Our Sustainable Initiatives


Here’s a few initiatives to building a more sustainable future.

 

Pine Ave

Ed Chiles and his partners developed Pine Avenue in the city of Anna Maria into what is now known as “The Greenest Little Main Street in America”.

The street features fabulous shopping and restaurants, below beautiful guest houses. All the buildings are green certified and some are historic. One such business, of which Chiles partners in, is Poppo’s Taqueria, serving organic produce. Even their drink offerings contain no fructose or sucrose additives. Pine Avenue also features organic garden boxes along the street, encouraging community members to use their vegetation at home.

Chiles’ restaurants have been featuring a local, sustainable resource from Cortez, Florida – Grey Striped Mullet. When the fish are harvested by sex and roe is removed from the females and dried and cured, it creates a product called bottarga. Cortez Grey Striped Mullet produces some of the finest bottarga in the world. Recognizing that the processing and branding of this delicacy was being outsourced overseas, Chiles, along with island native, Seth Cripe, created the Anna Maria Fish Company. The company now produces over 5,000 pounds of bottarga annually while bringing a value added community and economic model to the historic village of Cortez.

Chiles’ restaurants have been striving towards sustainability in ways other than menu features. Composting is an effort that works directly in conjunction with Chiles’ two organic farms: Gamble Creek Farm of Parrish, Florida and 3 Boys Farm of Ruskin, Florida. Fresh produce from the farms are featured on the restaurant’s menus. Composted material from the restaurant kitchens as well as from the Anna Maria Fish Company are returned to the farms to make fertilizer.

Ed Chiles has partnered with the Patel College of Global Sustainability from the University of South Florida to further these efforts. The United Nations World Tourism Organization has recognized this partnership as a leader in the sustainable tourism field. They were invited to meet with Walt Disney World to compare best practices and have also spoken at a Windsor Castle conference in May, 2015 – “Imagine the Possible: Innovation and Urban Development, Sustainable Tourism, and Culture.”

Seeing the value of sustainable tourism in his businesses and community, Ed Chiles and his partners continue to pave the way and are determined to preserve the beautiful Florida culture and environment for generations to come.

 

Bradenton Herald: Gamble Creek Farm Shifted to Organic

Giving new meaning to "from farm to fork": Gamble Creek Farm in Parrish has shifted to all-organic production after Chiles Restaurant Group entered a consulting and management partnership with Eva and Chris Worden of Worden Farm in Punta Gorda.

Mote Marine: Study continues with donation from Chiles Restaurant Group

In southwest Florida, cured mullet roe called bottarga fetches higher prices than the fish producing it, and sometimes unused fish are left after bottarga is sold. Now, Mote Marine Laboratory scientists are investigating how to turn excess mullet into food for fish farms, to benefit mullet fishermen along with the fish farming, or aquaculture, industry.

Mote is launching the second phase of this study now, with help from a generous supporter, Ed Chiles, CEO and owner of the Chiles Restaurant Group, which includes Sandbar, Beach House and Mar Vista Restaurants, whose menus and features showcase mullet, bottarga and other local underutilized species.

The Chiles Restaurant Group worked with fishermen based in Cortez, Florida, to procure and donate 600 pounds of frozen mullet to Mote scientists.

Ed Chiles stated: “We are excited to be able to provide support for the second phase of the mullet feed trials, following the launch made possible through the funds provided by the Gulf Coast Community Foundation’s ‘X Prize’-style competition.”

Chiles continued: “Grey striped mullet built the village of Cortez, one of the oldest continual fishing villages in the state of Florida. While the roe from southwest Florida’s Sandy Bottom Grey Striped Mullet is prized internationally, the remaining by product, known as a shuck, is often underutilized.”

“If the fish meal project conducted by Dr. Main and her team at Mote is successful, we could see this underutilized sustainable natural resource become another value-added opportunity. That opportunity can be a model for how our area addresses the severe imbalance in our country’s seafood trade deficit, which is second only to oil. Fifty percent of the seafood consumed internationally is from aquaculture. Making better use of our natural sustainable seafood resources in this regard will ensure that our history and heritage of working waterfronts can continue. It will contribute and support our local fishermen and it will make a strong statement about our community’s values.”

 

START and GCORR Programs

The organization (Solutions to Avoid Red Tide) works with the Beach House, Sandbar and Mar Vista restaurants, among other organizations, to administer the Gulf Coast Oyster Reclamation and Renewal (GCORR) program. Since February 2017, the restaurants have collected over 50,000 pounds of oyster shells which are cleaned, bagged and transported to a local preserve where they are placed in the water to provide natural habitat for oysters and other marine habitat. 

Earth Day is not a one-day event for the Chiles Group as all 3 restaurants are constantly working to provide great food with environmentally sustainable ingredients, from local fisheries as well as grown on our own farm at Gamble Creek.  This year-round effort to be environmentally responsible is at the core of what the restaurants do and we are proud to be a part of great organizations and efforts like START and GCORR.