Features

Dropping Anchor

In late 2017, Valerie Grassano was on the hunt for a new place to call home in Vero Beach. She found an ideal build opportunity on a vacant lot in The Anchor at The Moorings. Her new home exudes peace and harmony. Calming shades of blue and teal, inspired by the colors of the pool and surrounding water, gently play off white walls and wide-plank white oak floors, stained a deep mahogany. “It was meant to be,” says Grassano, reflecting on a moonlit night shortly after their move. “We were having dinner outside when we heard swishing sounds. The dolphins … were welcoming us home.”

Save Your Skin

Even when stacked up against Florida’s other 66 counties, Indian River has one of the highest melanoma rates. But our mortality rate from melanoma is much lower than one might expect. When it comes to skin cancer, prevention and early detection are very much within our control.

Exploring History

The discrepancy in where Juan Ponce de Leon landed is significant — about 150 miles. Of interest to Indian River County residents is that, instead of four counties away, 20th century historian and navigator Douglas Peck estimates that the historic landing took place in the southern stretch of neighboring Brevard County, just a few miles north of what is now the Sebastian Inlet.

Whatever Floats Your Boat

Whatever kind of boat you choose – kayak, canoe or pontoon – the Indian River Lagoon is a beautiful place to explore the outdoors. Manatees, dolphin, mangrove forests and birds are just some of the spectacular sites you’ll see along the way.

Look Up in the Sky

As America entered World War II, the military needed a vehicle for a variety of tasks: communication, hauling small loads, maintaining contact in the field, and for getting around quickly. Several of Cushman’s 30 Series models, already in production, were used at bases, camps and ports around the world, while an entirely new model was developed to be used during the D-Day invasion — the model 53.

Holding Sands

Our economy is simultaneously beach-prosperous and beach-vulnerable. Each year, more than 100 million tourists flock to Florida’s beaches — ranked our state’s No. 1 attraction — spending $90 billion and creating 1.5 million jobs. Indian River County figures credit our beaches with $33 million in recreation spending annually. Simply put: Tourist dollars flow to everyone; without beach there is no Vero Beach as we know it.

Here Comes the Son

“George runs this store better than I ever did and has better ideas,” says Gail Williams. Her son disputes this characterization, however. “My mother built a very successful business, and what I am doing is building on that success.” George knows the value of following a winning formula, and that is a primary focus today because, after all, his mother has been in the furniture business in Vero Beach for 40 years.

Winged Victory

Millions of dollars in undiscovered treasure sits off the coast from Sebastian to Fort Pierce as part of the 1715 fleet of Spanish ships that sunk just offshore. On June 28, 2020, a pair of determined treasure hunters, Capt. Henry Jones and First Mate Tracy Newman, headed out from the Fort Pierce Inlet for another day of searching. What they found was a missing piece of history.

Plein Air Paradise

The British West Indies-style home designed by Moulton Layne and built by Croom Construction became home to Dave and Nancy Herbert in 2021 after they spent decades of moving around to follow a career in financial services. Their home in the Floralton Beach area of the barrier island, has a casual, open and airy plan with large windows that create a bright indoor living space.

The Mystery of the Museum Lion

Vero Beach Museum of Art Curator Anke Van Wagenberg was on a mission to find the origins of the museum’s majestic bronze lion, the sculpture that guards the entrance to the museum. Her detective work includes stories from more than a century ago from all over the world, and reveals why the lion lived in The Moorings for a time, and how it made its way to its current magnificent spot at the museum in 1982.

The Gang's All Here

Over the years, while Vero Beach has been become home to thousands of solid citizens, it appears that it was also home to a few bad apples of the gangster variety also walked our streets decades ago. “Entrepreneurs” John J. Williams and Harry Roberts leased what would later become the Ocean Grill, but they hailed from the Chicago nightclub scene and its organized crime-affiliated gambling establishments.

Growing With the Times

Schacht Groves now encompasses 145 acres of citrus land, and the well-known Vero Beach family business now includes a popular Farm Store, a U-pick area begun in 2020, and new Farm-to-Table-Dinners hosted on the property twice a month. Third generation citrus grower Louise Schacht continues to find ways to keep the family business growing.

Equatorial Adventure

Bird watching, Parque Historico, Ingapirca and the Andean mountains are all beautiful sites when traveling through the countryside of Ecuador. The Inca ruins in the clouded reaches of the Andes Mountains seems a world away from the tropical rainforest environment of Isla Santay on the Rio Guayas. Yet each is a part of the varied and beautiful land that is Ecuador.

Crowning Achievement

As a second-generation farmer in Sebastian, Mark Dellerman was the first in his family to delve into pineapple farming. “I’m just a dirt farmer,” he says. “I like to provide a good-eating pineapple to the local community. I barely pay my expenses each year, but to be able to wake up and kick the dirt like I did all my life is a blessing … I couldn’t be any more blessed, being a dirt farmer.”

Teamwork Through Roofing

Stephen Bischoff came to Vero Beach with his family to retire. After about 20 years in the roofing business in Miami, and another 20+ years with his business in Vero starting in 1997, he thinks he might be ready to turn over the hammer to his sons. Is he ready to fully retire? He sighs, “I don’t know if I will ever totally retire, but now, thanks to my sons, I get to be a senior advisor, and that feels just right.”

Ship to Shore

Unable to find the type of shoe he needed, Vero Beach native Lange Sykes decided to build them himself, which is how Riomar Shoes was born. “It’s interesting — I wear my shoes every day and I continue to get compliments. I’m really proud to have founded this company here in my hometown of Vero Beach.“

Prints Charming

Vero Beach interior designer Jennifer Elmore creates welcoming spaces by bringing in patterns and textures to showcase the best in an Indian River Shores home. Darker antiques are seamlessly integrated with contemporary furnishings, coastal elements and vibrant fabrics which gives Kathy Bantleon’s home a bright tropical feel.

Lighten up

Whether you’re looking to spice up the average Taco Tuesday or incorporate more fresh fish into your diet, these blackened fish tacos are bursting with flavor along with the cabbage slaw. To accompany the tacos, there’s really nothing better than a cold, crunchy, chunky homemade salsa when it’s hot outside. This black bean and corn salsa is a versatile dip that’s perfect for snacking with chips, packs great for a picnic at the beach, and saves well in the refrigerator for a few days.

Chain of Events

It wasn’t a planned passing of the torch from one generation to the next. Far from it. In fact, at one time, Suzanne Leigh-Vilas saw herself standing in front of a classroom instructing and inspiring students. Preparing lesson plans and grading papers would fill her after-school hours. “When I was in college, I never thought I’d be back in Vero Beach, let alone working here at the store. I’m really glad how things turned out. I’m happy here.”

Tees to Success

IRGF is introducing young players to the game while teaching them life skills. Our mission is to create programs and events that promote knowledge, player development and service in the game of golf,” PGA Life Member and Master Professional Roger Van Dyke explains. “Golf is not only fun, it teaches values and good manners and places honesty above winning. There’s no referee out there on the course to determine whether or not your shot was within the rules. It’s all up to you.”

Amazing Grace

Duncan Riefler’s plans of playing basketball for the Wimbledon Hoop Stars were dashed when he tore his ACL in a game in 2009. The injury opened a door for a new love to emerge. Riefler, a Windsor resident, learned to fly and soon found himself purchasing his own plane. Named “Grace,” after Grace Kelly and lovingly restored, the two are up to amazing things.