Developer to renovate historic Fort Pierce Coast Guard Station

Developer to renovate historic Fort Pierce Coast Guard Station


The Indian River State College District Board of Trustees has unanimously accepted a proposal from Audubon Development Inc. to renovate and redevelop the historic IRSC Coast Guard House located at 1420 Seaway Trail in Fort Pierce. The project will have synergies with Audubon’s King’s Landing Development—a mixed-use project in downtown Fort Pierce comprised of a hotel, residential units, shops, restaurants and a parking garage—and provide real-world training opportunities for IRSC students who are studying for careers in the hospitality and culinary industries.

“IRSC is honored to work with Audubon to preserve, improve and restore this historic structure for the citizens of the Treasure Coast and Okeechobee,” states IRSC President Dr. Timothy Moore. “Audubon is widely recognized for their work with similar historic structures across the United States. This project will provide tremendous opportunities for our Hospitality and Culinary students to showcase their talents.”

Audubon plans extensive interior and exterior improvements to the property. The project calls for renovating and operating the existing 4,926 square-foot structure and surrounding parcel in a manner that preserves its historical integrity and furthers the missions of IRSC and the IRSC Foundation.

“The Coast Guard House is an iconic structure, and we are honored to be chosen as the development partner to renovate and repurpose her to a more regal setting,” said Dale Matteson, president and CEO of Audubon Development Inc. “Going forward, we will identify the project as the ‘Historic Coast Guard House.’”

Construction costs are projected to exceed $2 million. Reactivation of dock space is also planned; Audubon expects to operate a water taxi to transport guests back and forth from King’s Landing. Further, the Historic Coast Guard House will serve as a wedding venue, meeting and event space and a boutique bed and breakfast. Audubon will bear the total cost of renovating the facility.

The former Coast Guard Barracks site was deeded to the IRSC District Board of Trustees from the United States on May 13, 1977. The Board of Trustees closed the building for disrepairs in 2021. In late 2022, Audubon Development Inc. expressed their interest in redeveloping the waterfront property by submitting an unsolicited developer proposal to design, build, finance, maintain, and operate the IRSC Coast Guard House.

The agreement with IRSC also proposes a “Kids are Cooking” restaurant at King’s Landing, 1,200 square feet of retail space for the IRSC Culinary program, and a hospitality job bank for IRSC students, connecting them with opportunities at the Marriott Hotel and other King’s Landing restaurants.

“We are delighted to join with Audubon Development to revive this critical asset, make it a showpiece for our community and create new, unique learning environments for our students,” concludes Moore.


Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email [email protected]


Sep. 14, 2023|

Local father-daughter duo opens Clean Eatz in Port St. Lucie

Local father-daughter duo opens Clean Eatz in Port St. Lucie

Port St. Lucie residents have a new dining option with the opening of Clean Eatz at 10836 SW Village Parkway, Suite 10836. The award-winning health food restaurant franchise is known for its chef-inspired, nutritionist-approved menu selection, giving locals the option to order meal plans, catering packages, Grab ‘N’ Go meals, or enjoy a dine-in restaurant experience.

The franchise location will be owned and operated by Dave and Kylie Schaefers, a local father-daughter duo. Dave has been in the franchise space for over three decades, during which time he’s owned and/or operated a multitude of popular brands in various industries across the country. Kylie is a recent graduate from the University of Florida with a degree in health and wellness. This will mark the first involvement she’s had in the franchise space

“It’s been incredible to witness the growing namesake and public demand for Clean Eatz throughout Florida, and to be able to partner with incredible franchisees like Dave and Kylie to help drive our expansion in the state,” says Evonne Varady, Co-Founder of Clean Eatz.

For more information on Clean Eatz, please visit or call (772) 200-2268.

About Clean Eatz: 

Clean Eatz, which launched in 2011 and started franchising in 2015, was co-founded by husband-and-wife duo Don and Evonne Varady, as a means of helping individuals and families change their lives by providing them with better nutrition options, a steady dose of health and wellness education, and a diverse support community that’s committed to helping each other in becoming their best selves. By supplying such healthy alternatives, the Clean Eatz brand has continued to win over communities with their dine-in, grab-n-go, catering, marketplace, and weekly online meal plan selections.


Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email [email protected]

Jun. 8, 2023|

City of Fort Pierce introduces ‘Freebee’

City of Fort Pierce introduces 'Freebee'

There is a new and eco-friendly way to get around Fort Pierce, FL. The City of Fort Pierce and the Fort Pierce Redevelopment Agency collaborated to launch ‘Freebee’, the city’s FREE, on-demand, 100% electric transportation service. The goal of the program is to provide connectivity within the CRA and business district that will be a huge economic development driver for the local business community while also filling mobility gaps, easing traffic congestion, and stress on parking demands. Whether for work, appointments or play, Freebee will pick passengers up at their doorsteps and safely deliver them to their destination of choice within the service zone. The current service area encompasses downtown Fort Pierce and stretches across the bridge to the north end of the island on the beachside. It includes notable destinations like the Sunrise Theatre, St. Lucie County Aquarium, and Jetty Park.

The highly anticipated service is a welcome addition and will be a game changer for the City of Fort Pierce. Previous service launches in other municipalities have proven to increase economic development, help decrease traffic congestion, provide equitable transportation to all, and reduce carbon emissions through the usage of 100% battery-powered vehicles.

Users can access a Freebee ride in three simple steps:

  • Download the Ride Freebee mobile app on the App Store or Google Play. Users in need of accessibility accommodations or who do not have a smartphone can call (855) 918-3733 to request a ride.
  • Request a pickup at your location and select a destination from an array of interesting places to explore on the Freebee app or enter the address of their desired location.
  • Enjoy the FREE ride!

Freebee’s on-demand service will be available in Fort Pierce Thursday through Sunday beginning at 10 am each day until 8 pm on Thursdays and Sundays, and 10 pm on Fridays and Saturdays.

“We are dedicated to solving some of the most challenging problems for communities’, which includes getting people to leave their personal vehicles at home and providing convenient options for people to get where they need to go,” states Jason Spiegel, managing partner of Freebee. “We are excited to partner with the City of Fort Pierce and share the city’s vision in providing innovative transportation solutions.”


About Freebee:

Freebee operates a fleet of more than 125 electric vehicles in over thirty municipalities and campuses in the state of Florida as well as in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Freebee’s unique platform is transforming the way people experience their communities by inspiring local mobility and seamlessly connecting them with their destinations by way of fully electric vehicles.


Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email [email protected]

Mar. 9, 2023|

The Treasure Coast MasterChef Competition announces 2023 preliminary and finale events

The Treasure Coast MasterChef Competition announces 2023 preliminary and finale events

The Treasure Coast MasterChef competition is excited to announce its 2023 preliminary and finale events, presented by Kyle G’s Restaurants, and taking place at the Indian River State College campus in Vero Beach, FL. The preliminary competition will take place on Wednesday, March 8th and will feature eight talented chefs from across the region.

The preliminary competition will be judged by a panel of locally renowned chefs, who will evaluate the dishes on taste, presentation, and originality. At the end of the event, the top four chefs will advance to the semi-formal finale, held on Wednesday, March 22nd at the Indian River State College.

At the finale, the top four chefs will present their signature dishes to a panel of expert judges and attending guests. The winning chef will receive a MasterChef Trophy and the coveted title of the 2023 Treasure Coast MasterChef.

"We are thrilled to bring together some of the most talented chefs in the region for this exciting competition," said competition organizer, Thomas Miller. "The Treasure Coast has a thriving culinary scene, and we can't wait to see what these chefs have in store for us."

Both the preliminary and finale competitions are open to the public, and tickets can be purchased on the website. Don't miss this opportunity to see some of the best chefs in action and support the local culinary community.

For more information, visit


Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email [email protected]

Feb. 16, 2023|

Waldo Sexton Homestead Days return Jan. 7-8

Waldo Sexton Homestead Days return Jan. 7-8

Treasure Coast residents will have a rare opportunity this weekend to visit the original 1917 homestead of Vero Beach pioneer Waldo Sexton. Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 7-8, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The family of Mark Tripson, grandson of Waldo Sexton, are hosting Waldo Sexton Homestead Days on the property at 5000 12th St., Vero Beach.

Sexton, who arrived in Vero Beach in 1913, would go on in the next five decades to create such landmarks as the Ocean Grill, McKee Jungle Gardens, Waldo's Mountain, Driftwood Inn, Patio Restaurant and Szechuan Palace.

Sexton, also celebrated for the phrase “I’d rather be a liar than a bore,’’ claimed to begin construction on a home shortly after arriving in Vero, but it wasn’t until 1917 that he moved into the bungalow. A year later, he married Elsebeth Martens and took her to live in the house, where she found that one room served as a living area while the other was kept full of livestock feed.

Over the years, Sexton would go onto expand the house to two stories to accommodate his family of four children. When grown daughter Barbara Tripson became pregnant with her first child, he built a second home next door for her and her husband, John Tripson.

Sexton started his Vero Beach Dairy on the property, which became Tripson Dairy after Tripson took it over.

Sexton’s homestead today, purchased by Tripson and his late wife, Hildie, in 1980, is much the same way as when Sexton lived in it and features trademark use of objects such as driftwood, iron and other recognizable features from the ruins of Palm Beach mansions Sexton salvaged.  Visitors will also be able to see his secret garden and outdoor kitchen, as well as to meet members of the gregarious Tripson family. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children. Tickets can be purchased at the door through 3 p.m. each day or obtained online at

Saturday and Sunday’s visitors will be able to hear the following presentations:

—11 a.m. Saturday:: paranormal investigator Larry Lawson will share results of a ghost study taken at the home and talk about other ghost lore related to Waldo Sexton.

—1 p.m. Saturday: Indian River Magazine Publisher Gregory Enns interviews Mark Tripson and other descendants who share memories of Waldo Sexton.

Saturday 2pm: Tribal Courts of the Seminole Tribe, will talk about the history and impact of the Seminoles in Florida.

Sunday Schedule to be announced: Representatives from the A.E. Backus Museum



Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email [email protected]

Dec. 29, 2022|

Sunshine Kitchen partners with Florida Small Business Development Center at IRSC

Sunshine Kitchen partners with Florida Small Business Development Center at IRSC


Florida's Small Business Development Center


The National Restaurant Association estimates that one in three restaurants won’t survive their first year in business. To combat that static, St. Lucie County’s Sunshine Kitchen is partnering with Indian River State College’s Small Business Development Center to provide free consultation to clients at the kitchen.

Starting in October, the Small Business Development Center will have a full-time consultant located at the Sunshine Kitchen to provide advice and direction to small business owners and would-be entrepreneurs on topics such as creating marketing plans, developing new clients and navigating local, state and federal regulations. The consultant will also present group training programs on a variety of business-related topics that meet the needs of local businesses as well as conducting outreach activities to local trade groups and associations.

Located at 7550 Pruitt Research Center Road in Fort Pierce, the Sunshine Kitchen is a 10,000-square-foot commercial kitchen facility designed to offer culinary entrepreneurs the space to grow their business. For more information, visit:


About the FSBDC at IRSC

The Florida Small Business Development Center (FSBDC) at Indian River State College (IRSC) is a part of the Florida SBDC Network.

The Florida SBDC Network provides tools, training, and resources to help small businesses grow and succeed. Designated as “Florida’s provider of small business assistance,” the Florida SBDC Network has more than 40 offices from Pensacola to Key West to serve the needs of Florida’s business community. Since 1976, our network of partners has helped construct a statewide ecosystem to foster the spirit, support, and success of hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs and innovators.

The Florida SBDC Network is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida, and other private and public partners, with the University of West Florida serving as the Network’s designated lead host institution. The Florida SBDC Network is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs.

Ready to get your business started on the path to success? Contact your local Florida Small Business Development Center at IRSC!
[email protected] | (772) 336-6285 |



Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email [email protected]
Sep. 9, 2022|

The Grove, Cucina & Wine earns Wine Spectator restaurant award in 2022, third year in a row

The Grove, Cucina & Wine earns Wine Spectator restaurant award in 2022, third year in a row 

The Grove, Cucina & Wine Bar among 3,776 winners; awards program for World’s Best Wine Lists pays tribute to resilience of restaurant industry amid global pandemic



The Grove Pizza Cucina & Wine Bar was honored for the third year in a row for its outstanding wine program in Wine Spectator’s 2022 Restaurant Awards, which celebrate the world’s best restaurants for wine.

“I want to congratulate all 3,169 restaurants that earned one of Wine Spectator’s three awards for their devotion to all things wine,” said Marvin R. Shanken, Editor and Publisher, Wine Spectator. “These awards not only guide our readers to dining establishments with impressive wine lists and outstanding service but also serve to honor restaurants for their achievements and commitment to maintaining pristine cellars. We are thrilled to reveal our 2022 Dining Guide, which points to places where wine drinkers are warmly welcomed.”

“Luis and I are thrilled to be recognized by the Wine Spectator for our dedication to excellence with our Award of Excellence again in 2022. As long-time Martin County residents, it’s an honor to bring light to our work and dedication to elevating the dining scene and level of hospitality here in Martin County.” -Jen Reyneri, Sommelier and Co-Owner “We recently returned from our Southern Italian culinary research trip to this awesome news, and are excited to share our love for food and wine with our community, guests, and wine club members.” States Co-Owner Luis Reyneri, Advanced Sommelier and Certified Wine Educator.

About The Grove, Pizza Cucina & Wine Bar

Excerpt, Wine Spectator, 8 Piping-Hot Pizza Places with Terrific Wine Lists “Jen and Luis Reyneri, the wife-and-husband owners of the Grove Pizza Cucina & Wine Bar, met 20 years ago in Orlando, Fla. Driven by a passion for wine, the couple spent time living abroad in Europe, visiting a variety of winegrowing regions including Italy, France, Spain and Germany. With some global perspective under their belt, the Reyneris returned to Florida to open their restaurant in 2019, and the Grove earned its first Award of Excellence one year later. Luis oversees the frequently evolving wine list. Chef Ian McCue crafts seasonal Italian dishes plus specialty pizzas with options like chicken pesto and burrata flatbread, using fresh produce brought in daily and sauces made in-house.”

The Grove was established in 2019, but the journey to its inception spans over 20 years and two continents. Husband & wife sommelier team/owner-operators are on mission to carefully curate cuisine &  culture by providing world-class hospitality experiences in their small, sleepy beach town. Frequently, guests comment since The Grove came to town, they have escalated the culture through culinary and hospitality as forerunners in this up and coming community. The dynamic duo of Jen and Luis Reyneri met over 20 years ago in Orlando, Florida. Since then, the hospitality industry has taken the Reyneri family, including their two sons, all over the world including a year abroad in Europe studying food and wine. With international experience under their belts, they returned to Las Vegas and later back to their roots and family in South Florida to open The Grove in 2019, going on to win Wine Spectator Award of Excellences in 2020 , 2021 & 2022 and won Diner’s Choice for Best Food through Open Table two years in a row. The Reyneri’s not only pride themselves with excellence in service to their guests with a talented certified culinary team, but in building a strong, family-like team culture where Cuban coffee is served at pre-shift every day. Many employees have celebrated  3 year work anniversaries at The Grove and have been promoted from within.  Most recently, the Reyneri’s are expanding their philanthropic outreach with the creation of the Treasure Coast Charity Wine Auction, a newly incorporated 501-C3 with its first events to follow this fall. Follow the Grove online at and on Facebook or Instagram @TheGroveHobeSound 

The Grove, Pizza Cucina & Wine has won the AWARD OF EXCELLENCE: The Award of Excellence recognizes restaurants whose wine lists feature a well-chosen assortment of quality producers along with a thematic match to the menu in both price and style.

Follow the Restaurant Awards on Twitter and Instagram, with hashtag #WSRestaurantAward, and The Grove on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Winners are also profiled in the free Restaurant Awards app, available for iPhone and iPad users. Wine Spectator’s special Restaurant Awards issue became available to readers July 12.

About Wine Spectator

Wine Spectator is the world’s leading authority on wine. Anchored by Wine Spectator magazine, a print publication that reaches around 3 million readers worldwide, the brand also encompasses the Web’s most comprehensive wine site (, mobile platforms and a series of signature events. Wine Spectator examines the world of wine from the vineyard to the table, exploring wine’s role in contemporary culture and delivering expert reviews of more than 15,000 wines each year. Parent company M. Shanken Communications, Inc., also publishes Cigar AficionadoWhisky Advocate, Market WatchShanken News Daily and Shanken’s Impact Newsletter.

Wine Spectator began its program to recognize the world’s best wine lists in 1981. There are three levels: the Award of Excellence, the Best of Award of Excellence and the Grand Award—with 1,782; 1,290; and 97 winners this year in each respective category.

Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email [email protected]
Aug. 2, 2022|

Restaurants balance reopenings with ever changing COVID-19 guidelines

The coronavirus pandemic didn’t take away our love of food but it did challenge our access to the food we love.
Jul. 7, 2020|