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The People of Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island still has all of the charm of an Old-Florida island. Not only is that because of the beautiful, tranquil setting, the average daily temperatures of 80 degrees, no high rises, and most certainly no retail or food chains but it is in most part to do with the people. The long term islanders that cannot leave, the relatively new inhabitants many who discovered and fell in love with this place whilst on a vacation, and also the visitors most of whom come back year after year embracing the culture of this wonderful little island.

To introduce you to a few….….

Anna Maria Island

Photo By: lawtonchiles

Mike and Lizzie Thrasher

Mike and Lizzie are from the UK and discovered Anna Maria Island whilst on vacation in 2003 and settled here in 2007. They used to work in the UK running a children’s food business (‘Organix’) but since selling the company in 2007, they spend half the year on the island and the other at their home in Dorset.

Since coming to the island, Mike and Lizzie have been responsible for a number of fantastic projects. They have bought eight homes all in fantastic locations which they have lovingly re-developed into amazing and unique vacation homes under the Pineapplefish name.

They purchased both Beach Bums and the Anna Maria General Store, re-developing the buildings so that they are now some of the most colourful retail buildings on the island. They then set about establishing them as successful businesses, with the help of the now new owners of each – Brian Seymour (General Store) and Lauren and Diane (Beach Bums).

One of their most exciting projects is the Anna Maria Historic Green Village; a benchmark, sustainable development with five commercial and two residential units that is powered by renewable energy sources. Having both LEED Platinum status (the highest recognition for sustainable developments given by the USGBC – US Green Building Council) and Net Zero Energy status (generating more electricity than that is consumed on site), the HGV is one of only a handful of projects like this worldwide. It’s a great place to come and relax, tour the site and learn about the technologies and the history of some of the buildings. Enjoy great food at Relish Café, shop at some great stores, and be part of some fantastic events that are held here throughout the year.

Brian Seymour, Store Manager/Owner, Anna Maria General Store

The Anna Maria General Store is the diamond of Anna Maria. Open 365 days a year (yes, including Christmas Day), 7 days a week, it is very likely that you will meet and chat with Brian and his fantastic team. What makes the General Store so special, as well as the fantastic deli with amazing made to order sandwiches, Tyler’s ice creams, one of the biggest selections of wines, craft beers, and cold drinks on the island, and every grocery you need! is that it is a great meeting point for everybody from the Sheriff to locals, vacationers and other business people – which make it one of the best places to catch up on Island news!

Rhonda Grote, Owner Relish & Relish Café

Some may call Rhonda Grote the guru of thrifty and resourcefulness, but knowing Rhonda is to know that it is her way of life. Rhonda has been picking and collecting vintage and unique treasures for over 12 years, travelling to flea markets, fairs and auctions. In the spring of 2011, Rhonda opened Relish Vintage & Artisan Boutique on the site of the Historic Green Village; and in November 2012, she opened the Relish Café next door. Rhonda’s passion and her smile are infectious. She is a great friend and you will see her hard at work in either of her stores, so do pop in and say Hi!

Anna Maria Island has a really great community, and some wonderful people. We hope to welcome you here one day soon!

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