Since Hurricane Ian, the SanCap Chamber has steadily hosted ribbon-cuttings to celebrate the comeback of community businesses and organizations. This week, a ribbon-cutting at VCA Sanibel Animal Hospital, 1509 Periwinkle Way on June 25 marked the 100th ribbon-cutting since the storm surge and winds washed out most buildings and work places. Another celebration took place on June 28 to welcome a new business to Sanibel Island, Captiva Curio Cottage at 1037 Periwinkle Way.

In 2020, VCA Sanibel Animal Hospital, an outgrowth of Coral Veterinary Clinic on Sanibel and in Fort Myers, purchased the building, formerly occupied by a property management company, to grow its business.

In 2017, VCA Animal Hospital acquired the Fort Myers clinic and Sanibel satellite, which had opened in 1965, from Dr. Dave and Jennifer Nichols. Eventually, VCA invested the resources into VCA Sanibel to enable the small facility to perform radiographs, diagnostics, and outpatient procedures.

With the increase in services, the clinic quickly outgrew the original small, 960-square-foot building on Periwinkle Way. VCA leased its current 4,100-square-foot space for a state-of-the-art veterinary facility designed for functionality, while keeping medical services the priority.

“As one of the former owners of Coral Veterinary Clinic, the rebuilding of our hospital is a testament to VCA’s focus on care — for patients, clients, our associates, and communities,” VCA Animal Hospitals Hospital Manager Jennifer Nichols said. “Support from VCA at the time of Ian helped us activate satellite hospitals surrounding the island to provide care for affected pets and made sure our associates had immediate supplies and assistance. With community at the center of everything we do, we celebrate our new facility with a stronger and renewed commitment to delivering world-class medical care for pets and personalized experiences for pet owners.”

Currently, the hospital employs two veterinarians, one veterinary assistant, along with Nichols, who is seeking additional staff to cover six days a week, five of them 10-hour days. The new facility will allow staff to triple the number of pets they see in a day while delivering innovative conveniences pet owners have come to expect from their veterinary hospital.

“The convenience and comfort of having pet care facilities right on island once again takes a giant step toward restoring a sustainable way-of-life for islanders and even visitors who bring their pets along on vacation,” said John Lai, president and chief executive officer of SanCap Chamber. “We welcome such a professional and state-of-the-art operation to our service-focused community of businesses.”

“The Sanibel-Captiva island community is the reason this facility was envisioned,” said Nichols. “For over 40 years, islanders and island guests have been bringing their pets to us. Even after the devastation of Hurricane Ian, the resiliency of this community proved to us that we were needed and wanted. The chamber has been an anchor for this community and has always supported businesses, big and small, while keeping the values that were established by the founding members.”

Now occupying the former location of a Sanibel Captiva Community Bank branch in a historic island bungalow, Captiva Curio Cottage carries an extensive range of diverse products including all-natural beauty produces, holistic and metaphysical products, pet goods, educational and entertaining toys, clothing and accessories, cards, books, coffees, teas, and tinctures.

The Suarez family moved to Sanibel Island two years ago after many visits, and opened and operate the new shop, hoping to contribute to the island’s growth while providing a distinct retail destination for residents and visitors alike.

“How refreshing and delightful to welcome a new retail shop on the islands,” said Lai. “Captiva Curio Cottage bolsters our reputation for unique, independently owned, and small businesses in the best way possible.”

“We love and respect nature, animals, and family,” the family says. “We believe life should be simple, one with nature, fun, quirky, and fabulous! This philosophy is reflected in every aspect of our shop.”


The SanCap Chamber is dedicated to promoting the prosperity of its members and preserving the quality of life of our community. The Chamber plays a key role in facilitating communication and cooperation between business, residents, and government to enhance the economic health of the islands. Its website,, receives over 1.3 million visits per year. For more information about the chamber, visit or contact John Lai, president and CEO, at 239-472-2348 or [email protected].