WAVE Business Owner Highlight:
Dr. Jinelle Andujar of Sobe Smiles

By Serina Cooper - Washington Avenue BID

Nestled on 8th and Washington Avenue, what may seem like an unassuming, quaint business, becomes quite the contrary once you step inside. Warm sunlight fills the room and pictures of ocean waves throughout the office gives a welcoming beach aesthetic that captures the essence of South Beach. Molly, the receptionist, greets me with a smile and a boisterous "good morning"  that instantly feels reminiscent of visiting an old family friend, which is quite a feat considering most people are absolutely terrified of visiting the dentist.

Dr. Jinelle Andujar's dentist practice Sobe Smiles lives up to their name, and after residing on Washington Avenue for over 30 years, I'd say they have earned their stripes as the quintessential local Miami Beach business. I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Andujar at her office and we discussed her journey from being a student in Jersey & New York to moving to Miami, where she obtained her masters at Barry University and eventually settled to South Beach. Among our talks about her business, she shared with me her personal story of manifestation; in a span of 10 years, owning the dentist practice she once shadowed as a student and worked for as an Associate. Her interview left me with feelings of hope for the future of Washington Avenue and inspired me as a woman, and entrepreneur.

You grew up and studied in New Jersey/New York then decided to settle in Miami after obtaining your masters. What drew you to South Beach?
"After living on South Beach while studying at Barry University, I always knew I wanted to come back once I completed dental school. During my residency, I actually shadowed Dr. Richard Goodman here at Sobe Smiles, and I remember thinking, I can't wait to come back and one day, this will be my office.

"It's amazing how life works, that 10 years later it happened. But what drew me overall to South Beach is the quality of life. I love being able to walk around the boardwalk with my iced coffee, I love the people, the diversity, the food, culture, its a great place to live."

Why did you decide to become a dentist?
“I love that dentistry balances healthcare, also art, it’s a different quality of life as well, I have a special relationship with all of my patients and i think it merges everything together very nicely.” The process to becoming a dentist is lengthy: Dr. Jinelle completed 4 years of college (Biology major),and 2 years of Masters in Biomedical Science at Barry University. She speaks candidly of the extreme competitiveness getting in a dental school in the US.

After completing the first American Dental Board exam, she obtained 4 more years of dental school, 4 more board certifications, and a year of residency which she spent half of in the Trauma ER Unit at Barry University Medical Center and the other half shadowing at Sobe Smiles. She continues to take courses every 3-4 months to remain relevant in her field and as a certified CEREC technician, (Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramic, a method of creating dental restorations at your dental office), she now mentors other doctors once a year.

Why did you decide to become a business owner, rather than continue to work for an established dentist practice?
"As a local of South Beach, my dream was to have a dentist office who would grow with and for the community. Also, having your own autonomy, making your own decisions and ownership is something that is important to me. I can go to sleep at night and know that everything I’ve done is how i want it. My motto is “always do what’s right.”  

Over 75% of adults experience dental anxiety or fear (dentophobia), what does your business do to overcome that, and encourage people to visit and take care of their dental health? "Communication is key, having that dialog beforehand and helping them feel welcome, that mutual understanding that I’m a person too;  treating my patients like I would my own friends and family, they know and they feel it here- trust is a major factor."  "Customer service is also of the utmost importance to me, because even from their first impression, they want to feel welcomed. They’re already nervous walking in, they don’t want to see the dentist, so our introduction eases them. To have everyone in the office on the same page, welcoming them, it’s so important and can really change someone’s whole perspective."

What services and products does your business offer?
"Sobe Smiles is a full service general dentistry office, and I'm involved in everything from fillings, to root canals, veneers and implants, CBCT in here, we offer fully digital services, I have a CBCT which allows me to create in-house crowns and I'm a CEREC mentor, so I go back once a year to mentor other CEREC doctors. Even our impressions are all digital.

"Why did you choose to keep Sobe Smiles on Washington Avenue?I have faith in Washington Avenue, there’s a community here, they need a business that they can also trust in, and the tourists, I get alot of tourists here, they’re on vacation, and a tooth goes missing, you’d be surprised, they need somewhere reliable they can go.

Can you share an impactful moment while being a business owner that has changed your life for the better?
During the pandemic, everything was closed and I had a patient leave a voicemail in severe pain; they had fallen and broken a tooth and were too afraid to go to the hospital. This was in the height of the pandemic when the hospital was a COVID hotspot, people were afraid to go and there were so many restrictions getting in, so to be able to come in and provide them relief was everything.

"It was a scary experience for everyone, no one knew what was going to happen, but I came in, put on every kind of PPE possible and, I thought of how great it is to be able to have my own business where I have the power to really help someone in their time of need. If I didn’t have my own practice, I wouldn’t be able to do those things.

How do you measure success as a business owner?

"By word of mouth definitely. To hear people on the street say they’ve heard of Sobe Smiles and they’re great, to me that’s the ultimate level of success."

You’re expecting, congratulations! What are your thoughts on managing being a wife, mom and entrepreneur?
"I feel that women are often placed with this stigma that we have to choose, and I don’t feel that way, you can make your own rules, do what works for you, and that’s what I plan to do. I’m often asked because I’m pregnant if I plan to stop working, but my job is my passion, I love what I do, I enjoy coming to work everyday. It’s a part of me, my life".

What do you feel sets Sobe Smiles apart from other dentist practices?
"It's a family, local, community oriented office, it's just me, my Assistant and my Receptionist. Patients that come here, they get to have that one on one experience with me, they have my number, I can call them on my cell after work, I see them on the street, they know I’m truly apart of the community I service in."

Outside of your company, what is your passion in life, what motivates you?
"My passion is learning more, I love to learn, I love to read, workout, and spend time with my dog and family."

What are your hopes for Sobe Smiles in the future?
"My hope for Sobe Smiles is,  I would love to stay here for another 30 years, and grow with the practice. I hope to see Washington Avenue grow, I’m already seeing the changes little by little, and I have alot of faith in the future for this Avenue and our business."

Click on the link to learn more about our local dentist office on Washington Avenue and make your next dental appointment at Sobe Smiles!

Sobe Smiles
830 Washington Avenue
Monday: 8:00 AM- 5:00 PM
Tuesday: 11:00 AM- 7:00 PM
Wednesday: 12:00 PM- 8:00 PM
Thursday: 8:00 AM- 5:00 PM
Friday: 7:00 AM - 3:00 PM



Troy E. Wright - Executive Director - Washington Avenue BID

The nominees for the 30th Annual South Florida Tourism Professional of the Year Award have just been announced.  The distinguished nominees are: Troy Wright, Washington Avenue Business Improvement District, Rolando Aedo, Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, Steve Adkins, Miami Dade Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, DeAnne Connolly Graham, ROI Media Consultants, Julie Grimes, The Heafey Group, Charles Kropke, Dragonfly Expeditions, Peter Ricci, Ed.D., Florida Atlantic University.

The nominees will be honored at the award luncheon, hosted by the Academy of Hospitality and Tourism (AOHT) Advisory Board, on September 30, 2021 at the Hyatt Regency Miami, the event’s Host Sponsor. The luncheon MC will be WSVN’s Belkys Nerey.  The featured speakers of the luncheon will include celebrity chef, Michelle Bernstein, and Florida International University Dean, Dr. Michael Cheng. read more


Victory Investments Group, which records show is led by Anil Monga, paid $12.8 million for the 42-room hotel at 956 Washington Avenue in Miami Beach. Monga is CEO of Victory International USA, which manufactures and distributes name brand fragrances and cosmetics, according to Monga’s LinkedIn. Monga is also a hotel investor.

The building features a swimming pool and more than 4,000 square feet of restaurant space. It was built in 1936 on a 14,900-square-foot lot. The storied hotel was designed by T. Hunter Henderson.The sale price equates to about $304,000 per room.


I am honored to be featured on the front page of the Miami Today News.
Thank you for choosing me as an Achiever.
I believe in what the BID is doing, the future of Washington Avenue and Miami Beach. God is a good God!

I would be remiss if I did not thank my incredible Executive Board, Andrew Resnick, Saul Gross, Michael Simpkins, Marc Lawrence, Greg Iannacone, Connor Grealy, Leslie Weil,  Alex Fryd, Rory Greenberg, Eric Hines, Ronald J. Finvarb, Roberto Datorre, and Rickelle Williams.

Also much love behind the scenes to aurelia Crews and my boys for all of your love, support, and inspiration.

The WAVE team Talitha Nascimento, Michael DeFilippi, and former staff Jaclyn Dix

My BID mentor Timothy Schmand, De Anne Connolly Graham,  CCity of Miami Beach, Lissette Arrogante, Heather Shaw, Brandi Reddick, Otinel Rodriguez, Josiel Ferrer, Jose Gonzalez, Police Department, Public Works, Sanitation, Finance, Alicia Santos, Deborah Tackett, Miami Beach Commissioners, Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber, Fire Department, WAVE Business Owners, GMCVB, Graylyn Swilley Woods, County Mayor Danielle Cava, Bill Talbert, Bo Martinez, Darlene Wight-Battles, Teresa Duncan, Darren Wright,  Austin Wright, Quintin Hendrix-Wright, Claytin Hendrix-Wright,  Langstin Hendrix-Wright, Maria Regieiro, John Elizabeth Aleman, Russel Kfrofta, Jimmy Resnick, Amy Mehu, and Sons of Thunder.
And all of you for your prayers and support.

If I missed anyone I am deeply sorry. Please charge it to my head and not my heart.

Thank You!

Troy E. Wright
Written by  Kylea Henseler.  Picture Marlene Quaroni

After years in and around the music industry, first as a child prodigy and later as the vice president of Experience Hendrix, the estate of legendary rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix, Troy Wright took his talents to South Beach and used them to build up the young Washington Avenue Business Improvement District.

As a child in Washington state, Mr. Wright grew up playing drums in church, eventually traveling to perform at large Seattle arenas by the time he was graduated from high school. He would go on to start the Washington State Mass Choir, which became the first in the state’s history to hit the Billboard Top 40. The organization, he said, was no small group; it featured over 100 voices from members of different denominations and communities. However, Mr. Wright would eventually leave the choir to work with the family of another Seattle music icon: Jimi Hendrix. After fighting for two and a half years to help the family keep the rights to Mr. Hendrix’s music, Mr. Wright took on the role as vice president of his estate.

From there, he traveled the world looking for old masters and put together “First Rays of the New Rising Sun,” a compilation album that would be the first record overseen by the estate.“It was the most incredible experience,” he said of the role.“Can you imagine being able to hear Jimi Hendrix outtakes the world has never heard?”

When he ultimately decided to leave the organization, Mr. Wright had multiple opportunities to pursue another music industry job, but instead he moved to Miami Beach. As executive director of the Washington Avenue Business Improvement District, he now uses his skills and knowledge of the promotional, event planning and entertainment industries to contribute to the success of the iconic Miami Beach avenue
read entire interview
Tim Schmand - Executive Director Lincoln Road BID
There is a misquote in the paper regarding my friend and Business Improvement (BID) mentor Tim Schmand.

The article should have stated that Tim and I are very close friends. Not to mention he understands what it takes to be successful as a BID and is willing to help.  I consider Tim a strong business leader and someone I appreciate.

When I told Tim about the misquote he laughed and said "don't worry about it". That's a friend.


Susan Askew - REMiamiBeach
Updates Written by: Susan Askew -remiamibeach

washington avenue: on the edge

Washington Avenue is on the edge, physically and aspirationally. The once vibrant street, which borders Miami Beach’s South Beach Entertainment District, experienced a severe downturn that it is finally starting to come out of. Now, after a master planning process, development incentives, and the establishment of a Business Improvement District (BID), the street is poised for a comeback. Depending on who you talk to, it’s still on the edge between where it was and where it wants to go.

Troy Wright is the Executive Director of the two-year-old Washington Avenue BID which covers Washington Avenue from 5th to 17th Streets. Under a BID, property owners agree to tax themselves more to provide funding for marketing, promotion, and other initiatives to improve the area. The BID followed approval of the Washington Avenue Overlay in 2016 which increased allowable height to 75 feet for properties with more than 200 feet of frontage on Washington Avenue, reduced minimum hotel room sizes for new hotels and conversions, allowed for co-living or micro residential units, and eliminated parking requirements for hotels.

Since then, the Kimpton Anglers Hotel opened a new addition, a new Moxy Hotel has opened and the Good Time Hotel will open soon. Approved or under construction, a new hotel at 1685 Washington Avenue and Urbin Retreat in the 1200 block.

One of Washington Avenue’s appeals is that it is close to the sand and the action of South Beach but that is also one of its downsides given the current issues in the Entertainment District. The street sits just outside the Entertainment District which runs from 5th to 16th Streets on Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue.

From a perception standpoint, Wright said, “I think it’s impacting all of us because there doesn’t seem to be a separation being made between, for example Ocean Drive and Washington Avenue and there’s a big difference. We have museums, we have clubs, we have retail, we have historical buildings. We have a lot more to offer.”

Washington Avenue isn’t immune, however, from the chaos and criminal behavior. On February 1, a triple shooting took place in front of The Licking Restaurant at 754 Washington Avenue. “The shooting was horrifying,” Wright said. “I couldn’t sleep for a couple of days. I was sick to my stomach.”

Despite the Spring Break issues, he said Washington Avenue is an example of how to turn an avenue around “and make it attractive again.”

In addition to the Moxy and Good Time Hotels, Wright said, “We have a lot of businesses that are moving onto Washington Avenue,” highlighting the reopening of Jazid, with “an entirely different look. It’s French burlesque at its best, one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen here not just in Miami Beach but South Florida. The investment there is incredible.”

Wright said the new bicycle lanes have helped, too. They “opened up the opportunity for locals to take advantage of Washington Avenue without having to park.”

The “parklets” which allowed restaurants to extend sidewalk cafés into the streets to help them during COVID restrictions on indoor dining “saved Washington Avenue.” Businesses that have taken advantage of the opportunity are “doing over 30% better” than those who do not have the extra outdoor seating, he said.

“We may have lost one, maybe two” businesses during COVID, he said, but that’s a result of the willingness of landlords to work with tenants to keep them. “I know property owners get a bad name a lot of times but most of the property owners were willing to work with the businesses.”Read More

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