SWFL Entrepreneurs to Watch

  The masterminds behind Stabilized Steps, Envision, and Swimmie Caps are taking their inventions to the next level. Fort Myers currently holds the No. 10 spot as the Best Small City to…

The Shaved Ice Bar is Coming to Fort Myers

  If you have a sweet taste for authentic Hawaiian style shaved ice, your craving will soon be satisfied. The Shaved Ice Bar will have its grand opening and the official ribbon…

TechStars StartUp Weekend has Returned to Fort Myers

  This would be the second time StartUp Weekend has come to Fort Myers and both times Endeavors Workspaces hosted the event. WHO’S INVITED? “Anyone who has a business idea for a…

Lagerhead Cycleboats

Looking for something different to do? Lagerhead Cycleboats offers visitors a unique SWFL experience. You’ve heard of bicycle pubs but what about boat bicycle pubs? A charter boat in Ft. Myers puts…

SON Studios is Ready to Hire

  If you’ve been thinking about a career in media production but not sure where or how to start, SON Studios might be your golden ticket. The non-profit media production company is…

New Childcare On-Demand App

Need a car to pick you up? There’s an app for that. Need a last minute babysitter though? Not so easy. Until now. Bonita Springs entrepreneur and single mom of two daughters,…

Thrift Store Find: Frank Doerner Lounge Chair

  One of the best things about living in Southwest Florida is the variety of thrift stores located throughout the area. If you’re new to the area, living on a budget or…

Lucky’s Market Heading to Cape Coral

  It looks like Lucky’s Market is on a roll in Southwest Florida. The natural and organic food store will open its next location on the corner of Veterans Parkway and Santa…

Are You in Need of Baby Supplies?

  Last week, it was widely reported that three women stole $1,500 worth of baby formula in Lehigh Acres. The motivation behind the crime is not yet known but can fall into…

Walmart in Cape Coral Let’s You Scan Your Items

  Walmart in Cape Coral has new technology you can use to scan items as you shop, meant to save you time. Some people love it. Some people worry it’s taking jobs…

Perfect Combination: Brew Pubs and Food Tucks

  In Southwest Florida, mobile food vendors have tight restrictions on when and where they can park their food truck. To provide a sense of stability, breweries allow food trucks to park…

State of the Art Pre-School is Coming to Downtown Fort Myers

  Besides Cutting-Edge Curriculums, New Pre-School Prioritizes School Safety A state of the art preschool is opening later this year in Downtown Fort Myers. Connection Point Early Learning Center will have top-notch…

Immokalee’s Produce Market

  If you live in Southwest Florida, you’re probably aware of the agriculture in Immokalee and the culture you can find in town. But have you ever been to the Produce Market?…

SWFL Food Truck Culture

  If you’re looking for a food truck during your lunch break in Southwest Florida, you won’t find any lined up along the streets around downtown, or shopping hubs like you would…

FGCU Competes With School Living Its Own ‘Dunk City’

On the baseball diamond, FGCU faced another school enjoying a time similar to what it experienced during ‘Dunk City’ five years ago. In the 2018 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, UMBC became the…

Electric Bike Shop Rolls into Fort Myers

It’s official! The first electric bike shop has opened in Fort Myers. In 2017, Lisa and Skip Badolato decided it was time to retire from their finance careers and jump into the…

A Local Alternative To Dog Kennels

If you feel guilty leaving your dog at the kennel, there is another option. “The dogs are not in cages; that’s the biggest thing,” said Jose Barcela, a Rover.com dog sitter in…

Fishermen’s Village Punta Gorda

Every year, over 100,000 local, national and international visitors come to the open-air mall and marina known as Fishermen’s Village in Punta Gorda. Formerly a dock which was used to support the…

#BoycottFlorida Has Major Effect on SWFL Tourism Economy

Parkland student, David Hogg, is calling for a “tourism boycott” in protest of politicians not meeting his demands for more strict gun laws. He feels that politicians are not listening to him…

Craft Beer Continues to Thrive in SWFL

Florida ranks No.5 nationwide in the craft brewing and pulls in $3.1 billion. Southwest Florida has been thriving with craft brewers for several years now. Big Storm Brewing is the most recent…

Swamp Cabbage Festival Brings Heritage to LaBelle

Every year, thousands gather in LaBelle for the Swamp Cabbage Festival. But what exactly is swamp cabbage? We asked vendors and festival-goers about the mysterious food used in everything from fritters to…

Lucky’s Market is Moving Into North Naples

Lucky’s Market is an organic and natural food store that rivals stores like Trader Joes. Get Excited. The Colorado-based grocery chain is moving into North Naples at the Gateway Shops on Wiggins…

May Contain Broken Glass, Loud Music and Inspiration

  This week, Jillian explores the end of civilization, a.k.a. the death of the CD, a treat that even the pickiest of eaters will love, winning BBQ sauce and ways you can save a life!  …

Mobile Fashion Trucks

We all know that familiar sound of an ice cream truck, the aroma of our favorite food truck. But what about a mobile fashion truck. Abbey DeStefano of Fort Myers Beach decided…

Big Boi’s BBQ Plans to Bring Jobs to Fort Myers

Southwest Florida native and entrepreneur Curt Sheard is the face behind Big Boi’s BBQ. Curt took his BBQ sauces to the A&E reality TV show, Rooster & Butch, and won up to…

Betsy’s Best Granola Recipe

At Hello SWFL, we love hearing about local Mompreneur success stories and here’s another! In my quest to have my kids eat healthier, I came across Betsy’s Best Almond Butter and became…

Bell Tower Revival 

If you’ve walked through Bell Tower Shops lately, you may have noticed that the open-air promenade is pretty empty. Shopping malls across the United States have been struggling for years. Thanks to…

Naples Basket Brigade Behind on Goals

People dug deep donating to food-based charities during Hurricane Irma. As a result, charities like Naples Basket Brigade are now struggling early in the year to meet their goals. “We’re really not…

Shell Factory

Are you a SW Floridian who has had this conversation before? Someone: “Have you ever been to the Shell Factory?” Them: “Uhhm. Like a long time ago when I was in elementary…

FruitsScapes Nursery

Have you always wanted a garden full of trees that would yield you hundreds of pounds worth of your favorite exotic fruit per year but thought it would be impossible or a…

Saving the Florida Panther

We share Florida with some big cats. The Florida Panther, also known as a puma, mountain lion, or cougar, is the state animal of Florida. They are amongst the most endangered species…

Stories You Loved This Week

We’ve uncovered your favorite Hello SWFL videos from the past five days! Hint: no groundhogs included. We did it! We won an award. What was it you ask? DRUMROLL PLEASE. A media…

Cape Coral a Purple Heart City

  What is a Purple Heart? Why is Cape Coral established as a Purple Heart City? Most of us came across a viral video of a lady who was commissioned to paint…

New Cape Coral Fire Station

  Cape Coral will be getting its 11th fire station this fall. It’s a four million dollar project meant help reduce response times. The purpose of this new station is to serve…

Meet David Lyons: The Mayor of LaBelle

LaBelle is one of those places in Southwest Florida that has the power to truly showcase what the culture of the state is. We always have a good time when we visit,…

Advertisement or Art?

  We came across a viral Facebook live video by Marty Wisher about a mural that she painted that caused a bit of local controversy. In her video, Marty explains that she…

Fort Myers Fire Department (FMFD)

  Fort Myers Fire Department (FMFD) isn’t receiving the SAFER grant any longer. That’s about 3 million dollars they will be missing out on starting February 7th, 2018. That also means about…

Gatorama Adventures

  We often forget about the towns in Southwest Florida that surround Fort Myers and Naples. When we look for stories to tell, It’s crucial for us to keep in mind the…

Naples Promise Globe

The Naples Preserve is encouraging visitors to take a second and make a promise of what they will do to take care of Naples and the Earth. The promise globe is a…

Southern Rage Paintball Team

  Football and Baseball are not for everyone. Sometimes there needs to be more excitement like shooting friends with small balls of paint going at 280 feet per second. The Developmental Paintball…

Beloved Italian Restaurant Returns to Cape Coral

  After 41 years in business, the popular Italian restaurant closed in 2017 – but now it’s back. To the delight of many Cape Coral residents, Leone’s Italian restaurant is open again.…

Swim Caps That Cater To Black and Hispanic Children

There is a long known myth in the black community: Black people don’t swim. However, Yolanda Perkins, founder of Swimmie Caps, doesn’t believe that is entirely true. Instead, she thinks it’s a…

Personal Labs

Personal Labs offers their customers medical tests straight to their door and tested all without a doctor. At first, this sounds dangerous. Why give people who are not medical trained medical tests?…

PJ Boox Bookstore

You’ve probably have never heard of a bookstore focused solely on selling books by independent authors. That’s because there aren’t many of them. Usually, when we are in the mood to cuddle up…

Big Dawgs is Finally Open for Business

  Big Dawgs Naples is finally up and running after a four-month hiatus. The red stationary food cart, which sells authentic Vienna Beef hot dogs, reopened its doors on Jan. 17, 2018.…

Soul Body Optimization Healing

  During this job, I have met all kinds of people who say they believe what they believe but it’s rare to find someone who full heartily believes what they believe. And…

Endeavor Innovative Workplaces

  When people think of business hubs, they think of tall buildings in a densely populated area with coffee shops on every street corner. That’s not the SWFL way of course. The…

Medical Marijuana Dispensaries are on Hold in Fort Myers

On Tuesday, the city council voted to enable a 6-month ban on any medical marijuana dispensaries starting a business within city limits. This will allow time for the state legislators to iron…

The Salt Cave

If you’re driving on 41 in Naples you might have noticed a store-front saying Salt Cave or seen offers on Groupon. But what is a Salt Cave? We went to check it…

Gulf Coast Humane Society’s 10,000th Surgery

Gulf Coast Humane Society (GCHS) is celebrating their 10,000th surgery. It’s actually 10,417 as of January 11th, 2017. This high number is part of an aggressive plan to cut down on pet…

Wild Hogs at Three Suns Ranch

Wild Hogs won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. Three Suns Ranch in Punta Gorda FL are taking a new approach to this issue. Owner, Keith, and the Three Suns Ranch crew work…

The Hope Clubhouse

  The Hope Clubhouse in Fort Myers is one of those places that captivates you from the moment you walk in. It is a program that assists adults with mental illness by providing job…

8-Bit Hall of Fame

  Jason Cosser loves his hobby. Maybe a little too much for his wife’s tastes. When she told him to get rid of his extensive Mario collection, Jason didn’t want to pawn…

The Harold P. Curtis Honey Company

Oh, honey, you’ve got to get here. Growing up, I only knew Labelle as a place where you go to: 1) Stop for gas. 2) Grab a cup coffee before a long…

Who are the SWFL Sharks?

There’s a new team and a new sport in SWFL! For more info, head to facebook.com/SWFLSharks  

Inside A SWFL Humanely Raised Livestock Farm

  The cows at Circle C Farm are noticeably happy. They are free to roam, to be inquisitive and curious, and lively. We visited to learn more about humanely raised livestock in…

Beekeeping in SWFL
Beekeeping in Southwest Florida

Beekeeping is a popular hobby in Southwest Florida. Lee County has 173 registered beekeepers and 142 are registered as backyard beekeepers. Collier County has 36 registered beekeepers and 28 of those are…

Meet Volunteers From Harry Chapin Food Bank

    What’s better than watching the community come together to help those in need? Meet volunteers from Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida, Inc. who show that sacrificing a little…

S(he) Will Fade

  A local advocacy group makes their voices heard through shocking and heart-wrenching performances that are sure to make their message known. We followed S(he) Will Fade , a group of young…

Artist Marcus Zotter
Marcus Zotter Brings Street Art To Naples

  Street art and Naples usually aren’t two words that are in the same sentence. Local artist, Marcus Zotter, is stepping up in an effort to change that. The city of Naples…

U-Pick Farm SWFL
31-Produce Farm Encouraging SWFL To Buy Local Produce

by Gabriela Hardan Known for its succulent strawberries and farm fresh cooking, 31 Produce Farm is now back in season, offering customers more than just your local fruits and vegetables. 31 produce’s…

Smallwood Store
The Smallwood Store Is Packed With Big History

If you want to get a sense of the foundation of Florida and it’s rich history, you might want to take a trip down to Chokoloskee Island – a small gem located…

27th Annual Gala at the “Q”

  Quality Life Center of Southwest Florida, Inc. celebrated its 27th Annual Gala event at Florida Gulf Coast University’s Cohen Center on Friday, November 3rd. Over 250 attendees enjoyed a night of…

Art for ACT Gallery
360 Degree Tour of Arts for ACT Gallery

Operating out of downtown Fort Myers, this local gallery raises money to support victims of violence by supporting local art. In case you needed more of a reason to stop by, we caught…

Naples Bringing Back Films
SON Studios Wants To Bring Movies Back to Naples

The CEO of Spirit of Naples Studios (SON Studios), Rebeca Seitz, is on a quest to bring the movie industry back to Naples, Fl. Rebeca, a former publicist and public relations professional,…

Taste of Immokalee: Built On Community

Elias, the president of Taste of Immokalee, explains how they make delicious food products using local produce in a meaningful way.

Calusa Nature Center & Planetarium Clean Up

  After the devastation of Hurricane Irma, we went out to Calusa Nature Center & Planetarium, to help clean up and raise awareness about how you can get involved.

gofundme for Hurricane Irma Relief

  Why would a dentist in North Carolina start a gofundme page for Hurricane Irma Relief? We looked into it and found out that this guy is for real. https://www.gofundme.com/SWFLstrong

Lakes Park Farmers Market

  Lakes Park Farmers Market plans to reopen for business as usual on October 11.

Tervis Factory Tour

  Ever drive past the Tervis factory on the I-75 in North Venice?

Nickel Ride Downtown Fort Myers

Tired of walking around Downtown? We rode along with The Nickel Ride and tried the free eco-friendly transportation car!  

Naples Soap Company Goes National

  SWFL’s very own Naples Soap Company now has 11 stores throughout Florida and plans to go national! We got a tour & chatted with this

United Way … Dial 211

  What happens when you dial 2-1-1? Learn how this number can provide you with countless resources and support today.  

United Way Volunteer Opportunities

Are you interested in giving to the SWFL community? United Way has a variety of volunteer opportunities fit for even the busiest of schedules.  

Local No-Kill Animal Shelter

Not many shelters can say they are ‘no kill’. Check out the adoptable pets at Gulf Coast Humane Society☺️ save a life.

Pilot Safety

  We took a pilot lesson with Paragon Flight Training to learn more about the safety of aircrafts in SWFL.

Mompreneur: Holly Hakes
Estero mom of two, Holly Hakes created Adorably Adorned, a custom clothing and gifts business out of her closet. But this mompreneur can attest that it's not all bows and glitter working from home with kids underfoot and just…
The Cancer Alliance of Naples: YogaCAN

Cancer has touched most people in some way shape or form, but what about those who cannot afford life’s bare necessities due to the cost of their sickness? I had the opportunity to…

Echo Farms Fights World Hunger From Fort Myers

World hunger: we all know about its devastating effects, but how do we put an end to it?  Echo Farms strives to fight world hunger by educating farmers and the public about farming techniques…

Shortage of SWFL Refs in Football Games

Everyone loves a man in uniform! Shiny shoes, pressed shirt, and a fitted duck-billed cap. We love our Ref’s! But sadly, for the South Gulf Football Officials Association (SGFOA), the men (and women)…


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