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.

Generation climate

Sarasota Teens Have Become Leaders in the Fight to Slow Climate Change

Sarasota Students 4 Climate organizes "climate strike" protests in downtown Sarasota.

04/21/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Coronavirus

Two Out of Three Restaurant Workers Have Lost Their Jobs

A new survey from the National Restaurant Association estimates that the restaurant industry will lose $80 billion in sales by the end of April.

04/21/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Coronavirus

Sarasota Restaurants Shift to Support Those in Need

During the COVID-19 pandemic, restaurants have been feeding hungry kids, police officers, front-line health care workers and many more.

04/16/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Coronavirus

'It's Been Like Hell': How the COVID-19 Shutdowns Have Hurt a Local Dairy

Dakin Dairy Farms is being forced to dump 7,000 gallons of milk a day because of lost sales.

04/15/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Coronavirus

Restaurant Association Says More Help for the Industry Is Needed

After the pandemic passes, the National Restaurant Association warns, nearly all American restaurants will be "in desperate need of cash."

04/13/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Coronavirus

Expert Bartender Begins Offering Video Cocktail Tutorials

Unable to tend bar because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Rob Boyland has begun teaching people how to do it themselves.

04/10/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Coronavirus

How the COVID-19 Pandemic Is Affecting Sarasota's Homeless

“It's real tough to shelter in place when you don't have a place," says Sarasota City Manager Tom Barwin.

04/09/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Coronavirus

Amid the Pandemic, Lakewood Ranch Livestreams Offer a Dose of Community

With most activities curtailed by COVID-19, Lakewood Ranch residents are finding a new place to get together: online.

04/07/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Coronavirus

Sarasota Farmers Market Suspends All Operations

The decision has led to the layoff of two employees, the closure of the market's office and an end to social media posts from the market.

04/06/2020 Photography by Cooper Levey-Baker

Coronavirus

The Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center Braces for an Uptick in Emergency Calls

'We're definitely concerned,' says SPARCC executive director Jessica Hays, 'because people are really isolated right now.'

04/03/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Coronavirus

Calusa Brewing Starts New Weekly Facebook Livestreams

Miss hanging out in the taproom and chatting about beer? One Sarasota brewery has begun offering virtual hang sessions.

04/01/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Who We Are

Sarasota’s Demographics Have a Major Impact on Life in Our Region

That includes housing, schools, culture and services—and a political impact, some say, may not be far behind.

04/01/2020 By Dan Fost, Cooper Levey-Baker, and Kay Kipling

'I Was Passionate About Wanting to be a Chef'

Sarasota’s Restaurant Scene Provides Plenty of Job Opportunities

Just ask Francisco Juarez, who worked his way up from dishwasher to sous chef.

04/01/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Coronavirus

How to Stay Safe If You Need Work Done Inside Your Home During the Pandemic

When your A.C. breaks, should you call someone to come into your home to fix the problem?

04/01/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Slow burn

Smoking a Brisket Is a Simple Pleasure for Un-Simple Times

To give form to formless days, last week I made the decision to attempt to smoke a brisket—without a smoker.

04/01/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

'I Have Goals and Dreams'

How Sarasota's Hispanic Community Has Changed

Yarumi Espana says her children’s experience growing up in Sarasota is “way different” from hers.

04/01/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Coronavirus

How the Coronavirus Relief Act May Help Struggling Restaurants

The bill contains at least $349 billion in federally guaranteed loans for small businesses.

03/27/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Coronavirus

Kahwa Is Giving Out Free Coffee to Health Care Workers

'Our hearts go out to all individuals on the front line fighting this pandemic.'

03/27/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Coronavirus

Sarasota Farm Begins Offering Produce Delivery Service

Jessica's Organic Farm is adding the service to reduce crowding at its market.

03/27/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Makeshift Music

Catch a Virtual Concert From the Lead Singer of Have Gun, Will Travel Tonight

COVID-19 has put the kibosh on most concerts in Florida, but the singer in one of the area's best bands is still putting on a show.

03/25/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker