When I relocated to Sarasota several years ago, I found this sleepy little breakfast cafe and was immediately touched by a feeling of nostalgia. The interior reminded me of old-fashioned diners I frequented in New England. The camaraderie between the staff and customers was obvious. Since I was alone, a group of locals invited me to join them and we became good friends gradually. Over the years, I have watched this welcoming tradition continue. The Carrousel isn’t a sleek, trendy coffee house. It’s comfortable, low key, laid back, and unassuming. It’s a welcome respite in a world of pressure and confusion.
The first person to speak to me was Walter Jungmeyer, a real estate agent and genuine Florida cowboy. He invited me to meet his wife, Bobbi and friends. Walter is a Florida legend. Walt met his wife at kindergarten in Sarasota and both were now octogenarians. Ken Thompson, another retired gentleman, can be found every morning at the Carrousel at 6 a.m. The groups are as diverse as their members. The only requirement is to be friendly and “nice.” The diner is filled with nice people from all walks of life eager to share their ideas, jokes, experiences, and a cup of coffee. You only have to open the door and walk in. It doesn’t get nicer than that!