has made up tons of innovative ideas working for large companies, but saved one of his ideas just for himself.

He spent a great deal of time developing his craft. After two years of working a full time job during the day while experimenting with salt production all night, Tim became a Salt Master. He has learned everything about producing only the highest quality sea salt. Tim focused on ancient thousand year old techniques of production and believes his to be the best in the United States.

Sea Salt Florida
Sea Salt is a serious business for the Norwood family!

How do you make Sea Salt?

If you are wondering exactly how Sea Salt is made, keep guessing. Tim Norwood keeps this secret closely guarded. With that said, he will gladly tell you the body of water where the salt comes from. In fact, Tim is proud to harvest salt water from Anna Maria Island, Longboat Key, Lido Key, Siesta Key, Casey Key, Venice and Treasure Island.

He mentions Anna Maria Island is his favorite harvest, but that may be due to his fondness of the area. Tim elaborates that the Siesta Key harvest has the most unique flavor of his products, and the Anna Maria Island salt is his most popular seller.

Tim is currently looking to relocate his production to mainland Bradenton where he has been looking at potential facility sites. Once Tim gets his new facility running successfully he just might consider giving tours. Until he knows his company is completely secure, he’s not giving away ANY of his salty secrets.

The goal for Sea Salt Florida is to produce 12,000 pounds of salt a year to supply local and international markets. Tim Norwood is creating a company that is really something special. The type of operation that he can leave to his grandchildren while also bringing permanent jobs to Manatee county.

A truly tasty souvenir.

When you first taste Sea Salt Florida’s Anna Maria Island harvest you will instantly feel like you’re back on the beach. This salt really does taste like the gulf waters of Anna Maria Island. Once you try Tim’s salt you’ll never view store bought products the same. Tim points out, “Sea Salt Florida won’t get your bags checked at the airport like a bottle of wine will”! When leaving Anna Maria Island, you MUST bring home some local salt to go with your new tan.

Where to buy Sea Salt Florida

The secret of Sea Salt Florida is its amazing mineral content. That is where the flavor is. Sea Salt Florida contains as many as 80 different minerals. Iodine is NEVER included. “This is the type of salt people are supposed to eat” mentions Tim, “This is a healthier natural product”.

Sea Salt Florida can be found at a ton of different local retail shops, or on the website.

On Anna Maria Island you can buy Sea Salt Florida at the following:

The Olive Oil Outpost and Anna Maria Historic Society Museum in the city of Anna Maria.
Island Fresh Market and Looney Dunes in Holmes Beach.
Cortez Fish Market, Cortez Maritime Museum and The Sea Hagg in Cortez Fishing Village.
Sarasota Farmers Market in downtown Sarasota.

Tim doesn’t like for his vendor to compete, so you’ll find different products at different locations. Not only does Sea Salt Florida have different harvests, but Tim also offers flavored salts and scrubs.

If you head over to Looney Dunes you’ll find Tim’s salts for sale next to the flavors of wine that the salt has been infused with!

Find a variety of scrubs at the Sea Hagg. Salt Scrubs are not the biggest seller in Tim’s inventory, but he believes his are far superior than other beauty products on the market.

Anna Maria Island Sea Salt Florida
Anna Maria Island Sea Salt Florida

Sea Salt Florida is about community.

Tim has really enjoyed the community aspects of selling salt. He regularly gets thank you letters from buyers. Tim explains, “Giving salt is an ancient form of friendship”.

Local restaurant have begun to approach Tim because his salt is the best. He has even started designing flavors to match Florida seafood like his Lemon Zest flavor created for local fish mongers.

A popular salt on the market is Italian Black Truffle. In Florida we don’t have truffles or a really reliable source to bring them in fresh. Tim had the bright idea of creating a Portabello infused salt because we grow them in Florida and it makes a great substitute for Truffle salt.

Salt really has an interesting history, and its special to continue those traditions. Tim also mentions, “Sea Salt Florida isn’t a political issue because it brings everyone together that is looking for healthier living. Coming together is something people need right now.”

If you run out of salt, just send Tim an email and he’ll gladly send you more. This is the best way to order salt online as Sea Salt Florida doesn’t have a fancy online store set up yet.

Visit local vendors, or head over to SeaSaltFlorida.com for a complete list of flavors as there are many!

Bring Island flavor home with Anna Maria Island Sea Salt Florida!

Eat Anna Maria Island Oysters While Vacationing

Anna Maria- When vacationing on the coast eating fresh seafood is a must, and Anna Maria Island Oysters are no exception. With countless restaurants on the island, finding some delicious oysters to eat is easier than ever!

Anna Maria Island Oysters

Many people believe humans have eaten oysters since the Roman times from evidence of oyster farms in France and the United Kingdom. Crazy right?

Oysters can be found in all of the world’s oceans. They are bivalve mollusks that have rough irregular shells. While most oysters are edible, there is a difference between food oysters and pearl oysters. Even though it is possible, most food oysters don’t produce pearls. Both are also in two different families of bivalves.

Surprisingly enough, oysters breathe much like fish, using both gills and mantle. They can be both male or female, and can change genders one or more times throughout their life.

Health Benefits

Oysters are one of the most nutritionally balanced foods because they have proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids in them. Just eating four or five medium sized oysters supply the recommended daily source of iron, copper, iodine, magnesium, calcium, zinc, manganese and phosphorus!

Where to celebrate!

With so many restaurants on the island, there’s plenty of options for eating Anna Maria Island Oysters! Here’s a few to think of going to:

AMOB on the Pier– Located in Bradenton Beach, enjoy delicious oyster platters such as Grandma Georgie’s Chipotle Oysters, Rockefeller or an oyster sampler.

Anna Maria Island Oysters
Eat at AMOB on the Pier!

 Island Gourmet Grill– Serving baked oysters with toppings such as cheese, bacon, and jalapenos, there’s no way to go wrong here! You can find Island Gourmet on Holmes Beach.

Anna Maria Island Oysters
Enjoy yummy oysters at Island Gourmet!

Island Fresh Market– Specializing in locally caught and grown food, the Fresh Market serves oysters caught right around the island! You can order them cooked or raw. You can find them on Holmes Beach!

Be sure to enjoy Anna Maria Island Oysters on your next visit!

Best 4 seafood restaurants around Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria- If you’re looking for exceptional seafood, you’re at the right place! With water surrounding almost all of Anna Maria, it’s no doubt our restaurants have access to the best seafood. All within 20 minutes of the island, here are four restaurants that you’re sure to love!

Seafood Restaurants

1. The Ugly Grouper Bar & Grill

Located on the island, The Ugly Grouper is right across the street from our Marina Drive office. They serve delicious food such as grouper sandwiches and mahi fish tacos along with meals for people who don’t care as much for seafood.  Also, all of their fish is fresh off the coast of Anna Maria, so you’re sure to get fresh fish. The Ugly Grouper has a history here on Anna Maria Island, as it was previously The Barefoot Tiki Bar and even before that a gas station! Take a look at the menu here.

The Ugly Grouper seafood restauraunt
Stop in for a bite at the Ugly Grouper! Photo courtesy of www.bradenton.com

2. Derek’s

Found on Manatee Avenue, Derek’s is prided on its ever-changing menu and good food. They serve wild pink shrimp pasta, blackened salmon and much more. Whether you want to have a causal luncheon or a fancy dinner, Derek’s is the perfect place to go. They do accept reservations and are open from 5am-10pm Monday-Saturday.

Derek's seafood
Photo Courtesy of www.dereks-bradenton.com

3. Mar Vista

Mar Vista resides in Longboat Key and is casual place to get great seafood. Some of their best dishes are a Grouper sandwich and Scallops Mar Vista. Another cool aspect of Mar Vista is its history on Longboat Key. It was one of the first structures built by Rufus Jordan in 1912 and has withstood hurricanes and erosion. Still in the original building, Mar Vista is an extremely interesting place to visit that has tasty food!

Mar Vista seafood
Enjoy yummy food along with a historic atmosphere at Mar Vista! Photo from www.tripadvisor.com

4. Starfish Company Market

If you’re wanting to cook your own or buy already cooked seafood Starfish Company is the perfect place to go. Located off Cortez, they sell locally caught seafood such as fish, scallops, and shrimp. Starfish Co. was started in the 1920’s and sits on one of the few remaining working waterfronts. With an absolutely gorgeous view, Starfish Co. is a must visit when vacationing here on Anna Maria.

Seafood at Starfish Company
Come visit Starfish Company for delicious food and a great view!

2015 Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival

Cortez – The 33rd annual Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival is this Saturday and Sunday, February 14th-15th from 10:00am – 6:00pm. Art, music and seafood will bring scores of people to the historic Cortez fishing village and you won’t want to miss it!

cortez commercial village festival

Admission – $3.00 for Adults – Children 12 under free

To find Cortez Village on a map, locate Bradenton which is about 50 miles south of Tampa. Find State Road 684, known locally as Cortez Road or 44th Avenue, and go west to the beaches.

Remote Parking for the Annual Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival

Every year there is a something new at the Festival. Festival goers will want to note that there is a remote parking area in west Bradenton. You can avoid the traffic and enjoy the bus ride with your friends to the Festival ($2.50 round trip). The new parking site is located at G. T. Bray Park (5502 33rd Ave. Dr. W., Bradenton, 34209). Just turn east off of 59th St. onto 33rd Ave. W. You can’t miss it.

As in past years, this same shuttle service is being provided from the remote parking area located at Coquina Beach on Anna Maria Island. Island folks can take the free trolley to the parking site.

Also, the parking area just east of the village off of Cortez Road has been expanded again this year. But get there early or later in the day as this parking area tends to fill up quickly. Parking spots open up later in the day.

Another option is to park in the western part of town. Many folks manage small parking areas throughout the village with some charging a fee depending on how close they are to the village.

The Annual Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival is organized entirely by a volunteer committee of the Florida Institute for Saltwater Heritage (F.I.S.H.), a Florida not-for-profit corporation.

Super Bowl 2015 on Anna Maria Island

Uh oh! Looks like these events are just fun memories now.

But don’t worry! There are tons of exciting activities and events taking place on Anna Maria Island all year long, every year!

Take a look at some of my favorites below:
Cortez Fishing Festival Blog
Halloween Events Blog
Local Art Events
Local Festivals 

 

The Rod and Reel, back and better than ever!

Anna Maria – A long time landmark of Anna Maria Island, The Rod and Reel Pier employs a staff that are more like family than coworkers. Known to locals and tourists alike, the Rod and Reel has been serving islanders since 1947 until an unfortunate mishap on September 29 2013, when heat from a stove ignited the insulation in the wall behind it. Thanks to the quick thinking of the Rod and Reels manager Dave Cochran and off duty police officer Gary Sellitto all patrons were evacuated and no one was injured. In the aftermath of this event many of the employees who had worked at the Rod and Reel for years were left with no income and no real answer as to when the Rod and Reel would be open again, if ever. Regardless, Anna Maria Island has a way of looking out for its own.

All Island Denominations and the Island Food Bank Along with the owner Mario Schoenfelder helped employees by directly paying for employees rent, and purchased gas vouchers for local filling stations. J & J Graphics a local design company on Anna Maria printed and sold enough t-shirts to donate $11,115 to All Island Denominations for pier employees. Today after over $200,000 in renovations and upgrades to bring everything back to the classic look and feel. The Rod and Reel is now back to serving the best grouper sandwich on Anna Maria to patrons from all over. So next time you find yourself in need of a good meal, a great view or just a place to drop your line and relax, stop by the brand new yet same old Rod and Reel Pier.

Rod-Reel-Pier-2

 

Great Island Real Estate Properties near by

Rest a Shore 838 South Bay

Grants View 412 South Bay

Sea Esta 890 North Shore 

Walk to Restaurants in Bradenton Beach from Vacation Rentals

Anna Maria Island – You can walk to restaurants in Bradenton Beach from vacation rentals.  To find a large selection of restaurants you don’t even have to leave the island, and you’re sure to be satisfied.

There are several ways to find out about all the good Island eateries on this blog, and the restaurant finder will give you an overview of your options. A more detailed summary might narrow it down. Click here for information, or search our top ten from your local Island Real Estate rental team. Find the best “Happy Hour” , or click here for Waterfront Dining.

Below is a list of on island restaurants, and the Bradenton Beach vacation rentals that are nearby them. You can always drive to restaurants, or hop on the free trolley when looking to dine out. Bradenton Beach is not the only of the three island cities with great restaurant options, but this list is meant to assist those staying in Bradenton Beach.

Walk to Restaurants in Bradenton Beach

The southern 3 mile stretch of the island is very narrow, and Gulf Drive is the only artery to navigate north to south. Naturally, all the restaurants in Bradenton Beach are located along, or just off of Gulf Drive.

Restaurants North of Cortez Bridge

Sharky’s offers fine American dining and is across from the Anna Maria Island Club. Sharky’s has steaks, seafood and a little bit of something for everyone.

Anna Maria Island Club Complex Units at 2600 Gulf Drive North.

If you like Indian food try Island Spice with authentic Indian dishes at 1701 Gulf Drive North.

Between Sharky’s and Island Spice is vacation rental A Pirate’s Cove

Just to the South of Island Spice are several complexes.

Bermuda Bay Club at 1704 Gulf Drive North.

Bradenton Beach Club at 17th Street and Gulf Drive

Runaway Bay Club at 1801 Gulf Drive North.

Coquina Beach Club at 1906 Gulf Drive North.

Sunset Terrace at 2312 Gulf Drive North.

The Gulf Drive Café and Tiki Hut is open all day, and they offer live music at night.
Across from the Gulf Drive Tiki Bar is the South Beach Village complex, and to the south of the restaurant is the Beach House Resort.

Restaurants South of Cortez Bridge

There are more restaurants along the historic Bridge Street. Island Time, Bridge Tender Inn, The Blue Marlin and Island Creperie are all in short distance to each other.

The quaint 4 unit Bay View Inn is just 2 blocks north of Bridge Street. You’ll also find rental 611 Gulf Drive north of Bridge Street.

To the south of Bridge Street is Katie’s Beach Bungalow , Old Bridge Village and Safari Suite.

There is a restaurant on the Bridge Street Pier, Anna Maria Oyster Bar that you can also access by boat. Some of our vacation rentals offer boat access, so you can  enjoy a ride along the Intracoastal waterway from these fabulous canal front homes.

Walk to Restaurants in Bradenton Beach
Visit Anna Maria Oyster Bar (AMOB) on the Historic Bridge Street Pier.

Canal Front Homes

My Sisters Beach House
Casa Bonita
Cayman Bay

 

Walk to Restaurants from Island Real Estate Vacation Rentals – Part 2B

You don’t have to leave the island or WALK very far from any of the Island Real Estate vacation rentals to enjoy the wide selection of restaurants our little paradise has to offer.

There are several ways to find out about all the good Island eateries on this blog. The restaurant finder will give you an overview of your options. Also more detailed summary might narrow it down. Click here for this information or search our top ten from your local Island Real Estate rental team.  Find the best “Happy Hour” and convenient delivery options or click here for Waterfront Dining.

The largest shopping area on the island is along East Bay Drive close to the Manatee Ave intersection.  This stretch of Plazas offers several restaurant choices. There are breakfast/lunch restaurants like Peaches, Paradise Bagel and Subway. Pick your favorite international dinner: Italian at Solo’s Pizza, German at The Hamburg Schnitzelhaus or Japanese at Ocean Star.  The Manatee Public Beach with the Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe is also close. Their specialty are the daily All-u-can-eat Pancakes and the All-u-can-eat Fish Fry on Fridays.

Turn back around and find Skinny’s across the street. One of the few original buildings and restaurants on Anna Maria Island. Grab one of the world famous hamburgers!

Island Real Estate Vacation Rentals

Just South of the shopping area past the traffic light are two more local favorites:  Mr. Bones BBQ and The Anchor Inn.

The condo complex Sandy Pointe is across of the Publix Plaza.
Sandy Point 206
3601 East Bay Drive
Sandy Pointe

The lovely Palm Isle Village is a short walk to the South and is located just across the beach. It features 1 and 2 bedroom bungalows with Widow’s watches for Gulf views and a heated pool.  There are 11 units in total. Please click on the link for the largest 2 bedroom bungalow:
Palm Isle 3209

There are several single family homes in this area. This home is the closest with a french themed decor:
4002 6th Avenue

This stunning home offers water and sunset view from the upper balcony:
SeaBreeze Sands

Directly Gulf front is this 3 bedroom condo located. It features designer decorations and a heated pool:
Palm Gables

This is just a selection of the vacation homes in this area of the island. For a full list of the Island Real Estate selection please visit our vacation property website right HERE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Walk to Restaurants from Vacation Rentals

Walk to restaurants from vacation rentals on Anna Maria Island for an easy meal out!

Walk to Restaurants from Vacation Rentals – Part 2a: Holmes Beach/North of Manatee Public Beach

There are several ways to find out about all the good Island eateries on this blog. The restaurant finder will give you an overview of your options. You can also search our top ten from your local Island Real Estate rental team.

Take a look at the best Happy Hour and convenient delivery options or click here for Waterfront Dining.

Let’s start with the Beach Bistro, the fanciest restaurant on the island, located on the beach on 66th Street. It’s located in a more residential area and many of our rental properties are in close vicinity, like the Gulf front condos at the Water’s Edge.

Right across from Gulf Drive are the following vacation rental homes:

Other rental properties in walking distance are:

The shopping area at the intersection of Marina Drive and Gulf Drive features more good eateries. The most Northern located across the Island Real Estate office on Marina Drive is Island Gourmet.

In this area you can also dine at:

The closest rental properties are just a bit North and South of this shopping area. Check out some of these beauties:

Walk to Anna Maria Restaurants

Anna Maria Island – Walk to Anna Maria Restaurants if you are in the mood for a dinner out. You don’t have to leave the island or WALK very far from any of our Anna Maria Island vacation rentals with the wide selection of restaurants our little paradise has to offer.

There are several ways to find out about all the good Island eateries on our website.  We have top ten lists from our local Island Real Estate rental team.  Find the best “Happy Hour” or click here for Waterfront Dining choices.

Let’s take a look at the North end or Anna Maria City.

This cluster of restaurants is on the bay side:

The Rod ‘n Reel Pier Restaurant, famous for its breakfast omelets and grouper sandwich
The Anna Maria City Pier Restaurant (lunch and dinner)
The Waterfront Restaurant (lunch and dinner)
Two Scoops in the Bayview Plaza (ice cream and other treats)
The newly opened Ocean Star on the very end of S Bay Blvd (Sushi bar)

Take a stroll to these restaurants from the following Anna Maria vacation homes:
838 South Bay Blvd
Sangria Sunrise
509 South Bay
Living the Dream
My Sisters Beach House
Grant’s View
Sassy Seahorse
Down by the Sea
801 Jacaranda Road
871 North Shore Drive
The Palms
Grande Haven

You will find more restaurants along the main streets of Pine Avenue and Gulf Drive:

Pine Ave Restaurants:

Vinny’s and Cheryl’s Italian Kitchen (lunch, dinner)
Poppo’s Taqueria (lunch, dinner)
The Donut Shop (breakfast – 1 pm)
General store (sandwiches, snacks)

Hop over from these rental properties in the Island Real Estate program:
Garden Cottage
405 Spring Avenue
414a Magnolia
414b Magnolia
Casa Calienta
209 Palm Avenue
215 Fir Ave
316 Harden Avenue

Gulf Drive Restaurants:

Rudy’s Subs
Ginny’s and Jane’s (coffee, sweets)
Harry’s  Grill
Sign of the Mermaid (lunch, dinner, Sunday brunch)
The SandBar  (lunch, dinner)
Slim’s  Sportsbar (lunch, dinner)
Bortell’s  (bar)
Dips Ice cream

 

Take a short stroll from any of the following vacation rentals:

Dolphin Watch
207 Coconut Avenue
Casa Campo Amor
118 Palmetto Avenue
Bungawillow
108 Willow Avenue
Honeywood House
105 Mangrove Avenue