Features

Claying for Keeps

Indian River Clay has found a new home on 16th Street, a building that couldn’t have been more made to order, where potters can use the new space to spread their artistic wings. Maria Sparsis agrees. “Clay people are different in that we like to work with other potters to encourage each other, to share what we’ve done. Our studio makes that all possible.”

Blest Be the Ties That Bind

Sylvia Gregory, president of the Scottish Society of the Treasure Coast, and Roy Thompson, president emeritus, agree that it’s time to look forward after a “year of quiet solitude.” While celebrating the group’s 25th anniversary this year, they are excited about what the future holds, and are eager to welcome new members who want to learn about Scotland and their heritage.

Best of Both Worlds

“When I think about Vero and my home there, I’m always smiling. There’s something about the similarity between Cohasset and Vero Beach — they’re both small and inviting, and the beauty of the ocean and nature can be seen everywhere … The way I see it, I have the best of both worlds,” smiles Andrea Wade. The Surf Club condo Wade chose as her new home is now fully renovated, decorated and breathtaking.

On the Level

“I’ve always loved it here. I worked for Croom Construction every summer and during school breaks since I was 13, but never really thought I’d return,” admits Charles Croom. But after 10 years working in Orlando, the move back to Vero Beach was the right thing for he and his wife Jennifer. “What was appealing to me when I decided to join the company my father started was to continue the legacy. I’m where I was meant to be.”

Wise & Wonderful

Owls are known for their wise ways and keen eyesight, but did you know just how many different types of owls patrol our Vero Beach skies? Learn about the burrowing owl, barn owl, great horned owl, Eastern screech owl and barred owl, what makes them different from each other, their nesting habits, quirks and how we can help them thrive.

Altruistic Alliances

Community Chests, United Funds and now the United Way. No matter the name over the years, the United Way of Indian River County has been supporting our residents for six decades.

Playing Her Strong Suit

Gerre Rhodes has been in business for 40 years on Beachland Boulevard in Vero Beach. “You ask why I’m still working, where I get my energy. I don’t have an answer other than I’m a firm believer that you need to do something that keeps you busy, helps keep your mind working, and makes you happy. I enjoy what I do, I love my customers, and I love life!”

A Holiday Feast

Holiday cooking shouldn’t be stressful. This month, we’ve created three dishes that will be fancy enough for the occasion but without requiring too much fuss to prepare. This month’s menu features an appetizer, and entrée and a dessert that can be prepared at least several hours in advance. Dig into this colorful trio of courses and enjoy!

Flight Plans

Ian Cooper was 21 years old when he arrived at FlightSafety Academy in Vero Beach in 1997 from his home on the south coast of England. He was well on his way to earning his commercial pilot’s license with dreams of becoming an airline pilot. Fast forward nearly 25 years, and he’s co-owner of the Vero Beach flight school, now named Skyborne Academy. “I love this place,” he says.

A Road to the Past

Have you ever wondered where the name “Jungle Trail” came from? It certainly fits the lush environment that surrounds the dirt road, but the real story involves a fictional pirate and a Treasure House. Today, the 7.5 mile road that leads to Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge, Joe Michael Memorial Trail, Centennial Trail Boardwalk and more is on the National Register of Historic Places.

One Smart Cookie

Amy Mallouk is obsessed with cookies! In 2020, COVID derailed her work in what was turning into a dream job with Disney. Rather than dwell on the negative, the young entrepreneur has taken her artistic talent and turned it into a custom cookie making business operating out of her mother’s kitchen in Indian River County.

In Good Company

KC Crain is an important leader at Crain Communications, a large publishing company headquartered in Detroit. But when it comes to time off, he looks with fondness to the Thanksgivings he spends in Vero Beach with extended family. Crain says, “When I think of all the business conversations between my parents, my brother and myself sitting around tables at John’s Island and Windsor, it makes me smile … the most important thing is our Thanksgiving together.”

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.