Chiles Hospitality started in 1979 with a single restaurant, the Sandbar in Anna Maria, FL. In July of 1979, Ed Chiles, with a group of partners, purchased the Sandbar with the goal of honoring the history of the Sandbar while creating a destination for locals and visitors that offered a once-in-a-lifetime dining experience featuring great food, amazing service and a view that will forever be etched in a guest's memory. The Sandbar's look, landscape, and menus have changed a bit over the years, but the team has never lost focus on the overriding goal of providing our guests an amazing beachfront dining experience.
Mar Vista was acquired by Chiles Hospitality in 1989. One of the longest standing structures in Longboat Key and built by landowner Rufus Johnson, Mar Vista offers preserved old Florida charm in a picturesque setting. The beautiful buttonwood trees and twinkling lights are the perfect complement to the unique food offerings. Mar Vista was remodeled in 2019 to enhance the magical atmosphere.
Set on 650 feet of pristine gulf front beach, the old Harbor House restaurant was purchased in 1993. Ed Chiles’ vision of a moderately priced restaurant serving great seafood both indoors and outdoors transformed the space into what is now the Beach House Restaurant. Today, the location features a climate friendly outdoor deck providing beautiful oceanfront vistas and signature Anna Maria Island sunsets on display every evening.
In 2018, under the guidance of Head Baker, Ted Louloudes, our bakery was built to serve all three restaurants. They have been making our fresh dinner rolls, brioche buns, baguettes, ciabatta, pullman loaves, croissants, and desserts including key lime pie, tarts, scones, cheesecakes, and more in-house. They have since grown the operation to include a dedicated Pastry Chef, Helena Vavrikova, and full support team. In 2022, they began selling their delicious offerings to guests online under the name Anna Maria Bake House.
After leasing Gamble Creek Farms since 2013, Chiles Hospitality was able to acquire the Parrish, FL property in the summer of 2021. Gamble Creek Farms not only supplies delicious and unique strains of permaculture produce to the community through its Farm Market, but also provides these items to all of the Chiles Hospitality restaurants.
Ed was born in Lakeland, Florida, to the late Governor Lawton Chiles and Rhea Chiles. A passion for all things Floridian was instilled in him at an early age. An avid outdoorsman, his favorite childhood memories are roaming the Northern Florida woods hunting with his father. The family always had a passion for cooking, especially when it came to the local game, seafood, and favorite southern fixings. They are still known to spend meals “talking about what they are going to eat next.” He also carried on another proud Chiles family tradition by graduating from The University of Florida.
Ed owns and operates three restaurants under The Chiles Hospitality umbrella on Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key, Florida. The historic flagship, The Sandbar, opened in 1979, followed by the Mar Vista in 1990 and The Beach House in 1993. He has become a staple in the sustainable tourism industry, with each restaurant menu featuring locally sourced Florida fare from a network of specialty producers that share in his vision. In 2021, Ed acquired Gamble Creek Farms, located in nearby Parrish, FL. A leader in permaculture farming, Gamble Creek Farms grows and provides unique strains of produce to the restaurants, as well as the local community through its Farm Market.
An internationally recognized leader in sustainability, Ed Chiles has been a driving force for best practices in his local community, gulf region, state of Florida and around the world. He works closely with the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) on sustainability initiatives, as his hospitality group has been designated as the first Global Observatory for Sustainable Tourism. Ed lends his expertise and resources through his involvement in several community and regional organizations. He serves on the Gulf Seafood Foundation board to promote tourism and the historic culture of the coast. He is also a founding member of Solutions to Avoid Red Tide (START), and board member of Gulf Shellfish Institute. The latter includes leading the recent creation of the All Clams on Deck initiative, which encourages the use of hard-shell clams to continuously filter the waters of Tampa Bay while absorbing harmful excess nutrients and algae responsible for Red Tide.
An avid fly-fisher and hunter, Ed resides with his wife Tina in Anna Maria. His two daughters, Ashley and Christin, and new grandson, Chiles, continue to fuel his emphatic support of immediate and decisive action to ensure future generations can enjoy our environment and natural resources.
Chuck Wolfe leads the executive team and directs the company’s efforts to broaden its strategic vision and develop new projects.
Before taking the helm of Chiles Hospitality in December 2018, Wolfe was a co-founder and partner of Wolfe/Kinkennon, a strategic planning and leadership consulting firm. His career includes an impressive 12-year run (2003-15) as CEO of Victory Fund, a national Political Action Committee supporting LGBTQ candidates. Under Wolfe’s stewardship, Victory Fund’s budget grew by 500 percent while 63 percent of the candidates it endorsed won their races for offices at all levels of government across the United States. Wolfe was twice named to OUT Magazine’s list of 50 most “powerful” LGBTQ Americans.
A native Floridian, Wolfe worked on political campaigns in his home state in the 1980s and ’90s. Only months after joining then-Florida Gov. Lawton Chiles’ administration as an aide in 1992, the 31-year-old Wolfe was tasked by the governor to lead the state’s relief efforts after Hurricane Andrew, a Category 5 Atlantic storm, had cut a swath of destruction across South Florida. Wolfe’s handling of the aid operation earned him a reputation for getting things done under difficult circumstances. Wolfe went on to become operations manager for Chiles’ 1994 re-election campaign, a successful stint that led him to run the logistics and financial management of Chiles’ inauguration.
In 1996, Chiles appointed Wolfe as executive director of the Miami Financial Emergency Oversight Board, a panel entrusted with helping the city avoid bankruptcy. The following year, Wolfe, at Chiles’ behest, led the Florida Tobacco Pilot Program, an anti-tobacco media initiative created in the wake of Florida’s $11.3 billion settlement with four major tobacco companies. The FTPP developed the provocative but highly effective “Truth Campaign” targeting youth aged 12 to 17.
Florida’s Truth Campaign became a template for other states combating teen smoking and its success propelled Wolfe to the position of executive vice president and chief operating officer of the newly created American Legacy Foundation in 1999. (The Washington, D.C.-based group changed its name to Truth Initiative in 2015.)
He attributes his successes as a leader to his formative years in the Boy Scouts of America. An Eagle Scout, Wolfe was elected National Explorer President of the Boy Scouts of America (1981-1982) and served on the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America (1982-1984).
In the late 1980s, while still active with the Boy Scouts of America, Wolfe came out as gay and began advocating for an end to the Scouts’ discriminatory policies toward gays and lesbians. In 2001, he appeared on CBS News’ “60 Minutes” program in a segment titled “Boy Scouts: No Gays Allowed.” He was portrayed as an example of an “ideal Boy Scout” — until coming out as gay.
Wolfe serves on the Stetson University Board of Trustees and chairs the Committee on Trusteeship. He previously chaired the College of Arts and Sciences Advisory Board.
Travel, hiking and horseback riding are among his favorite leisure activities.
Diane was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA. She has over 25 years of finance experience and has worked in a multitude of industries including healthcare, energy, IT support and restaurants. When she’s not at work, Diane likes to travel and enjoys wine and spending time with family and friends. She’s also a sports fan and loves to play golf.
Her work strengths include analyzing technology, improving system efficiencies and accurate financial reporting. She’s an excellent strategic planner and an expert at budgeting, ad hoc reporting, and best practices. Her role within Chiles Hospitality supports company-wide departments including HR, insurance, and risk management.
A Sarasota native and graduate from USF in Tampa and FIU in Miami, Kristelle joined Chiles Hospitality in April 2022. With a career working at advertising agencies, in-house corporate marketing, and at the New York office of global media publisher Financial Times, she has a wide range of industry experience.
Her background spans creative brand launches, photo/film productions, traditional and digital campaigns, organizing speaker panels, and custom events. She has worked in the B2C and B2B sectors including travel, cruising, higher education, the arts, and luxury goods – all of which she is personally passionate about. Kristelle has enjoyed implementing many of these marketing assignments in cities around the world, and is excited to bring it all back home to Florida’s west coast.
Chef Seth Kondor brings over 20 years of expertise to Chiles Hospitality as Culinary Director, where he oversees all culinary operations, menus, and procurement for our restaurants. Having previously led culinary teams for leading hospitality groups such as Gaylord Opryland, South Sea’s Island Resorts, and The Walt Disney Company, we were honored to have had Seth initially join Chiles Hospitality at Mar Vista on Longboat Key, where he enhanced its legacy by sharing in our company’s commitment to unforgettable guest experiences. He believes in creating a warm and welcoming dining room, a place where the community can meet. His passion for crafting intriguing dishes based around seasonal ingredients and local food partners helps us provide a magical menu for our guests.
Jessica "Jess" Ruekberg returned to Chiles Hospitality in 2023 as Director of Operations. After two years away, she is now overseeing restaurant operations for all three restaurants.
Jessica started her journey in hospitality many years ago, with her first job being a server at a Cracker Barrel at 16 years old. Jessica has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of South Florida in Communications. She worked for Marriott for 6 years, including at multiple Ritz-Carlton hotels and the 3000-room Gaylord Opryland, later joining Sandbar Seafood & Spirits as General Manager. Jess is also an avid soccer player, playing goalkeeper in both women’s and co-ed leagues (formerly NCAA Division I player).