As head of maintenance, Francisco “Frankie” Herrada manages many of the properties along Duval Street in Key West.
He joined the team in 1998; some 28 years after Historic Tours of America planted its roots on the island. Today, he finds himself very busy taking care of properties like The Key West Aquarium and the Truman Little White House.
“We have about 10 properties, so they keep me pretty busy”, Frankie said.
The three founders of Historic Tours of America came together to transport their retail customers along the restoration area of the city’s main street. They bought a company called “Old Town Trolley Tours” which consisted of refashioned bread trucks mounted on a boat trailer and outfitted with a metal awning roof and plywood floor to which garden bench seats were attached.
This was their start in the “transportainment” business.
Frankie, along with his parents achieved the voyage from Cuba to the United States on a raft about 18 years ago.
“I graduated in 1995 from Key West High School and got married in 1995,” he said of his wife Mercy.
The two met through his lobstering partner and now father-in- law. Both are now employed by Historic Tours of America.
When the two aren’t raising their 13-year old, Fransisco and 10-year old, Mercedes, they enjoy the tropical delights of Martin’s (917 Duval Street).
“My wife and I have probably been to 90 percent of the restaurants on the island, but Martin’s is our favorite,” he exclaimed.
Family time consists of boating and, of course, lots of fishing.
“My son doesn’t like sports, he’s really into electronics and computers…always fixing the family members’ electronics and my daughter loves the water.”
In 1994, Frankie became a Key West Rotarian. The worldwide organization of business, professional, and community leaders provides humanitarian service, encourages high ethical standards in all vocations, and helps build goodwill and peace in the world.
The club is one of the oldest and most dynamic service foundations in the unique island paradise of Key West.
The annual Key West Boat Show and Nautical Market will be held on Saturday, February 27 and Sunday, February 28. Each year, Frankie prepares Moyo seasoned pork to sell during the event. The dry seasoning, Moyo, is sometimes referred to as “Spanish Barbeque Sauce” and can be mixed as a sauce to marinate the pork or sprinkled on the meat prior to cooking. After three and a half hours, the pork is ready to be served on six inches of Cuban Bread and then quickly devoured.
This year’s show will feature many new boats from leading boat dealers throughout the Florida Keys. The Nautical Market will also offer boating and fishing enthusiasts everything from the latest rods and reels to nautical clothing and accessories.
After opting to become a Rotarian six years ago, Frankie has gotten very involved in the club’s mission. Next year, he will step up to serve as treasurer.
Historic Tours of America has grown slowly and steadily over the years with standout employees like Frankie. It’s not only vacationers who enjoy the trolley tours – locals receive free admission when accompanied by one paid guest with the “hometown pass”.
Frankie’s man with a great smile and big heart, has made sure that you can “See the Best First” while staying active as a professional and family man.
The Herrada family, suited in all white in their home, is (l-r) Frankie, Mercy, Francisco and Mercedes.
Francisco ‘Frankie’ Herrada, the head of maintenance at Historic Tours of America in Key West, smiles from ear to ear.