MOMpreneur Monday: Boca VIPediatrics

MOMpreneur: n. defined as a female business owner who is actively balancing the role of mom and the role of entrepreneur.

Happy Monday Modern Boca Moms! Welcome to our next installment of MOMpreneur Monday on MBMom, highlighting Florida businesses and brands that were founded by female entrepreneurs and fellow Mommas.

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Today’s featured Modern Boca MOMpreneur is the co-founder of our area’s fantastic pediatric concierge office and Boca Raton native, Ashley Rudnick!

Boca VIPediatrics Pinterest


Taking your kid(s) to the doctor is about as fun as…well…it’s NOT fun.  A brand-new, local business concept aims to change the traditional pediatric recipe by taking a kind, personal approach, adding a dash of “Disney” and a big pinch of top quality pediatric care.

Introducing Boca VIPediatrics, a concierge-style pediatric practice, which opened officially on July 1, 2014!

Since then, they have been awarded “Best Pediatrician” in Forum Publishing/Sun-Sentinel’s Best of Boca awards for 2016, introduced several game-changing smart devices that moms go crazy for, and have capped out in nearly every age group. Ashley was recently awarded by Concierge Medicine Today as one of 21 “Top Women in the Business of Concierge Medicine” in the nation. With their slew 5 star reviews on Facebook, Boca moms and dads are consistently calling Boca VIPediatrics “the best decision” they ever made for their children!Best of Boca Rudnick

Think of them as the “spoonful of sugar” to help your next visit to the pediatrician go down…amazingly well.


Modern Boca Mom had the chance to take a VIPediatrics “Backstage Tour” and #dailybocaavery and I certainly received the STAR treatment!  Here’s how it works:

  • Take a tour of the practice and meet pediatrician, Dr. Chad Rudnick (Ashley’s husband– gotta love a family business!)
  • Check out their huge range of services HERE
  • Join as a Boca VIPediatrics Member (there’s an annual fee)
  • Fill out a survey outlining your personal tastes & preferences for your first office visit and get ready for the VIP treatment!

This is only a sampling of the personal “touches” that were put in place for our visit:

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Because #dailybocaavery’s fav fruit is watermelon

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And MBMom’s fav snack is cheese & crackers (wine wasn’t an option)

Let’s not forget that my favorite flowers were on display, favorite scented candle lit and favorite (non-alcoholic) drink options available on ice.  Oh yes, I noticed and we definitely felt like VIP’s!

That led me to ask Ashley about what motivated her and Dr. Rudnick to start offering to treat Boca children like the STARS they (obviously) are…

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What made you decide to turn the traditional pediatric concept on its head and launch Boca VIPediatrics?

“Our goal was to create the nation’s first pediatric smart office. Our membership model keeps things highly personalized, so we truly know every single child and their family. We like to call it our unique blend of old-fashioned service and the most modern medicine. You’ll experience no waits as we schedule just one family at a time in our office (that’s right, we close the whole place down so your child has no unnecessary exposure to germs!), house calls, and when you need to reach your pediatrician, you can always send a text, email, or give us a call…24/7.

Our VIP service is a product of my background working with The Walt Disney Company. ‘Once upon a time,’ I was actually a Disney princess! After working for several years for The Walt Disney Company as a singer and actress, I branched out into directing and entertainment marketing,” said Ashley. “At Disney, we’re all about one motto: “Be our guest!” We’ve implemented a style of pediatrics that incorporates the Disney hospitality standard with simply the best and most personalized care.”

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Most families spend so much time and money on finding all the perfect baby products, nursery items, clothes, bottles, diapers, toys, gear, etc., when really what’s most important is your child’s care. Choosing your pediatrician is the most important decision you’ll make…cribs and bottles will be phased out, but your child’s doctor will be around at least 18 years and play a huge role in their upbringing and your journey as parents. We are so grateful to have connected with so many amazing VIP families who have the same philosophy about their child’s care, and won’t settle for anything less.

Well, thanks for choosing Boca Raton to launch this concept!  How did you get started?

“We’re both Boca natives! Boca Raton is an incredible area for families, and we knew after living all over the state of Florida (Orlando, Tampa, Gainesville, and Miami), that we wanted to return home to raise our own family. We’re elated to bring this wave-of-the-future style care to Boca as the area’s only membership model of pediatrics.

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My husband loves the throwback of the ‘”small town doctor with the black leather bag'” type care, where the doctor knew the whole family.

“Combine the small town feel with ultra modern medicine, using texting, FaceTime, and other telemedicine, plus our commitment to the highest level of service, and you’ve got Boca VIPediatrics!  With a little Disney-style magic, too,” added Ashley.

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Tell Modern Boca Mom readers a little more about the unique services Boca VIPedatrics offers…

“Our practice offers a level of personalized care that simply can’t be done anywhere else, due to our extremely limited patient base. We offer 24/7 access to reach the doctor by phone, text, email, or virtual video visits, plus no wait times at the office, house calls, and the highest level of service,” said Ashley.

 Our “pediatric smart office” capabilities allow our VIPs to use the latest health tech products, like our Otohome, which clips on to your iphone to send secure video of your child’s inner ear directly to us anytime of the day or night to screen for ear infections. Our clinicloud digital stethoscope works with your smart phone by sending the heart and lung sounds securely to the doctor from anywhere in the world. So whether it’s late night, you’re up at Disney World, or you suspect an ear infection or croup, we can diagnose and treat digitally to get your children better, faster.

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That’s amazing!

“All after hours calls ring directly to the doctor’s cell, so VIPs never have to wait around all day for an answer.  Our newborn care is second to none! Newborn visits are always conducted in your home so you never have to worry about leaving the house days after you have a baby. We schedule just one family at a time in our office, so you’ll feel like movie stars having the whole place to yourself with no sick kids in our waiting room. All appointments last as long as you’d like, so you’ll never feel rushed and we can truly spend the time that you and your family deserve.

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“Because we’re family owned and operated, there’s no such thing as anyone being ‘just a chart’ in the office. We, quite simply, have “the nicest staff in town! When you join our practice, you join our family,” explained Ashley.

Modern Boca Moms are very discerning when it comes to services for their children, but also practical. Why should they switch or start their pediatric care at Boca VIPediatrics?

“There is nothing more important than your child’s health. Your family deserves the most personalized, convenient, and accessible care for the most important people in your life. A membership with Boca VIPediatrics is the best investment a family can make for a healthy, happy child. There is simply no better option for care…but don’t take our word for it, check out our 5 star reviews on facebook and see what our VIP families are saying!

For a busy mom or family “on-the-go,” it’s the peace of mind, convenience, access, and service that you won’t find at any other pediatric office. “

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What do you love most about living and working in South Florida?

Ashley quickly answered, “That’s easy! The sunshine and close distance to Disney! :)”

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Are you intrigued MBMoms?  If so, be sure to book your Backstage Tour today!

We hope Boca VIPediatrics lives “happily ever after” in our fair city…

The Great Boca Swim Lesson Debate

TRUTH TIME: I have been 50% excited and 50% dreading this swim lesson debate post.

It’s summer in South Florida and water safety is certainly an important topic, but I didn’t realize until #dailybabyavery and I started researching and trying out different local swim schools and teaching methods, how polarizing and scary this subject can really be among parents. The swim lesson debate is real! If you are a parent and you have already given this some thought, there’s never a better time to look into Thornhill private swimming lessons (if you live in this area of Canada) to get your kid familiar with the water and learn some important life skills.

You’ve been living under a social media rock if you haven’t seen the latest news about Turtle Power for James Edwards. Several of my featured businesses have either held or attended local fundraisers for James, who experienced a near-drowning in a pool and is currently recovering. Sadly, his story is probably more common than we realize.

So, I am willing to push forward and share my recent “swim lesson experiences” with you, Modern Boca Moms, in an effort to help you make more informed decisions about how you choose to teach your kids about water safety. Just as long as you choose SOMEONE (preferably a professional) to teach your kids about water safety.


However, I’m adding a disclaimer to this great swim lesson debate post: The following is my personal experience only. I am not a swim instruction expert and furthermore, not professionally endorsing any single method of swim lessons or water survival as they can all add value. It depends on your child.

MBMom was given two complimentary lessons at each South Florida swim school featured below in exchange for editorial consideration in this swim lesson debate feature. This is with the exception of Itty Bitty Swimmers, where I personally observed 3 lessons because of the method utilized (ISR).


Annette’s Swim School

The Great Boca Swim Lesson Debate

What You Need to Know:

  • No pressure swimming lessons focused on fun
  • Ages 6 months & up
  • Adapted Aquatics certification for special needs
  • American Red Cross CPR & First Aid classes available
  • American Red Cross Authorized Provider
  • Private & group lessons available at your pool or ours
  • Serving Boca Raton & surrounding area

The Great Boca Swim Lesson Debate

Located in West Boca, #dailybabyavery took two private swim lessons with Annette’s Swim School owner Annette Fuller. A mommy herself, she was very patient with us (it was our first lesson EVER) and held Avery’s attention with a combination of songs and interesting toys while teaching us various swim techniques.

The Great Boca Swim Lesson Debate

The pool where she instructs is outside, but beautiful and very quiet with a changing room/bathroom for Mom or Dad available approximately 25 feet from the pool. I appreciated that since I was in the water with #dailybabyavery and had to ditch my wet suit before even attempting to get in my car post-lesson.

One of the most important things I learned from Annette was to count to three before starting each swim technique. It signals to the child to get prepared or hold his or her breath. It’s also important to repeat each technique three times for consistency’s sake. I knew her swim lessons had some impact when I found myself singing the Annette “songs” at home when practicing in our own pool!

The Great Boca Swim Lesson Debate

Since it was Avery’s first set of lessons (and she cried most of the time as you can see below; which luckily I found to be pretty common among kids her age, phew! I’m not a bad mom!), I stuck around to watch some of Annette’s other students. She calls them her “little fishes” and that’s a pretty accurate description!

The Great Boca Swim Lesson Debate

The MBMom assessment?

If you want private lessons at her pool OR yours, Annette’s your girl. She has a devoted base of parents and kids and there’s a reason. I really enjoyed working with her.

She also provides all new parents/students with an informational packet, beach ball and “Water Watcher” whistle from the USA Swimming Foundation because Annette’s Swim School stands behind water safety and fully believes drowning is preventable. Amen.

Annette’s Swim School

www.annettesswimschool.com


Quality Swimming

The Great Boca Swim Lesson Debate

What You Need to Know:

  • Swim Lessons for all ages- Private & Group
  • Lifeguard and CPR Certified Teachers
  • 3 South Florida locations
  • Mission is to teach water safety and instill in all students a love for the water

The Great Boca Swim Lesson Debate

For the purpose of this post, #dailybabyavery and I attended two classes at Quality Swimming’s West Boca location (even though they have three), at a great pool attached a local preschool. During this round of testing, we attended one group class and one private lesson.

The Great Boca Swim Lesson Debate

The instructor, Michelle, was so friendly and welcoming. I really liked working with her in both the group and private settings.

But, I’ll be totally honest (and this has nothing to do with the swim school): Avery’s crying was basically cut in half when we attended the group class. It must be because she sees the other kids succeeding (or not), but I think group classes are the route we personally need to take going forward.

Back to Quality Swimming

Who knew an “obstacle course” could help with swim instruction? As you can see in the photos, there is a tunnel and specially built platforms so students can stand unassisted in the middle of the pool. It totally resonated with #dailybabyavery. #modernbocadad is even considering building one for our home pool!

The Great Boca Swim Lesson Debate

Again, this class used song and repetition to reinforce swim techniques, but it relied more on props to help teach…which was a good thing, especially for kids needing distraction, like Avery.

The Great Boca Swim Lesson Debate

The MBMom assessment? If Quality Swimming has been in business since 1986, then they’re doing something right. And, if you’ve noticed your child does better in a group setting vs. private, this is a good place to start. Plus, the lessons are a lot of fun! The only negative I could find is that there wasn’t easy access to a changing room for Mom or Dad. I noticed most of the other moms just throwing on a towel and shorts and heading out after class. It wasn’t a deal-breaker for me, but it’s worth mentioning.

Quality Swimming

www.qualityswimming.com


Itty Bitty Swimmers

The Great Boca Swim Lesson Debate

What You Need to Know:

  • Infant Swimming Resource’s (ISR) Self-Rescue™ swimming program is a 4-6 week course, scheduled 5 days per week, Monday through Friday, for 10 minutes each day

  • With a focus on safe, customized, one-on-one lessons by certified Instructors, ISR’s survival swimming lessons emphasize health, ongoing program evaluations and parent education to deliver the most effective and safest results in the industry

  • The ISR program is for children 6 months to 6 years of age

  • Lessons taught by Liz Goldring at the Peter Blum YMCA in Boca Raton

The Great Boca Swim Lesson Debate

ISR.

I’ve noticed that parents either embrace or are appalled by this method of swim instruction. After sending Liz Goldring, owner of Itty Bitty Swimmers, an introductory email telling her about what I was trying to accomplish with this post, she set me straight about ISR. And that’s a good thing!

I was intrigued and went to observe three classes for myself. However, I won’t lie when I say her email intimidated me…just a bit…

The Great Boca Swim Lesson Debate

Per Liz:

ISR was developed 47 years ago. We do not only teach children how to swim, we also teach them how to Self-Rescue (TM) should they find themselves in an aquatic emergency. ISR is much different than any traditional swim instruction for many reasons, but the biggest is safety. Becoming an ISR instructor is a very rigorous process. We are trained in many areas including precise behavioral observation, sensory-motor learning, anatomy, physiology, behavioral theory, proprioception, behavioral chaining, and many many more acute theories and practices. Of course all instructors are CPR and first-aid certified.

The Great Boca Swim Lesson Debate

The lessons are 100% tailored to each child and their pace of learning. Each day, the instructor will work with the child to progress through the program at their own pace.

The lessons are held 5 days per week, Monday through Friday for a maximum of 10 minutes per day. Yes, 10 minutes!

Why 10 minutes? Well, surprisingly, children will fatigue at or before 10 minutes of sensory-motor learning. One of our safety protocols is a vasoconstriction check throughout the lesson to measure fatigue (pressing on the surface of the skin). Once the vasoconstriction check shows we are at our max for the day we get out of the water. This is the safest for the child. Not only is it dangerous to teach a fatigued child, it is non-productive as well.

The program generally takes 30 consecutive lessons for children to master the skills of either Rollback to Float (children 6 months to 12 months and not yet walking) or Swim-Float-Swim (12 months and walking up to 6+ years old). A child is not considered skilled in either the FLOAT or the SWIM-FLOAT-SWIM until they are able to independently perform these skills both in swim attire and full clothing.

Now you can see why I was a tad intimidated, right?

However, reading all of that in an email versus seeing ISR in action (in person) was a totally different experience. It was pretty amazing and the kids were actively learning…in their first week even!

I give the parents credit. I am kind of a sucker when it comes to my baby crying (although I hear that dissipates after the first week or so), but the parents I witnessed were full on cheerleaders despite their child’s resistance (hesitation?) to the lessons. And clearly, Liz’s sense of calm and capability were the reasons they were so confident.

By the way? This kid was my hero. He was laughing and enjoying his entire lesson. I hope his mom is reading this swim lesson debate post.

The Great Boca Swim Lesson Debate

The Great Boca Swim Lesson Debate

The Great Boca Swim Lesson Debate

The MBMom assessment?

This is the most scientific of swim lessons if I’ve ever seen one. ISR is not for everyone…and I’m not referring to the crying, but the time commitment. You need to be able to get your child to his or her lesson 5 days per week for a month or more. That’s too much for many parents. But, the data is there. And HERE are some of the success stories.

It’s important to note that this was the only set of lessons I attended at an indoor facility. Rain or shine, 365, it’s swimming time!

P.S. #dailybabyavery was happy to have a little break during this round of swim instruction. I’ve been working her hard for this swim lesson debate post! 🙂

The Great Boca Swim Lesson Debate

Itty Bitty Swimmers

lizgoldring.infantswim.com/instructor


Finally…

I really hope that this swim lesson debate post has educated you a bit more about the various swim instruction options that are out there for you and your family. I wish this had been out there for me when I started doing my research!

But that’s the key: RESEARCH. Make sure you do some digging if you want to be a part of the swim lesson debate and ask other moms about their experiences! We’re all in this together and we all want our kids to be safe in and around pools in South Florida.


Now, I want to hear from you! Which local swim schools did I miss? Do you have a favorite? Sound off in the comments below on the great swim lesson debate!

Getting into Gumbo Limbo Boca Raton…

Being the true New Yorker that I am, I’m always secretly plotting my escape back to my “sacred city”. Although I constantly complain about South Florida’s humidity, or lack of exposure to culture and the arts. Or consistently compare all of Florida’s food to dining experiences in The Big Apple (let’s face it, have you ever had better pizza or pastrami anywhere else?), perhaps I’ve overlooked some of the pros the Sunshine State has to offer like Gumbo Limbo Boca Raton.

Since becoming a mom, I’ve started to really learn to see things in a different light. I mean the kind of light that’s broadens your awareness to all of the simple treasures each city brings to the table. In South Florida it is most certainly the Marine and Wildlife Preservation. More specifically in east Boca Raton, it’s The Gumbo Limbo Nature Center.

Gumbo Limbo Boca Raton

Over the past year we’ve frequented the Gumbo Limbo Boca Raton space learning all about Marine wildlife and falling in love with the baby sea turtles!

We always start out front just passed the parking lot with the stationary sea turtles, the boys just love getting to “ride” them.

Gumbo Limbo Boca Raton

We usually make our way from there straight to the tanks outside (remember to bring sunscreen!), there we can see the two large tanks with plenty of sea turtles, and starfish!

If you’re lucky you can catch the sea turtle feedings and learn plenty about all the different kinds of turtles there are. The staff is mostly volunteer based and all very knowledgeable.

Gumbo Limbo Boca Raton

Gumbo Limbo Boca Raton

Next to the tanks is the shipwreck with lots of fun! There are plenty of eel, stingray and hammerhead shark to watch, and again there are plenty of volunteers around to answer any questions you or your little ones may have.

Gumbo Limbo Boca Raton

On our most recent visit to Gumbo Limbo Boca Raton, we discovered the “Elevation Tower”.

One of the volunteers mentioned the long walk up the 39′ tower and how it would ensure a lengthy nap. Off we went (I may have sprinted)! Now THIS was cool!

There are different trails that you can walk (or run if you’re  one of my boys) that are completely covered in nature and all the creepy crawlers it has to offer, they were obsessed with all the different spiders and webs.

Gumbo Limbo Boca Raton

Once we hit the stairs we were climbing to the top! About halfway I heard a few complaints about needing a snack, but it was fairly easy to maneuver with two toddlers.

Gumbo Limbo Boca Raton

The view alone was well worth the wait! Couldn’t help but get someone to snap a pic of us three musketeers, I so rarely make an appearance I’m so busy snapping away!

Gumbo Limbo Boca Raton

Everyone was happy and enjoying the breeze, a lovely reward after trekking in the hot Florida sun.

Gumbo Limbo Boca Raton

After snack and water, (totally not allowed up there) and a few too many scary “whoa I’m falling” games with a nervous mommy, we were ready to take the trip back down to solid ground. But not after taking in the moment and remembering to “just be”. All too soon they will be grown up and busy with their own lives, I try to embrace all of these simple special moments and collect them. Finding local treasures like this has allowed us to do that.

As promised, when we hit the bottom level the boys were exhausted. I decided to head towards the exit/parking lot, but not before we hit up some more creepy crawler exhibits and activities.

Gumbo Limbo Boca Raton

We didn’t quite get the nap at home as hoped, but they did fall asleep in the car. At least it was long enough for this busy mom to eat a snack in the car before we were off on our next adventure.

Each time we go to the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center we discover something new. Can’t wait to see what we find next time!


Erika is a Write-at-Home Mom of two boys, Evan & Nate. A self professed Bookworm and Advocate for Play, she created a blog called Essentially Erika that follows her journey getting back to basics and discovering what’s essential.  

You can follow Essentially Erika on FacebookInstagram & Twitter.

NOW CLOSED | MOMpreneur Monday: Deelishables

MOMpreneur: n. defined as a female business owner who is actively balancing the role of mom and the role of entrepreneur.

Happy Monday Modern Boca Moms! Welcome to MOMpreneur Monday on MBMom, highlighting Florida businesses and brands that were founded by female entrepreneurs and fellow Mommas.

Deelishables on Modern Boca Mom


Today’s featured and first-ever StepMOMpreneur is the founder of Deelishables, LLC, Kimberly McMahon!

Deelishables on Modern Boca Mom


What do celebrities Hoda Kotb, Leah Remini, Lisa Vanderpump and Jessie James Decker all have in common?  Well, fancy television careers for one thing, but even better, they’ve all worked with the South Florida Step-MOMpreneur behind successful edible favors company, Deelishables!

What are Deelishables, you ask?  Why don’t I just show you:

Deelishables on Modern Boca Mom

Deelishables on Modern Boca Mom

Deelishables on Modern Boca Mom

I just ate and now I’m starving again.

Thanks a lot Kim!


So, celebrity clients and custom treats! It all sounds so glamorous! What’s your background and how did you get started?

“I knew I wanted to be a teacher at a very young age and have been teaching for over 13 years. I always had the urge to have a business of my own, probably because many of my family members run successful businesses!” said Kim.

“My grandmother was an amazing baker and she inspired me with her famous sponge cake and buttermilk cake (which no one in our family can duplicate exactly like she did!). I started doing favors for friends in my free time as a hobby- just chocolate suckers and chocolate covered pretzels- especially as holiday gifts to my coworkers. As time went on, I began to get more and more requests. I decided I might have a small business here!”

Deelishables on Modern Boca Mom
Teacher Appreciation treats by Deelishables

Kim launched Deelishables four years ago, starting in her home kitchen and her business has now grown into a commercial kitchen with her products sold exclusively online.

What would you say to aspiring MOMpreneurs?

Kim answered, “It can be very challenging at times since I basically have 2 full time jobs, but I feel true entrepreneurs do whatever is necessary to make their dream a reality.”

Bethenny Frankel has been a big inspiration for me personally, and seeing what she has been able to create has given me the motivation to go forward and take my hobby to the next level.

She is even a fan of Kim’s products now!!!

Deelishables on Modern Boca Mom

So is fellow “Real Housewife” Lisa Vanderpump!

Deelishables on Modern Boca Mom

What is unique about Deelishables?

“Well, we are not the first company to create personalized edible favors. I think our style and attention to details like packaging and TASTE make us special. Many cookies and treats out there are adorable but taste pretty bad! To us, appearance is just as important as taste. We receive emails daily from our customers telling us how pleased they were with our products, which is the best part! I  truly enjoy creating these custom treats and in a small way, we feel like we’re a part of our customers’ special events and celebrations,” said Kim.

Deelishables on Modern Boca Mom

Deelishables on Modern Boca Mom

Deelishables on Modern Boca Mom

Why should Modern Boca Moms become your next online customers?

“If you’re looking for something different and unique, as most of us often are, then you need to check out our products! We have a big celebrity following and work with many major corporations,” answered Kim. 

Deelishables on Modern Boca Mom

Deelishables was recently featured on TODAY as one of Hoda and Kathie Lee’s Favorite Things!

“We are always trying to improve and come up with new products that are unique and delicious. Our photo cookies and custom [pretzel] rods are our most popular products and are perfect for ANY event- from birthdays to weddings to corporate.”

Deelishables on Modern Boca Mom

What’s next for Deelishables?

Kim said, “Our products will be featured on some upcoming TV shows! We were also contacted by Shark Tank…so we will see what develops! I also plan to add more products this summer and roll out great specials for the holidays later this year.”

Deelishables on Modern Boca Mom
Jessie James Decker

Deelishables on Modern Boca Mom

What is your favorite part about living and working South Florida?

“South Florida is my home and there’s no place I’d rather live (Kim is originally from New Jersey). Although the heat can be challenging for business when you deal with chocolate! We have easy access to great markets like Miami and Palm Beach, and there’s always something going on,” answered Kim.


I personally can’t wait to see which celeb Kim works with next! Any suggestions, Modern Boca Moms?? Comment below!

Leading Lifestyle Site for the Stylish & Modern South Florida Mommy