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East County Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2009 8 years ago

Business Observer 11.05.09


Ranch couple cultivates new site
Through their new social networking Web site, Greenbrook residents Katy and Mark Walker hope to provide a place for those looking for answers about faith, love and life with a resource that will provide many of the answers they seek.

“We’re trying to bridge the gap between spirituality and real life,” Katy Walker said.

Their new site,, offers social networking through online discussions and opportunities to discuss issues of faith with theology experts, as well as videos from the “Spiritual Life” series, suggested organizations with which individuals can get involved and volunteer and informative articles on life, love, faith and culture. The site is aimed at young adults but covers a variety of topics pertinent to almost any age.

“It’s to try to reach people who are searching for spirituality, meaning and hope,” Mark Walker said. “Ultimately, it’s up to them. We’re here to provide an educational resource. We’re not here to judge.”

The free Web site launched Sept. 15.

The Walkers said they hope to launch a “groups” feature in a few months, which would allow young adults in the East County and surrounding area to connect with each other.

Kumo opens opens third location
Hot tables and cold sushi await diners as the Kumo Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi restaurant opened recently its third location — its first in the East County.

The new location is the chain’s largest, featuring 10 hibachi tables, several dining areas and a sushi and cocktail bar.

“We are excited to offer the residents of Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch and Bradenton a new, fun and healthy dining option,” said Kumo owner Sam Chen.

Chen and his family opened the first Kumo in Cape Coral in 2004. With his wife, Lily Ren, he opened second location in Venice in 2007.

The menu features traditional Japanese hibachi grilling, including steak and seafood pairings, teriyaki flavored vegetables and rice, as well as deep fried tempura, udon noodles, bento box-style meals and locally inspired sushi creations.

The restaurant, located at University Parkway and Honore Avenue in University Park Center, will host a formal ribbon-cutting celebration in December.

Critter Ridge celebrates 25 years
Critter Ridge Landscape Contractors celebrated recently its 25th anniversary.

Critter Ridge began serving Sarasota in 1984. Its staff includes certified landscape contractors, Florida-certified horticultural professionals and limited commercial landscape maintenance license holders. Also, the staff is certified in the Green Building Industries Best Practices of Sarasota County.

Critter Ridge is a member of the Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Association, Green Building Coalition, BBB and the Professional Landscape Network.

Critter Ridge is located at 7660 Fruitville Road, Sarasota.

For more information, call 379-6658 or visit

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