Sarasota-Manatee Originals

Sarasota-Manatee Originals Restaurants Make Popular Promotion Permanent


Sarasota-Manatee Originals to Offer 40% off Dining Certificates Again

Sarasota, FL -- (SBWIRE) -- 03/22/2006 -- JP Knaggs, vice president of the Sarasota-Manatee Originals and chef/owner of the Sarasota theater & arts district restaurant, The Bijou Café, says to get ready for another one of their popular on-line Originals Dining Certificate sales Monday, March 27th. “We introduced our first Dining Certificate sale in conjunction with our redesigned website,, last October and it met with huge success so we did it again just before the holidays.,” said Knaggs. Both sales resulted in a stratospheric spike in website visits according to the affable restaurateur.

The reason they’re so hot can be summed up in one word: savings. During the sale, approximately $33,000 worth of Originals Dining Certificates are sold in fifty and twenty-five dollar denominations for $30 and $15. “For the holiday sale, we sold out of the $50 certificates just before 9AM,” Knaggs said, “so we thought, ‘Wow, this is such an awesome promotion, we ought to give it a permanent spot on our marketing calendar!’” The organization has decided to schedule a minimum of four on-line sales a year. Revenue generated from the sales is one of the ways the Sarasota-Manatee Originals fund their organization.

Certificates will go on sale exclusively at beginning March 27, 2006. Be sure to bookmark the site and add it to your “favorites” folder.

About the Sarasota-Manatee Originals
The Sarasota-Manatee Originals came into being in September 2003 as a way to celebrate and maintain the heritage and flavors of the independently owned restaurants in the Sarasota region. The upsurge in population growth on Florida’s Gulf Coast attracted the notice of legions of chain restaurants that became determined to grab their slice of the burgeoning dining out trade. With no deference to local culture and a blind eye to regional cuisine, the chain’s number one priority remained the expansion of their bottom line.

Recognizing the economic threat this posed and cognizant of the chain’s deep-pocketed marketing departments, a handful of independent Sarasota restaurateurs decided to organize and work together to protect the heritage flavors of the Sun Coast. The Sarasota-Manatee Originals were born to become Florida’s first local chapter of the Council of
Independent Restaurants of America (CIRA). CIRA has chapters in 18 other cities and works tirelessly to preserve a deeply rooted sense of place with commitment to offering the best of local products and indigenous cuisine.

Nowhere is this sense of independence more important than the Sarasota region. Within a twenty-mile radius of downtown Sarasota, there are more Florida Trend Award and Zagat top-scoring restaurants than any other area of the state and every one of this acclaimed coterie is independently owned.

The main goals of the Sarasota-Manatee Originals are:

• Increase the awareness level of local residents and visitors about the location and quality of member restaurants
• Bolster public awareness of the significant social, economic and charitable contributions the Sarasota-Manatee Originals make to the surrounding community
• Educate restaurant goers about the differences between chains and independents
• Improve the economic viability of independent restaurants by combining buying power to obtain pricing levels compatible to those available to national chains

The Originals have roots in the Sarasota region---many delighting locals and visitors for twenty to thirty years---and have established a culinary heritage that simply can’t be replicated in the corporate kitchens of Chicago, Los Angeles, or Dallas.

The Sarasota-Manatees Originals have quickly grown from the few nascent visionaries to a 60+ restaurant stronghold. For more information and a list of member restaurants with links to their websites, please visit

CAP Creative
741 B Central Avenue
Sarasota, Florida 34236
(941) 953-9191

Roxanne Joffe