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    Wednesday, 22 April 2015

    Anna Maria Food – An Interview with AJ Latteri…

    We met up with AJ Latteri. A great friend of ours, fellow islander, and Owner/Creative Director of The Loft5 & Founder of Table to Farm to talk more about her amazing businesses, and her time on Anna Maria Island.

    Tell us about your businesses on AMI…

    The Loft5 is a Private Chef, Celebration, Styling Firm who offers Vintage Rentals and is geared toward out of the box party throwers. We style weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, any special occasion really!

    Table to Farm is our ‘Baby’, where we actually take tables to the source - whether it is at a farm, field, canary, winery, all of which makes for a very different approach to dining!
    AJ's has two businesses on AMI: The Loft5 and Table to Farm 

    What projects are you currently working on? 

    Well we have a VERY busy month ahead but are in the stages of re-working both companies, by adding two new warehouses one for The Loft5 and one for Table to Farm.

    Our plan is to take Table to Farm to the next level by making it stand alone with events, provisions and catering. Over the years we had a lot of interest for these services.

    The Loft5 will remain for styling, prop and vintage rentals. Also we love doing photo shoots and do a lot of local business and styling for magazines.

    What drives you in your business?

    What drives us? We are crazy! No really, the love of seeing an empty space and turning it into a beautiful setting, plus I love the hunt of finding new treasures and using them for our next event.

    AJ loves seeing an empty space and turning it into a beautiful setting

    What do you love most about what you do?

    That it is always different; no two events are ever the same. Also we have the pleasure to meet people from all over the world and even become friends and see each other every time they visit the island.

    AJ finds that no two events are ever the same 

    What is an average day like for you?

    My day starts off checking the weather as most of our work is outside – two cups of good coffee then checking e-mails - all social media. Then off to meet clients, move items from one place to another, visit farms, meet with farmers, collect provisions for events and on event days…well that's a whole other story!

    My day most always ends watching Murder She Wrote or J.D.James - I am a sucker for a mystery.

    What does your business stand for in the AMI Community?

    We offer the Anna Maria community a very different concept for both local residents and visitors alike. We also play a small role with both The Historic Society and the Arts. We lend a helping hand wherever we can!

    The Loft5 and Table to Farm offers a very different concept for local residents and visitors

    What quirky story characterizes you and your business?

    Quirky is my middle name! My team members kindly refer to me as a cross between Martha Stewart and Monk {crazy x-cop who moves everything}. Its funny in any event I am so Type A, everything has its place, and all needs to be in order. Being super organized is the key to any business - especially so in the event sector!

    How long have you lived on Anna Maria Island?

    We have had the pleasure on residing on AMI for just under ten years - we moved up from The Keys were we spent a little over nine years.

    What brought you here?

    A co -worker form Morada Bay in The Keys whom grew up here and worked at LBK Club and her husband who worked at the Mote Museum. She said I would love it here, so I took a ride, looked, saw, moved!

    I’ve found that most islands that start with the letter A - tend to have the best beaches....Anguilla, Abaco, Anagada, to name a few!

    What do you love most about Anna Maria Island?

    The Beach and the small island feel!

    AJ loves the beach and small island feel most on Anna Maria Island

    What do you love to do at weekends?

    Well most weekends I work, but in a rare chance that I am free, I like to stay home and relax or take a drive on a back road to explore and find a farm stand!

    Tell us about your favorite place to eat on Anna Maria Island…
    The Waterfront for a few reasons; one, I used to work there!

    Jason and Leah who own it, have really done a nice job in keeping the history present, offering good food and the BEST Craft Cocktail - the Stone Sour! I dream about it! And, just an FYI….Annah makes the best one - a lot of love goes into it!

    Three words I would use to describe Anna Maria Island?   

    Pristine, Flat, Local!

    To find out more about the great dinners AJ lays out through her company Table to Farm take a look at this video – warning: it might make you want to have your own!

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