Lee County/Horizon Council now accepting applications for the 25th annual Industry Appreciation Awards honoring local businesses

HC 25 Anniversary logoTo salute excellence in Lee County’s business community, the Lee County Economic Development Office and the Horizon Council are seeking submissions for the 25th annual Industry Appreciation Awards. The honorees will be recognized during the Industry Appreciation luncheon on Thursday, Aug. 25 at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point in Estero. Networking begins at 10:30 a.m. and the program is scheduled for 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Horizon Council will honor businesses in four categories:

  • the LocalLee Grown Business Award will be awarded to a company that was founded in Lee County and is distinguished by its operational excellence and commitment to the vibrance of Southwest Florida’s business climate;
  • the Business Citizenship Award honors a company whose financial, volunteer and active involvement in organizations and programs have helped create a better quality of life in Lee County;
  • the Emerging Business Leader Award will be awarded to a relative newcomer to Lee County that is experiencing marked growth while introducing inventive products, services or business practices;
  • the Bruce T. Gora Legacy Award has been added to honor the 25th anniversary of the Industry Appreciation Awards. It recognizes an individual who during the last 25 years has established a history of distinguished service and contributions to the betterment and growth of Lee County’s business community.

Applications for the 2016 Industry Appreciation Awards are now being accepted online at LeeCountyBusiness.com. The deadline for submissions is Friday, May 27.

The Horizon Council is a public-private board established in 1991 to advise the Lee County Board of Commissioners on economic development issues. The Council has over 70members representing six cities; chambers of commerce; economic development and trade organizations; community, business, and education organizations; along with various officers and at-large members.  TheLee County Economic Development Office works to attract new and diversified businesses to the area, and improve the overall business environment in Lee County. For more information, visit www.leecountybusiness.com or call 239-338-3161.

Southwest Florida wins big with Norman Love and Mark Loren’s EGGStraordinary Giveaways

Norman and Jo Champion

Chocolatier Norman Love Confections and jeweler Mark Loren Designs recently partnered to hide 36 “EGGStraordinary” prizes throughout Lee and Collier counties between March 19-27. In addition to the special giveaway, prize winners who posted their discoveries on social media sites using the hashtag #LoveLorenEggHunt were entered into a grand prize drawing, and Norman Love Confections and Mark Loren Designs have announced Jo Champion as the grand prize winner.

Champion discovered one of Mark Loren Designs’ prize bags at the Mercato in Collier County on her birthday, and as the grand prize winner of the EGGStraordinary Giveaway, her birthday celebration continues. She will receive a Norman Love Confections All Our Love Gift Tower, valued at $385, and a $400 gift certificate to Mark Loren Designs.

“I found the Easter egg from Mark Loren Designs on my birthday, so that was a nice surprise,” said Champion. “Then to learn that I was the grand prize winner and will receive two very special prizes from both companies, well, it feels like a never-ending birthday celebration!”

Prize bags from Norman Love Confections and Mark Loren Designs were placed throughout Lee and Collier counties at businesses, events and other high-traffic areas. Norman Love Confections and Mark Loren Designs took to social media, revealing special daily clues to help followers determine the whereabouts of the day’s prize. Both Southwest Florida residents and visitors were winners throughout the giveaway, and while many prizes were discovered unexpectedly, many people challenged themselves to be the first to interpret the daily clues in order claim the special prize. Prizes were discovered in wide variety of locations throughout Lee and Collier counties, some of which included Hammond Stadium, Matanzas on the Bay and Health Park in Lee County, and Artis, Waterside Shops and aboard a Pure Florida cruise in Collier County.

Inside eggs in the Norman Love Confections gift bag, winners found a prize voucher for Love’s internationally recognized chocolates or other offerings from Norman Love Confections. Inside eggs in the Mark Loren Design gift bag, winners discovered a gemstone, along with a gift certificate to have the stone set into a custom-designed piece from the award-winning jeweler. Love and Loren added something “EGGStra” to some of their prize bags: golden eggs with a high-valued prize for the winners. Two golden egg prizes from both Love and Loren were hidden in both Lee and Collier Counties, and were discovered at Edison National Bank and Citygate Ministries in Lee County and FineMark Bank and North Naples United Methodist Church in Collier County.

Loren is nationally known for offering unique and rare gemstones, innovative diamond rings, exceptional engagement and wedding bands and expert jewelry design and repair; all services are done on-site at the Fort Myers and Naples gallery locations. From celebrities to clients who appreciate wearing exclusive jewelry designs, Mark Loren Designs assures the finest one-of-a-kind sentimental jewelry pieces for lasting enjoyment. For more information, visit www.marklorendesigns.com.

Founded in 2001 by Norman and Mary Love, Norman Love Confections creates and distributes handcrafted artisanal chocolates from its corporate headquarters at 11380 Lindbergh Blvd. in Fort Myers.  The award-winning Fort Myers-based chocolatier has been lauded more than a dozen times by a leading consumer ratings magazine, including recognition six times for producing the best ultra-premium chocolates in the nation. Forbes.com included Norman Love Confections BLACK line on its list of the nation’s top 10 truffles; The Huffington Post listed it among the six best U.S. destinations in its Chocolate Lover’s Travel Guide; and USA Today named Love as one of its top 10 entrepreneurs for 2014. Love has recently been named as the inaugural inductee of Dessert Professional Magazine’s Chocolatier Hall of Fame, partnered with local chefs to present a six-course meal at the James Beard House in New York and Norman Love Confections was ranked among the top 10 shops in the world for chocolate lovers by U.K. media outlet Daily Telegraph.

Norman Love Confections has Chocolate Salons in Fort Myers, Estero and Naples, and Artisan Gelato by Norman Love is next door to the Fort Myers salon, off Daniels Parkway east of I-75. Chocolates, gift baskets, sipping chocolate and Love’s book, “Artistry in Chocolate, A Story of Love,” also can be ordered online at www.normanloveconfections.com. In addition, Norman Love Confections chocolates and desserts are offered on 18 Princess Cruises’ ships through the “Chocolate Journeys” partnership and at independent retail locations throughout the U.S. For more information visit www.normanloveconfections.com or call 239-561-7215.

Norman Love Confections to open chocolate and dessert salon on McGregor Boulevard in Fort Myers

Gulf Coast Runners Dash and Dine at Freedom Park in Naples. Photo By Brian Tietz

Internationally acclaimed chocolatier Norman Love will open a new state-of-the-art chocolate and dessert salon in the Terra Design Center at 13211 McGregor Blvd. in Fort Myers. Scheduled to open in summer 2016, Norman Love Confections’ Fort Myers-McGregor Chocolate Salon will offer the company’s award-winning ultra-premium, handcrafted chocolates, as well as specialty desserts, artisanal baked goods, coffees, novelty products and Artisan Gelato by Norman Love. The 1,700-square-foot chocolate and dessert salon will offer indoor and outdoor seating with take-out or dine-in options.

“Opening along the popular McGregor Boulevard corridor has been a long-term goal and is part of our company’s aggressive expansion plan,” said Norman Love, founder and president of Norman Love Confections. “Our fifth and newest location will allow us to better serve our customers who travel from Sanibel and Cape Coral, as well as those communities and businesses surrounding the McGregor Boulevard area and nearby downtown Fort Myers. Offering a full-service Norman Love Confections’ experience, we hope to quickly become the No. 1 destination for dessert dining in the area.”

Founded in 2001 by Norman and Mary Love, Norman Love Confections creates and distributes handcrafted artisanal chocolates from its corporate headquarters at 11380 Lindbergh Blvd. in Fort Myers.  The award-winning Fort Myers-based chocolatier has been lauded more than a dozen times by a leading consumer ratings magazine, including recognition six times for producing the best ultra-premium chocolates in the nation. Forbes.com included Norman Love Confections BLACK line on its list of the nation’s top 10 truffles; The Huffington Post listed it among the six best U.S. destinations in its Chocolate Lover’s Travel Guide; and USA Today named Love as one of its top 10 entrepreneurs for 2014. Love has recently been named as the inaugural inductee of Dessert Professional Magazine’s Chocolatier Hall of Fame, partnered with local chefs to present a six-course meal at the James Beard House in New York and Norman Love Confections was ranked among the top 10 shops in the world for chocolate lovers by U.K. media outlet Daily Telegraph.

Norman Love Confections has Chocolate Salons in Fort Myers, Estero and Naples, and Artisan Gelato by Norman Love is next door to the Fort Myers salon, off Daniels Parkway east of I-75. Chocolates, gift baskets, sipping chocolate and Love’s book, “Artistry in Chocolate, A Story of Love,” also can be ordered online at www.normanloveconfections.com. In addition, Norman Love Confections chocolates and desserts are offered on 18 Princess Cruises’ ships through the “Chocolate Journeys” partnership and at independent retail locations throughout the U.S. For more information visit www.normanloveconfections.com or call 239-561-7215.

Norman Love and Mark Loren team up for EGGStraordinary Giveaways March 19-27

To celebrate Easter, chocolatier Norman Love Confections and jeweler Mark Loren Designs are teaming up and hiding 36 “EGGStraordinary” prizes throughout Lee and Collier counties including two GOLD eggs with “EGGStra” special prizes inside. During the week before Easter, March 19-27, prize bags from Norman Love ConfectioNLC_Bag_Stick_rtns and Mark Loren Designs will be placed throughout Lee and Collier counties at businesses, events and other high-traffic areas.

 

The prize bags will feature a special Easter egg tag with the message “You Are a Winner! Open to Discover an EGGSstraordinary Surprise!” prompting people who discover the bags to open them and look inside. Inside eggs in the Norman Love Confections gift bag, winners will find a prize voucher for Love’s internationally recognized chocolates or other offerings from Norman Love Confections. Inside eggs in the Mark Loren Design gift bag, finders will discover a gemstone, along with a gift certificate to have the stone set into a custom-designed piece from the award-winning jeweler. The vouchers will provide instructions on redeeming the prizes at a specific location by a specific date. Prize winners who post on Norman Love Confections and Mark Loren Designs social media sites using #LoveLorenEggHunt will be entered into a grand prize drawing as well.  Daily clues on the social media sites for both companies will help guide egg hunters in the right direction to discover the prizes.

 

Long-time friends, Love and Loren have partnered in the past on contests and giveaways, and both companies believe in giving back to the community, especially during the holidays. This year, they are adding something a little “eggs-tra” special worth hunting for – gold eggs that will offer a high-valued prize to the winners.Loren_Bag_Stick_rt

 

“As business owners, we like to give back to the community in a variety of ways – through charitable donations, special events, contests and especially these unexpected giveaways. It’s a special way that we can take our products outside our retail locations and celebrate the holiday with the entire community,” said Love.

 

“It’s fun to be spontaneous with our gift giving, like a game of hide and seek. We find hiding spots throughout the region and we leave little unexpected surprises along the way. After I make a drop, I like to hide nearby, waiting and watching for someone to find it, and then watch for the look on their face. It brings me as much joy as it does to the winners,” added Loren.

 

Loren is nationally known for offering unique and rare gemstones, innovative diamond rings, exceptional engagement and wedding bands and expert jewelry design and repair; all services are done on-site at the Fort Myers and Naples gallery locations. From celebrities to clients who appreciate wearing exclusive jewelry designs, Mark Loren Designs assures the finest one-of-a-kind sentimental jewelry pieces for lasting enjoyment. For more information, visit www.marklorendesigns.com.

 

Founded in 2001 by Norman and Mary Love, Norman Love Confections creates and distributes handcrafted artisanal chocolates from its corp
orate headquarters at 11380 Lindbergh Blvd. in Fort Myers.  The award-winning Fort Myers-based chocolatier has been lauded more than a dozen times by a leading consumer ratings magazine, including recognition six times for producing the best ultra-premium chocolates in the nation. Forbes.com included Norman Love Confections BLACK line on its list of the nation’s top 10 truffles; The Huffington Post listed it among the six best U.S. destinations in its Chocolate Lover’s Travel Guide; and USA Today named Love as one of its top 10 entrepreneurs for 2014. Love has recently been named as the inaugural inductee of Dessert Professional Magazine’s Chocolatier Hall of Fame, partnered with local chefs to present a six-course meal at the James Beard House in New York and Norman Love Confections was ranked among the top 10 shops in the world for chocolate lovers by U.K. media outlet Daily Telegraph.

 

Norman Love Confections has Chocolate Salons in Fort Myers, Estero and Naples, and Artisan Gelato by Norman Love is next door to the Fort Myers salon, off Daniels Parkway east of I-75. Chocolates, gift baskets, sipping chocolate and Love’s book, “Artistry in Chocolate, A Story of Love,” also can be ordered online at www.normanloveconfections.com. In addition, Norman Love Confections chocolates and desserts are offered on 18 Princess Cruises’ ships through the “Chocolate Journeys” partnership and at independent retail locations throughout the U.S. For more information visit www.normanloveconfections.com or call 239-561-7215.

First Love inspires Norman Love Confections’ 2016 Valentine’s Day Collection

First Love - 10pc

First love is often described as the one you never forget. With that in mind, Norman Love Confections is bringing back ten favorite Norman Love Signature flavors from years past to create the First Love Collection for Valentine’s Day 2016. The limited-edition First Love Valentine’s Day Collection features 5 Spice, Lime, French Silk, Gianduja, Crema Catalana, Muscadine, Macadamia, Éclair, Java Fudge and Pineapple.

The 10 heart-shaped chocolates are available with the assortment of 36 Norman Love Confections’ Signature flavors in gift boxes of all sizes, or in the limited-edition heart-shaped gift boxes. The limited-edition 10-piece heart-shaped gift box includes all of the 2016 Valentine’s Day flavors and is available for $25. The 24-piece heart-shaped gift box filled with an assortment of chocolates from both the 2016 Valentine’s Day collection and the 36-flavor Signature collection is available for $50. Online preorders for the First Love Valentine’s Day Collection will begin on Jan. 25 at www.normanloveconfections.com, with shipping beginning Feb. 1, and will be available for sale in-store Monday, Feb. 1 through Sunday, Feb. 14 at Norman Love Confections’ chocolate salons in Fort Myers, Naples and Estero.

First Love - 24pc

“There are certain flavors that customers love best, and never seem to forget,” said Norman Love, founder and owner, Norman Love Confections. “We continually receive requests to bring back these distinct flavors.”

Norman Love Confections’ Southwest Florida locations will offer special hours for Valentine’s Day only. The Fort Myers Chocolate Salon, located at 11380 Lindbergh Blvd., will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Naples Chocolate Salon, located at 3747 Tamiami Trail North, will be open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Estero Chocolate Salon, located near the north entrance to Miromar Outlets, will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Artisan Gelato by Norman Love, located at 11300 Lindbergh Blvd., Suite 112, off Daniels Parkway in Fort Myers, east of I-75, will be open from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

During its regular hours, Norman Love Confections’ Fort Myers Chocolate Salon is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Naples Chocolate Salon is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. The Estero Chocolate Salon is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Artisan Gelato by Norman Love is open Monday through Thursday from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

First Love Flavor Descriptions:

5 Spice
Milk Chocolate
A delicate and flavorful Asian 5 Spice is infused into a creamy milk chocolate center for an exciting and exotic confection.

Lime
Dark Chocolate
A gently cooked egg cream, mixed with fresh lime juice, adds a punch of tartness to this sweet blend of dark and milk chocolates.

French Silk
Dark Chocolate
Silky dark chocolate pudding is blended with dark chocolate and butter for a decadent, creamy caress of flavor.

Gianduja
Milk Chocolate
Gianduja features smooth milk chocolate blended with hazelnut paste for a buttery filling in a milk chocolate shell.

Crema Catalana
White Chocolate
This Spanish inspired ganache brings together white chocolate and fresh citrus flavors with a touch of vanilla and cinnamon.

Muscadine
Dark Chocolate
Silky smooth milk and dark chocolate ganache will warm your taste buds with a swirl of Orange Liquor and a buttery finish.

Macadamia
White Chocolate
Roasted macadamia nuts are ground into a delicate white chocolate filling and enrobed in fine white chocolate.

Éclair
Milk Chocolate
Layers of vanilla custard and milk chocolate ganache create the perfect dessert within a crisp milk chocolate shell.

Java Fudge
Milk Chocolate
Vanilla caramel, cooked slowly and deglazed with espresso cream, is captured within a milk chocolate shell.

Pineapple
White Chocolate
Pureed pineapple is slow-cooked to perfection with vanilla and sugar, then finished with fresh butter and cloaked in white chocolate.

Norman Love Confections creates and distributes handcrafted artisanal chocolates from the Fort Myers corporate headquarters that encompasses both production and retail operations. The Fort Myers and Naples chocolate salons are stylish retail shops with an intimate ambience in which customers may purchase chocolates or linger over house-made pastries, gourmet coffees, lattes and smoothies.

The award-winning Fort Myers-based chocolatier has been lauded 13 times by a leading consumer ratings magazine including recognition six times for producing the best ultra-premium chocolates.

Founded in 2001 by Norman and Mary Love, Norman Love Confections creates and distributes handcrafted artisanal chocolates from its corporate headquarters at 11380 Lindbergh Blvd. in Fort Myers. The award-winning Fort Myers-based chocolatier has been lauded more than a dozen times by a leading consumer ratings magazine, including recognition six times for producing the best ultra-premium chocolates in the nation. Forbes.com included Norman Love Confections BLACK line on its list of the nation’s top 10 truffles; The Huffington Post listed it among the six best U.S. destinations in its Chocolate Lover’s Travel Guide; and USA Today named Love as one of its top 10 entrepreneurs for 2014. Love has recently been named as the inaugural inductee of Dessert Professional Magazine’s Chocolatier Hall of Fame, partnered with local chefs to present a six-course meal at the James Beard House in New York and Norman Love Confections was ranked among the top 10 shops in the world for chocolate lovers by U.K. media outlet Daily Telegraph.

Norman Love Confections has Chocolate Salons in Fort Myers, Estero and Naples, and Artisan Gelato by Norman Love is next door to the Fort Myers salon, off Daniels Parkway east of I-75. Chocolates, gift baskets, sipping chocolate and Love’s book, “Artistry in Chocolate, A Story of Love,” also can be ordered online at www.normanloveconfections.com. In addition, Norman Love Confections chocolates and desserts are offered on 18 Princess Cruises’ ships through the “Chocolate Journeys” partnership and at independent retail locations throughout the U.S. For more information visit www.normanloveconfections.com or call 239-561-7215.

Jason’s Deli opens Dec. 10 at Gulf Coast Landings

Jason's Deli Exterior

Southwest’s Florida newest Jason’s Deli location opens on Thursday, Dec. 10 at 16451 Corporate Commerce Way in Fort Myers. Known for serving foods prepared with natural, fresh ingredients, Jason’s Deli at Gulf CoJason's Deli Drive Thruast Landings’ 5,330-square-foot restaurant supports a natural atmosphere with updated surroundings, such as a salad bar now featured in the front of the dining room instead of the rear, ambient touches and a 653-square-foot covered patio for outdoor dining. The new Jason’s Deli also features drive-thru service, as well as offers catering services, including breakfast catering as early as you need it. The restaurant is open daily from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m.

Located near Florida Gulf Coast University and Gulf Coast Town Center, Jason’s Deli at Gulf Coast Landings is the area’s firsJason's Deli Exterior with Drive Thrut free-standing Jason’s Deli and the third location in Lee County. Jason’s Deli at Gulf Coast Landings is bringing approximately 60 new jobs to Lee County.

“The opportunity to build and open a Jason’s Deli east of I-75, close to FGCU and the airport was a natural fit for Jason’s Deli and we look forward to serving this growing area of Lee County,” said Diana Willis, owner, Jason’s Deli of Southwest Florida. “As part of our commitment to supporting the community, our newest location will partner with the Pace Center for Girls of Lee County to help fulfill their Christmas wish lists to ensure girls in the school have an especially good holiday. We invite the community to stop by the new restaurant to pick up a wish list, make a donation, and enjoy our newest Jason’s Deli.”

Construction was completed by Stevens Construction and design services were provided by Christopher J. Lee Architects, Inc.

About Jason’s Deli

A family-owned deli restaurant chain, Jason’s Deli was founded in Beaumont, Texas, in 1976 by Joe Tortorice Jr. and now has more than 250 locations in 29 states. In 2005, Jason’s Deli was the first major restaurant concept to ban artificial trans fats in the U.S. and later became the first to eliminate high-fructose corn syrup. At Jason’s Deli, regardless if you want gluten-sensitive menu items or vegetarian options, healthy kids’ meals, or if you would like to build your own salad at their famous salad bar, you will be delighted by the bigger choices of better food, from healthy to indulgent. Jason’s Deli locations of Southwest Florida are Fort Myers: 13550 Reflections Parkway at Cypress Lake Drive; Naples: 2700 Immokalee Road; Cape Coral: 2311 Santa Barbara Blvd.; Port Charlotte: 1100 El Jobean Road; and Sarasota: 5231 University Parkway. For information, visit JasonsDeli.com or call 985-7215.

Norman Love Confections kicks off Rockin’ Stocking Giveaway, offers customers a chance to win gourmet chocolates and gift cards

Norman Love Confections

‘Tis the season for giving, and Norman Love Confections is offering valuable prizes during its Rockin’ Stocking holiday giveaway. From Dec. 1 through Dec. 23, the elves at Norman Love Confections will randomly insert valuable prize vouchers into Norman Love Confections’ 15-piece, 25-piece or 50-piece Signature Holiday Gift Boxes sold in Norman Love Confections’ Fort Myers, Naples and Miromar Outlets locations. The prize vouchers will be good for a variety of Norman Love Confections offerings including gourmet chocolates, gift cards, desserts, coffees and other specialty items, and can be redeemed through May 31, 2016.

“Every year, we enjoy offering a festive and fun way to reward our customers,” said Norman Love, owner and founder, Norman Love Confections. “Whether it’s a complimentary coffee and dessert, a gift card or a signature box of Norman Love Confections, the winners will find a little something extra in their Norman Love Confections gift box this holiday season.”

Norman Love Confections creates and distributes handcrafted artisanal chocolates from the Fort Myers corporate headquarters that encompasses both production and retail operations. The Fort Myers and Naples chocolate salons are stylish retail shops with an intimate ambience in which customers may purchase chocolates or linger over house-made pastries, gourmet coffees, lattes and smoothies.

The award-winning Fort Myers-based chocolatier has been lauded 13 times by a leading consumer ratings magazine including recognition six times for producing the best ultra-premium chocolates.

The Fort Myers Chocolate Salon, at 11380 Lindbergh Blvd., is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Naples Chocolate Salon, which also serves artisan gelato, at 3747 Tamiami Trail North in Parkshore Centre, is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. The Estero Chocolate Salon is near the north entrance to Miromar Outlets and is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Artisan Gelato by Norman Love, at 11300 Lindbergh Blvd., Suite 112, off Daniels Parkway in Fort Myers, east of I-75, is open Monday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

For more information, visit www.normanloveconfections.com.

Holiday 2015 Flavor Descriptions:

Cherry Cheer

Dark Chocolate

May the brandied cherry ganache in this delicious dark chocolate delight fill you holiday cheer.

White Christmas

Milk Chocolate

Hazelnut praline and cinnamon ganache inspire dreams of a white Christmas.

Candy Cane

White Chocolate

Cool and creamy peppermint candy ganache evokes holiday memories as you bite into the delicious white chocolate shell.

S’more Truffle

Milk Chocolate

There is S’more to this milk chocolate treat – a filling fluffy marshmallow and toasted graham cracker.

Orange Spice Truffle

Dark Chocolate

Fresh orange and holiday spices combine in a creamy white chocolate ganache, covered in a dark chocolate shell.

Pumpkin Pie

White Chocolate

This white chocolate confection is filled with pumpkin ganache and perfectly accented with fresh ground spices.

Snowflake

White Chocolate

Buttery snowflake cookies with creamy almond icing fill this white chocolate delight.

Caramel Pear

Milk Chocolate

Fresh pureed pears are simmered in sweet buttery caramel for an exquisite ganache, covered in milk chocolate.

Mint Patty

Dark Chocolate

A mint cream and bittersweet chocolate ganache, covered in dark chocolate.

Java Jingle

Dark Chocolate

Espresso ganache, infused with holiday spices, lends rich flavor to this dark chocolate confection.

Founded in 2001 by Norman and Mary Love, Norman Love Confections creates and distributes handcrafted artisanal chocolates from its corporate headquarters at 11380 Lindbergh Blvd. in Fort Myers.  The award-winning Fort Myers-based chocolatier has been lauded more than a dozen times by a leading consumer ratings magazine, including recognition six times for producing the best ultra-premium chocolates in the nation. Forbes.com included Norman Love Confections BLACK line on its list of the nation’s top 10 truffles; The Huffington Post listed it among the six best U.S. destinations in its Chocolate Lover’s Travel Guide; and USA Today named Love as one of its top 10 entrepreneurs for 2014.

Norman Love Confections has Chocolate Salons in Fort Myers, Estero and Naples, and Artisan Gelato by Norman Love is next door to the Fort Myers salon, off Daniels Parkway east of I-75. Chocolates, gift baskets, sipping chocolate and Love’s book, “Artistry in Chocolate, A Story of Love,” also can be ordered online at www.normanloveconfections.com. In addition, Norman Love Confections chocolates and desserts are offered on 18 Princess Cruises’ ships through the “Chocolate Journeys” partnership and at independent retail locations throughout the U.S. For more information visit www.normanloveconfections.com or call 239-561-7215.

Norman Love Confections introduces new gourmet cookie kits called Stir, Bake, LOVE

DSCF6127_rt_pr

Premeasured cookie kits for gourmet baking at home available in four delicious flavors

Award-winning pastry chef, Norman Love of Norman Love Confections, has created a new cookie kit for gourmet baking at home, which is as simple to use as its name: Stir, Bake, LOVE.

ChocChipBox_rt_pr

In time for holiday baking with ease, Norman Love Confections introduces four gourmet cookie kits: Chocolate Chip Cookie, featuring crisp edges, soft buttery center, and semisweet chocolate chunks mixed throughout; Double Chocolate Chunk Cookie, with milk and dark chocolates mix together to create a rich, chewy, chocolaty cookie loaded with pecans; Oatmeal Raisin Chip Cookie, featuring sweet raisins, chocolate chips and a hint of cinnamon; and Mint Sugar Cookie, a buttery sugar cookie studded with colorful mint chips.

Each package of Stir, Bake, LOVE contains all the premium ingredients needed to make the perfect batch of gourmet cookies, perfectly pre-measured for convenience. Simply add an egg and butter and bake as directed. Each batch yields 14 cookies, freshly baked in 20 minutes or less. The cookie kits sell for $18 and are available online at normanloveconfections.com and in Norman Love Confections’ chocolate salons in Fort Myers, Estero and Naples.

“We’ve made it so simple that home bakers won’t believe its gourmet – until the first bite!” said Norman Love, founder of Norman Love Confections. “Our goal was to create a way for people to create and enjoy warm, oven-fresh gourmet cookies at home with no recipe, no shopping and no waste. It really is as easy as stir, bake and love.”

 The idea for a cookie kit was inspired by the popularity of the homemade cookies sold exclusively at Norman Love Confections locations in Southwest Florida. The kit will allow Norman Love cookie fans to bake their own cookies whenever they want in the comfort of their own homes, and for customers outside of the area to experience the deliciousness of Norman Love cookies.

Norman Love Confections creates and distributes handcrafted artisanal chocolates from the Fort Myers corporate headquarters that encompasses both production and retail operations. The Fort Myers and Naples chocolate salons are stylish retail shops with an intimate ambience in which customers may purchase chocolates or linger over house-made pastries, gourmet coffees, lattes and smoothies.

Founded in 2001 by Norman and Mary Love, Norman Love Confections creates and distributes handcrafted artisanal chocolates from its corporate headquarters at 11380 Lindbergh Blvd. in Fort Myers.  The award-winning Fort Myers-based chocolatier has been lauded more than a dozen times by a leading consumer ratings magazine, including recognition six times for producing the best ultra-premium chocolates in the nation. Forbes.com included Norman Love Confections BLACK line on its list of the nation’s top 10 truffles; The Huffington Post listed it among the six best U.S. destinations in its Chocolate Lover’s Travel Guide; and USA Today named Love as one of its top 10 entrepreneurs for 2014.

Norman Love Confections has Chocolate Salons in Fort Myers, Estero and Naples, and Artisan Gelato by Norman Love is next door to the Fort Myers salon, off Daniels Parkway east of I-75. Chocolates, gift baskets, sipping chocolate and Love’s book, “Artistry in Chocolate, A Story of Love,” also can be ordered online at www.normanloveconfections.com. In addition, Norman Love Confections chocolates and desserts are offered on 18 Princess Cruises’ ships through the “Chocolate Journeys” partnership and at independent retail locations throughout the U.S. For more information visit www.normanloveconfections.com or call 239-561-7215.

Gulf Coast Showcase Basketball Tournament returns to Germain Arena

Gulf Coast Showcase-2Lee County is hosting the Gulf Coast Showcase at Germain Arena in Estero, bringing 16 college basketball teams from across the U.S. to compete in men’s and women’s brackets. The men’s tournament will take place Nov. 23 through Nov. 25, followed by the women’s tournament Nov. 27 through Nov. 29. All teams play three games in a tournament format with the respective champions crowned in the final game.

Gulf Coast Showcase-1

“This year’s Gulf Coast Showcase will present a variety of competitive basketball teams and impressive players for Lee County to enjoy, and we are excited to bring another great tournament to our community,” said Jeff Mielke, executive director of Lee County Sports Development. “With teams competing from across the U.S., this event will attract a great number of visitors and will generate national exposure for Southwest Florida.”

Last year’s tournament brought Lee County about $303,500 in direct spending, with $7,500 in bed tax collected and yielding roughly 1,070 room nights. The 2015 event is expected to bring a similar impact to Southwest Florida.

Gulf Coast Showcase-3

A total of 24 games will be played during the event, 12 for each tournament. There are two doubleheader sessions each day of each tournament, beginning at noon and 6 p.m. Tickets can be purchased by session or for the entire tournament, available at all Ticketmaster locations and the box office at Germain Arena. Per-session ticket prices begin at $10 and all-session tickets start at $74. For more information on the Gulf Coast Showcase, to purchase tickets or book hotel accommodations for both tournaments, visit gcs.bdglobalsports.com.

Gulf Coast Showcase-4

Lee County Sports Development was created in 2003 to meet the growing demand for sports development in Lee County, and is recognized by the Florida Sports Foundation as one of the state’s 25 Regional Sports Commissions. The Lee County Sports Development office leads the recruitment and implementation of amateur and professional sports events and activities in Lee County, with the goal of providing economic impact to Lee County. Through local partnerships with Lee County Parks & Recreation and others, the Lee County Sports Development office provides services designed to address the needs of local, national and international sports entities including housing, access to venues, event management, transportation assistance, event promotion, marketing and local sponsorship opportunities. For more information, call 239-533-2221 or visit www.leeparks.org.

Norman Love Confections unwraps its 2015 limited-edition holiday collection

NormanLoveJune201521046_rtCapturing all the favorite flavors of the holidays, Norman Love Confections introduces its 2015 holiday collection. Customers can preorder now, and the collection is available for purchase online and in stores Nov. 23 through Dec. 31, 2015. Norman Love Confections’ special-edition holiday collection features white, milk and dark chocolate confections and truffles with 10 artisan-designed holiday flavors: Cherry Cheer, White Christmas, Candy Cane, S’more Truffle, Orange Spice Truffle, Pumpkin Pie, Snowflake, Caramel Pear, Mint Patty and Java Jingle. Norman Love Confections will also offer a selection of holiday-themed treats, including holiday gift boxes and baskets, personalized gifts, limited-edition candy cane gift box and gourmet holiday desserts. Orders can be placed online at www.normanloveconfections.com or in Norman Love Confections’ chocolate salons in Fort Myers, Naples and Estero.

“The holidays bring certain smells, tastes and images to our minds, and our holiday collection truly captures the essence of the holidays,” says Norman Love, founder of Norman Love Confections. “From Pumpkin Pie to Candy Cane to White Christmas, the flavors of our holiday collection were created to be enjoyed and treasured with friends and family throughout the holiday season.”

Holiday 2015 NLC PR approved

An assortment of the holiday flavors will be included in each green signature gift box along with a selection of Norman Love’s award-winning signature flavors. Prices range from $6.50 for a two-piece box to $95 for a 50-piece box. In addition, Norman Love Confections has created a special, limited-edition candy cane gift box that includes all 10 flavors from the holiday collection for $25. A valuable option for corporate gifting, Norman Love Confections’ ultra-premium confections can also be personalized with a company name or logo. Exquisite artisanal holiday desserts are available at Norman Love Confections’ Fort Myers, Estero and Naples Chocolate Salons, including gourmet holiday creations, breakfast platters, dessert platters, cookies and more.

Candy Cane Gift Box - NormanLoveJune201520459_rt_prA selection of five holiday gift baskets are available for purchase at Norman Love Confections, offering an assortment of artisanal confections to spread the holiday cheer. The Little Saint Nick Basket includes four-piece holiday gift box, Mousse Pop, Chocolate-Covered Jelly Beans, hollow Chocolate Santa and Chocolate-Covered Gingerbread Man, available for $39.50. The Good Old Saint Nick Basket contains a 10-piece holiday gift box, nine-piece box of Vanilla Sea Salt Caramels, Caramel Popcorn, peppermint and chocolate Holiday bark, Love Pop and Chocolate-Covered Gingerbread Man, available for $75.50. For $133, you can gift the Santa’s Sweet Ride Basket, filled with a 10-piece limited-edition candy cane gift box, five-piece box of Norman Love Confections BLACK™, four-piece box of S’more Love®, peppermint and chocolate Holiday bark, Chocolate-Covered Jelly Beans, Inclusion Bars, Candied Nuts, gluten-free Pretzels, hollow Chocolate Santa and Chocolate-Covered Gingerbread Man. Available for $68, the Gourmet Extravaganza Basket includes cookies, chocolate bars, solid bar of Norman Love Confections BLACK™, popcorn, chocolate bark, Turtle and two-piece boxes of Norman Love’s signature confections. The Chocolate Lover’s Basket includes 14 expertly selected items including the signature line of confections and handmade novelty selections for $170.

Norman Love ConfectiHoliday with box 2015 PR approvedons creates and distributes handcrafted artisanal chocolates from the Fort Myers corporate headquarters that encompasses both production and retail operations. The Fort Myers and Naples chocolate salons are stylish retail shops with an intimate ambience in which customers may purchase chocolates or linger over house-made pastries, gourmet coffees, lattes and smoothies.

The award-winning Fort Myers-based chocolatier has been lauded 13 times by a leading consumer ratings magazine including recognition six times for producing the best ultra-premium chocolates.

Holiday 2015 Flavor Descriptions:

Cherry Cheer

Dark Chocolate

May the brandied cherry ganache in this delicious dark chocolate delight fill you holiday cheer.

White Christmas

Milk Chocolate

Hazelnut praline and cinnamon ganache inspire dreams of a white Christmas.

Candy Cane

White Chocolate

Cool and creamy peppermint candy ganache evokes holiday memories as you bite into the delicious white chocolate shell.

S’more Truffle

Milk Chocolate

There is S’more to this milk chocolate treat – a filling fluffy marshmallow and toasted graham cracker.

Orange Spice Truffle

Dark Chocolate

Fresh orange and holiday spices combine in a creamy white chocolate ganache, covered in a dark chocolate shell.

Pumpkin Pie

White Chocolate

This white chocolate confection is filled with pumpkin ganache and perfectly accented with fresh ground spices.

Snowflake

White Chocolate

Buttery snowflake cookies with creamy almond icing fill this white chocolate delight.

Caramel Pear

Milk Chocolate

Fresh pureed pears are simmered in sweet buttery caramel for an exquisite ganache, covered in milk chocolate.

Mint Patty

Dark Chocolate

A mint cream and bittersweet chocolate ganache, covered in dark chocolate.

Java Jingle

Dark Chocolate

Espresso ganache, infused with holiday spices, lends rich flavor to this dark chocolate confection.

For more information, visit www.normanloveconfections.com.

Founded in 2001 by Norman and Mary Love, Norman Love Confections creates and distributes handcrafted artisanal chocolates from its corporate headquarters at 11380 Lindbergh Blvd. in Fort Myers.  The award-winning Fort Myers-based chocolatier has been lauded more than a dozen times by a leading consumer ratings magazine, including recognition six times for producing the best ultra-premium chocolates in the nation. Forbes.com included Norman Love Confections BLACK line on its list of the nation’s top 10 truffles; The Huffington Post listed it among the six best U.S. destinations in its Chocolate Lover’s Travel Guide; and USA Today named Love as one of its top 10 entrepreneurs for 2014.

Norman Love Confections has Chocolate Salons in Fort Myers, Estero and Naples, and Artisan Gelato by Norman Love is next door to the Fort Myers salon, off Daniels Parkway east of I-75. Chocolates, gift baskets, sipping chocolate and Love’s book, “Artistry in Chocolate, A Story of Love,” also can be ordered online at www.normanloveconfections.com. In addition, Norman Love Confections chocolates and desserts are offered on 18 Princess Cruises’ ships through the “Chocolate Journeys” partnership and at independent retail locations throughout the U.S. For more information visit www.normanloveconfections.com or call 239-561-7215.