Meet the Humans of the Keys

Meet the Humans of the Keys

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Michelle Abramoff, Fiesta Key

"Growing up in Miami I never once came to the Florida Keys. Why would I? My parents did not boat or fish. Come to think of it, it never crossed my mind to even visit the keys. I spent much of my younger life in Miami and South Beach. I ventured off to college at University of South Florida then finished my studies at Florida International University in 1995, studying hospitality management.
I worked in restaurants and catering since the age of 13. Little did I know that my college years would lead me to the tiny world of the Florida Keys. I met a girl who became my roommate, and was from Key Largo. I was floored, and asked "what do you do there?" So of course she said, "come and visit and I'll take you to the sandbar!" As they say, the rest is history.. That weekend I met the man I married.
I moved to the keys in 1999 and couldn't believe I left the big city. I was horrified and hated it! I was a wedding coordinator in Miami and worked many long hours. I never had time to enjoy the paradise I moved to.
In 2001, my son, Ryan was born and my world changed. I stopped working in Miami. I began a journey that would change my life forever. Being a mom was a stepping stone that would guide me through the next 10 years of my life; from being a stay at home mom, to going through a divorce, to returning to work in my beloved profession (catering, restaurants, and weddings)... Ryan helps me see things clearly.
I went back to work when Ryan was 3. I worked at Casa Morada in Islamorada for 2 years. This led me to see the wedding world in the keys. I decided to start my own business, Weddings by Michelle. This business introduced me to so many people and to the community I am now proud to call my home. In 2010 I went through my divorce, this time I almost left the Keys. My family was in Miami and Ft. Lauderdale and I was ready to move back. But as I looked at my son, who only knew the Florida Keys, I decided to take a leap of faith and stay. I joined a company that would only enhance my wildest dreams. I started working for Mangrove Mike's Catering and Cafe. This opened up a community to me that I never knew even existed. The people I met here became my family and gave me the confidence to grow and become my own person.
My son is 14, & has become a strong athlete and a great student, a funny and charismatic young man. He has taught me to see people for who they are and to believe in yourself. Being a mom gives you the confidence to take on the world. There is a person who every day looks at you for guidance, how can you not smile at that face? So every day I look at Ryan and remember that being a parent is so important. Kids need us, so it's our job to not let them down. I have become athletic myself, training for triathlons, marathons, 8 mile open water swims (twice!) and 50 mile bike rides. These activities help define me as a strong individual. I have also become the president of the Conch Scramble Charity Golf Tournament. This has opened up community doors for me and introduced me to more people in our town that help locals and others. It's a great feeling to be a part of a growing and helpful community.
One of my dreams since college was to own my own restaurant. It was one of those things you put on a cocktail napkin after a few drinks. My brother and I spoke about it so many times. Anyone who knows me, knows my brother, Aaron, his wife, Erin and my parents play a huge role in my life. My friends continue to support me as well. When, my then boss and close friend, Mike Forster, mentioned to me about a vacant restaurant in Fiesta Key RV campground back in January, I was intrigued. So we took a boat trip and I knew right then that I wanted this place. The Lobster Crawl Bar and Grill was in for a surprise. I soon became the Managing Partner, along with Mike and my brother. Everything I could ever imagine! It's been 2 months and this new obstacle has been my biggest challenge and most rewarding time in my life! I'm building a future for myself and my son, something to call our own and to be proud of. Ryan will work beside me this summer in between his travels to the Bahamas. I am trying to give him the ground work to become a strong human being.
As I embark on this new journey, I am thankful every day for those who have crossed my path. They have all taught me something about life, strength, courage, love and family. Everything happens for a reason. If you believe this, anything is possible."

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