Cooper Levey-Baker has written about food, politics, civic issues, the arts, and music in Southwest Florida for a decade. His work has won an honorable mention from the Julia Child Foundation and a Bronze Award for Best In-Depth Reporting from the Florida Magazine Association, and he was named a finalist for Best Public Service Reporting by the Florida Society of Professional Journalists. His fiction earned him a John Ringling Fund Individual Artist Fellowship from the Arts Council of Sarasota County and his rendition of "Drunk in Love" has left karaoke audiences throughout the region bewildered.

Love Factually

Our Marriage Rates and Divorce Rates Are Falling. Why?

Fewer people are getting married today in part because fewer people are getting divorced.

01/24/2019 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Unity Awards 2019

Demetrius Jifunza Helped 1.6 Million Floridians Win Back Their Right to Vote

Jifunza founded the Sarasota chapter of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, the statewide organization behind Amendment 4, a measure created to restore voting rights to most felons after they have completed their sentence.

01/24/2019 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Goodness Gracious

Jerry Lee Lewis Brings Throwback Rock 'n' Roll and Country to the Van Wezel

The man behind "Whole Lot of Shakin' Going On," "Great Balls of Fire" and other classics performs on Sunday, Jan. 27.

01/17/2019 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Civil rights

Floridians Affected By Amendment 4 Begin Registering to Vote

'Today is a new day,' says Demetrius Jifunza, the founder of the Sarasota chapter of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, the group that led the effort to pass Amendment 4.

01/08/2019 By Cooper Levey-Baker

10 Bucks Or Less

A New Taqueria Specializes in the Home Cooking of Central Mexico

Siblings Gino Calleja and Leticia Calleja pay tribute to their mother's food at Reyna's Taqueria.

01/07/2019 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Round two

With the NFL Playoffs Looming, a Former Venice High Football Star Hopes for More Super Bowl Magic

Last year's Super Bowl turned Trey Burton into a star. Now he's preparing for another playoff run, with a different team.

01/03/2019 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Squeezed

Battered By Disease and Storms, Florida Citrus Growers Hope 2019 Is a Better Year

The most recent estimate for the current season suggests production should reach 77 million boxes of oranges and 6.4 million boxes of grapefruit.

01/03/2019 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Case Closed

Hot Dogs With Natural Casing Are Worth Seeking Out

We turned to the pros at Geier's Sausage Kitchen to find out why.

12/26/2018 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Restaurant Review

After a Rocky Start, The Overton Finds Its Footing

The Overton has established itself as one of the city’s best hangouts.

12/26/2018 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Super Grouper

Looking for a Great Grouper Sandwich? Here's How to Find One

Many restaurants aren't actually using real grouper.

12/05/2018 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Grub hub

10 Bucks Or Less: Gulf Gate Food + Beer

Surprise! Gulf Gate Food + Beer is a restaurant located in Gulf Gate that serves both food and beer.

12/04/2018 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Hemp Health Craze

CBD Is Smoking Hot in Retail—How Do You Tell the Good From the Bad?

The main way to distinguish a legitimate CBD product from an also-ran is transparency.

12/03/2018 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Insider's Guide 2018

What to Do With Kids in Sarasota

These fun options will delight the whole family.

11/30/2018 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Meat right

A Glimpse at the Area's Newest Butcher Shop

Butcher's Mark offers a modern twist on a New England tradition.

11/30/2018 By Cooper Levey-Baker

The Shaper

Expert Surfboard Maker Juan Rodriguez Shapes a Living and a Life From Catching Waves

“People in general want to be a part of something. Surfing is tribal.”

11/30/2018 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Food

The 25 Best Lunch Spots in Sarasota

Where to go, what to order and how to relish the midday meal.

11/21/2018 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Found in Translation

Meet Jay Rubin, the Translator Who Helped Introduce Haruki Murakami to America

Rubin is coming to Sarasota on Sunday, Dec. 9, to discuss his new anthology, "The Penguin Book of Japanese Short Stories."

11/15/2018 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Food

10 Bucks Or Less: Maple Street Biscuit Company

A Southern chain that specializes in splendid biscuit sandwiches comes to east Sarasota.

11/12/2018 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Bowled Over

Poke Is All the Rage Right Now. But What Is It?

Pro tip: it's pronounced "poh-kay."

10/29/2018 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Crust University

Baker & Wife Chef Isaac Correa Offers Tips on Home Pizza-Making

The restaurant offers periodic workshops to help up your pizza game.

10/29/2018 Photography by Cooper Levey-Baker