Your joints aren’t creaking, they’re asking you to schedule an appointment. Why live with pain or limited mobility if you don’t have to? Our extensively trained medical teams offer the latest advancements in minimally invasive orthopedic treatments while maintaining the highest standards of safety and patient care. More than 150 orthopedic specialists and physical therapists at BayCare handle everything from sports injuries and arthritis to joint problems and replacements. We also have total joint nurse navigators—specialists who guide patients through the entire process of joint replacement so they have a better recovery and experience. If you want to spend more time doing what you enjoyed doing 10 years ago, we can help. Make an appointment with an orthopedic specialist today. For more information, call 1-800-BayCare or visit BayCareJointRelief.org.
Tropical Wave Savings!
Contents Table of
WHAT’S IN A NAME?
BY CIERRA CRAFT You know their names- Collins, Wilder, Mays, Roux, Alsobrook, and Herring- but do you know what these six men contributed to our city’s development? From lumber production to medicine, take a trip through the history books to uncover six individuals who inspired the names for our city’s streets.
WHY PLANT CITY IS A FILMMAKER’S PARADISE
BY BARBARA ROUTEN The Sunshine State has a long film history and has served as the backdrop to many feature films. However, our own community has had its fair share of time in the limelight; meet actors, filmmakers and producers whom discuss why Plant City is the perfect location for filming on location.
BY ANGELA ARDREY
BY CIERRA CRAFT
This month, we shine a light on nine individuals whom are making a difference in our community day in and day out through selfless giving. From spearheading some of the largest fundraising events to going door-to-door delivering meals, these are a few of the people that make our city great.
Roots Tap Room and Wine Bar is now open for business and with it, opens the door to a new drinking culture and economic vitality in historic downtown. Meet owners Brandon Snyder & Jerilyn Rumbarger as they discuss planting their entrepreneurial roots on Evers Street.
ALL IT TAKES IS A HEART TO BECOME SOMEONE’S HERO
ROOTS: TAPPING INTO DOWNTOWN
FOCUS PLANT CITY
focusplantcity.com / Issue 18-09 / Sept.2019
FOCUS ON BUSINESS
Ten business owners sit down to discuss their humble beginnings and incredible growth as some of the most beloved companies in the city.
DINING: PELICAN'S SNOBALLS BY CIERRA CRAFT
Pelican's Snoballs is the first shaved ice company to set up shop in Plant City. Owned by Greg and Billie Jo Davis, the company's New Orleans Shaved Ice has Plant City's youngest citizens smiling from ear to ear.
COLUMNS DID YOU KNOW? Plant City-native Robert Milton Wilbur, Jr. was hailed a hero when he safely landed a hijacked plane at Bostonâ€™s Logan Airport in 1970.
LEADERS IN FAITH Lauren Feyes is a singer/songwriter and a keyboardist with City Pointe Church. Meet Feyes and discover how this young talent shares her faith through music.
MEET THE MAKER
Crystal Desilet is the owner of Cactus Moon, a floral design company specializing in succulents and cacti arrangements. Uncover how Desilet turns these plants into works of art.
Angela Ardrey Anthony Bolesta Barbara Routen Cheryl Johnston Sherrie Mueller Emily Topper
Candy Owens Heather Davis Gil Gott Natalie Sweet
The year was 1971. Richard Nixon was president and our televisions were dialed into All in the Family. But our little town was bustling with business and memories were made.
Got a story idea? Looking to advertise in Focus? Contact us for more information. Floyd Publications, Inc. 702 W. Dr. MLK Jr. Blvd.Plant City, FL 33563 Office 813.707.8783 Standards of accuracy: The goal of the writers at FOCUS Magazine is to provide heart-warming stories that are accurate from the start. Being human, however, we sometimes make mistakes. Please forgive us. So if you notice anything that is incorrect, then please do not hesitate to contact the editorial department and inform it about the fact error. To do so, call (813) 7078783 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The staff will fix the error in a timely manner. FOCUS Magazine is published monthly and is available through local Plant City businesses, restaurants and many local venues. Advertisers warrant and represent the descriptions of their products advertised are true in all respects. Focus Magazine assumes no responsibility for claims made by advertisers. All letters and their contents sent to Focus Magazine become the sole property of Floyd Publications, Inc and may be reproduced thereof. All views expressed in all articles are those of the authors and not necessarily those of Floyd Publications, Inc. Use or duplication of material used in this publication is prohibited without approved written consent from Floyd Publications, Inc.
From The Publisher
Last month, I shared that big changes were coming to the overall look and content within the publication and so many of you have shared your excitement that we are trying something new at FOCUS Magazine. This issue is the first of many to come with a renewed sense of Plant City news and what it means to be a source for our business community to highlight their products and services.
We hope to not only improve our print publication, but to bring about a new change on our social media platforms as well. If you have not visited focusplantcity.com, I invite you to do so and give us a follow PAGE
on Facebook and Instagram, for exclusive content not found within the magazine. Speaking of trying something new, on August 16, I was a cast member in Wrangle at Red Mountain Ranch, an annual production benefiting the Bruton Memorial Library. At first, I was a bit apprehensive- this was my first time acting in a play- but throughout the weeks of rehearsal and on show day, I had a lot of fun playing Travis and Frank Goodnight in this western mystery dinner. Thank you to everyone who came out to the Trinkle Center in support of the cast and most importantlyin support of our local library. I hope to see some of you participating in next yearâ€™s production.
Warmest Regards, Mike Floyd
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Duke’s Brewhouse opens 4th location in St. Cloud
CHECK IN WITH PLANTY CITY
Duke’s Brewhouse, a Plant City based restaurant best known for wings, sports and spirits, has opened its 4th location in St. Cloud, Florida, about 30 miles south of Orlando. Following the success of the Plant City location, the brand opened locations in Lakeland and Winter Haven. In early June, it was announced that Duke's Brewhouse would continue to expand throughout Central Florida, into Osceola County, occupying a space that once operated as an Outback Steakhouse.
Plant City Daybreak Rotary to host Cracker Country Feast Plant City Daybreak Rotary Club has announced their 8th Annual Cracker Country Feast will be held Oct. 25th at 6:30PM. The organization wants to invite everyone to a night full of fun, food, drinks and live entertainment. They will also be holding a silent auction plus raffling a gift card tree. The event benefits the United Food Bank and other local charities. Tickets are $75 per person and are limited. To purchase, contact George Banning at (863)660-8979 or Bruce Sherry at (813)754-3030.
SFBH & St. Joseph’s Calling All Actors
“Friends” Mystery Dinner Theater hosts successful fundraiser Presented on August 16, the Friends of the Bruton Memorial Library presented their annual Mystery Dinner Theater. The 2019 event, titled Wrangle at Red Mountain Ranch, raised $28,000 for the public library. Proceeds raised will fund Bruton Memorial Library’s expansion of services and facilities, summer programs, cultural and educational programs presented at the library.
South Florida Baptist Hospital & St. Joseph’s Faith Community Nursing Program will present a play titled “Holding On, Letting Go” on Jan. 10 and 11 at Plant City Entertainment. Volunteer actors are needed for the production; auditions will be held Sept. 30 and Oct. 2 at the Swindle Medical Arts Building at 1601 W. Timberlane Dr. from 7 to 10PM. Male and female actors are needed, ages 30s to 70s. For more information, contact Linda. Wilkerson@baycare.org or Lois Dunson at Lois.Dunson@baycare.org.
La Michoacana Ice Cream Welcomes All La Michoacana Ice Cream, located at 209 W Alexander Street, recently opened up its doors to the Plant City community, serving everything from Paletas de Sabor (ice cream bars of many flavors) to Aguas Frescas (Flavored Water). La Michoacana serve not only desserts, but they also provide a variety of spicy treats. They are welcoming of anyone that would like to try their “antojitos” (snacks).
Brick House Café Offers Decadent Desserts The Brick House Café is known for their burgers and breakfast, but the Brick House can treat your sweet tooth with confections by Mellisa’s Desserts. Mellisa Sarris’ desserts are made-fromscratch and customer favorites include Chocolate Coconut Cake, German Chocolate Cake, Pineapple Pie, and Blackberry Lemonade Pie. Her children are the inspiration behind her baking, while also being her harshest critics. Please contact the restaurant to check current availability.
Weekly Dance Classes Open to Youth Rollyson Awarded 2019 YMCA Strong Leader On August 22, Rhett Rollyson was presented the 2019 YMCA Strong Leader Award. Rollyson was recognized for his contributions to the community, which echo the Y’s mission. Rollyson is an insurance agent with Fearnow Insurance and serves on the Board of Directors for the Florida Strawberry Festival, SFBH Foundation and Plant City Little League. He is Chairman of the Raider Champions Foundation and serves as the Booster Club Chair at PCHS. His passion for tennis led Rollyson to a role as a volunteer assistant coach for the USF Men’s Tennis program. Congratulations to Rhett for this incredible honor.
Library Rolls Out New Hours Bruton Memorial Library has a new schedule for hours of operation. The public library is now open 10AM to 7PM Monday through Thursday, open 10AM to 6PM on Fridays, 10AM to 5PM on Saturday and closed on Sundays. Please call the library at 813-757-9215 with any questions.
Weekly Dance classes are held at the Planteen Recreation center at 301 Dort St. Dance lessons include Jazz & Hip Hop on Mondays and Tumbling, held on Tuesdays. The fee to join is $15 per class or $50 per month. These are classes held for kids ages 5- 12 years old, and if the kids are new to the class, it is advised to parents that they wear comfortable clothes.
Plant City Welcomes XFL On August 12, the City Commission voted unanimously in support of welcoming XFL Football League to Plant City. In an agreement between the City of Plant City and Alpha Entertainment, LLC, owners of XFL, portions of Plant City Stadium will be used for practices, training offices, media and other facilities. The league hopes to have the necessary renovations complete in November to begin December training. In a Facebook post on August 21, the City announced Plant City will be home to the Tampa Bay Vipers.
SFBH Offers New Speech Program for Parkinson’s Patients
Charley's Now Open for Business With more than 600 locations in the U.S., Charleys made its grand opening in Plant City, on Wednesday, Aug. 28. Charleys is well known for their cheesesteaks and wings, and what better way to welcome them than by a crowd ready to try their delicious food. Charleys is open Monday through Sunday from 10am to 10pm.
On Aug. 22, South Florida Baptist Hospital announced the Outpatient Rehabilitation Program will now offer “SPEAK OUT!®” and “The LOUD Crowd®” programs for Parkinson’s patients. SPEAK OUT! consists of 12 individual speech therapy sessions. The patient and speech-language pathologist complete speech, voice and cognitive exercises. The LOUD Crowd consists of free weekly group therapy sessions for patients who have completed SPEAK OUT! first. The LOUD Crowd provides camaraderie, support and encouragement for this patient population that is battling a progressive, degenerative condition. For more information about the program, contact Jennifer Ackett, speech therapist, at (813) 707-9362.
Hillsborough County Fair to present annual Harvest Awards The Hillsborough County Fair will present the Billy Simmons Family with the Farm Family of the Dennis Carlton, Jr. a seventh-generation cattleman and farmer will be honored as the 2019 Outstanding Young Farmer/Rancher/ Nurseryman. The Fair is presenting Pam Walden with the 2019 Woman in Agriculture Award. Finally, the Outstanding Public & Community Service Award is jointly awarded to Master Gardener Cindy Paulhus and the Seeds of Faith Community Garden. The award presentation is Oct. 17 at noon at the fairgrounds at the corner of Highway 60 and Sydney Washer Road. Deadline for reservation is Monday, Oct. 14.
Pelican’s SnoBalls Grand Opening On September 5, Pelican’s SnoBalls officially introduced Plant City to New Orleans Shaved Ice. With over 100 flavors, Pelican’s SnoBalls has something for the whole family. Owned and operated by the Davis family, Plant City Church of God’s Children’s Pastor Greg Davis is excited to offer loads of family fun with games, events and music on the patio. Pelican’s SnoBalls is located at 610 S. Collins Street. Read more in the enclosed Dining Profile.
Walden Lake Review BY NATALIE SWEET
alden Lake Community Association Board Meetings are held the third Monday of each month at 7:00 at the Walden Lake Community Association office building on Griffin Boulevard in Walden Lake. The next meetings are scheduled for September 16th and October 21st. The meetings are open to all Walden Lake HOA members. Please keep an eye on the announcement boards at all entrances for dates and times of special meetings and events. During the month of August, there were 20 sales in Walden Lake and one sale in Walden Lake East. The average sale price was $285,057 with an average of 36 days on the market. The August sales are as follows: Address / Sales Price / Living Area / Pool / Garage 2671 Eagle Greens Drive / $165,000 / 1260 Sq’ / Community / 2 Car 207 Valencia Court North / $180,000 / 1718 Sq’ / Community / 2 Car 1418 Sandalwood Drive / $192,500 / 1587 Sq’ / Community / 2 Car 3215 Concord Way / $215,500 / 2030 Sq’ / No / 2 Car 3348 Silvermoon Drive / $220,500 / 1809 Sq’ / No / 3 Car 4101 Thackery Way / $230,000 / 1805 Sq’ / No / 2 Car 3411 Silver Meadow Way / $244,900 / 1792 Sq’ / Private / 2 Car 1729 Brookstone Way / $254,900 / 1875 sq’ / Private / 2 Car 4017 Concord Way / $259,900 / 2034 Sq’ / Private / 2 Car 3322 Silvermoon Drive / $275,000 / 1809 Sq’ / Private / 2 Car 2701 Silver Meadow Drive / $290,000 / 2013 Sq’ / No / 3 Car 1901 Paddock Drive / $292,000 / 1948 Sq’ / Private / 2 Car 2913 Hampton Place Court / $335,000 / 3249 Sq’ / Private / 3 Car 2701 S Fairway Drive / $335,000 / 3376 Sq’ / Private / 2 Car 3057 Sutton Woods Drive / $340,000 / 2650 Sq’ / Private / 2 Car 3006 Barret Avenue / $350,000 / 2844 Sq’ / Private / 3 Car 3108 Thackery Way / $352,000 / 2600 Sq’ / No / 2 Car 2707 Barret Avenue / $355,000 / 2545 Sq’ / Private / 3 Car 2102 Country Club Court / $360,000 / 2766 Sq’ / No / 2 Car 4004 Asbury Court / $369,000 / 2945 Sq’ / Private / 3 Car 3311 Nohlcrest Place / $370,000 / 2754 Sq’ / Private / 2 Car
There are currently 19 active listings for sale in Walden Lake with an average list price of $337,592 and an average of 76 days on the market. Two of these homes are in Polo Place and listed for $839,900 and $999,999. If these 2 listings are eliminated, the average list price is $269,079. There are 14 properties Pending Contract with an average list price of $300,414 and average of 41 days on the market. Save the date! The Walden Lake HOA Board will be hosting the first Annual Fall Festival on Saturday, October 26th from 3 to 6. There will be 8 inflatables, lots of free carnival games, goody bags and pumpkin decorating, a photo booth with craft, face painting and more! This is an event you don’t want to miss! A meeting was held on September 5th with the golf course developer, Walden Lake LLC, the Walden Lake Enrichment Committee which consists of four of the Walden Lake HOA Board of Directors, along with three of the Representatives from the Walden lake Resident Advisory Council. Information from this meeting can be found on our HOA website, www.WaldenLake.org. Two additional closed meetings are planned for September 21st and October 5th. An open resident meeting is planned for November 7th at a time and location to be announced. The developer plans to submit plans to the City on November 21st. Feel free to contact me about any real estate questions or about this article. NSweet@KW.com or 813-758-9586. PAGE
BACK TO WHERE IT ALL BEGAN. 4908 JAMES L. REDMAN PARKWAY, PLANT CITY, FL
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CHECK OUT OUR WEBSITE AND OUR NEW BLOG.
The Crossing Church Plant City Campus Opening September 15 Sundays at 10:30am 507 S Wheeler St, Plant City, FL (In the MadZone building)
Lead Pastors Greg & Tamara Dumas
For updates or more info text the word: LAUNCH to: (844) 584-7155
Campus Pastors Michael & Julie Pippin
"NO POSTAGE NECESSARY" WRITER AND DIRECTOR JEREMY CULVER OF PLANT CITY AND COSTUME DESIGNER KERRY HENNESSY OF LOS ANGELES WATCH THE ACTION ON SCREEN IN VIDEO VILLAGE, SET UP ON THE CORNER OF REYNOLDS AND COLLINS STREETS. PHOTO TAKEN BY DEANNA HURLEY. PHOTO COURTESY OF JENNIFER CLOSSHEY.
WHY PLANT CITY IS A
Filmmaker’s Paradise By Barbara Routen
uccessful actor, director and film-producer Peter D’Alessio moved to Plant City in August to further his movie-making career. “Now that I have all these skills and experience, this incredible resume— I’m so lucky! —I want to do what I do in the place I want most to live, my hometown,” he said. “With streaming content, a cell phone and a laptop, you can create film anywhere.” He started acting 30 years ago with Plant City Community Theater (now Plant City Entertainment). In the 1990s, he left his hometown of Plant City for Chicago, where, on only his second audition, he landed a full-time acting role on the television series “The Untouchables.” Although not a principal player, he worked on the show four days a week for two and a half years, enjoying the job and a good salary. On a trip home in 1994, he booked a commercial and earned his Screen Actors Guild (SAG) card, now SAG-AFTRA (American Federation of Television and Radio Artists). He moved to Los Angeles, where he acted and worked in casting and production with Mandalay Pictures, worked as a talent manager and knocked out some independent short films. “I returned home to Plant City after 9/11 to be close to family, because that shook me up a little bit,” he said. After producing some theater in Plant City and Tampa, he headed back to California. “Around 2005, I was having a rough time in L.A.,” said D’Alessio. “I hit a wall. Financially I was struggling, emotionally I was making very bad choices, my body was not where it needed to be—I was so tired all the time. A peer of mine who lived briefly in Plant City showed up with a U-Haul truck to take me to Utah. I said, ‘There’s no way in h--- I’m moving to Utah!’” Nevertheless, he went. He found a group of independent, like-minded artists who just wanted to create content. Between 2005 and 2019, D’Alessio made about 20
PLANT CITY MANAGER BILL MCDANIEL'S WEEKLY VIDEOS HIGHLIGHT PEOPLE AND PLACES AROUND TOWN. PHOTO COURTESY OF FRYED EGG PRODUCTIONS.
independent films, some television content and commercials. He worked on a few big projects, like HBO’s “Mosaic” and a National Lampoon movie. He also launched his award-winning series, “Proper Manors,” a soap opera loosely based on Plant City (with season one now available on Amazon). He discovered he didn’t have to be in Los Angeles to be successful. Now that D’Alessio is back in Plant City, he plans to finish work on his existing shows and then focus on short-run, streaming series for online portals. Then he’ll hand the projects to others, giving them the opportunity to hone their craft by adding to his productions. He is available for acting roles and to produce, manage productions or mentor others making short or independent films. Plant City native Yvonne Fry, of Fryed Egg Productions, agrees with D’Alessio’s belief that there’s no place like Plant City for filmmaking. Her production company does mostly commercial work, helping clients in a broader geographic area than only Plant City achieve their goals of educating, informing and activating their audiences. They evaluate clients, making sure there is an alignment of principles. “Our clients’ stories need to be things we’re proud of and excited about,” said Fry. “I’m not a good poker player. If I’m not passionate about a project, it shows. I want jobs that get me fired up!” The focus of much of Fry’s work is to help build up the Plant City community, showcasing “the great things to come and those already here that make this such an amazing place to live, work and play,” she said. One of Fry’s earliest videos, “Quality of Life,” was created for an economic-development summit partnership among the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce, City of Plant City and Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation. This view of schools, healthcare, transportation, recreation and housing opportunities was Fry’s first holistic look at the area and ignited her desire to tell the story of the community’s treasures and vision for the future. For instance, since January, Fryed Egg Productions has created weekly videos starring City Manager Bill McDaniel, featuring the city’s people, places and agencies and their impact on making Plant City “the beautiful, functional, friendly, wonderful place it is,” said Fry. “This builds community, understanding and pride, and it’s truly an honor to be part of that storytelling.” Fryed Egg Productions’ fully functioning studio makes movie magic happen, whether against a green screen or on location, regardless if it’s a small creative project or a full-scale feature film.
THE FRYED EGG PRODUCTIONS' FULLY FUNCTIONING STUDIO CAN BRING ANY PROJECT TO LIFE. THE PRODUCTION COMPANY ALSO HAS THE ABILITY TO SHOOT ON LOCATION, PRODUCING COMMERCIALS, VIDEOS, OR FILMS. PHOTO COURTESY OF FRYED EGG PRODUCTIONS.
“Whatever a project needs, we have the capacity to do it,” said Fry. “The community is always receptive, helpful and excited to work with us. We can’t be successful without that.” Community residents Jerry and Marti Lofstrom own the Whistle Stop Gourmet Coffee & Eatery in Plant City. They have opened their restaurant to four movie crews whose scouts chose their business as the right backdrop for their stories. The Lofstroms have always had a good experience. “The scout goes over what he wants, the dates, the number of people. I go over the menu,” Jerry Lofstrom said. “The first thing we ask the scout is what are you going to do, what are you going to say, how will you represent our community to your audience, what is your fee. We’re very careful about the image of Whistle Stop and Plant City. If it has anything to do with any discoloring of Whistle Stop or Plant City or the people who live here, we will not be part of it.” When the negotiations are done, they sign the contract. Lofstrom said that after the scouts recommend Whistle Stop, the director and cinematographers come to check the lighting and discuss scene placements. The day of the shoot, the streets are closed to accommodate the semi-trucks full of equipment. The main actors and extras come in and the director explains the scene. They go over their lines, then shoot—maybe the same thing 20 or 30 times. The director films everything, then it is edited down to the best of all the takes. Everything in their restaurant is restored to the way it was before the production crew leaves. Hollywood celebrities, like Pro Football Hall of Famer and former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly, and other high-profile figures, like current U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, have been filmed at Whistle Stop. And when folks see these people and watch the scenes, “they tell us how
they love to see us on TV,” said Lofstrom, “because Plant City is almost like a family, where everybody enjoys the recognition and compliments, because it’s not just about Whistle Stop. It’s about Plant City.” “Everybody that comes is enamored with Plant City, particularly downtown,” he said. “It’s got that sense of small-town warmth, and everybody’s happy with their choice to come here. Some actors said it reminds them of their hometowns, of the places they used to go to. There’s a lot of reminiscing when they’re here.” Indeed, “While agriculture and rural fields are a draw, it's really the 'main street USA' look that sets Plant City apart,” said Tyler Martinolich, film commissioner of Film Tampa Bay (the Tampa Hillsborough Film and Digital Media Commission, a nonprofit, publicprivate partnership division of Visit Tampa Bay). “Hillsborough County is one of only six counties in Florida to offer film incentives,” said Martinolich. “In our case, we offer a 10-percent rebate for productions filming within the county. We have been very successful in marketing this program.” In addition, Hillsborough has many diverse locations within easy driving distance of a major city and international airport, allowing productions to maximize their filming schedule and streamline logistics. These are the main reasons why Plant City is featured in several commercials or films each year. And those shoots are good not only for the community’s image but also for its economy. “Film productions bring millions into the county each year,” Martinolich said. “Film productions are like having a small circus come to town. They need everything from places to stay, catering, equipment rentals, to dry cleaning. There really isn't an industry or business that doesn't have the potential to be touched by a production.” PAGE
TYLER MARTINOLICH, FILM COMMISSIONER OF FILM TAMPA BAY.
FILM STARS GEORGE BLAGDEN OF LONDON, CHARLEENE CLOSSHEY OF PLANT CITY, AND ROBBIE KAY OF LOS ANGELES ENJOY DOWNTOWN PLANT CITY BETWEEN TAKES. PHOTO TAKEN BY DEANNA HURLEY. PHOTO COURTESY OF JENNIFER CLOSSHEY.
He said, for example, that a feature shot in Plant City “a few years back spent almost $20,000 over the course of shooting at the local McDonald’s. Business can be impacted negatively if filming disrupts normal hours, which can happen, but the vast majority of productions will work with any business affected, often providing monetary compensation for any inconvenience.” Some will shoot on Sundays, so local commerce and traffic are not disturbed when local law enforcement officers close streets used during the filming. Although most productions made in and around Plant City are commercials, two feature films, “Crawl” and “No Postage Necessary,” have shot here in the last few years. “No Postage Necessary,” starring Plant City actor Charleene Closshey, was filmed entirely in Hillsborough County, mostly in Plant City. It was produced by Two Roads Picture Co., a local collaboration among Closshey, Jeremy Culver and Jennifer Closshey. They engaged about 300 local extras and brought about $400,000 into the community, and this full-length, locally produced movie made cinematographic history by being the first film ever released using blockchain technology. Two Roads Picture Co. also produced “An Evergreen Christmas,” which involved about 40 Plant City residents and transported them to North Carolina to work as cast extras or crew. “Although Plant City is our base, we recognize that every film’s story line determines where the film needs to be set,” said Jennifer Closshey. “Shooting is only a small part of filmmaking. We split our time away from Plant City between Nashville, Los Angeles and New York as well as other specific locations for each film.” Closshey said that the film industry has recently changed and continues evolve rapidly. No longer are filmmakers limited to Hollywood or even California. Like business in general, the business of making films is worldwide. “Plant City is just as good as anywhere to be involved with film and better than most,” she said. “Plant City offers a vibrant community with authentic people and colorful site options. Plant City is a great place to live and still have the world at our fingertips. Technology supports every step along the way. My favorite recent video was simultaneously shot in Bulgaria and Nashville, all the while monitored and directed from Plant City. Technology serves us well!” Closshey also serves as a board member for the Heartland Film Festival in Indianapolis, the most attended film festival in the United States and one to which thousands of filmmakers apply each year. She said, “I encourage those interested in film to pursue their dreams. Plant City filmmakers could be accepted as easily as someone from Hollywood. Successful filmmaking is simply about the art of storytelling. Find your story and make it happen. The technology is here to support making your passion come to life.
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... I want to show that you don’t have to go to a health food store or a Whole Foods, in order to eat sustainably or healthy-that eating well can be accessible to anyone.
People of Plant City
Mara Latorre By Cierra Craft
ara Latorre is an Urban Planner with the City of Plant City and the blogger behind The Funky Spork. Through The Funky Spork, Latorre promotes the consumption of locally grown food, primarily through sharing recipes and social media content aimed at featuring Tampa Bay leaders in sustainable food systems. Her website thefunkyspork.com features recipes and loads of helpful resources for rebooting your diet. What is The Funky Spork? The Funky Spork is a platform geared towards the celebration of delicious & healthy gastronomy, and the promotion of local food systems. The efforts behind The Funky Spork are carried out through
the production of social media content, recipe development, and interviews featuring the various players involved within our local food systems process. I also facilitate community-based cooking classes, and demos. Can you explain sustainable food systems and what that means for hungry people in Plant City? Food Systems is a broad definition which examines the overarching structures, entities, and mechanisms involved with growing, producing, distributing, and regulating the food that we eat, and waste. Sustainable Food systems still examines and factors all of the listed nuances, but also considers how these parties and processes impact and enhance a community’s environmental, economic, public health, and social well-being.
What kind of social change are you hoping The Funky Spork makes in our community? The majority of recipes that I develop and create on my platform are either plant-based, or utilize local, seasonal, or organic ingredients (or-all of the above!). Most of all, I want to show that you don’t have to go to a health food store or a Whole Foods, in order to eat sustainably or healthy-that eating well can be accessible to anyone. If my recipes, classes, or interviews can inspire others within our community, then I feel like I am doing something right. What is your favorite dish to make? Basically, any savory dish that can either fit into one pot, or in a skillet. My favorite dishes to make almost always involve some sort of pasta and/or Southeast Asian ingredient. What is your favorite Plant City eatery and why? The Corner Store, for sure. Not only is the food delicious, but Cynthia and I have very similar values when it comes to food. I love how the majority of their food is either organic, or locally sourced. Plus, the vibe of the Corner Store is killer! I always enjoy introducing The Corner Store to my out-of-town friends, family, and colleagues.
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All it Takes is a Heart to Become Someone’s Hero Be a Volunteer Story by Angela Ardrey Photo by Deanna Hurley Photography
verybody can be great. Because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” – Martin Luther King, Jr. Volunteers come from all walks of life. And yes, a person’s past, be it good, bad, or ugly, can set in motion a powerful heart to serve – a heart to make this world a better place one kind act at a time. It starts with a simple decision – a decision to become part of something greater than oneself. Down deep, each person wants to feel he has contributed and added value to another’s life. Moreover, he wants to hold a sense of purpose and meaning for his own life. Serving the needs of others does just that. Volunteering allows a person to become someone’s hero. All it takes is a caring heart. This community’s greatness comes from the extraordinary acts of ordinary citizens. Introducing some of Plant City’s big hearts - from left to right: Michelle Valdes, Michael Cameron, Sharon Moody, Marsha Passmore, Susan Hardin, James Surrency, Gail Lyons, Henry Falcon, and Alfonso Watson (not pictured).
James Surrency “It takes little effort to make somebody’s day.”
ough exterior, contagious laugh, no-bull attitude, . . . tender heart . . . – all the attributes of James Surrency. As a man of pure grit and determination, Surrency never allowed his childhood to define him. In fact, he turned the bad into fuel for a positive future. He is now a community hero. Starting out as a 16-year-old junior fireman with the Dover/Turkey Creek Fire Department, Surrency got his first taste of respect in his fireman’s uniform. From there, his confidence began to grow, allowing him to become internally stronger with the years. How strong? Let’s just say, everyone counts on him now, including Cyd Deathe, founder and director of Marine Families and Krewe of Semper Fi. “When he heard our organization’s Krewe was being charged for float towing during the Gasparilla parade, James stepped up and volunteered to tow every parade for free, saving us lots of money,” she stated. “If James says he’s doing it, then by God he’s doing it.” Surrency knows the importance of being a part of something bigger than himself, from serving Plant City’s Rotary Club and being a Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) Honorary Deputy to working with Marine Corp charities including Wounded Warrior. Surrency sees all sides of people. “James is always putting the needs of others above himself,” stated Colonel Kyle Robinson, HCSO. “It takes little effort to make somebody’s day.” – a motto Surrency lives his life by.
Michelle Valdes “You can make a difference one person at a time.”
ountains do not rise without earthquakes. Michelle Valdes is one who has endured her share of life’s earthquakes, hitting bottom after her mother’s death in 2005. It was then, she allowed a counselor to speak into her life, asking him how she could make a difference. He replied, “One person at a time, Michelle.” By 2009, she was making a difference through random acts of kindness. “I didn’t have to know you. I just did it because it felt good helping people,” stated Valdes. Her mission to give back birthed Operation Paying it Forward in 2018. Along with the contributions of others, Valdes now has the ability to make a difference on a grander scale. “Operation Pay it Forward is my passion,” she stated. “We seek to help those who are going through a rough time or to show appreciation for people risking their lives for our safety every day.” Over the past year, the organization has gifted vehicles, shoes, school supplies, and much more. And why the shaved head? Through her organization, Valdes works closely with pediatric cancer patients. On January 24, 2019, she shaved her head to raise money for these children. “And I promised them I would continue to shave my head as long as I had them under my wing and they were still going through cancer treatment,” she further explained. Valdes is now a mighty mountain in the community with her service. “Sometimes, all someone needs is a little help,” she concluded.
Sharon Moody “My passion is the kids.”
ou cannot do it just because somebody else is doing it. You have to do it because you want to do it,” emphasized Plant City native Sharon Moody. “People ask me all the time why I do all this. It’s because I care.” Her volunteering started as a Pink Lady for the South Florida Baptist Hospital gift shop. But that was just the beginning. Moody looks for the needs within her community and then takes action. With her love for the community, especially the children, she became actively involved with local organizations which led to her founding the Plant City Black Heritage program in 2003. Through this program, Moody created the Lots of Hugs Summer Reading Camp for at-risk kids. “We have 100+ kids each year. And we feed them meals – breakfast, lunch, and a snack,” she stated. With a heart for the kids, Moody does all the cooking, with last year being 13,000 meals for the 10-week program. “My mom used to love to cook. And that’s where I get my cooking from, from her.” Moody’s commitment to the needs of Plant City does not go unnoticed. In 2016, she received Citizen of the Year. And here is a little secret, she has been volunteering with the Plant City Christmas Parade since 1999. That is 20 years of dedication. Moody truly holds a passion for the kids, but she also holds a passion for the community.
Gail Lyons “It takes commitment, but commitment keeps me motivated.”
alancing a demanding career with volunteering takes talent. Busy schedules, big responsibilities, and personal needs; where does one find time to rest? Many of Plant City’s volunteers find themselves in this position, including local bank manager Gail Lyons. “I rarely have idle time,” she explained. “I give 150 percent to each organization I am involved with. Whichever one I am doing, I am committed to it.” Lyons takes her roles seriously. In 2010, she became the first woman to achieve the role of Exalted Ruler of the Plant City Elks, paving the way for future women in the organization. “The competitiveness in me makes me want to succeed,” she declared. Recently finishing the director’s role for the Bruton Memorial Friends of the Library Mystery Dinner Theater event, Lyons is already involved with the upcoming Florida Strawberry Festival Queen’s Scholarship Pageant. And soon, she will be preparing for the Florida Strawberry Festival’s Grand Parade, under Berry Fine Productions. “My house becomes festival central around this time,” she laughed. What keeps Lyons motivated? – commitment. What gives her breath and hope and keeps her passions alive? – this phrase. “You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world and there’s still going to be someone who hates peaches.” – Dita Von Teese PAGE
Henry Falcon “If we all would give back just a little bit.”
Lakeland man with a big heart sees Plant City as a special place. Opening his grocery store in 1992, Henry Falcon has been serving the community for 27 years. “I might sleep in Lakeland, but Plant City is my community. I’m a blessed person,” he stated. Falcon is originally from Cuba, arriving in America at the age of 13. “My dad was always grateful this country opened its arms to us. He always taught me there were opportunities, and that we could do better for ourselves.” When asked how he applies these principles to his life now, Falcon replied, “I want to show people that they can do better for themselves, too.” With a love for the community, Falcon serves many organizations with his time and through his store, from Unity in the Community and Meals on Wheels to his 30-year service with the Lions Club. In regards to his volunteering, Falcon said, “I do it not to be rewarded. I do it because it is my responsibility. It’s my duty. The biggest reward I receive is seeing people do better for themselves.” Falcon runs a weekly route for Meals on Wheels. “I enjoy it. I try to spend time with each of them when I deliver their meals,” he explained. “Our program has great volunteers.” “I thank God every day that I have a community like this,” stated Falcon. “It’s a very caring community.”
Michael Cameron “Take pride in your community, and make it a better place.”
nown for his charismatic smile and personality, one would never believe Michael Cameron used to be shy. What changed him? He possesses a servant’s heart. “I enjoy serving people. I enjoy serving our community,” he explained. Cameron’s desire to serve, be it behind the scenes or leading an organization or even leading the community, allowed him to overcome his shyness. Volunteering was instilled in Cameron as a young boy. Watching his parents give back to others, he learned the value of helping people. “My mother served on the Hillsborough County Library Board for most of her adult life. I followed in her footsteps in serving the community.” Cameron proclaims to be a “behind-the-scenes person,” always looking for an opportunity to support an organization. But his continual service to the community has made Cameron a leader people want to follow. “I believe it is our duty to teach others and to train them to become leaders.” Cameron’s heart for service has led to many notable accomplishments and positions in the community, from receiving Plant City’s Outstanding Citizen of the Year in 2014 to becoming Chairman of the Board for the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce in 2015. Cameron continues to volunteer at local events such as Pig Jam, as well as lead multiple organizations such as Toastmasters. “Take pride in your community, and make it a better place. And that means helping people,” concluded Cameron.
Marsha Passmore “Having a servant’s heart is the right thing to do.”
dedicated community leader at every level, Marsha Passmore credits volunteering to part of her success. From her early days fresh out of high school, serving the Business and Professional Women’s Club, she started her volunteer journey by helping promote equity for women in the workplace. Fast forward to 1992, Passmore’s devotion to the community led to her esteemed position of City Commissioner for six consecutive years. Fast forward once more to 2011, Passmore’s continued service and love for the people led to her receiving Plant City’s Citizen of the Year. Today, Passmore still dedicates her time and service to multiple civic organizations, including the United Food Bank. When asked about her service, she stated, “Volunteering in my own hometown is an honor and privilege that I have always taken seriously. I look forward to the challenges that lie ahead!” Passmore lives her life according to her strong faith in God, her love for her family, and her commitment to the community. “Every day for me is perfect. There are just some days that are more perfect than others. And at the end of every day, I just want to have this peace about me, that it was all worth the time,” she explained.
“Watch what a man tells you, then watch what he does.”
ust beginning his journey as a volunteer with the South Florida Baptist Hospital (SFBH), Alfonso Watson takes pride in transporting people by tram from their vehicles to the hospital entrance doors and vice versa. Knowing his passengers are present on the hospital grounds for a certain reason, be it good or bad, he is there to offer a smile, a kind word, and above all a listening ear. Have you ever met a person who touched your life with such simple acts as these? Have you ever met a person who cared more about the life next to him than his own? Watson is this person. He exemplifies the heart of a volunteer. When asked why he chose to serve at SFBH, Watson replied, “This is a nice place. The nurses took good care of my mother-in-law here. They took good care of us all here.” “The volunteers are loyal. They’re excited about what they do. And they take good care of the patients by just talking to them,” later explained Eugena Gale, SFBH Volunteer Coordinator. Watson lives his life according to his father’s principle – “Watch what a man tells you, then watch what he does.” Watson’s actions truly speak louder than his words.
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Susan Hardin “Volunteering gives me a purpose. It gives me a goal.”
ntering her fifth year as a volunteer with the Bruton Memorial Library, Susan Hardin knew this was the perfect place for her to give back to the community. Books won her heart a long time ago, so much so that she took numerous library science graduate courses at the University of South Florida. “I’ve always loved libraries,” stated Hardin. Upon retirement from 38 years of teaching, with 24 years as a 5th grade math and science teacher at Walden Lake Elementary, Hardin turned her focus to serving the needs of a single organization. “I knew I could do more good in one place,” Hardin explained. And with that, she turned her passion for books into a volunteer career. When asked about her work, Hardin replied, “My main job is assisting in technical services which I love . . . that’s where I refurbish and help process books, DVD’s, etc. It’s been fun working on a wide variety of things . . . wherever there’s a need . . . from crafts to laminating materials.” Hardin also serves as a board member with the Friends of the Bruton Memorial Library and assist with its electronic newsletter. “It’s good to have a purpose every day. It focuses you,” concluded Hardin.
Why be a Volunteer? To all the volunteers in our community, many thanks for your help.
It's not for money, it's not for fame, It's not for any personal gain. It's just for love of fellowman, It's just to send a helping hand. It's just to give a tithe of self, That's something you can't buy with wealth. It's not medals won with pride, It's for that feeling deep inside. It's that reward down in your heart, It's that feeling that you’ve been a part Of helping others far and near That makes you be a Volunteer! ~ Author Unknown
Did You Know?
Dymphana, nicknamed Dimple, made the move to Plant City about 1920. She liked Florida and soon her older sister Vaviel followed. They found jobs. (Dymphana married Moring Peal By Gil Gott, Plant City Photo Archives & History Center Clark about 1920 and Vaviel later married n a relatively calm St. Patrick’s Day, Lewellen Prosser in 1928). The sisters invited their March 17, 1970, Captain Robert M. Wilbur young brother, Robert Milton Wilbur, Sr., to come to was piloting the Eastern Air Lines Plant City, which he did, and he attended Plant City Flight 1320 from Newark to Boston. A High School, graduating with the class of 1926. passenger became unruly, broke into the cockpit Robert Wilbur, Sr., played the violin at PCHS and demanded the pilot turn eastward toward the along with Quintilla Geer, and pianist Elsie Greene, Atlantic. Suddenly, he began shooting, striking whose father Henry F. Greene was manager at the co-pilot and the pilot. The co-pilot fought the Coronet Phosphate Company. In 1927 Robert back, and shot the assailant before slipping into Wilbur, Sr., received an appointment to the U.S. unconsciousness, and Captain Wilbur, with bullets Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland. He and into both arms, brought the DC-9 smoothly into Elsie remained in contact and in 1931, following Logan Airport before being taken to the hospital. his graduation at the Academy, they were married. He was a hero in headlines across the nation and the Wilbur moved back to Plant City and served in the world. Navy Reserve. He later entered the U.S. Army and Who was he? Born in Plant City March 30, 1934, as a 2nd Lt. was assigned to the 116th Field Infantry Robert Milton Wilbur, Jr., grew up in the Coronet working with Milton Hull in Plant City. Village section of Plant City, the son of Robert By this time Bob Wilbur, Sr., was a mechanical Milton Wilbur, Sr., an engineer at Coronet mines, engineer at the Coronet plant. When World War II and who later became General Manager. Young Bob began, Wilbur refused his discharge and remained in left Plant City to attend Riverside Military Academy the Army, serving in Persia (today’s Iran), and other in Gainesville, Georgia, and following graduation in areas. He was assigned to the Field Artillery, 31st 1952, attended the University of Florida. Chemical Brigade, and rose to the rank of Colonel. Bob Wilbur entered the Aviation Cadet School While overseas, Elsie and their children (Robert, Jr., at Enid, Oklahoma, and earned his “wings” in 1955, and Charlotte) moved to Lakeland, moving back to entering the regular Air Force as a 2nd Lt. Following Plant City when Bob, Sr., returned in 1945. training at Bainbridge Air Force Base, Georgia, Bob Bob Wilbur, Sr., and Elsie Wilbur were known flew C-119s and C-130s with the 61st Troop Carrier as a dashing sophisticated couple in the Coronet Squadron, Stewart AFB, Smyrna, Tennessee. From community and throughout Plant City. Bob was a 1956 until 1959 Wilbur, as a 1st Lt. and aircraft Board member at Hillsboro Bank; Elsie was known commander, flew troop carriers in Europe and for her exquisite piano melodies and Gershwin between Lebanon and Germany. tunes. He retired in 1975 to their Plant City home After his discharge, Wilbur returned to Plant on Woodside Road. Elsie died in 1979 and Robert City for a short period before accepting a position Wilbur, Sr., in 1987. as pilot and pilot engineer with Eastern Air Lines, The hijacking incident was newsworthy the then the most prominent commercial carrier in the world over, but Bob Wilbur, Jr., talked little about US. He was stationed in New York, living in Flushing, it. The co-pilot that day on Eastern Flight 1320 was NY. He married Anita DeCicco, an Eastern Air Lines Jim Hartley, who Bob said was the real hero. The stewardess, in 1965 and they moved to Fairlawn, assailant did not stand out at first. In those days New Jersey. Wilbur had just become Captain shortly passengers boarded the plane and paid while in before the horrible hijacking incident on the Newark flight. Passenger John DiVivo refused to pay but to Boston run. demanded to see the Captain. He entered the cockpit The Wilbur family home was in Missouri, and shouted, “take me east.” Captain Wilbur, who where James Harvey Wilbur and Ella Madeline had begun his approach to Boston’s Logan Airport, Russell Wilbur raised their children, A daughter, stated they did not have enough fuel and DiVivo
The Story Behind Robert Milton Wilbur, Jr., The Hijacked Eastern Air Lines Pilot
Anita and Robert Wilbur, Jr.
started shooting, hitting both Hartley and Wilbur. Hartley was able to fight back, wresting the .38 from DiVivo and shooting him. Both lay unconscious in the cockpit. Wilbur prepared for landing when suddenly DiVivo regained consciousness and started at the Captain; Wilbur grabbed the gun and struck the assailant on the head, putting him down again. He radioed the tower that the co-pilot was shot, and they needed an immediate landing and medical attention. He made a steep approach and landed on the runway smoothly, taxiing to a stop where the police and medics were waiting. Wilbur, Hartley, and DiVivo were rushed to the hospital, however Hartley died before he could receive medical attention. Bob Wilbur, Jr., spent weeks in the hospital and recovered fully. He was greeted as a hero by Eastern Air Lines, government officials, and the public. He retired from Eastern Air Lines after 30 years of service and flew for Saudi Arabian Airlines for four years before retiring fully in 1994. Bob and Anita live in West Palm Beach, Florida. Sources: Quintilla Geer Bruton and David E. Bailey, Plant City; Its Origin and History; Wallace W. Prophet, Coronet; A Personal Reminiscence; ancestry.com; newspapers.com; Plant City Photo Archives & History Center collections. Captain Jamie Verner and Photo Archives intern Mitchell Thoeni assisted in this article.
Want to become a member of the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce? Businesses may join the Chamber online by visiting www.plantcity.org or by calling the office at (813) 754- 3707 and speaking with Membership Director, Norm Nelson.
On Tuesday, August 6th The Plant City Chamber of Commerce had the honor of hosting a ribbon cutting for downtown Plant City's newest boutique and Chamber member - Tennessee Jane Boutique! Hanna Sampson, as a stay at home mom, began Tennessee Jane Boutique as an online only business, in 2016 with a $500 investment. A year later, she opened a brick-and-mortar location in south Lakeland. The company rapidly grew and Sampson knew it was time to look for more space. The boutique carries fun and trendy clothing, at an affordable price, for women of all ages! Tennessee Jane Boutique 120 N. Collins Street, Plant City, FL Open Tuesday-Friday, 10am-6pm & Saturday, 10am-3pm
On Wednesday, August 28th, The Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting for the brand new Charleys Philly Steaks during their Grand Opening celebration! Charley’s Philly Steak - the #1 Cheesesteak in the World - is made with only premium ingredients, like 100% USDA choice steak, 100% all-white meat chicken, all-natural cheeses, and hand-cut vegetables—always grilled-freshto-order. Charleys is also known for gourmet fries smothered in deliciousness and refreshing natural lemonades. Charleys is now open so be sure to stop by and give this new business a grand Plant City welcome! Charley’s Philly Steak 2616 James L Redman Parkway Plant City, FL PAGE
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Roots TAPPING INTO DOWNTOWN
Plant City's First Tap Room and Wine Bar Written By Cierra Craft
Roots Tap Room & Wine Bar 101 S. Evers Street Plant City, FL 33563 813-756-5400 firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday- Thursday 3:00PM -10:00PM Friday & Saturday 1:00PM- 12:00AM Sunday 1:00PM to 10:00PM PAGE
randon Snyder and Jerilyn Rumbarger are believers. Believers in drinking good beer. Believers in the premise that drinks are best enjoyed when surrounded by friends. But most importantly, Snyder and Rumbarger are believers in Plant City, and the pair know residents are ready for change. Not only a change in drinking culture, but a revitalizing transformation of Plant City’s downtown district. On August 30, Snyder and Rumbarger opened Roots, Plant City’s first and only tap room and wine bar. The small, yet stylish bar is located at 101 S. Evers Street. Roots offers a beer and wine list unlike any other, as each item was hand selected by Synder and Rumbarger. After several tastings, the couple put together a unique menu that offers something for everyone. The menu includes four wines on draft, seven rotating craft beers, and a 20 bottle wine list. Meet Snyder and Rumbarger, as they discuss their journey into entrepreneurship and the establishment of Roots, and the tap room and wine bar serving as the catalyst of change in Plant City. They’re joined by Chris George of Southern Shores Wood Design, who helped in achieving the bar’s design aesthetic. Why did you two want to open a tap room and wine bar in Plant City? Brandon: I started drawing stuff up ten years ago, with a similar look to Roots: Dim lighting and lots of wood decor. We know the average age in Plant City is 35 years old and we wanted to create a place where people can go for a good beer or glass of wine without driving to Tampa or Lakeland. I like standing behind the bar and talking to people and seeing people come into our place happy. What was the inspiration for the name Roots? Brandon: For me, it was getting back to my roots- I have worked in the restaurant and bar industry and I am from Plant City, so these are my roots. We wanted to also create a place that collaborates with Norma’s, Tennessee Jane Boutique and Fringe Boutique and establishes a relationship between businesses. Jerilyn: Everyone can benefit from the economic revitalization we are trying to bring to downtown. Plus, Brandon’s brother, Adam cuts trees so we thought tree roots was a cool connection.
Chris George (right) of South Shore Wood Design was asked by Snyder (left) to create all of the wooden design elements. George created Root’s centerpiece, a live edge bar, as well as the wood wall paneling and deep brown shelving behind the bar.
What type of crowd are you hoping to attract with Roots? Jerilyn: We are not offering full meals, we do have charcuterie and small bites, so we think we are probably going to be a place to enjoy a glass of wine or a beer before or after dinner. Where people can enjoy good conversation and a good time- that applies to anyone. The booths were made with lift-top benches where we will store board games, so people can have fun. We just wanted to have a place with great drinks and a good atmosphere and we will never turn anyone away. Where did you draw inspiration for the bar’s aesthetic? Brandon: My family is from Tennessee, and Jerilyn and I spend a lot of time in Georgia rafting and such, and when we are there, we find a place to have drinks. Each place has its own vibe and Plant City didn’t have anything like the places we visit. We wanted to be the first to set the bar. We want to say to other businesses, ‘come here and open a business, let’s do this,’ and create something cool for Plant City. Chris George from Southern Shore Wood Designs designed every piece of wood in here except the baseboards.
Chris: I created furniture for Brandon for his residence, and we have the same design flavor and style. He let me come in and I am an artist, as well. I came inside and I could see the vision with woodwork and it looks elegant. All together, I probably put one hundred hours of time into the wood pieces at Roots. How did you choose your beer and wine offerings? Jerilyn: We have always been beer and wine people, so we connected with distributors and had several tastings to find wines we liked and wines we thought Plant City would like and at a price point we thought was best. We are offering four wines on draft- which is something new to Plant City- as well as 7 rotating craft beers and a 20 bottle wine list. We also have Bud Light on draft for Adam, because he wouldn’t visit Roots without Bud Light, so we have a custom deer antler tap handle for that. Brandon: Ten years ago, my friends Jeff Reynolds and Kevin Huston and I started the Three Buffalo Beer Club and now, Three Buffalo, LLC is opening Roots. Kevin was here to open Roots with me. PAGE
When people come into Roots, you’ll find three Buffalo decor pieces to represent the Three Buffalo. So our craft beer selection reflects beer from that time in my life. We have a running list of requests from people and we are working with our distributors to get those in. What kind of impact are you hoping Roots makes? Jerilyn: We want Plant City and Roots to be a destination. So many people pass by Plant City in their daily commute. We want to breath youth to Plant City and end the stigma that businesses can’t thrive in downtown. Brandon: We want to see business in downtown and people have asked us ‘are you scared of competition?’ We want other businesses because to us, it isn’t competition, it’s partnership. We are seeing support from not only the people we know, but people we don’t know; it’s not just us wanting a revitalization in downtown, but others want this, too. What do you say to those who have never had craft beers? Jerilyn: There is a process to building a palette for beer. We would start with a Pilsner, then try a Lager, then an American IPA. There are steps to prepare the palette for different types of malts and hops, and we are here to help people experience new beers. We also have draft wine, where you can order a glass or a carafe of wine, which equals about three and a half glasses of wine for $18. It’s great for a date night or a Girls’ Night Out. What are you favorite menu items? Brandon: Southern Tier 2x IPA Jerilyn: Squealing Pig Sauvignon Blanc. I’m a huge Sauvignon Blanc fanatic. In the summer, I like to drink a nice, crisp white wine and then in the winter, I like to switch over to a malbec.
Plant City EDC, President
Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce, President
“Roots represents a new day for downtown Plant City and a true testament to what can happen when our community engages to promote fair policies. Main Street and the City Commission took an important step in leveling the playing field for current and future downtown businesses."
“We are excited that they’re here, a high-end establishment like Roots, is very welcomed, and on a personal level, I am excited to see a beginning to more great things to come. There is no better person than Brandon Snyder to kick off a new atmosphere to downtown...”
Nick Thurston Plant City Main Street, President
“For Main Street, we shifted focus to economic development, so seeing any business- Roots, Tennessee Jane Boutique or any new businessI think, is a really good sign we are attracting businesses that are creating destinations. Businesses like Roots are helping attract people to downtown and Main Street is happy to support them.” PAGE
The Lakes and The Oaks at Countrywood have stunning new homes for sale! If golfing lakeside peaks your interest, the 55+ Community of The Lakes is for you! Interested in a family-friendly community? The Oaks is an All-Age Community with plenty of amenities to keep your family active and entertained.
STARTING IN THE $90s
Two, Three & Four Bedrooms Available
TAKE A PERSONAL TOUR OF A NEW HOME
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Community Features 9 Holes of Golf Pet-Friendly Clubhouses & Pools RV Storage Playground-The Oaks
Call Today to Schedule a Tour! (813) 703-2666
CountryWood Estates, 745 Arbor Estates Way, Plant City, FL 33565 Must meet residency requirements. Specifications, options, and layout vary by model and are subject to change without notice. Additional restrictions may apply, see sales associate for details. PAGE
BUSINESS Brown's Jewelers Centerstate Bank Cork United Methodist Church Duke's Brewhouse Gaffney Eye Clinic Jarrett-Scott Ford South Florida Baptist Hospital Strawberry Hut El Mirasol Keel and Curley WInery
BROWN’S JEWELERS Fine Quality Jewelry Since 1986
Since 1986, Brown’s Jewelers has taken great pride in offering friendly and affordable service for all your jewelry needs. It’s a name you can trust for quality in fine jewelry, watches, and expert repairs in eastern Hillsborough County. Plant City native Russell Brown started working with jewelry at age 15 when his dad learned the business from his brother-in-law, who was a gold wholesaler. “Rusty,” as he’s called, grew up working at Sunny Acres Farm “handing peppers off the truck to be graded.” He worked as farm labor for the summer and fall vegetable crops with his father, who sharecropped with Mac Griffin at the time. Rusty’s next jobs were with Carr Brothers, as a Holiday Inn busboy, and then in commercial construction. “On weekends, Dad and I sold items at flea markets and over time I learned to do repairs and grade diamonds. We were searching for an existing storefront in Tampa when Dad discovered this one in Plant City.” He added, “I’m so glad he did. We’ve built our family-owned and operated business through loyal locals and their referrals. The kind people in Plant City and surrounding communities are friendly and happy.” Rusty assumed responsibility for operations in January of 1995. Brown's Jewelers specializes in fine jewelry, custom designs, and affordable repairs. The showcases display wedding, engagement and class rings, charms, necklaces, bracelets and watches. The team provides affordable repairs, free inspections and free cleaning of your various jewelry items. FINE JEWELRY A spectacular collection of fine jewelry is available for the special person in your life, or to purchase for yourself. The showcases are stocked with many options and designer names in various styles and types. Items include: • Gold and silver • Diamonds • Gem stones • Wedding, engagement and class rings • Necklaces, bracelets and charms CUSTOM DESIGNS PAGE
WATCHES Brown’s also carries a large selection of brand name and high end designer watches in styles to suit every taste. Additionally, they can replace batteries or perform expert repairs on the ones you already own or have already purchased here. Since watches tend to require maintenance over time, the experts at Brown’s stand ready to serve you. Known for his ability to custom design many different items to customers’ exact specifications, Rusty shared, “You tell us what you want and we can make it. And we can even provide our input if you want a second opinion.” JEWELRY REPAIR - WEAR THEM AGAIN The staff is happy to look at your fine pieces that need repair – whether they’re vintage hand-me-downs passed on to you by someone special, or simply too valuable to let sit and collect dust. Beautiful jewelry should be worn! Because he takes pride in his restoration, repair, and creative design work, Rusty Brown uses a laser welder with pinpoint accuracy for the solders. If you need something sized, fixed or otherwise altered, Brown’s offers this service at competitive prices. It really does pay to shop local. BRING YOUR FAVORITES to BROWN’S Fine jewelry is considered an investment due to the monetary price tag. Often these pieces hold sentimental value as well, which is why the staff handles them with such care. “I thoroughly enjoy helping to preserve the sentimental values that jewelry can hold for customers,” Rusty offered. “We can repair or update with a customer design if that’s what they prefer. It’s the creative side of what we do.”
SATISFIED CUSTOMERS Rusty Brown and his three customer service assistants enjoy their work in the community they love. “People here are great,” he explained. “You can really tell a difference between those here or in larger cities.” Testimonials tell the company’s story, too. Longtime customer Celustine Chase is one of those great Plant City people. She shared, “I’ve been a satisfied Brown’s Jewelers customer almost since the store opened. All the employees are so courteous and willing to help with repairs and special orders. Rusty handles our watch battery replacements and chain solders quickly. He’s always willing to do that if you want your pieces right back. I appreciate the fair prices, the layaway plan, and even the ability to sell a piece of jewelry I no longer need. Rusty is a jack-of-all trades in the jewelry business who can be trusted to treat folks with respect.” VISIT BROWN’S JEWELERS SOON “Come by for an up-close look at the beautiful collections we have in store,” Rusty invited. “Browse for yourself or a loved one with help from our jewelers.” It’s wise to shop early, too. With the year-end holidays approaching, now is the time to beat the rush for best selections or special orders. A layaway plan is available if necessary. That perfect gift is already waiting for your visit.
1705 Jim Redman Pkwy, Suite G | Plant City, FL 33563-6900 | 813-754-2360 plantcityjewelers.com | email@example.com PAGE
CENTERSTATE BANK Center State Bank began in Winter Haven, Florida in the year 2000. A group of bankers banded together to bring like-minded individuals who believed in local banking, family, and work life balance. They started to grow and acquire other banks with similar values and culture. The acquisition of other banks with similar characteristics is one of the attributes that has led to CenterState Bank’s growth. Yaneli Diaz, Branch Manager of both Plant City locations said she enjoys working at CenterState Bank because of values the banking institution was founded on. “I enjoy working for CenterState Bank because of the values that were established many years ago; it’s about being local market driven, long term horizon, world class service, relationship banking and my favorite, FAITH & FAMILY which are very much alive today,” said Diaz.
Anita Silverstein, Market Manager for Hillsborough; Yaneli Diaz, Branch Manager for Plant City locations; and Angel Gonzalez, Community President for Hillsborough, make up the CenterState Bank- Plant City leadership.
CenterState’s Growth throughout Central Florida With the acquisitions of Platinum Bank and Sunshine State Bank behind the company, CenterState continues to grow with clients. “One of the major benefits is that through these acquisitions, our now clients have more locations and associates to assist with their finances,” said Diaz. “One of the main focuses for every associate in our Plant City offices is striving to provide local community banking.” Consumer Banking CenterState Bank has a selection of accounts that clients may choose from based on their financial needs. Clients can select which account best fits their financial situation with assistance from their experienced local banker. The Community Hero program is something unique offered at CenterState Bank in which CenterState Bank gives back to first responders and those that serve our community through discounts on borrowing along other features. Commercial and Business Banking CenterState understands that not every business is the same. Business banking services are as diverse as the types of businesses CenterState serves. “Business and commercial clients are able to have their banking relationships customized with us locally to help them operate their businesses more efficiently,” said Diaz. “Being a local market driven bank, our leadership team PAGE
Plant City CenterState Bank’s James L. Redman Parkway location
Plant City’s CenterState Bank’s Baker Street location
allows for us to make local sound business decisions to assist our clients in their future growth and expansion based on their unique needs.” Lending In Plant City, CenterState has two convenient locations and Diaz is fortunate to be able to oversee both. When it comes to lending on the consumer or personal side, CenterState has a total of five local lenders including Diaz, to assist with all types of lending. These loan types range from lot loans, RV loans, manufactured homes, home loans or lines of credit, car loans and Diaz oversees business loans as well.
The Community Hero program is something unique offered at CenterState Bank in which CenterState Bank gives back to first responders and those that serve our community through discounts on borrowing along other features.
“We pretty much cover it all,” said Diaz. “ In a time where everything is mostly electronic and a computer makes the majority of the decisions, it is refreshing to have local lenders who are diligently handling your applications and request. We have real people, handling your individual request and we will do our best to assist you in your financial journey.” At the Downtown Plant City Office, CenterState has two commercial lenders that assist in commercial lending and business lending. They have a combined 40-plus years of experience and will guide you in the best direction. Community Involvement: Both teams in the Plant City offices enjoy community activities and involvement. CenterState is fully ingrained in the community and the people that serve, work and live within it. “We encourage you to stop in and see our community boards located at our front doors to see what is happening in the community,” said Diaz.
102 W. Baker Street | Plant City, FL 33563 | Office 813-659-8049 | Fax 813-719-3703 1804 James L Redman | Plant City, FL 33563 | Office 813-759-2265 | Fax 813-659-9134 | NMLS# 1764209 PAGE
CORK UNITED METHODIST CHURCH Celebrating 100 Years of Faithfulness
Cork United Methodist Church welcomes everyone to its Centennial Anniversary Celebration on September 22, 2019. Former Pastor William A. Fisackerly will preach that morning at 10:30 a.m. and lunch will follow in the fellowship hall. The current pastor, Rev. George Hatmaker, began serving in that role in 2015, after retiring from a United Methodist Church in Virginia. After his relocation to Florida, he explained to UMC leadership his willingness to serve in Florida wherever there was a need. Following a long line of 44 previous pastors, he’s pleased to lead the congregation that has such a rich history. “This is a great location for a church,” he explained, “and I believe the congregation has really left a footprint in the community. These are people who love the Lord and love serving others.” When members of the Methodist denomination decided to establish a new church in the area once known as Cork Academy, the Moyse Land Company donated a beautiful lot filled with pine trees. The two charter member families of Young and Stafford took the trees to a sawmill where planks were made so members could build the first Cork Methodist church. The Rev. R. F. Hodnett of the Plant City Methodist Church preached the first sermon on April 21, 1918. The church was organized temporarily with the families of Young, Mahon, Parker, Black, Dean, White, Stafford, Cain and Davis. The following year the church was placed on the Kathleen Circuit with Rev. I. M. Belt as pastor. Three other churches in Knights Station, Kathleen, and Galloway were also members of that circuit. Records indicate Cork Methodist was permanently organized on January 12, 1919 and dedicated by the Rev. W. J. Neage of the Brandon Circuit on the fifth Sunday of November that same year. In 1957 a new church building was erected but was destroyed by lightning in 1982 (except for the stained glass windows). In 1968 when the United Brethren and Methodist organizations combined, Cork added the word United to its name. The rebuilt church remains today, along with a new multipurpose room built in 1998. Although no original charter members are alive today, church history documents encourage the present attendees with these words: “Our church has a long and rich history of meeting the needs of its members and the community. We have experienced many joys, trials, and even moments PAGE
Cork United Methodist Church members gather each Sunday and Wednesday to worship together.
... even though from old times to new times, we change with the times, one goal will always remain: To share the truths of the Bible and the gospel of Jesus Christ.” of short term despair, but God has blessed his people that remained faithful to Him and each other, which is evidenced by their presence in the church today. We are one of family, friends and neighbors, proud to be known for our good neighbor, small county church approach, where people are friendly and welcoming to all who enter our doors. In a world turbulent with changes, we remain as constant as our Lord has been from the beginning of time. And with His continued blessing, may we ever be.” Today the church serves three to four times monthly with the Friends in the Park effort to feed dinners to the homeless. They also assist in meeting needs at Cork, Knights and Trapnell elementary schools, as well as the Pregnancy Care Center. Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts meet at the church and on occasion, the Cork UMC distributes food at its Sam Allen Road location. Members have also contributed to the Hymnals for Cuba outreach. All in all, members consider themselves as “one big family.” Margie Sisco directs the Children’s Church and Sunday School programs, a mission dear to the heart of members. When Rev. Hatmaker hired Youth Ministries leader Jennifer Kramer nineteen months ago, he asked about her future goals. Her desire was to become an ordained pastor, to which Hatmaker helped guide that process. Now Kramer’s dream is becoming a reality. “Times have changed over the years for our church,” shared Lila Harris Pelham-Watkins, a longtime member. “But even though from old times to new times, we change with the times, one goal will always remain: To share the truths of the Bible and the gospel of Jesus Christ.” Her sister, Jo Sink, added, “This church has always been a part of my life. Like so many others here, it’s my home church and it’s a Bible-preaching church. I honestly don’t think you’ll find any friendlier people who love welcoming and encouraging newcomers.”
Photo portrays the congregation of Cork Methodist Church (later Cork United Methodist Church) in 1938-39.
Rev. Hatmaker and his loving congregation invite the community to enjoy a great message by Rev. Fisackerly and a memorable lunch on the 22nd of September. “We hope anyone who has ever attended will join us,” he said, “along with anyone who has never attended. There’s room at the table here for all.”
4815 Sam Allen Road | Plant City, FL 33565 | (813) 704-4873 | www.corkumcfl.org Service Times: Sundays - Sunday School at 9AM | Sundays - Blended Worship (Classic & Contemporary) at 10:30AM Wednesdays – “Nurture Night” Dinner at 5:30PM with Bible Study at 6:15PM PAGE
DUKE’S BREWHOUSE Not your typical wing joint!
Duke’s Brewhouse was founded in 2014 in Plant City. The first few years were a growing experience for Duke’s. The company spent a considerable amount of time reaching out to the community and building relationships. Those relationships consisted of working with the Plant City Chamber of Commerce, Plant City High School, Strawberry Crest High School, Moffitt, The Angel Tree Foundation, Plant City Little League organizations and many other amazing programs. Working with all of these programs wasn’t enough though, the Duke’s team then realized that empowering the staff to continue to grow as people would reflect on the loyalty they showed the business and guests who had become like family. As the years have past and Duke’s Brewhouse Plant City became a go-to place and home to so many, Duke’s leadership watched the staff and community grow with them and felt they really had something special. In September 2017, Duke’s decided to move on to their second location in Lakeland, Florida. This time they wanted to go bigger with the location and build an indoor-outdoor bar, an open kitchen and a 1,500 square foot patio. No expense was spared rehabbing this old Rib Crib location on South Florida Avenue. A new location meant a new opportunity to employ people, build more relationships and give another city an opportunity to have a place of their own that was different from what they were used to. In 2018, Duke’s saw an opportunity to move into the Winter Haven area where the team fell in love with the city and location, opening a 3rd location. Duke’s again went for the gusto with an awesome patio, an indoor- outdoor bar and three 110 inch TV walls mixed in with their normal 40+ HDTVs. Duke’s just recently finished up the 2nd Annual Music Showcase, which started last year to bring attention to local live music and all the wonderful artists that Duke’s has a pleasure of working with at all of their locations, where live music is provided regularly to patrons. The event was a huge success and brought not only new artists to perform, who never had performed before in front of a crowd, but also veteran local and upcoming musicians. The winner Casey Stidham, a local Plant City based musician took home the $1,000 grand prize. “This event is an opportunity to get together and support the artists and venue that still believes in the craft of Live Music” said host Lanny PAGE
Ziegal, frequent performer for Duke’s Brewhouse. The newest step for the Duke’s brand has landed the restaurant in St. Cloud, Florida, where the brand just launched store number four. Duke’s St. Cloud has 2 bars, an 1,800 square foot patio and even more TV’s! Duke’s recently launched an all new menu with some of the already famous items the restaurant is known for, as well as, some new amazing ones that you will want to try. The Duke’s team and the community can’t wait to see what the future holds for Duke’s Brewhouse… Not your typical wing joint!
206 S Evers St, Plant City, FL 33563 | (813) 752-8546 | brickhousecafepc.com Mon- Closed | Tues- Thurs, Sat: 6AM to 3PM | Fri 6AM to 8PM | Sun 7AM to 2PM PAGE
GAFFNEY EYE CLINIC “Where Your Vision is Our Mission”
Did you know the eyes are your body's most highly developed sensory organs? In fact, a far larger part of your brain is committed to vision than to hearing, taste, touch, or smell combined. People tend to take eyesight for granted; yet when vision problems develop, most will do everything in their power to restore their eyesight back to normal. Eyes are the sincerest part of the face, also known as the gateway to a person’s soul. Therefore, your eyes serve you in many ways, from giving you the ability to see the world around you to revealing a glimpse of your inner truth. When Tampa native Dr. Barry Gaffney graduated from the University of Alabama School of Optometry, he brought his devotion for visual and ocular health to the community of Plant City. Founding the Gaffney Eye Clinic in 1978, his practice has outgrown two prior locations off Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, and is now located at 2002 South Alexander Street. With over four decades of service, Dr. Gaffney is caring for the third generation of many Plant City families, providing quality vision care to youngsters as he did to their parents and grandparents. And with such a growing practice, Dr. Gaffney’s two sons, Jeremy and Daniel, have joined his side. Dr. Jeremy Gaffney joined the practice in June 2011, bringing the latest in eye care practices to the clinic. In October 2011, he started the Dry Eye Center of Central Florida at Gaffney Eye Clinic to help bring awareness to, as well as treat dry eye disease. Dr. Daniel Gaffney arrived in October 2015, after serving a year's residency and focusing on glaucoma treatments at the Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center. He specializes in medical and comprehensive optometry. When asked about his practice philosophy, Dr. Barry Gaffney stated, “I care about my patients. I want to provide the best vision health possible.” And with many staff members serving over 20 years with the Gaffney Eye Clinic, it is easy to see Dr. Barry Gaffney cares about his team as well. Trust your eyes to Plant City’s most dedicated team of doctors and staff at the Gaffney Eye Clinic. Your vision is truly their mission. PAGE
The Gaffney Eye Clinic has five exam rooms plus areas for screenings and diagnostic testing. Keeping up-to-date on the latest technology, Gaffney Eye Clinic provides the following services: • The Fundus Camera – A camera used to photo document the retina. We use this to monitor changes in the retina associated with diabetes, AgeRelated Macular Degeneration (AMD), glaucoma and many other retinal conditions and diseases. • Tear Lab – A unique test that allows us to measure tear osmolarity, or inflammation, helping us to better diagnose the cause of your dry eye disease. • Macular Risk Genetic Test – This genetic test allows us to determine your risk of progression from Dry AMD to Wet AMD (the visually devastating type of AMD). A simple swab of the inside of your cheek provides us with enough DNA to determine your risk of progression. • iVue OCT – This device scans the retina, optic nerve and cornea with 5 microns of resolution. This machine allows us to better diagnose glaucoma, AMD, diabetic macular edema, corneal anomalies and anterior segment angle anomalies. • Konan Specular Microscope – This machine provides us with data and views of the corneal endothelial layer to help better diagnose and manage dystrophies of this layer of the cornea. • Z-View Aberrometer – Utilizing a proprietary, non-Hartmann-Shack technology, the Z-View Aberrometer quickly and accurately measures 2nd - 6th order aberrations of the eye based on 17,000 points of resolution across a 7mm pupil. In approximately one minute, the Z-View arrives at a customized prescription. • Humphrey Visual Field – A machine used to measure your peripheral vision, as well as your central and superior visual fields. Used mainly as a tool in the diagnosis and management of glaucoma, this device can help in the diagnosis and management of many retinal, optic nerve and neurological conditions. • Essilor Visioffice – This device provides us with the technology to give you the most precisely fit pair of glasses. By tracking your eye's natural position and eye movements, this device provides the most accurate fit possible. • Topographer – This device measures the curvature of the cornea.
From left to right, Dr. Daniel G. Gaffney, O.D., Dr. Barry M. Gaffney, O.D. P.A., Dr. Jeremy H. Gaffney, O.D.
The Gaffney Eye Clinic provides full-service eye care including the following clinical services: • Comprehensive Eye Health and Vision Evaluation • Contact Lens Evaluation and Fitting • Emergency and Urgent Eye Care • Cataract, Cornea, and External Disease Management • Diabetic Examinations • Dry Eye Management in the Dry Eye Center of Florida • Red Eye Examinations • Glaucoma Management • Macular Degeneration and Retinal Examinations • LASIK Evaluations • Pediatric Eye Examinations • Adult and Geriatric Examinations • Keratoconus Management
2002 South Alexander Street | Plant City, FL 33563 | (813) 754-3593 | drbgaffney.com | Facebook @GaffneyEyeClinic Business Hours: Monday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. | Tuesday 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. | Wednesday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. | Thursday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. | Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Saturday and Sunday PAGE
JARRETT-SCOTT FORD Jarrett-Scott Ford is a full service Ford dealership, offering an outstanding selection of new and pre-owned inventory. From the latest Ford trucks, cars, SUVs, Crossovers and Hybrids, the Jarrett-Scott Ford team makes the car buying process simple and enjoyable. Jarrett-Scott Ford offers a state-of-the-art Quick Lane® Tire & Auto Center with competitive service prices and maintaining top tier customer service. From maintenance to repair and replacement, the factory-trained technicians are ready to serve customers needs. Florida’s Oldest Ford Dealership The dealership was founded in 1912 as Fletcher Ford; it is the oldest Ford dealership in the state of Florida. The dealership was purchased in 1995 by the Jarretts and Jim Scott was made partner in 2004. Since, Jarrett-Scott Ford has continued to serve Central Florida with the same small town values of honesty, fairness and commitment, from the sales floor to the Quick Lane® Tire & Auto Center and Body Shop. “We are proud of our heritage,” said Scott. “We are also proud to support so many endeavors in the community.” Jarrett-Scott Ford is a supporter of various civic organizations and groups including: YMCA, Rotary, Kiwanis, Lions, South Florida Baptist Hospital Foundation, United Food Bank, Chamber of Commerce, Plant City Photo Archives, Robert W. Willaford Railroad Museum, FFA, Little League Sports, Relay for Life, MADD, Fraternal Order of Police, Elks, Boys and Girls Club, as well as several local schools. Down the Road With a century’s old history built on providing the best in customer service, what’s in the future of Jarrett-Scott Ford? The most anticipated vehicle of the year, the 2020 Ford Bronco, has Plant City drivers eagerly awaiting its release. Scott says the dealership already compiled a list of folks interested in purchasing and expects the vehicles will hit the Jarrett-Scott Ford lot by late 2020. Ford has released little details about the return of the Bronco, leaving automotive enthusiasts discussing possibilities of the Bronco’s off-road capabilities, features and style. The automaker has shared this about the 2020 Bronco: “This new generation Bronco boasts the latest in smart technology and a bold new look while remaining true to its rugged roots.” PAGE
Jim Scott shows off the dealership’s charging station for electric vehicles (EV). By 2022, Ford has plans to manufacture several electric and electric hybrid models. Jarrett- Scott Ford is prepared to charge the EV inventory when it comes on the lot.
In the short term future, the Ford has set its sights on electric vehicles (EV) according to Scott. The dealership installed two charging stations on site for future EV inventory. “Ford tells us by 2022, there will be 16 fully electric models and 40 electrifiedwhich is electric hybrid- vehicles,” said Scott. In the long term, Ford Motor Company is looking down the road to Autonomous Vehicles (AV), or driverless cars. These vehicles use technology to sense the environment and move safely with little human input. Where do dealerships like Jarrett-Scott Ford fit in? “Florida is at the forefront of testing AVs on our roads,” said Scott, noting the development of a testing track in neighboring Lakeland. Dedication to Continuous Performance Jarrett-Scott Ford’s team of highly qualified technicians are ready to service your vehicle. From oil changes to transmission service, the Jarrett-Scott Quick Lane® Tire & Auto Center provides all the services your car or truck needs most. The dealership can take care of any make or model, using quality parts from trusted brands like Motorcraft® and name-brand tires from Goodyear, Continental Tire, Michelin and more. Common services include oil changes, belts and hoses, battery checks, cooling system, and brakes. Looking for a body shop to repair your vehicle? Jarrett-Scott Ford’s specially trained Body Shop Professionals have all the parts, tools and expertise to repair your vehicle's damage. The Body Shop offers free estimates on all makes and models, bumper reconditioning and more. The shop offers Customer Shuttle for easy pick-up and drop off. “A lot of people are surprised to hear that we have a Body Shop on the property,” said Scott. “We rebuilt the Body Shop three years ago and those guys can work on all makes and models- not just Fords.” What People Are Saying Customers at Jarrett-Scott Ford rave about the exceptional customer service they receive when shopping for a new car or receiving service. Gerri Collins said: “... The service department gave me impeccable service, service that I have never experienced at another dealership before… I was taken well care of by Robert Dills in the service department and was so overwhelmed by how much he had helped me that I gave him a huge huge thank you before I headed back home to St. Petersburg. Jennifer Davis also recommended the dealership on Facebook: “We just bought our second truck from this dealership and wouldn’t go anywhere else. Great service and zero pressure! Go see Mike Sessa to buy your next vehicle.” When Jarrett-Scott Ford completed its 2018 renovation, the dealership held a new ribbon cutting to celebrate.
Jarrett-Scott Ford is committed to providing superior service in all departments, from sales to finance to Quick Lane® Tire & Auto Center and Body Shop. Car buyers are encouraged to view the dealerships inventory online at jarrettscottford.com or visit Jarrett-Scott Ford for a test drive.
2000 E Baker Street | Plant City, FL 33563 | Sales: 877-751-9729 | Service: 877-597-2603 | Parts: 844-338-9718 | www.jarrettscottford.com M-F: 8:30AM to 7PM | Sat: 8:30AM to 5PM | Sun: Closed PAGE
SOUTH FLORIDA BAPTIST HOSPITAL Everyday, we make choices, like choosing which shirt to wear or what to eat for lunch. But when choosing a hospital for life’s unexpected turns, South Florida Baptist Hospital is Plant City’s choice. SFBH is here for the community through all stages of life, from maternity to pediatric emergencies to heart health and more. SFBH provides all of the high-tech services of an acute care hospital, but in a small, warm and friendly environment designed for personal attention and compassionate care. Plant City resident Jodi Stevens knows better than most what it means to have the support of SFBH. Stevens is the hospital’s Manager of Medical Staff Services, but she has relied on the expertise of those highly-trained physicians, nurses, and support staff during some of the most important moments in her life. In 2011, Stevens gave birth to her son in the Labor and Delivery Department, noting that the nurses and physicians were comforting and informative, as a first-time mom. She was given a tour of the department before her due date, so she knew exactly what to expect and the staff answered any questions she had about labor, delivery, offered advice about breastfeeding and daily care for her newborn. When asked why she chose SFBH for her labor and delivery experience, Stevens said there was no question her son would be born at SFBH. “For me, there is no other option,” said Stevens. “This is my hospital.” When Jodi returned in 2014 for the birth of her daughter, she was met by one of the same nurses who assisted her three years prior. “She said, ‘you’re back,” and I said ‘you’re here!’” said an excited Stevens. “I can’t say enough, everyone up there was great. I knew I would be taken care of.” In 2018, The Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) and the Florida Department of Health (DOH) announced SFBH as one of 20 Florida hospitals in 2017 that achieved the Healthy People 2020 Maternal and Child Health goal focused on reducing cesarean section deliveries for firsttime mothers with low-risk pregnancies. PAGE
SFBH welcomes expectant mothers each week to four two-hour Childbirth Class. The class covers a variety of topics, such as: Prenatal Nutrition Breathing techniques to Hospital Stay Postpartum Newborn Care SFBH was there for Jodi Stevens during two of the most beautiful moments in her life. SFBH was also there for Stevens during one of the most trying times in her life. In December 2015, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. All steps of Stevens’ cancer journey were taken at SFBH, including receiving a double mastectomy and port placement. The Physical Therapy department’s Lymphedema Specialist helped her get a sleeve to combat lymphedema from occurring. She endured six rounds of chemotherapy in the hospital’s Cancer Center, received 30 rounds of radiation at Heysek and Kepes Radiation Oncology, made use of the hospital’s Cancer Resource Center, and received a PET scan by the hospital’s mobile unit. Stevens continues to take a stand against breast cancer by serving as team captain when SFBH participates in “Making Strides of Polk” on Oct. 12 at Lake Mirror in Lakeland. Anyone can join the BayCare team by going to MakingStridesWalk.org/BayCare and join the BayCare SFBH Team Pink. Although she hasn’t needed to use them yet, Stevens knows that there are many other first-rate services at SFBH available: Jim and Ruby Jean Redman Emergency Center is one of the largest and most technologically advanced emergency centers in eastern Hillsborough County,
Chief Medical Officer Stephen Butler, M.D., sits at the console of one of South Florida Baptist Hospital’s two daVinci® surgical robots that enables surgeons to perform even the most complex and delicate procedures with unmatched precision through very small incisions. The hospital offers many types of robotic-assisted surgery.
seeing more than 72,000 patients annually. Most importantly, it is connected to a full-service hospital and intensive care unit (ICU) for patients needing critical care or surgery. The 17-bed ICU – the Charles and Betty Grimes Critical Care Center – opened in 2016 with state-of-the-art equipment. The Pete Beaty Surgical Center, renovated in 2016, added 6,300 sq. ft. to the surgical center, including two more surgical suites, bringing the number of operating rooms to seven. Another recent addition is a second cardiac catheterization lab in the Steve and Krista Howard Heart and Vascular Center, allowing the hospital to treat ST elevated myocardial infarction (STEMI), as well as perform cardiac catheterizations and interventional cardiac procedures. The hospital continues to accumulate accreditations and accolades: • American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines® Target Stroke Honor Roll Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award • Pathway to Excellence designation by the American Nurses Credentialing Center • Comprehensive Center under the Metabolic Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program SFBH is one of 16 BayCare hospitals. As such, it is included in the following BayCare awards: • 2019 FORTUNE “100 Best Companies to Work For®” • FORTUNE and Great Place to Work’s 2019 Best Workplaces in Health Care and Biopharma • Tampa Bay Times Tampa Bay’s Top Workplaces 2019 • IBM Watson Health (formerly Truven) has ranked BayCare in the 86th percentile nationally. Out of 110 large hospital systems that IBM Watson studied for this year’s report, BayCare was the only one in Florida to make the top 20%. Stevens gave birth to both of her children in SFBH’s maternity department. In 2014, her daughter Jena was born and Stevens says the nurses and doctors couldn’t have been better during her delivery.
Stevens can attest to the fact that SFBH is a great place to work. She began volunteering there as a high school student, and began her career there. “We’re like family,” she said. During her cancer journey, many team members made dinner for her and supported her. “We all support each other.”
301 N Alexander Street | Plant City, FL 33563 | (813) 757-1200 Open: 24 Hours PAGE
STRAWBERRY HUT Strawberry Hut’s Iconic Menu Now in Lakeland
Where in Plant City can you get an authentic Cuban sandwich and strawberry shortcake year round? Why, Strawberry Hut, of course! How about in Lakeland? Nearly five years ago, owners Troy and Betty Wilson opened a second Strawberry Hut in Lakeland. It offers identical prices and the same specialized menu for breakfast and lunch, with authentic Cuban bread delivered daily from the same Ybor City bakery the Plant City location uses. Every few days they get fresh produce from the farmer’s market, just like in Plant City. People queue up, rain or shine, in front of the original Strawberry Hut to buy what local residents have dubbed the area’s “Best Cuban Sandwich.” They also clamor after the store’s seven variations of Cubans, plus Spanish bean soup, salads, shakes and its namesake shortcakes for lunch. Early birds stop by for satisfying grab ’n go breakfast items, such as biscuits or Cuban bread stuffed with sausage, ham, bacon, sausage gravy, eggs and cheese. Or a less-filling breakfast of Cuban toast.
The Strawberry Hut Lakeland location features a spacious, air-conditioned, indoor dining room. Photo courtesy of Strawberry Hut.
Good food at a good price. That’s what Strawberry Hut is known for. The Lakeland store has all that and one pronounced difference: it provides indoor, climate-controlled dining in a 3400-square-foot building that can accommodate up to 100 hungry people. It gives them a choice of eating in or taking out. “We’re still getting new customers that say, ‘We didn’t know you were here!’” said Betty Wilson. “They may be people who live in Plant City and work in Lakeland, or vice versa. They travel back and forth. Some people ask if it’s the same business and if we offer the same products. Yes, it’s the same business, and yes, the menu is the same, too! Other people grab breakfast at our place in Plant City, go to their jobs in Lakeland and then have lunch at our other store.” A small variation is that the Plant City location does not deliver, but the Lakeland Strawberry Hut does. This service is available only between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. and is only for businesses, which must be within a five-mile radius of the store. However, any Lakeland customer can use Door Dash any time to order food delivered from the Lakeland shop. PAGE
Strawberry Hut's Lakeland restaurant on Memorial Boulevard opened about five years ago.
Famous for its sandwiches, Strawberry Hut has fresh Cuban bread delivered daily from Ybor City.
Both Strawberry Huts now offer three sizes of sandwiches—a four-inch, eightinch and the original 12-inch. Currently both locations are offering a special for anyone looking for a light lunch. This “Four-inch Combo Deal” includes a four-inch sandwich, chips and a 16-ounce drink for $5.61 plus tax, which comes out to exactly $6. The Lakeland Strawberry Hut is relatively new compared to the iconic Plant City walk-up, which opened July 20, 1993, in a former gas station. Until Troy Wilson’s birth in the 1960s, his parents owned a doughnut shop in Riverview that also served Cuban sandwiches. Decades later, his folks helped the Wilsons get Strawberry Hut started, and Troy’s brother, Stanley Wilson, started a mobile doughnut business. While going through a stack of photos, Stanley found a picture of their parents’ old eatery, with a sign proclaiming “Donut … Cuban Sandwiches.” “It’s ironic that Stanley chose a doughnut business. We really didn't even think about the fact of the combination until after their parents passed away,” said Betty Wilson. Every year, the Wilsons celebrate the brand’s anniversary by hosting a Customer Appreciation Week. This year, at both restaurants, for the 26th anniversary, they rewarded every 26th customer with a coupon for a free menu item. More than 50 people received coupons. Many allowed their photos and names to be posted on the Strawberry Hut-Plant City and Strawberry Hut-Lakeland Facebook pages. The Wilsons are grateful for the community’s support, especially Plant City’s, for keeping them going strong for 26 years. Strawberry shortcake is always in season at Strawberry Hut.
“We thank our faithful customers and everyone who has posted great reviews and pictures, encouraging others to eat here,” said Betty Wilson. Her husband heartily agrees. “Plant City has been very good to us,” he said.
1505 N. Wheeler St. | Plant City, FL 33563 | (813) 752-3779 | Hours: 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday | Closed Sunday 743 E. Memorial Blvd. | Lakeland, FL 33801 | (863) 682-2222 | Hours: 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday | 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Saturday | Closed Sunday PAGE
EL MIRASOL Traditional Mexican cuisine is so much more than authentic dishes and spices; it’s a vibrant, cultural heritage. For thirty two years, the Gamas have built El Mirasol, a family owned and operated grocery and deli, honoring the traditional flavors, textures and recipes of Central America. El Mirasol has made Plant City Plaza on the city’s main thoroughfare, Collins Street, the place for delicious international food. Authentic Flavors Served Daily At El Mirasol, patrons find food full of flavor and fast, friendly service. The staff at El Mirasol concentrates on doling out made-from-scratch Mexican cuisine, including chicharrones (fried pig skins) and tamales. Each dish is traditionally prepared using recipes and culinary methods steeped in the heritage of Mexico. A popular lunch time meal are the Al Pastor (marinated pork), Carnitas (pulled pork), and Barbacoa (beef) tacos- street taco style in a soft corn tortilla- topped with onions and cilantro. The deli is set up in a cafeteria-style ordering system, where guests can request particular menu items including menudo, rice, and more.
business is tortilla production. In store, customers can purchase pounds of fresh tortillas, made in store each and every day.
At the salsa bar, guests garnish their meals with salsa verde or salsa con chile. A large seating area allows friends or families to gather and enjoy the authentic flavors.
Customer Testimonials With a long standing history, it’s the authentic flavors and grocery offerings that keep customers coming back again and again.
But the deli isn't the only department where guests will find authentic flavors. In the store's bakery department, customers can purchase fresh breads, including rolls, pastries, conchas (sweet bread) and Tres Leche Cakes. The breads and pastries are baked fresh every day and the staff keep the shelves stocked to meet the demand.
Mike Lowry shared on Facebook that his family visits El Mirasol often: "I love this place. This is where you come for good authentic Mexican food. We enjoy coming here on nights when I do not feel like cooking. I normally purchase the tamales, pinto beans, churros, & spicy fruit.”
The El Mirasol staff makes all of the restaurant’s popsicles, ice cream, and aguas frescas (fresh water) in-house, offering a variety of flavors like piña colada, melon and more. In the grocery department, customers can purchase not only fresh produce and dairy products, but can also purchase any dry goods or ingredients needed, like chile peppers, ingredients for horchata or aguas frescas, dried herbs and spices, as well as salsas, moles and other sauces. One facet of the Gama family
Luna Crowley also left El Mirasol a five star review: “I am so happy to have found this gem! I am super addicted to chamoy with just about anything and feel so blessed to have found this in Florida. Back in California we had so many Mexican markets so it was nice to find one with good stock of products to make my home meals.” Doris Zambrana raved about El Mirasol’s grocery department as well: “I will go back, very impressed with the produce section types of vegetables and fruits offered,deli, bakery, all so well organized. Very very pleased. Muchas gracias!”
1419 Collins Street | Plant City, FL 33563 | (813) 752-2108 Open daily: 6AM to 9PM PAGE
KEEL & CURLEY WINERY Founded in 2003, Keel & Curley Winery began when farmer Joe Keel sought a sustainable use for cull blueberries, a flavorful berry aesthetically unfit for sale but perfect for making wine. The first batches of what would later become award-winning blueberry wine were fermented in the Keel family kitchen. Keel Farms Group began in 1984 and is the family-owned company that oversees both Keel & Curley and Two Henrys Brewing, a hand-crafted beer and hard cider brewery launched next to the winery in 2013. Keel Farms also operates 35 acres of farmland that include blueberries, peaches, produce, cattle and chickens. Passionate about bringing farm-to-table options to our area, Keel Farms began offering delectable dishes in the winery’s tasting room in 2016. Choices range from farm fresh salads to burgers, tacos, sandwiches, and shareable appetizersall designed to pair perfectly with wine, beer or cider. In January 2019, Joe’s son, Clay Keel, became owner and president of Keel Farms Group. Under the younger Keel’s leadership, the winery will launch a rebranding in mid-October. Keel Farms has already adopted a new logo that features a chicken standing atop a cow against the backdrop of a rising sun - an emblem symbolic of the company’s long farming history. A new logo will also soon be released for the winery, with a new look for the brewery to follow. “We’ve had the current [bottle] label since the mid-2000s,” said Keel. “The new font will be thicker, more legible and have a more modern take.” More complementary to the rebranded Keel Farms logo, the new winery logo font will be seen on bottles in the tasting room on-site and in Publix stores and other retailer’s shelves in October 2019. Keel Farms tasting room and restaurant will also soon undergo a remodeling to create a more inviting atmosphere for guests. “The remodel is part of a bigger overall investment in customer experience,” said Keel. “We want to connect with a bigger customer base, ideally appealing to families and a wider demographic.” In a January 2019 interview with FOCUS Magazine, Keel shared that one of his goals was a shifted focus to immersive agricultural experiences for families
Keel Farms offers a 90-minute tour of the farm and an exclusive opportunity to sample four wines paired with delightful culinary tastings. Reserve a tour at www.KeelFarms.com.
Keel & Curley Winery's new labels reflect their humble roots as they create a simple but tasty wine that is a true Florida original.
from across Florida. From producing wines and brews using primarily locallygrown produce to serving farm-to-table dishes, Keel Farms has set its sights on becoming a destination where visitors are in touch with Central Florida’s agriculture and beauty. Thousands flock to the farm each spring for the annual Blueberry Festival, which is renowned for acres of blueberries ripe for the picking. This summer, the farm welcomed guests to the 4th Annual Peach Festival and launched a Grape Stomp, allowing visitors to create wine via bare feet stomping. In August, over 2,000 patrons attended Sangria Night, with the farm once again welcoming guests of all ages to enjoy delicious drinks, food and entertainment in a family-friendly environment. Each Saturday in October, Keel Farms will host Fall Harvest Days. Visitors can harvest pumpkins and other produce, carve or paint pumpkins, enjoy a hayride, meet the farm’s animals, and more. The event will also highlight the brewery’s Cinnamon Apple Cider. Admission and parking for Fall Harvest Days are free. “We want to create a fun, casual, farm experience, while continuing to make great beverages,” said Keel. Keel Farms, Keel & Curley Winery, and Two Henrys Brewing Company look forward to welcoming guests to drink, dine and dive into a unique, handson farm experience by taking a winery tour or attending an event, like Fall Harvest Days. If you’re looking for a day on the farm, look no further than 5210 Thonotosassa Road in the beautiful Plant City countryside.
5210 Thonotosassa Road | Plant City, FL 33563 | (813) 752-9100 | www.keelfarms.com | firstname.lastname@example.org Monday-Tuesday: 11AM to 9PM | Friday-Saturday: 10AM to 11PM | Sunday: 11AM to 7PM PAGE
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RISING STAR Christopher
Rodriguez By Taryn Storter
Christopher Rodriguez, a senior at Plant City High School, exudes excellence on the field and in the classroom. When Rodriguez started his freshman year, he decided to play football for Plant City. He was chosen as JV captain during his freshman year. Then as a junior and now senior, Rodriguez is the kicker and punter for the Raiders. He was the only kicker in Hillsborough County last year to have a perfect point after touchdown record- 37/37. His goal is to finish the 2019 season with 100% field goal percentage and a 52-yard field goal in a game, to break the current school record. Baseball is a big part of Rodriguez’s life, as well. He has competed in baseball since he was five years old and has played for Plant City all four years. He was the JV captain during his sophomore year and as a junior, started on the 2019 8A State Championship team. Three months after winning the state title, he expressed that, “I still get chills when I think about it. Not many can say they are a state champion, and it truly is an amazing feeling. I am still in shock to be honest.” Rodriguez hopes to help lead the baseball team to another district, regional, and state championship this year. He is working towards a batting average of .500 and one home run. Rodriguez has received numerous achievements through athletics, as well as academic honors. He is the 2019 Hillsborough County Youth Excellence & Achievement Award winner for Leadership in sports, academics and the community. He received the War Dawg award his freshman year and the Most Improved his sophomore year in baseball. In football, Rodriguez was chosen as 2nd team all-county punter, during his first-year kicking. Outside of sports, Rodriguez has been very involved in serving his community. He served as Treasurer of NHS, and the Interact Service Club Social Media Chair, Junior Class President during the 2018-2019 school year. He is the captain of Team ToMarrow. This team registers new potential donors to the National Bone Marrow Registry, as well as raises money for Relay for Life. As for the future, Rodriguez hopes to be accepted into the UF to pursue a degree in Engineering and then an MBA.
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Austin Smith, Corbin Wyatt, James Tibbits, Bo Shamblin, Joey Shearer, Brandon Petersen, Cameron Simmons, Colton Wheat
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Durant Boys’ Golf
Corbin Wyatt and his teammates strive for a strong bond on and off the course, in the classroom and beyond. Coach Johnson says “my personal goal is to develop my players into good, honest, hard-working, contributing members of our community and country.”
By Taryn Storter
he Durant High School Boys’ Golf Team is a group of guys who are here to have fun. Coach Andrew Johnson, affectionately known as “Chief” by his athletes, is the JROTC instructor at Durant. Johnson has been playing golf himself for over forty years and has been coaching the sport at Durant High School for nine years. He says, “I have had so much fun coaching this team. I have learned as much from the players as they will ever learn from me.” Coach Johnson expresses that this golf team is unique because they are all great friends. He shares that they have a good time together, whether it’s in practice or on match day. “I love to watch and hear them having fun, and for me that’s what it’s really all about.” said Johnson. The captain this year is senior Colton Wheat. He works with Coach Johnson to lead the team to victory on the course and facilitate friendships outside of the sport. As golf is an individual sport, it can be difficult to have a team atmosphere. Coach Johnson acknowledges this but strives to stress
the “team concept.” He explained that as a team they need to have four scores to count as a match winning result. Last year, they qualified out of the district match as a team. Individuals can qualify out of the district match, but Coach Johnson feels that it is much more exciting to make it together. Coach Johnson explains that his favorite team memory is, “whenever we hit the course. Young people these days have a lot of pressure put upon them to perform. Whether it’s at school, with a parent, or peer pressure, it is wonderful to hear young teenagers have fun.” As he has played golf for many years, Johnson describes, “Golf is a sport they will be able to play for the rest of their lives. My primary goal for my players is to have fun, and my personal goal is to develop my players into good, honest, hard-working, contributing members of our community and country. To know and experience what it’s like to be a member of a team and think about the greater good. Not just their own little worlds.” The 2019 Durant High School Varsity Golf team consists of Austin Smith, Bo Shamblin, Joey Shearer, James Tibbits, Brandon Peterson, Cameron Simmons, Corbin Wyatt, and Colton Wheat.
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Crystal Desilet, Cactus Moon By Heather Davis Photos by Ashley Dieudonne
ometimes in life we can find ourselves in a place we can refer to as a crossroads or a tipping point. What can result is a complete change of direction in our life and how we choose to spend our time and energy. Crystal Desilet came to that point in her own life six years ago when she decided to quit her corporate job and pursue what had been up until then a hobby as her business. Cactus Moon which is the name of Crystal’s business originated from a combined love and passion for plants, namely cacti and succulents and gemstones. Her interest and knowledge of plants came to her from her grandmother who is a Master Gardner and collector of rare cacti and succulents. Crystal’s father is a geologist and from him she credits her love of the earth. After quitting her corporate job in advertising and marketing, Crystal hit the ground running with Cactus Moon and in just six short years has built up a business built upon her true love and passion. Crystal’s first experience with success, which she credits as her “aha” moment of when she knew she could make a go of it with succulents was when she participated in her first market in Tampa. Before the day was over she sold out of her “living arrangements” and the rest was history. Crystal’s knowledge of succulents combined with her unique perspective on how to arrange them has given her a leading edge on how to market herself as well as help others who share in the same passion do the same. The last couple years Crystal has shifted away from only doing markets and now also offers workshops. Within these workshops, which Crystal calls “succulents 101” participants learn proper care, upkeep and how to arrange their succulents. “People are truly proud of what they make and take home,” Crystal said. Her workshops are customized to accommodate either private groups such as for company team building events or public groups which are generally held at breweries such as Cigar City or Southern Brewing. The other type of workshop she holds is a monthly workshop at AR Workshop in Tampa where the members create DIY planters along with their succulent arrangements. If interested in attending one of Crystal’s succulent workshops she has an upcoming pumpkin succulent workshop at Keel and Curley Winery on Saturday, October 5th at 12 PM. To find out more about Cactus Moon’s upcoming events and succulents 101 workshops you can go to www.cactusmoonmarket. com, Facebook @cactusmoon, and Instagram or Etsy @cactusmoonbeam.
Faith Lauren Feyes, Young Leaders in Faith By Cheryl Johnston
lant City native Lauren Feyes loves the town’s “many honest, caring people who strongly believe in the principle of looking out for your neighbors.” She added, “Even strangers will rally together to support a common cause!” A singer/songwriter and keyboardist on the City Pointe Church worship team, Lauren met her husband Martin when both attended Grace Christian School in Valrico. They married shortly after her graduation in 2014. She describes her “best friend and number-one supporter,” as the one who’s “been there since day one, encouraging me to pursue my dreams.” Martin plays piano and three other instruments. He is her “go-to guy” whenever she needs a musical ear or help with a song she’s writing. “I can't tell you how many times he has rescued me from a musical disaster,” she explained, “There were times when my keyboard would stop working, and without missing a beat he would grab a guitar and come onstage to play for me.” Today, you can also find her music on YouTube. Like most great marriages, theirs includes some give and take. “I wanted a dog and he didn't,” Lauren shared. “So we compromised and now we have four of the world's sweetest dogs Mr. Wibbles, Bunny, Harper, and Chip. In their free time they enjoy playing with their canine buddies, traveling, and binge-watching full
seasons of favorites on Netflix. At age six Lauren and her parents attended a “walk-through Heaven and Hell theatrical experience at a local church. Afterward, an elderly woman came to where they sat and asked if she wanted to follow her to a separate children's area. Lauren explained, “Adults and children were seated at tables together. The woman told me about Jesus and asked if I wanted to accept Him into my heart. I said yes and she began to pray with me. My parents celebrated this decision with me. My dad threw me up on his shoulders and that experience has inspired me to begin a theater program at my church in the near future.” What led you to get involved with worship music? I come from a family where learning to play an instrument comes right after learning to walk. Because of this, I've gravitated toward music and it has led to this ministry. I enjoy telling stories through songs and writing about topics most people are hesitant to tackle. Based on my own experiences and of those close to me, the focus of my songwriting is to be real, raw and honest. I want to write music both Christians and nonChristians can relate to because music is the universal language that connects all of us. [Note: Search for Lauren’s original songs “Thanks for
Not Loving Me” and “Numb” on YouTube.com] I love sharing my faith through music and theater. Since I was saved at a theatrical performance, I know the strong impact that can have on someone. Many people won’t step foot into a church, but they might come to a performance where they'd be able to hear about Jesus. Any suggestions about faith for others? I think we all have a void we’re searching to fill - a desire for love, acceptance, and belonging. After trying to fill these voids with relationships, money, or fame, we remain empty because they’re never enough. But Jesus fills that void with His unconditional love, making us part of His family and giving us an eternal home. He gives us the peace we're searching for. It's also important for Christians to surround themselves with fellow believers who will build them up and help them to grow stronger in their faith. John 16:33 reads, "I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth, you will have many trials and sorrows, But take heart, because I have overcome the world." Jesus tells us not everything will be easy. We’ll all face battles, but we don't need to fear. It's about finding peace because we know how the story ends. Spoiler alert - Jesus wins.
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By Candy Owens
ey, do you remember the TV commercial where a group of multi-cultural teenagers stood on a hilltop in Italy holding a bottle of Coca Cola singing: “I’d like to buy the world a home and furnish it with love. Grow apple trees and honeybees and snowwhite turtledoves. I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony. I’d like to buy the world a Coke and keep it company. That’s the real thing, what the world wants today, is the real thing.” That was the year 1971 and our nation was prospering. Our President was Richard Nixon, our Vice-President was Spiro Agnew, and our Chief Justice was Warren Burger. Miss America was Phyllis George of Texas, and our Miss America was Michelle McDonald from Pennsylvania. Inflation was at 5.7%, unemployment was 4.9%, and the Federal Debt was $408.2 billion. The cost of a new home: $28,000 a first-class stamp: 8 cents a gallon of regular gas: 36 cents a dozen eggs: 53 cents a gallon of milk: $1.18 Jiffy Peanut Butter: 59 cents a Malibu Barbie: $1.94 and a pound of fresh strawberries: 29 cents. The must haves for small children were Weebles and it was Klackers for kids school-aged to teens. The most popular TV shows were: • • • • • • •
All in the Family The Flip Wilson Show Sanford and Son Mannix Adam 12 The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Here’s Lucy
The Top Billboard songs included: • • • • • •
My Sweet Lord Knock Three Times One Bad Apple Joy to the World Maggie May and Brand New Key
The popular sayings on TV were: • • • • •
“Is it live or is it Memorex?” “You deserve a break today!” “Marsha, Marsha, Marsha.” “Like a good neighbor, State Farm us there.” “Try it, you’ll like it!”
If we take a look at what was going on in our state back in 1971, Claude Kirk, Jr. was living in our Governor’s mansion, followed by Rubin Askew later that year. Our Miss Florida was 19-year old Barbara Jo Ivey from Winter Park. Larry Jones was Head Coach for Florida State Football and Doug Dickey was in his second year coaching the Florida Gators. Walt Disney World opened its doors in Orlando. A one-day admission to the park was: $3.50. Disney World sold books of tickets for the rides, with each attraction rated A-E. An A-ticket would get you a ride on Cinderella’s Carousel, while the most popular attractions, like Space Mountain and The Haunted Mansion, were E-Ticket rides. Now, if we reflect back at our hometown of Plant City back in 1971, we would find Mr. C. J. Edwards as our Mayor surrounded by Commissioners: Otis Andrews, Gerald Hooker, Betty June Barker, and Henry Moody. Our City Manager was: William Snow. The City Attorney was Paul Buchman with City Clerk Nettie Draughon. Our reigning Strawberry Queen was Sherrie Chambers and our Little Miss Plant City was Karen Ann Owens. The President of our Chamber of Commerce was Bruce Holmberg. Plant City High School, the home of the Plant City Planters football team, was located on Woodrow Wilson Street and was under the leadership of
Principal Glen Evers. Tomlin Jr. High School, home of the Tomlin Tigers, was located on Evers Street in the old 1914 High School building where James “Sonny” Jones was Principal. If you wanted a new pair of shoes or something snazzy to wear then, you had Family Shoes Store downtown or Carol’s Dress Shop, Mary Herold’s Dress Shop, Lad & Lassie, Hooker’s Dept. Store, Earl’s Men’s Wear, Terri’s Dress Shop, or The Colony Shop at the mall. If you needed to buy a gift for a wedding, birthday, or graduation you went to see Midge or Alice at Edgar Hull Jewelers for jewelry and china, silver or crystal patterns. For unique gifts, you’d shop at The Other Brother, Ruby’s Gifts, or The Strawberry Pond. If you were looking for a pretty box of candy, it was Magnolia Pharmacy. If you needed to eat the best “Slaw-Dog” in town, off to Barwick Drug Store you went, where Mrs. Lille Belle Davis served them up hot and fresh. If your mouth was watering for the best burger, fries, and shakes, then you just walked up to the window at Burger Queen, drove up and flashed your headlights at “What-a-Burger.” sat on a stool at McCrory’s Lunch Counter, or visited the fast and speedy “Burger Chef ”! Your groceries came either from Kwik Chek, Felton’s, Shuman’s Market, or Publix. School supplies, sewing supplies, candy, hardware, fabric, or just about anything else you could think of could be purchased at McCrory’s, and don’t forget the best hot-popped popcorn popped especially for you by Mrs. Evelyn Lampkin. For a yummy Sunday buffet, you headed to Johnson’s on Haines Street, or for a snazzy evening of great food and entertainment, you’d put on your best and head to Lani Purcell’s Holiday Inn on Wheeler Street. Well…I could talk all day about the “good old” days. It’s hard to believe 1971 was almost 48 years ago. Plant City has grown so much that in some parts it’s almost unrecognizable. People and business have come and gone. Some people stop and stay for a while and then move on looking for a bigger and shinier pond, but you know what? I’m so happy Plant City is the place I call home!
WE’LL BRING YOUR
CELEBRATION TO YO U!
Contact your local Abuelo’s about party and catering options.
3700 L AKESIDE VILL AGE BLVD, L AKEL AND, FL
Pelican’s SnoBalls Original New Orleans Shaved Ice BY CIERRA CRAFT
610 S. Collins Street, Plant City, FL 33563 813-759-1975 Mon- Sat: 12PM to 9PM Sun: 2PM to 8PM pelicanssnoballs.com
ake one step into Pelican’s SnoBalls and it’s obvious- this place is special. The atmosphere exudes joy; with brightly-painted walls and the sound of children’s laughter ringing out over festive music, Pelican’s SnoBalls is a family-oriented establishment. That was the goal of owners Greg and Billie Jo Davis. The couple have owned other family-oriented businesses like Skate Zone and Greg has served as the Children’s Pastor at Plant City Church of God for 26 years. While the couple enjoys traveling on the Harley, Plant City is their favorite place on earth. So it’s only fitting they would raise their children and establish roots in the community. Where did Greg Davis develop such an incredible work ethic and love for the community? From shining shoes, of course. “My family moved to Plant City when I was two and from the ages of 10 to 12, my mom would drop me off every Saturday and Sunday at 9:00 a.m. in front of the Old McCroys and I would shine shoes until 5:00 p.m. That is one of my favorite memories growing up and where I got my work ethic.” So the Davis’ set out to create opportunities for families to develop their own memories in our town. “I started looking for a family-oriented business to bring to Plant City,” said Davis. “My daughter Mallory had Pelican’s SnoBalls three years ago and she said ‘Dad, consider Pelican’s, they have an excellent product.’ Over a year ago, we started research and we were driving to Auburndale for snoballs.” That is where the Davis’ met “Pelican Joe,” who has been a big help in getting the Plant City location started. Greg and Billie Jo began transforming the Amazing Autos location into Pelican’s SnoBalls. On September 5, Pelican’s SnoBalls opened their doors to an eager community, ready to try the shop’s refreshing icy treats. “Our grand opening was everything we hoped for and more with a smiling face at each window,” said Davis. “The hard work was worth it when you hand a snoball to a child and they light up.” Pelican’s SnoBall offers over one hundred flavors of shaved ice, everything ranging from Blue Raspberry to Cherry Cola and even non-traditional flavors like Dill Pickle and Toothpaste. All of the syrups are free of high fructose corn syrup and gluten free with five sugar free flavors. Ask for your snoball to be “stuffed” with an ice cream center for an extra scoop of fun.
In September, the shop will release its seasonal flavors, including Pumpkin Pie, S’mores, Peppermint, and Eggnog. Pelican’s SnoBalls is also hosting a Flavor Challenge, where guests can request a punch card. With every flavor they sample, they receive a punch on their card. Once guests have tried every flavor, they receive a free Pelican’s SnoBall “I Met the Challenge” t-shirt. Pelican’s also offers 12 flavors of Hershey’s Hand Dipped Ice cream and in the coming weeks, Davis says the shop will have a soft serve ice cream and Dole Whip. Pelican’s offers indoor seating, as well as outdoor seating on a large patio, where family and friends can enjoy lively music, games, fun and laughter. The shop will soon host youth events such as Spirit Nights, Trivia Nights and more. The shop also has excellent Wi-Fi and a charging station inside. Pelican’s SnoBalls also honors those whom have served our country with a special discount. “We are so proud of our military, law enforcement, as well as fire and rescue, so if you’re in uniform, you receive a $1 discount on any size to say thank you for your service to our country,” said Davis. Furthermore, Pelican’s SnoBalls offers Pup Cups for $1 for furry friends. Dogs are welcome on the patio; the only animals permitted inside are service animals. Pelican’s SnoBall has merchandise for sale for both kids and adults, including t-shirts, hoodies and jackets, $6.00 keychains and lanyards. Davis says those with keychain or lanyard, when presented, can receive a special deal. Specials will be announced on the shop’s social media accounts. Although Pelican’s SnoBall has only been open a few weeks, so far the response is positive, with many saying how grateful they are that the Davis’ have brought something new to Plant City. Lindsey Gude and her 3-year-old daughter Piper agree. “It’s delicious and a nice, cool, refreshing treat on a hot day,” said Lindsey. “The staff is always beyond friendly and appreciative of you come here. There is nothing else like this in Plant City… it’s nice to bring her to a family-oriented establishment with Christian values.” For more information about specials and upcoming events, follow Pelican’s SnoBalls on Facebook at Pelican’s SnoBalls Plant City and on Instagram @pelicansplantcity
a. Pelican’s SnoBalls is a family owned and operated business. Greg and Billie Jo Davis (center) are joined by their family in welcoming the Plant City community to enjoy the shaved ice treats.
b. 2019 Jr. Royalty Queen and Court visited Billie Jo and Greg Davis (center) to welcome the new business to Plant City.
DAVIS FAMILY FAVORITES Greg: Cotton Candy Billie Jo: Coffee with Praline Mallory: Egg Custard with Marshmallow Ryan: Wedding Cake with Snow Cream Hillary: Cotton Candy with Cream Landon: Stuffed Vanilla Cola PRICES SnoBalls: Ice Cream: Kiddie $2.50 Kiddie $2.00 Regular $3.50 Small $2.50 Large $4.50 Medium $3.50 Avalanche $6.00 Large $5.00 Toppings are 50 cent per topping PAGE
23rd Annual Diamonds & Denim
3rd Annual Pumpkin Succulent Workshop
6:30PM Glitzy Jean Attire | Philanthropy Food & Drink | Live Auction Grimes Family Agricultural Center 2508 Oak Ave Cost: $75 w/ reservation required Info: email@example.com
12:00PM Succulent Pumpkin Centerpieces | Local brews & wine Keel & Curley Winery 5210 Thonotsassa Road Cost: $55 Early Bird, $65 at the door Info: cactusmoonmarket.com
28 Plant City Garden Festival 9:00AM Plants | Herbs | Garden Art Food & More Robert Willaford Railroad Museum 120 N. Palmer Street Cost: Free admission Info: Jan Griffin, firstname.lastname@example.org
21 A Taste of Laura Street Food Festival 4:00PM Local Cuisine | Historical Ambiance Art Exhibit | Live Music Bing Rooming House Museum 205 N. Allen Street Cost: Free Info: William Thomas, email@example.com
Fall Festival at Grace Manor at Hunter’s Creek 10:00AM Food & Games | Entertainment Fellowship Grace Manor at Hunter’s Creek 765 W. Grant Street Cost: Free Info: 863-873-6222
Plant City Food Truck Rally 5:00PM Theme: Hispanic Heritage Corner of Drane & Palmer Streets Cost: Free Admission & Parking Info: plantcitymainstreet.com
FBCH’s Celebration Ball: Night of One Million Meals 6:00PM Children with Hunger | Fundraising | Live Entertainment | Formal Attire HCC Trinkle Center 1206 N. Park Rd. Cost: $50 per ticket Info: 863-577-4417
12 8th Annual Fox Squirrel Corn Maze
5 Plant City Bike Fest 4:30PM 8 Class Bike Show | Live Band | Food & Vendors Robert Willaford Railroad Museum 120 N. Palmer Street Cost: Free to attend; $10 Registration Fee to enter Info: (813) 754-3707
10:00AM Corn Maze | Pumpkin Patch | Hayrides & More 3002 Charlie Taylor Road Cost: 18+: $11; Ages 3-17: $10; 2 and Under: Free Info: (813) 756-8918
Fall Harvest Days at Keel Farms 10:00AM- 6:00PM Pumpkin Carving & Painting | Farm Animals | Harvesting & Hayrides 5210 Thonotosassa Road Cost: Free Info: Keel & Curley Winery, (813) 752-9100
Beer & Wine Bar
11 TVâ€™s - 6 Brand New Pool Tables - 7 Dart Boards Karaoke Fri & Sat Nights - Food
3709 US-92, Plant City, FL 33566
813-652-8125 Open Until 3am Everyday
Minding One's P's and Q's
Created by Calvin R. and Jackie Mathews
www.HopewellFuneral.com FAMILY OWNED AND OPERATED SINCE 1971
MINDING ONE’S P’s AND Q’s ACROSS 1. Egg-sized fruit 5. Dickens’ trainer of pickpockets 10. Senses of selfesteem 14. Wore 15. Shining 17. Emend 20. Punctuation marks 23. Hotheadedness 24. Pass on 25. Bury 26. Controls 28. Not backwards? 29. “__ Maria” 31. Pupil’s writing assignment 34. Bumped into 35. Small bills 36. Slushy stuff 39. EMT’s technique 40. Cathedral part 41. Game birds 48. Jargon 49. Come into view 50. Nimble 54. Dismantle 55. Sea creatures 58. Part of a royal flush 60. A-flat and Fsharp 61. Mayo Bros., e.g. 62. __ pro nobis 63. Quechua speaker 65. Confronts boldly 67. Item swallowed 70. Like a Brink’s truck 72. Talk about 75. Certain NCOs 77. Latin I verb 78. Excessively 81. Infer from data 82. Breadwinners, traditionally 84. Font style 86. List to choose from 87. Sulked 88. Hillbilly 90. “Our Father” opener 91. Money 97. Word used by one lacking confidence 100. Show __ 101. School subj. 102. Until 103. Grow gray 104. Bigwig 106. Make a selection 107. Highways: abbr. 110. Slip back 112. Sign prohibiting gratuities 117. German article 119. Stolen 120. Parts of the leg
125. 126. 127. 128. 129. 130.
Escapes detection by Isaac and Howard Thrill Putin’s refusal Sound of air escaping Bumper blemish
37. 38. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46.
DOWN 1. Late Carpenter 2. Mean Amin 3. Building material 4. “Crossroads of America” 5. Help page letters 6. Malarial fever 7. Secluded valley 8. Suffix for balm or bulk 9. Intl. alliance 10. White-tailed eagle 11. Ruby, for one 12. Egg producer 13. Father 14. Rescuer 16. Silent one 18. Be miserly 19. Slaves 20. Abyss 21. Rising time, for some 22. Vague 27. __. Jeanne d’Arc 30. NJ’s zone 32. Health club feature 33. Caroline’s stepdad 35. Mexican bear 36. Drawing out a route 1
47. 51. 52. 53. 55. 56. 57. 59. 64. 66. 67. 68. 69. 71. 72. 73. 74. 76. 78. 79. 80. 83. 5
Unfasten Presidential monogram Not __; inferior Jack Horner’s find Female animal Closes Long, long follower Start of a Brazilian city Nation whose women first voted in 1999 Treat a boil Common contraction __ up; ease 19th of 26 Comment from a butterfingers Like good potato chips Sailor __ Judd Throwing Swamp dweller, for short Take Coat material Emit Prefix for function or nutrition FDR or HST Solemn vow Nourish oneself Giant Pierre’s noodle Nonpareil “__ is not to reason why...” Cardinals’ home
99. 104. 105. 107. 108. 109. 111. 113. 114. 115. 116. 118. 121. 122. 123. 124. 11
55 62 67 73
78 86 90
Doyle’s initials Bathroom item ENE plus 90° Paid player Lakers’ org. Pen point Status follower Raised Clothed Most populous of fifty: abbr. Appearing shocked India’s neighbor Penniless Reptiles Clark Gable role Chucklehead 11/1 honorees: abbr. Astonish Bang makers, familiarly Bad day for Julius NO followers Phoenix __ World’s longest Appomattox figure Nav. transport Pack animal Fire
85. 86. 89. 90. 92. 93. 94. 95. 96. 97.
by Calvin R. & Jackie Mathews
© Puzzle Features Syndicate PAGE
C A A G L A P E
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N E E D Y S U E D E O S O W O O D
O C T O R A P I R S S P A R N N I B I Z A B O N L L A E S E T
Minding One’sP’s P’s and and Q’s Minding One’s Q’s I F A G I N E G N A G L E A M R E D S Q U E S T I O N M I E E N T O M B A V E E S S A N E S M U D C P R A N T S A N D Q U A I A P P E A R O P I T E N I N C A A C I N A R MO R S G T S A M O S I T A L I C U S T I C E S A N D Q U A E N G U P T B O P T O T I P S E I A N D Q U A D R S T E R N S E S S S S S D
O S V I S E A R K S R E I N S Y M E T A P S E L S A G I L E N O T E S C O S T S E D T O O M E N U P A T E R R T E R S O R D S N H O T I C E P S L A T E E N T
EVERY SATURDAY IN OCTOBER 10AM - 6PM Pumpkin Patch I Pumpkin Carving & Painting Bounce House I Farm Animals I Harvesting I Hayrides
TOUR LIKE NEVER BEFORE Join us at Keel Farms for a tour of the farm and an exclusive opportunity to sample four of our wines paired with delightful culinary tastings. Make your tour reservations at :
DAILY DINING I PRIVATE EVENTS
FOCUS Magazine Plant City Edition Issue 18-09 September 2019