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Learn about Brandon area residents who are using their talents to make the community a better place. This month read about the the addition of Dr. VanLandschoot to the Hess Orthodontics staff, how SomeguynamedFrank uses clean humor to bring joy to others’ lives, and new Armwood High School varsity softball coach Steffani Smith and her goals for her new team.
Feature: The Community Roundtable
Founded in 1957 with a goal to instill a sense of community and pride for the Greater Brandon area, the Community Roundtable hosts several events each year to raise money and awareness for local charities. Learn about the Honorary Mayor’s Race, Cards for Troops, and the Father of the Year Contest and how they have become a vital part of the Community Roundtable’s success.
Spotlight: Brandon Fourth of July Parade
Thanks to the efforts of Community Roundtable volunteers, Brandon is able to host Florida’s largest Fourth of July Parade. We spoke with Roundtable Vice President Janine B. Nickerson about the history of the parade and what spectators can expect at this year’s festivities.
JULY 2013 thefocusmagazine.com
Business: Sun Bar Tanning Saloon and Massage Emporium
Combat life’s daily challenges with the most clean, affordable, friendly, and professional indoor tanning and massage facilities in the Brandon area at the Sun Bar Tanning Saloon and Massage Emporium. The Smart Tan Certified staff will ensure you’ll look good and feel great in no time!
Dining: Chick-N-Bones Café and Catering Company
Fast food restaurants aren’t usually known for providing customers with healthy meals, but Chick-NBones is the exception. Known throughout town for its delicious flame broiled marinated chicken meals, Chick-N-Bones is a great place to stop for a quick and healthy lunch or a family dinner feast.
See Also: Team of the Month - 20 Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce Column - 24
ONTHECOVER Photography by Anthony Sassano
Community Roundtable Vice President
July 2013 | Volume 6 Issue 11 | focusbrandon.com
LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER
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Seven months into the year 2013 already? Can you believe it? We know the kids are thrilled because summertime means family trips, leisure time with friends, camp weeks and more z-z-z-z-s, too. And in the center of summer sits our favorite national holiday— Independence Day. Who among us doesn’t get excited about this one? Janine Nickerson sure does! The VP of The Community Roundtable sat down with our own Amanda Deck this month to shine a spotlight on what folks living in the Brandon area can expect from this year’s 4th of July Parade. We wonder how many of our readers realized that ours is the largest in Florida, with anywhere from 30,000 to 50,000 attending. This patriotic annual family tradition is most definitely “a community effort.” The Roundtable is an active connection between our community and local charities. Each year its members organize and implement events such as the Honorary Mayor’s Race, Cards for Troops, and the annual Christmas tree lighting affair. The purpose is always to benefit others. If you’re looking for ways to serve the community, the group could use your help. Visit www.thecommunityroundtable.org to learn more. The Quixtan family is one that especially appreciates the freedoms our country offers and the opportunities for a life lived in relative safety. After closing their health clinic in Guatemala following some threats by criminals, they moved to America. We believe you’ll be inspired by their story and their new involvement here with the orchestra program at the Patel Conservatory. For some summer family fun, take yours to one of several Humor 2 Outreach (H20) events scheduled for the Tampa Bay area over the next few months. Frank Hall, also known as “someguynamedFrank,” is a Brandon local involved with the Christian troupe because he can “share the Gospel and bring joy to others.” Affordable family entertainment check it out! Remember, “Laughter does a heart good, like a medicine.” Feel free to share news and photos of your summer vacation adventures with us—camping trips, cruises, mission work and even “stay-cations.” You never know which family might just end up inside the magazine, because, after all, it’s your stories that make our Focus world go ‘round.
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NEW SOFTBALL COACH NAMED AT ARMWOOD STEFFANI SMITH RETURNS TO THE HAWKS’ DUGOUT AS COACH Article by Joe Bowles
ormer Armwood standout and current physical education teacher, Steffani Smith was recently named as the Hawks new head softball coach. Bringing her positive attitude back to her alma mater, Smith understands the challenges but also embraces them with the expectation that she will return the Hawks to respectability in their district.
“Attitude is the biggest thing,” remarked Smith. “If you don’t have a positive attitude, you will never be in the game. Every player must believe in themselves.”
Steffani, the daughter of Mike (insurance agent in Plant City) and Rowena and the sister of Staci Moyer, was a two-sport athlete at Armwood (2003 to 2006) lettering all four years as the starting pitcher and team captain, winning a district title in 2004 and picking up all-conference honors following her junior and senior seasons. Smith also excelled on the golf course. In 2005, she was an all-district and all-region selection as well as picking up the Casey Award, given each year to the most valuable golfer in Hillsborough County.
Thirdly, Smith understands that developing a program for the future begins at an early age. Knowing that most of the kids that
Secondly, she is looking for athletes. “Give me a girl that has athletic ability and if she wants to put in the effort, I can teach her to play softball.”
feed Armwood with students come from the Antioch and the East Point Little Leagues, Smith plans on making herself available to those parks. It is her hope that if the players and parents from those two parks get to know her better, then that familiarity will keep them from choosing to attend somewhere else when they advance to high school. Lastly, Smith is banking on the success of Armwood’s new Collegiate Academy to bring additional athletic talent to the school. The academy that will begin in the fall will
provide students with an opportunity to earn an Associate of Arts degree (A.A.) through Hillsborough Community College in addition to their high school diploma. The school anticipates that the academy will eventually bring hundreds of new students to the campus, thus giving Smith a greater pool of student-athletes to choose from. Right now, Steffani is in the preparation stage. The second-year teacher and current cheerleader coach is in the process of enlisting assistant coaches. Specifically, a hitting coach and an infield coach to complement the experience that she brings with her as a pitcher. Without realizing it, Smith may also be looking for a player like herself. “Pitching is the key… I’m looking for someone who can put the ball over the plate… positive things can happen when the pitcher does her job.”
She later attended Florida Gulf Coast University and was a member of the golf team. Two years later, she transferred to USF completing her degree in 2011. Averaging five wins and 19 losses over the past five years, the Hawks are looking for Smith to turn things around. Smith knows that it won’t be a quick fix. As a former Armwood player, Smith is at home and she plans to be at the helm of the team for a long time. She has already formulated her strategy for success. First of all, she wants to change the atmosphere and she believes it all starts with attitude.
JULY 2013 thefocusmagazine.com
Former Armwood standout and current physical education teacher, Steffani Smith was recently named as the Hawks new head softball coach. Photo by Joe Bowles
QUIXTAN FAMILY OVERCOMES
HARSH CIRCUMSTANCES MUSIC PROVIDES BRIGHTER OUTLOOK ON LIFE Article by Nicole Schoen
aising a family with five children is a challenge in itself, but coupled with death threats and kidnapping attempts from criminals is enough to break any family apart. This is precisely what the Quixtan family dealt with in Guatemala before moving to America, but by sticking together they were able to overcome their circumstances.
Moving from Fort Lauderdale to Dover to their current home in Brandon, the Quixtan family faced uncertainty with jobs falling through and feared having to move back to Guatemala.
“There’s been a lot of difficulties, we could have done a lot of things and the family could have gotten separated, but we decided to stick together,” said oldest son Luis Quixtan, 21.
They were given hope through the generosity of a stranger, Ishmael Ramos, who invited the family to live with him after meeting them at Nativity Catholic Church’s food pantry. Ramos became a grandfather to the family during the six years they lived with him. He and their mother exposed the children to music giving them an opportunity for a brighter future.
Parents Sandra and Francisco Quixtan were doctors with 14 years experience and their own private clinic in Guatemala. Although they had three houses and two cars they didn’t make as much money as people perceived because they helped the poor.
“Me and (my brother) Francisco used to listen to a lot of orchestras because Ishmael had a record player,” said Luis. “We used to listen to the sound and try to see if we could copy it, so we just slowly learned and taught ourselves.”
“When people started seeing that we had a brand new car and things, people would threaten us for money,” said Luis. “They almost tried to kidnap me, but I didn’t let them.”
All four of the Quixtan brothers began studying at the Patel Performing Arts Conservatory in Tampa in 2011 and are part of the youth orchestra. Each play multiple instruments, but for the orchestra Luis plays the oboe and trumpet, Francisco (19) clarinet, Christian (18) bassoon and Kevin (16) French horn. Their sister Sandra (14) is learning to play the cello.
Mother Sandra finally had enough and decided to move to America even though she knew they would have to start over again, but she didn’t care as long as her family was safe.
Luis (left) and Francisco Quixtan before a performance with the Patel Youth Orchestra in fall 2012. Photo courtesy of Soho Images
(From left) Luis, father Francisco, daughter Sandra, Kevin and Christian Quixtan before a performance at the Patel Conservatory in 2011. Photo courtesy of Soho Images
Principal Conductor of the Patel Conservatory Youth Orchestra Program Stephen Brown has taught the Quixtan brothers since they joined and has seen them grow as musicians. “Their strengths as musicians are the ability to play as a team member. They are quick to adapt and learn,” said Brown. “I think all of them will be continuing to play for the rest of their lives, they have that much passion.” Francisco currently attends Florida Southern College where he’s studying to become a professional clarinet player. Luis and Christian also plan on studying there as well to become teachers or performers. “We actually call ourselves the Quixtan Quintet, because we’re five kids and the
quintet is five people and the name just kind of stuck to us,” said Luis. Luis, Christian and Francisco currently perform as the Quixtan Trio at different venues in Lakeland and have a show at Fresco’s Bakery and Bistro on July 10. “Every single concert and performance we play, we always take a little time to remember the guy that made everything possible,” said Luis about Ramos who passed away two years ago. “It’s been difficult coming to a new country, learning the language and getting used to the new culture,” said father Francisco. “But we give thanks to God and America for all the opportunities that we’ve had that we may not have been able to have back in Guatemala.”
(From left) Francisco, Kevin and Christian Quixtan and another student, Jonathan, perform with the Patel Youth Orchestra in fall 2012. Photo courtesy of Soho Images FOCUS MAGAZINE BRANDON JULY 2013
WELCOME DR. VANLANDSCHOOT HESS ORTHODONTICS ADDS MORE EXPERIENCE TO TEAM Article by Amanda Deck
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JULY 2013 thefocusmagazine.com
ess Orthodontics welcomes a new business partner, Dr. Toby W. VanLandschoot, DDS, MS, as their newest member of their orthodontic team. Dr. VanLandschoot will be practicing at both their Riverview location at 11970 Boyette Road as well as their Lithia location just off FishHawk Blvd.
Biochemistry at the University of Michigan. He then continued his education at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry and earned his doctoral degree in dental surgery. After obtaining his doctoral degree he then earned a Master’s of Science in Orthodontics from the University of Michigan.
“I’ve been recruiting Dr. VanLandschoot for many years now and I’m very excited to announce that my efforts have finally paid off. Dr. VanLandschoot will become a permanent partner in the business and will be starting with us on July 1. He comes to us with almost 10 years of orthodontic experience from his private practice in Scottsdale, Arizona,” said Dr. Michael Hess, co-owner and Orthodontist of Hess Orthodontics. “Dr. VanLandschoot and I were classmates in the orthodontic program at the University of Michigan and we have been good friends ever since. Our education there, under some of the most prestigious orthodontists in the country, instilled in us a shared practice philosophy of providing the most advanced orthodontic treatment techniques and outstanding customer service to each of our patients and their families. As always, we will continue to strive to earn the reputation as Florida’s leading orthodontic practice based on our quality, innovative orthodontic care and outstanding customer service. With the addition of Dr. VanLandschoot, we will be able to continue this superior level of care.”
“My wife Ann and young son Tommy and I are looking forward to our move here and to soon becoming residents of FishHawk Ranch. Although Tommy keeps us pretty busy we enjoy many outdoor activities such as playing golf, hiking, and biking,” said Dr. VanLandschoot. “Our mission is to not just meet, but exceed, the expectations of our patients. The parallel training, skills and experience of Dr. VanLandschoot and myself will further this mission by enhancing your access to superior treatment and service” said Dr. Hess. At Hess Orthodontics you can expect to receive complete orthodontic treatment that is tailored to meet your individual needs and desired results. Dr. Hess, Dr. VanLandschoot and their team specialize in helping patients of all ages achieve beautiful and confident smiles. For more information, please visit Hess Orthodontics’ website at hessorthodontics.com or call 813-645HESS.
“I feel fortunate to join such a wonderful, energetic practice and look forward to treating patients with a high degree of detail,” commented Dr. VanLandschoot. Dr. VanLandschoot was born and raised in Northern Michigan. Dr. VanLandschoot completed his undergraduate degree and obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in
Hess Orthodontics will soon be adding a new member to its staff, seasoned orthodontic veteran Dr. Toby W. VanLandschoot. Photo courtesy of Hess Orthodontics
FOCUS MAGAZINE BRANDON JULY 2013
SHARING FAITH THROUGH LAUGHTER
Although his official stage name comes from a Steve Wright joke, his favorite comedian, it also comes from humbling himself in front of God.
Article by Johanna Santana met. And H2O was born to evangelize, entertain and help churches raise funds.
“What I’ve realized over the years is that being some guy is OK,” he said.
“Some people say it can’t be done,” said O’Shea of delivering comedy while evangelizing. “It requires you to have the right mindset and the right heart. With all six of us you can see that, you can feel that.”
LOCAL COMEDIAN BRINGS JOY USING JOKES
The group is diverse and that’s what keeps the jokes fresh and funny. Churches, nonprofits and other organizations hire them to help raise funds and awareness while providing affordable fun, good for the whole family to enjoy.
SomeguynamedFrank realized God gave him the gift of humor and he now uses it to bring joy to audiences through standup comedy acts. Photo courtesy of SomeguynamedFrank
“I’m more excited about being part of a group than I am of being myself,” assured SomeguynamedFrank, who is also a licensed auctioneer and hopes to bring comedy to where it’s not normally being used: Juvenile detention centers, churches, and even people’s homes. This is the idea behind “Comedy from the Couch” where the host can hire SomeguynamedFrank for a house party and guests pay by donations.
SomeguynamedFrank’s best moments are when he knows he is bringing joy to others and states that “we need to take God more seriously and ourselves less serious.”
od is funny. That is, in part, the message SomeguynamedFrank, a local comedian of Brandon, brings to his audience. “SomeguynamedFrank is a guy who came into the realization of that he needs to embrace the way he was wired,” he said. “God has made us with certain talents, with certain gifts.” Although it has taken him some time to realize it, his gift is comedy. A few minutes with this comedian is enough to experience his humor, all clean with some based on wild stories capturing “true” life events. He is quick to add, “My humor is based on actual events that never happened.” But SomeguynamedFrank didn’t start out with aspirations of becoming a comedian; he still has no desire for fame, but instead found comedy almost by chance. While attending Bay Life Church in 1994, he was asked to do the greeting one morning by writing a monologue. He realized then that he not only could make people laugh, but he enjoyed doing so. That began a two-year period of doing comedy at local churches in which, he says, he “became too consumed by it.”
JULY 2013 thefocusmagazine.com
Putting family first, SomeguynamedFrank dropped comedy for almost 15 years when in 2010 he stepped in front of a microphone to do standup after realizing the need for a creative outlet.
For more information: Someguynamedfrank. com and h2ohumor.com.
Friday July 12th The Vineyard Church in St. Pete Saturday July 20th St. Clement’s Church in Plant City Saturday July 27th Pasadena Baptist Church in St. Pete Saturday August 3rd St. Patrick’s Church on Tampa Saturday August 10th Global Family Fellowship in Clearwater Saturday August 17th Friendship United Methodist Church in Clearwater Friday September 20th St. John Vianney in Madeira Beach Saturday September 28th Light of Christ in Clearwater Friday October 11th St. Thomas Aquinas in New Port Richey
“When I first did it (comedy), it was more about me,” he said. “Something was missing in my life. Humor was an outlet and a means of acceptance. Now it’s a gift I want to share.” Currently, SomeguynamedFrank not only does his own comedy routine but is also part of Humor 2 Outreach or H2O, a troupe of six Christians, some of different denominations, whose mission is to evangelize through laughter. “God has led me to this point,” he said. “I was hand picked and the guy never even heard me on stage.” Indeed the troupe got together seemingly by coincidence. Pete O’Shea, of The Pete O’Shea Show on WTIS AM1110, had always had it in mind but didn’t know there were others out there. Then someone introduced him to Juanita Lolita, who introduced him to SomeguynamedFrank, who then suggested Josh, who he had heard of but never even
SomeguynamedFrank will make several appearances in the Tampa Bay area this summer as part of the Christian comedy troupe, Humor 2 Outreach. Photo courtesy of SomeguynamedFrank
HONORS YOUTH PRACTICE AWARDS COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIPS TO THREE STUDENT ATHLETES
Article by Cheryl Johnston
usciglio Smiles is pleased to announce three winners of a $500 scholarship in its 3rd annual essay contest.
not exercising my body as well…These are two key elements in leading a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life.”
Area high school seniors submitted more than 70 essays on the topic, “Athletics versus Academics: Can Student Athletes Really Have It All?”
Hayes will study Business Administration at Southeastern University. In addition to successes in academics and athletics at Bloomingdale, she sang with the Advanced Ladies Choir and Concert Choir. While accomplishing Principal’s Honor Roll status all four years, the Student Government executive board member served as captain of the cross-country team and competed in track and field. Hayes offered, “Since the essay involved the two things I’m passionate about, I am very grateful for this scholarship. It was a relief to know I’d have more help with college expenses. Thank you, Busciglio Smiles.”
Dr. Derek Busciglio, who serves on the medical team for the University of South Florida, and his sister, Dr. Dana Busciglio appreciate the commitment required of student athletes to both education and sports. “They really can have it all,” said Dr. Derek, “but the balance between the two requires wisdom, dedication, and sacrifice. We’ll be expecting to hear great things of this year’s winners.” Dr. Dana added, “We believe in showing our support for solid effort in a tangible way and the essay contest seems a fair method to honor one student for each of our three offices every year.” Congratulations go out to Taylor Adams of Plant City High School, Kendall Hayes of Bloomingdale, and Lars Benner of Newsome. Adams, a National Merit Finalist who ranked seventh in her class at PCHS, will attend Auburn University as an Elite Scholar to study Biosystems Engineering. She believes: “Education and athletics go hand in hand. It’s hard for me to exercise my mind if I’m
Benner, the MVP on Newsome’s track team, competed as a 2013 All-State Selection in the 3200m and maintained an unweighted 4.0 GPA. At the University of Tampa he will pursue a chemistry degree. Benner knows firsthand that “becoming highly successful at a sport requires a determined, constant work ethic.” Additionally, he wrote: “If we remember the important lessons that being a student-athlete provided, how extra, individual work correlated to success, then the sports we played were significant in teaching lessons that will guide us to success for the rest of our lives.” And the Busciglio Smiles team couldn’t agree more.
FOCUS MAGAZINE BRANDON JULY 2013
Each year, The Community Roundtable organizes the Honorary Mayor’s Race to raise money for local charities. Pictured are (L to R) Cami Gibertini, 2011 Honorary Mayor; Lee Elam, 2012 Honorary Mayor Candidate; and Gay Lynn Love, 2012 Honorary Mayor
Brandon’s pioneering families at the 2012 Community Affairs Dinner: (L to R) Dick Stowers, Paul Dinnis, Judy Darcy, Claire Simmons Bryan, Mike Brandon, and Helen Mulrennan Young.
Article by Amanda Deck
Photos courtesy of The Community Roundtable
magine driving through Brandon via Route 60 in the late 1960s. With only a few stoplights hindering traffic along the way, journeying through town on the then two-lane road—which was surrounded by lush orange groves and wideopen pastures—didn’t take very long. Many current residents remember those times, when Brandon was a small, tight-knit community, hardly influenced by the hustle and bustle of downtown Tampa and surrounding suburbs. However, times have changed and thanks to the introduction of I-75 in the mid80s, Brandon has progressed significantly, so much so that it’s been an ongoing challenge for the town to keep up with steady growth.
are dedicated to “instilling a sense of community and pride for the Greater Brandon area through participation, via membership and volunteerism.” Through its several events, The Community Roundtable—a 501(c)(3) organization—raises money and awareness for local charities and honors organizations, volunteers and students who go above and beyond the call of duty through the Maureen Krzanowski Scholarship, the Non Profit of the Year Award, and the Alice B. Tompkins Community Service Award. And from the Honorary Mayor’s Race to the Father of the Year Essay Contest, The Community Roundtable has and will continue to greatly impact Brandon.
Although the community has evolved, Brandon has not shifted from its hometown roots as residents continue to support one another, and a lot of the credit goes to the hardworking volunteers of The Community Roundtable.
HONORARY MAYOR’S RACE
Realizing the need to create more opportunities for the community, in 1957, Brandon business, charity, and political leaders gathered to create the Presidents’ Roundtable. The organization’s primary goal was to plan fundraising events for local charities without duplication by creating a community calendar, which allowed each nonprofit an exclusive date for their event. Through the Roundtable’s efforts, local Little League fields were formed, Center Place Fine Arts and Civic Association was established, and the Brandon Regional Hospital was built, among other positive community impacts. Now called The Community Roundtable, the organization is comprised of individuals who
JULY 2013 thefocusmagazine.com
A Brandon tradition, The Community Roundtable has raised over $500,000 for charity through its annual Honorary Mayor’s Race. Each year, nominated candidates host events over just one month to raise funds for up to three chosen charities. The first Honorary Mayor was Nat Storms, who raised $500 for charity in 1959. Last June, 2012 Honorary Mayor Gay Lynn Love gathered $24,305 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the American Cancer Society, and the Brandon Family YMCA. Like all candidates, 10 percent of Love’s donations went to The Community Roundtable to help with operating expenses, 10 percent went to her sponsoring organization (Brandon Family YMCA), and the remaining funds were split between her two other charities of choice. This year, four candidates vied for the title of Brandon’s Honorary Mayor—Pearl Chiarenza, Dawn Galia, Jack Bartlett, and Grita Perry—and
the candidates hosted events such as a Clay Pigeon Shoot at FishHawk Sporting Clays, a Family Barbecue at Uncle Mike’s Smokehouse Grill, and a Ladies Dance Night at Center Place. Although only the candidate who raises the most money will be named 2013 Honorary Mayor, Community Roundtable Vice President Janine Nickerson states that the charities are the true winners of the competition. “None of the candidates ‘win’ the title of Honorary Mayor,” said Nickerson. “That implies that the other candidates are losers and that’s just not true. Although one person is named Honorary Mayor, the important part is that the charities are the winners. Because of these candidates, every charity wins.” Brandon’s newest Honorary Mayor will be named prior to The Community Roundtable-hosted Fourth of July Parade. Also be sure to check out next month’s edition of FOCUS Magazine for an exclusive spotlight interview with the top fundraiser.
CARDS OF TROOPS
Co-sponsored with Center Place Fine Arts and Civic Association, Cards for Troops is a great event for crafty Brandon area residents who are looking to support our country’s military personnel during the holidays in a unique way. Held each October, participants spend a few hours at Center Place hand-making Christmas cards. Following ontable instructions and a handy template, even the least artistic are able to create professional-looking Christmas cards out of paper, glitter, glue, ribbon,
MAKING A DIFFERENCE At the Cards for Troops event, The Community Roundtable and Center Place provide all the supplies needed to craft Christmas cards for our overseas military personnel to send back home to the states.
The Community Roundtable sponsors a golf tournament each year at Buckhorn Springs Golf and Country Club in Valrico
Visiting Santa and experiencing the lighting of the Christmas tree is one event, sponsored by The Community Roundtable and Center Place, that families look forward to each year.
BRANDON HAS NOT SHIFTED FROM ITS HOMETOWN ROOTS and other items supplied by The Community Roundtable and Center Place. Many people think Cards for Troops is an opportunity to write “Thank You” letters to military personnel. However, what makes this event so different is that the insides of the cards are left blank, allowing troops to ink personalized messages on the cards and send them to their families in the states. If you’d like to send cards to a specific soldier overseas or in a military hospital, please contact Center Place or The Community Roundtable.
FATHER OF THE YEAR ESSAY CONTEST
Mother’s Day is one of the most widely-celebrated holidays of the year as everyone is willing to show their mothers how much they care—whether taking them out to a fancy dinner, buying them a beautiful bouquet of flowers, or simply spending the entire day by their side.
Mike Brandon, great grandson of Brandon founder John Brandon, spoke at the 2012 Community Affairs Dinner.
Father’s Day, however, isn’t as popular as Mother’s Day. Therefore, The Community Roundtable established a special competition to honor worthy fathers…the Father of the Year Essay Contest. “We have always taken heat over why we don’t do this same event for mothers,” said Nickerson. “But when you were in school, how many Father’s Day projects did you make for your dad? The answer is probably zero because you weren’t in school during that time. I understand the objection that the contest should be gender neutral, but we really think dads deserve some more credit.” Contest winners receive tickets to sporting events, gift certificates to restaurants, and, the first place Dad wins the opportunity to ride in the Fourth of July Parade. You can spot this year’s winner—Seth Allen and his daughter Sarah—toward the front of the lineup.
JOIN THE TEAM
If you’re searching for a way to give back locally, The Community Roundtable is always looking for
Several gather each October to craft Christmas Cards for Troops, an event sponsored by The Community Roundtable and Center Place.
willing volunteers of all ages to join their team. Become a part of the improvement movement. Share your ideas to assist and support Brandon’s local charities. Meetings are held the second Wednesday of each month at Center Place at 6:30 p.m. Each month, a $100 drawing is held and the winning ticker holder selects a Brandon charity as the recipient. For more information, contact the Roundtable at 813-661-4350 or roundtable2008@ aol.com. Also visit thecommunityroundtable.org and like them on Facebook!
COMMUNITY ROUNDTABLE ANNUAL EVENTS February Community Affairs Dinner March Golf Tournament June Honorary Mayor’s Race Father of the Year Essay Contest July Fourth of July Parade October Cards for Troops (Co-sponsored with Center Place) December Lighting of the Christmas Tree (Co-sponsored with Center Place)
Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Community Roundtable President, Sam Creasman at the 2013 Community Affairs Dinner. FOCUS MAGAZINE BRANDON JULY 2013
JULY 2013 thefocusmagazine.com
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FOCUS MAGAZINE BRANDON JULY 2013
But Janine B. Nickerson, Vice President of The Community Roundtable, doesn’t take the freedoms we enjoy on a daily basis for granted like many others. In fact, she’s hard at work from October to July, making sure locals have the opportunity to reflect on our nation’s past and thank those who have been instrumental in securing our country’s independence. Since 2000, Janine has been a key component in organizing the annual Community Roundtable Fourth of July Parade. FOCUS Magazine had the pleasure of sitting down with Janine to learn more about what goes into the planning of the parade and how the Roundtable is important to the Brandon community. FOCUS Magazine: First, tell us a little bit about yourself and how you became a part of the Brandon community. Janine Nickerson: I was born in Pennsylvania, grew up in Tampa, graduated from H.B. Plant High School, and we’ve been out here in the Brandon area since 1976. When we first came out here, K-Mart didn’t have a fence around the garden center because nobody stole anything. Lakewood ended right at Route 60. The first stoplight you came to coming from Tampa was right where Burlington Coat Factory is currently. Brandon was rural. There were a lot of cows, rattlesnakes, orange groves, and strawberries. Moving here from South Tampa was an interesting transition. FOCUS: How did you first get involved with the Community Roundtable? JN: Maureen Krzanowski tapped me to help judge the Fourth of July Parade in 1999. She thought that would be great because I was part of the media [retired owner of The BrandonValrico Journal], and she wanted to make sure the Roundtable was getting media coverage. After the parade was over she said “You should join the Roundtable.” So I got shanghaied into being a member, and very proudly so. Maureen was a great inspiration, the heart and soul of the Roundtable and served as our president for some time. Unfortunately, she passed away about eight years ago, and, of course, that put us in a tailspin. She was the driving force behind the organization.
Marie Cain, Brandon Fourth of July Parade Chair, is a vital part of the annual celebration’s success. Marie coordinates all participants, vendors, Hillsborough County Deputies, and volunteers. Photo by Stephen B. Nickerson
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FOCUS: Can you provide me with a little history on the Community Roundtable? JN: The Roundtable started in 1957 when there were, as I said, cows, rattlesnakes, orange groves, and strawberries, and that’s what the community was. So as people started moving here, they said, “We have families and there’s nothing for these kids to do!” So the Roundtable was instrumental in establishing the Little Leagues in the area. We supported bringing a hospital and library to Brandon because we wanted it to be a good community. In the mid 70s, we donated about $6,000, which came from Honorary Mayor’s Races, to establish Center Place. We wanted Center Place to be Brandon’s cultural and arts center, which is why you’ll always find this relationship between the two organizations. FOCUS: How is the Community Roundtable involved in the Fourth of July festivities? JN: Our committee, chaired by Marie Cain, has been meeting every two weeks since October. We’re calling it Parade University. There are many details that go into it and a lot of people don’t realize how involved it is. For instance, there are certain rules and regulations now for floats. You can no longer throw anything from a moving vehicle. Items must be handed out at curbside. The Sheriff ’s Office is involved because they consider this a Homeland Security issue, so we have about 80 deputies who monitor the crowds. Also, they prefer we put bicycle barricades along both sides of the road all the way down the two-mile parade route, but that would cost us $34,000. We don’t have $34,000, and as a charity, I hope we never have $34,000 we could throw at something like that. But the concern of the Sheriff ’s Office is correct—it’s an issue that we want to make sure the crowds are safe. So what we’ve agreed to is if you have a float, not only can you not throw things, but we now require four safety officers from that entry to each wear a green safety vest and whistle. FOCUS: How long has the Community Roundtable been organizing the parade? JN: We’ve been presenting the parade for over 50 years. Nobody knows exactly how many because there’s no real documentation, but the Roundtable is the only organization that has presented the parade. The parade route has changed over the years. For years, it used to run down Route 60. But again, back in the day we didn’t have the traffic issues we face now. I
Brandon’s Fourth of July parade is the largest in the State of Florida with between 30,000 and 50,000 spectators in attendance. Photo by Stephen B. Nickerson
can remember when my kids were little, the parade used to end at Sadie Street Park, and the last entry was the fire truck, and they used to shoot water off up into the air, and people loved it. We also used to “arrest” a couple who was driving through town. If they were available, we would let them ride in the parade with a sign on their car that said they were the arrested couple. It was just a blast! Unfortunately, that small town stuff has changed. But the nice thing is, when you look at our floats, they’re not all professional, but always beautiful. They’re red, white, and blue, and that keeps the small hometown feel. We don’t want all professional floats. It’s nice to have them, but that’s not the goal. The goal is to make Brandon still feel like a hometown community that has a connection to its roots.
FOCUS: We hope to see everyone out at Brandon’s Fourth of July Parade this year. The festivities will kick off at 10 a.m. on the corner of Lumsden Road and Parsons Avenue. Come share in the excitement of Florida’s largest Fourth of July parade!
BRANDON’S JULY 4TH PARARDE ROUTE
FOCUS: What can people expect at this year’s parade? JN: The theme this year is Honoring America’s Monuments. We will, of course, have a strong military presence as we always do, and that’s what the parade is all about. This is the largest Fourth of July Parade in the State of Florida. We have typically between 30,000 and 50,000 spectators. We will have vendors, so people will have the opportunity to purchase ice cones, cotton candy, those types of things. And something else we started last year, we added a VIP Grandstand, which gives us the opportunity to treat past Alice B. Tompkins Community Service Volunteer winners, past honorary mayors, and others in the community who we want to let know that we appreciate what they’ve done in conjunction with the Roundtable. FOCUS: Why is the parade so important to the community? JN: I think it reminds us of our freedoms and how we need to support our military. About 80 percent of the officers from MacDill Air Force Base reside in Brandon. So again, there is a strong military community out here and this is our way to let them know we appreciate the sacrifices they have made both for the country and for us, and that’s a good thing to do!
Judges Miller Dowdy, President of IronLand Realty Investments, LLC; Janice Balzano, COO at Brandon Regional Hospital; and Jim Johnson, Public Affairs Coordinator at Mosaic Fertilizer, LLC will select Best Float, Best Marching Unit, and Best Musical Unit at this year’s parade. Photo by Stephen B. Nickerson
The floats in the Brandon Fourth of July parade will line up down Lumsden Rd., continue onto Parsons Ave., turn down Robertson, and finish at the intersection of Robertson and Buckingham Place. Photo by Stephen B. Nickerson
FOCUS MAGAZINE BRANDON JULY 2013
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BUSINESS » PROFILE
TANNING SALOON AND MASSAGE EMPORIUM Profile by Amanda Deck
Tan products also include super moisturizers which help extend the life of a tan, decrease aging, and increase firming properties. Apart from its 15 tanning units—ranging from lay down, stand-up, and spray—the Sun Bar also provides aqua massage and ionic cleanse detox foot spa. What also makes the Sun Bar unique is the “saloon” aspect. In fact, the salon is set up like a sports bar and offers complimentary beer and wine to customers of age every visit—just another way the Sun Bar helps its customers feel relaxed and pampered. “We’re a family-owned business and we provide a friendly atmosphere,” said Klein. “We want our customers to feel comfortable.” It’s that dedication to customers that has allowed the Sun Bar Tanning Saloon and Massage Emporium to remain in business since 2002. While other tanning salons have opened around the community and usually close their doors in under a year, the Sun Bar has continued to find success.
“Since we’ve opened, we never had to raise our prices,” said Klein. Tanning packages at the Sun Bar start at just $19.99 per month for unlimited tanning and massage. Look good..feel great! Combat stress at the most clean, professional, friendly, and affordable indoor tanning and massage facility in the Tampa area.
INFORMATION Sun Bar Tanning Saloon and Massage Emporium 1029 W. Brandon Blvd. Brandon, Florida 33511 Phone: 813-657-TANN (8266) Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: sunbartanningsaloon.com Hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.; last tan always ½ hour before close.
Sun Bar Tanning Saloon and Massage Emporium may be the only place you can go to get a tan and massage and grab a complimentary drink! Photo courtesy of Sun Bar Tanning Saloon and Massage Emporium
veryone wants to look good and feel great—especially during swimsuit season—but it can take a considerable effort to achieve the tan we desire. Bathing in the Florida sun can be an unpleasant experience, usually resulting in uneven skin tones, unwanted tan lines, and uncomfortable sunburn. If you’re longing for a beautiful, even tan and don’t want to spend hours baking your skin under the summer rays, be sure to stop by the longest free-standing tanning salon in Brandon—Sun Bar Tanning Saloon and Massage Emporium. Over the past few years, the media has informed us that excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV ) radiation from the sun or artificial sources has detrimental health effects, including skin cancer and accelerated aging. However, many researchers have concluded that moderate tanning may be healthier than what is commonly believed. “There’s a lot of bad press out there driven mostly by sunscreen companies,” said Sun Bar owner Dawn Klein. “Moderate tanning has all kinds of health benefits.” According to Klein, regular and moderate exposure to UV rays is vital for natural
Vitamin D production. In fact, Vitamin D is a major player in fighting cancer, osteoporosis and hypertension. Other studies indicate that sunlight may lower resting heart rate, blood pressure, and cholesterol and boost the immune system, cardiac output, and metabolism. Furthermore, moderate exposure to UV rays also produces melanin (a natural way to prevent sunburn) and leads to the release of endorphins—chemicals in the brain that help you relax and effectively cope with life’s stresses. Therefore, not only does tanning help you look better, you’ll feel better, too! What makes the Sun Bar stand out from other area tanning salons is the staff ’s commitment to skin health. All employees are Smart Tancertified, which means they have studied skin and how the sun’s rays affect it. Through the Smart Tan program and understanding that everyone’s skin is different, the Sun Bar staff creates a customized program for each customer based on their unique skin type which allows them to get the best possible tan while minimizing the risks associated with overexposure. Sun Bar also suggests the use of California Tan products to help accelerate the development of melanin in the skin for a faster and deeper tan. California
Sun Bar Tanning Saloon and Massage Emporium packages start at $19.99 per month for unlimited tanning and massage. Photo courtesy of Sun Bar Tanning Saloon and Massage Emporium FOCUS MAGAZINE BRANDON JULY 2013
SPORTS » TEAM OF THE MONTH
THE FLORIDA FIRE 2000 TEAM Article by Deana Garrison
Bottom Row (L-R): Leah Harrell, Abby O’Brien, Bailee Leistl, Grace Currie, Maddie Cates, Ashley Blessin. Middle Row: Celia Higgins, Lauren Allen, Mary Beth Feldman, Braxton Hill, Abby Burton, Emily McKinney. Back Row: Coach Kenny Cates, Manager Greg Feldman, Coach Gary Blessin, Coach Greg Harrell.. Photo courtesy of The Florida Fire 2000
he Florida Fire 2000 Softball Team of Bloomingdale is this month’s Team of the Month. These inspiring young ladies have what it takes to reach the top. In fact, this travel team is ranked number two in the state. Recently winning the qualifier tournament entering them into the ASA National Tournament in Chattanooga, TN is one of their greatest achievements. This big win took place in Jacksonville, FL May 17-18th. Many teams strive to just win one qualifier tournament, but they didn’t stop there, winning another qualifier the very next weekend for Memorial Day, playing eight games over two days and actually coming out of the losers bracket to win the championship. Now that is impressive.
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Losing a game is not something this team is used to doing. They have won five out of eight tournaments, calculating to a 39-7 record overall. To reach that kind of status takes hard work and dedication. It takes all 12 girls working together to win their games, and that is exactly what they do. Teamwork is their specialty. In fact, it is known that these girls get along so well that they consider themselves family.
surgery and a cancer diagnosis, the girls all made a video for me and brought it over. The entire team is like a family.”
“It’s like I have 12 different sisters on the same team,” said Ashley Blessin, one of their rising 7th graders.
They are also very much involved in the community as well. They participated in Feed the Bay by volunteering at a local grocery store collecting and sorting donations. It just shows they work well together both on and off the field.
Her father, Gary Blessin, one of the coaches, also added, “The girls are not only talented on the field but have a very close knit friendship. All girls get along off the field and love doing things together. While I was recovering from
Academics don’t fall short on this team. As rising 7th and 8th graders, this team doesn’t have a grade point average lower than a 3.5. In fact, most of the girls hold a 4.0 average. This shows well rounded individuals as well as hard working dedicated players.
Right now, they are practicing hard for the upcoming ASA Nationals in Tennessee where
they will compete against 100 different teams from around the nation. With the expenses so large, they have been working on many fundraisers to help support their trip. If you want to support these girls they will be doing “hat drops” to raise money to get them to Chattanooga at the Bell Shoals Publix on July 5 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Lithia Publix on July 6 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Lithia Publix on July 7 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sports Authority in Brandon on July 20 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Get on out there and show your support. We wish them the very best on their ASA National Championship competition which will be held July 28-August 4. I am sure they will make us all proud. These girls represent our area well.
6501 US Hwy. 301 S. Riverview, FL 33569
FOCUS MAGAZINE BRANDON JULY 2013
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SPORTS » ATHLETE OF THE MONTH
ATHLETE OF THE MONTH T Article by Deana Garrison
he Florida Fire 2000 Fastpitch Softball team is loaded with many great players. One player that stands out is Ashly Blessin, a 12-year-old and rising 7th grader who takes her softball skills very seriously.
Blessin is one of the top 12U pitchers in the state. She began taking lessons from Coach Glenn Rodriguez (head coach for East Bay High School softball team) at age 8, and he has been a mentor and role model to her throughout the past five years. She has developed her pitching style throughout the years with his guidance. “He is good and teaches me a lot of things about pitching,” Blessin stated. She joined the Florida Fire 2000 in the summer of 2011. The Fire was playing in a tournament in Lutz preparing for the Bloomingdale Little League All Stars season. They were told to watch out for a girl named Ashley who would be playing in the same tournament, because she was one of the main pitchers for the Plant City Little League All Stars and Bloomingdale would most likely face her in the sectionals games. Ashley ended up pitching in that Lutz tournament and her team won, eliminating the Fire from the tournament. Manager Greg Feldman said
“we need to get that girl on our team.” When Plant City All Stars faced Bloomingdale All Stars a couple of weeks later in the Sectionals tournament, it was a hard fought game (score was 1-1 going over 7 innings) that was eventually won by Bloomingdale. The win took Bloomingdale to States. But it also got Ashley noticed and recruited to the Fire. She joined the Florida Fire 2000 team that summer and has been with them ever since. She is a four-time All Star Participant which says a lot about her dedication and spirit. Pitching a perfect game in 2011 in a District Championship is among her many accomplishments. She likes to change it up quite a bit with a fastball, curveball, screwball, change-up and riseball to name a few. Blessin is not only a skillful player on the field, she is also a high academic achiever. She takes her academics just as serious as her sport. That says a lot for a young lady that has a full schedule. You may even remember seeing Ashley on the news about four years ago when she won the Young Innovators Cup which is an contest where students come up with their own inventions and present them to a panel of judges which consisted of college professors and TV personalities.
Ashley Blessin is a standout on the Florida Fire 2000 travel softball team and will soon be traveling to Chattanooga, TN to participate in the ASA National Tournament against 100 other teams from around the nation. Photo courtesy of Ashley Blessin
Blessin is a well-rounded young lady that continues to do her very best in all that she gets involved with. According to her dad, Gary Blessin, “Ashley lives, eats and breathes softball. Her goal is
to play high school ball, then play for Coach Tim Walton at the University of Florida.” With the drive and dedication that she holds, I have no doubt that this young lady will reach her goal.
FOCUS MAGAZINE BRANDON JULY 2013
EXTRA » BRANDON CHAMBER
BUSINESS BRIEFING BRANDON CHAMBER ACCEPTING 2013 SMALL BUSINESS OF THE YEAR AWARDS AND 2014 LEADERSHIP BRANDON NOMINATIONS
The Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce will once again recognize and honor Greater Brandon Area small businesses that have demonstrated leadership, positive growth and development, creativity, integrity in operating a business, and commitment to community services during the 2013 Small Business of the Year Awards to be held October 17. Nominations are now being accepted until 5 p.m. on July 8. This annual awards banquet honors small business owners and the entrepreneurial spirit that enriches the economy of our local community and the nation. Fifteen area businesses, representing five business categories, will be recognized during the event sponsored by The Bank of Tampa – Brandon Division, Tampa Bay Times, Celestar Corporation, Sheraton Tampa East Hotel and Hanna, Lemar & Morris, C.P.A.’s, P.A. Award categories include Home-Based Business, Minority or Women Owned Business, 1-5 Employees, 6-15 Employees and 16-Plus Employees. Finalists will be announced in September and the winners will be recognized during the annual Small Business of the Year Awards Gala on October 17. Members of the community are encouraged to submit 2013 nominations. Anonymous and self-nominations are also accepted. For more information contact Laura Simpson at 813-689-1221, Ext. 8821, or lsimpson@ brandonchamber.com or Suzanne Dowdy at 813-689-1221, Ext. 8836. Nomination forms are also available at brandonchamber. com. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, persons needing special accommodations to participate should contact Suzanne Dowdy no later than 48 hours prior to the nomination deadline. The Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce is now accepting applications for the 2014 Leadership Brandon Class. Leadership Brandon is the Chamber’s community leadership development program. Curriculum includes a series of seminars,
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tours and interactive presentations that highlight various leadership development and community awareness initiatives, mostly held on the third Wednesday of the month. Specific topics and meeting times vary but will include team building and leadership styles, national, state and local government, tourism and economic development, public and private education, law enforcement and the criminal justice system, print and electronic media, arts and recreation, the role and impact of MacDill Air Force Base in Hillsborough County, transportation issues, social issues, and national security. The application is made through a nomination process. Nominations can be made by businesses, organizations and individuals (either on behalf of or for herself/himself ). Class members will be chosen by a selection committee comprised of community and business leaders including Leadership Brandon Alumni. Nomination forms must be received by The Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce on or before Monday July 8 at 5 p.m. Completion of the nomination or application forms does not guarantee acceptance into the program. A mandatory opening retreat for selected class individuals is scheduled to take place Saturday, September 28, 2013. For additional information and/ or the nomination form please visit brandonchamber.com or contact Suzanne Dowdy at 813-689-1221, ext. 8836, or email her at email@example.com.
SMALL BUSINESS EDUCATION
In partnership with the Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce, the Hillsborough County Small Business Information Center (SBIC) holds free small business counseling every Tuesday and Wednesday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Chamber. For more information, or to schedule an appointment please call 813-689-1221. Free Working Smarter Workshops led by counselors of the Hillsborough County Small Business Information Center. “Business Plan in a Day” will be held on Tuesday, July 9, from 9 to 11 a.m. In this workshop, attendees will receive the critical, time-tested information and tools they need to develop a well-constructed and effective business plan. This seminar will be led by certified
business counselors from the Hillsborough County Small Business Information Center (SBIC). For more information or to register please contact Suzanne Dowdy at sdowdy@ brandonchamber.com or 813-689-1221, ext. 8836.
Advocare AllStar Backgrounds American Fundraising Services-American School Partners An Affair to Remember Catering, Inc. Bond Jewelers Brandon Chiropractic Associates JULY NETWORKING Cardinal Accounting Group, LLC OPPORTUNITIES Crescent Crosstown Apartments Business After Hours – Tuesday, July 9, 5:30 Crissy’s Hair Salon, Inc. p.m., hosted by Brown’s Trophies, 140 S. Famous Tate Electric Co. Moon Ave., Brandon FASTSIGNS of Brandon Networking at Noon – Tuesday, July 16, 12 Harold’s Feed & Pet Supply p.m., hosted by Southwest Florida College, IIG Energy & Marketing (Les Vivats) 3910 Riga Blvd., Tampa IPA Family, LLC Coffee Club – Tuesday, July 23, 8 a.m., hosted Jenny Skincare by Lee Roy Selmon’s, 11310 Causeway Blvd., JL Collision Centers Brandon Landstar Freight Broker Agent Liz n Things Consignment Boutique YOUNG PROFESSIONALS Mackey Productions Major’s Motor Works, LLC BRANDON Are you under 39 years of age…or feel like Maverick’s Portable Restrooms it? Then this group is for you. YP Brandon New Generation Cuisine Oriental Fusion inspires young professionals to Lead by Ninja Ice example, Grow by association, and Give Nuviva Medical Weight Loss of Brandon back to the Brandon community. Come join Papa John’s Pizza the Young Professionals at Genghis Grill, Papa Murphy’s Take ‘n’ Bake Pizza 910 Providence Rd., Brandon, Wednesday, PKG Medication Solutions July 10, 11:45 a.m. for a “Straight Up” Precision Overhead Garage Door Networking Luncheon. This event is open to Red Carpet USA Entertainment & Events, all Brandon Chamber members. Can’t make Inc. the lunch? Come join us for a Networking Sakura Asian Cuisine Social on Thursday, July 11, 5:30 p.m. at Scott J. Givens, P.A. Cheddar’s Casual Café, 11135 Causeway State Representative Jake Raburn, District Blvd., Brandon. This event is free for YP 57 Brandon members and $5 for guests. For Sticky Spanish more information on YP Brandon or its Thorntons, Inc. events please contact Suzanne Dowdy at Total Insight Screening, Inc. 813-689-1221, Ext. 8836 or sdowdy@ United Healthcare Medicare Solutions brandonchamber.com.
PRIME LOCATION WITH EXCELLENT ACCESS!
Ofﬁce suites start at $400 and are inclusive
1 Mont Free R h ent (call fo r det ails)
(electricity, water, wireless internet)
Tenants have 24/7 access as well as use of the meeting rooms (upon availability). Short term (6 mos) leases are available as well as longer terms (1-2 years). Perfect for home-based businesses who have outgrown their home ofﬁce or for larger companies who would like a presence in the Greater Brandon area without having to open a full ofﬁce!
PLEASE CALL 813-689-1221 FOR MORE INFORMATION. FOCUS MAGAZINE BRANDON JULY 2013
D & E » DINING PROFILE
CAFÉ AND CATERING COMPANY Profile by Amanda Deck
ast food restaurants aren’t usually known for serving up healthy meals to customers. However, Chick-N-Bones Café, located in the Brandon Centre South plaza off West Lumsden Road, is the exception—serving healthy, fresh food fast. In fact, their flamebroiled marinated chicken is recommended by experienced nutritionists at the nearby Weight Watchers facility and the seasoned trainers at the adjacent fitness center. Offering a plethora of fresh salads, soups, sandwiches, and wraps, Chick-N-Bones is a great place to grab a quick and healthy postworkout meal. However, the restaurant’s most popular dish is the “No Name,” yellow rice and black beans topped with a chopped boneless, skinless chicken breast and homemade parmesan peppercorn dressing. And interestingly enough, this delicious combination of flavors was a customer creation. “The story behind the No Name was that it was invented by a customer,” said Chick-NBones owner Don Boyer. “I had a guy come in from the gym about 12 years ago and asked if we could make something like that for him and we did…It’s now my number one seller. The moral of the story is it pays to listen to your customers.”
According to Boyer—who served 20 years in the Air Force before retiring in 1992 as a Master Sergeant—what’s made Chick-NBones Café so successful over the years is his team’s willingness to go above and beyond for customer satisfaction. Since taking over the restaurant full time in 1998, Boyer has continued to treat customers like family and take their suggestions seriously. “Truthfully, you can get a good meal anywhere,” said Boyer. “But the big difference is the way you treat your customers, how you serve them…We don’t just have customers, we have relationships with the people who come in here. I haven’t advertised since right after I changed the name to Chick-N-Bones [in January 2002]. The best advertisement method I have is word of mouth.” Like permanently adding the No Name to the Chick-N-Bones menu, another example of listening to customer demands was when Boyer created Taco Tuesday. By offering chicken or beef tacos on homemade soft or crispy shells, Chick-N-Bones slowest business day has now become its busiest. If you happen to miss out on Taco Tuesday, no need to worry. Chick-N-Bones Café serves up
The Fiesta Bowl at Chick-N-Bones Cafe--a tortilla bowl filled with chicken, rice, beans, lettuce, tomato, onions, sliced olives, jack and cheedar cheeses, salsa, and sour cream--shows off the establishment’s Latin influences. Photo by Amanda Deck
Latin-inspired dishes every day of the week, including Chicken Quesadillas, Fiesta Tortilla Wraps, and the massive Fiesta Bowl—a flavored tortilla bowl filled with chicken, rice, beans, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, sliced olives, jack and cheddar cheeses, salsa, and sour cream.
Chick-N-Bones will soon be facing some stiff competition when a Pollo Tropical franchise opens soon in Brandon. However, Boyer isn’t worried. He knows as long as he continues to provide excellent customer service, his business will remain successful.
Chick-N-Bones also serves Greek dishes such as gyros and the Greek salad.
“I’ve got people who eat here six days a week,” he said.”I can see them coming in from the parking lot and start making what I know they’re going to get. “
Although Chick-N-Bones’ busiest time during the day is lunch, the restaurant is also great for family dinners. Take home a whole chicken (8 pieces) flavored in Boyer’s signature South American spices for just $10.37. Add two large sides and bread and butter to your order for just about $10 more. Available side orders include yellow rice and black beans, mashed potatoes, green beans, macaroni and cheese, BBQ beans, potato salad, Cole slaw, side salad, soup, and French fries…and you can’t go wrong with the homemade tri-colored pasta salad. It’s a must!
Chick-N-Bones owner Don Boyer is committed to putting the customer first and providing them with fresh, healthy food fast. Photo by Amanda Deck
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Chick-N-Bones has also served 325 people at a time thanks to its thriving catering business. Boyer and his team have provided meals for luncheon meetings, sales presentations, office parties, holiday gatherings, and even formal weddings. And as long as your party is over 20 people, Chick-N-Bones will deliver as far as Dade City, Bradenton, and Lake Wales.
And it’s no lie, because when diners are finished with their meal—fully satisfied—and headed out the door, they wave to Boyer and say, “See you tomorrow!”
INFORMATION Chick-N-Bones Cafe and Catering Company 1953 W. Lumsden Rd. Brandon, Florida 33511 Phone: 813-689-9531 Fax: 813-653-9189 Hours: Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Closed Sunday
FOCUS MAGAZINE BRANDON JULY 2013
Westfield Brandon Blast
Stop by the Westfield Brandon Restaurant Courtyard between Cheesecake Factory and Bahama Breeze Island Grille to enjoy live music, family entertainment, dining, and a chance to win a $1,000 shopping spree. New to the event this year, which originated in 2003, are free interactive activities presented by area nonprofit organizations. A special Kids Zone will feature bounce houses and face painting for a nominal fee. To culminate the night, which is sponsored by WQYK 99.9, will be a fireworks show starting at 9 p.m. For complete details, visit facebook. com/westfieldbrandon.
Brandon Fourth of July Parade
THURSDAY, JULY 4 Sponsored by the Community Roundtable | 10 a.m. 101 E. Lumsden Rd., Brandon Join the Brandon community for the largest Independence Day parade in Florida. For over 50 years, the Community Roundtable has presented this spectacular event. Be a part of this annual tradition as a spectator, or better yet, a participant. For more information, contact the Community Roundtable at 813-661-4350 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Saladino Baseball Academy Heat Travel Baseball Tryouts Brandon Sports and Aquatic Center | 6:30 p.m. 405 Beverly Blvd., Brandon Tryout out your 8-12 year old for the Saladino Travel Baseball. Other tryout dates include Thursday, July 11; Monday, July 15; Thursday, July 18; and Monday, July 22. For more information on the Saladino Baseball Academy, please visit saladinobaseballacademy.com or mybsac.org.
Mad Science Enrichment Program Final Registration Day Aquatic Club at FishHawk Ranch 6930 Osprey Ridge Dr., Lithia Camp, suitable for children ages 5-12, includes five days of instruction on earth and space. Camp will take place August 5 through 9 from 1 to 4 p.m. each day. Cost is $125 for five days, $110 for four, $99 for three, and $75 for two. For more information, contact David Ciardiello at the Aquatic club at 813-655-6643.
Baseball/Softball Skills Drills Camp Presented by Element Church | 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. 5855 South 78th St., Tampa This skills camp features Coach O, who after 42 years will be conducting his final Youth Sports Clinic/Camp. Camp is for boys and girls ages 6-16 and is free. Includes lunch and camp t-shirt for first 200 registrants. Over 40 skills and drills stations. For questions, contact 813-620-3700. Register online at iamelement.org. Christmas in July Bazaar Grace United Methodist Church | 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. 5708 Lithia Pinecrest Rd., Lithia Nearly 50 vendors will be in attendance, selling everything from handmade gifts to home decor. Items for sale include jewelry, crosses, pet supplies, honey, homemade jelly, birdhouses, handmade soaps, and purses. This is a great opporunity to start your Christmas shopping early. For more information, contact Vickie Casso at 813-6816583 or email@example.com.
FOCUS MAGAZINE BRANDON JULY 2013
SHIRTS $ 67
Apollo BEAch ..............................Apollo Beach 220 Apollo Beach Blvd ...............................645-1499 BlooMINGDAlE ... Royal Oaks Shopping Center 3248 Lithia-Pinecrest Rd ........................... 654-8113 BlooMINGDAlE .... Just S. of Bloomingdale Ave. 3513 Bell Shoals Rd. .................................654-9292 BlooMINGDAlE ...........................Shoppes of Lithia 3425 Lithia Pinecrest Rd...............................643-0922 BRANDoN ............................ Lake Brandon Village 11393 Causeway Blvd. ..............................643-6944
FIShhAWK ........................................Fishhawk 16707 Fishhawk Blvd. .............................654-7991 VAlRIco ..................................... Valrico Commons 1999 E. Brandon Blvd. ...............................654-2324 VAlRIco ......................... Shoppes Brandon Farms 2511 E Brandon Blvd. ................................643-4825 RIVERVIEW...........................Summerfield Crossing 13196 US Hwy 301.....................................671-4156 RIVERVIEW........................................Goolsby Point 11697 N. BoyEttE RoAD........................672-1832
% 15 OFF ENTIRE ORDER Dry Cleaning
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25¢ WALK IN NEW HOURS
NOW CLOSED ON TUESDAYS. OPEN 6 DAYS A WEEK 10AM TO 9PM.
Bolt Bingo Friday and Saturday 9:30PM ‘til ??? $250 jackpot
(with min. # of players)
NEW!!! “VIP SUNDAYS” COME CHECK IT OUT!
SPECIALS THROUGHOUT THE DAY AND
3-$250 jackpots at 1:30pm, 5:30pm and 8:30pm
Smoking and Non Smoking Section
3 JackPots Daily
1846/1848 J. L. Redman Parkway | Located in the Strawberry Plaza
JULY 2013 thefocusmagazine.com
FOCUS MAGAZINE BRANDON JULY 2013