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December 2012
Mid-Month Newsletter

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A Special Welcome To New Member

Bay City Tattoos
Jeff Ziozios
1632 East 7th Avenue
Tampa, FL 33605

Thank You To Renewing Members


Robert Saitta/El Sol Cigars 

4951 - B E. Adamo Drive, Suite 230

Tampa, FL 33605


Empire Discount Paint & Hardware

Mark Wilson

3602 E 7th Avenue

Tampa, FL 33605


The American Victory Ship, Inc.

Bill Kuzmick

705 Channelside Dr., Berth 271

Tampa, FL 33602


U-Haul International, Inc.

Frank Fenech

2311 Angel Oliva Senior Street

Tampa, FL 33605


Ybor City Lions Club

John Centinaro

Tampa, FL 33614

Click on a highlighted company name to learn more about your fellow  members.

Ybor Chamber  

Member Spotlight


One of my favorite things to do is eat breakfast out and what a treat to be able to have breakfast at 9:00 pm if so inclined. Ybor's own Joffrey's Coffee & Tea Company opens daily at 7:00 am and stays open until 10:00 pm, Sunday through Wednesday, and midnight Thursday, Friday and Saturday. And, they serve breakfast and lunch all day long! So, along with that great cup of coffee, you can have a bacon, egg and biscuit platter or a tuna salad sandwich, any time, any day of the week.


Comfy couches, locally roasted coffee and free wi-fi, greet you when you walk through the door. Most times, owners Jessica Valdes and Gladys Highers are also there to greet you. You can enjoy their coffee "flavor of the day" or a glass of fresh brewed ice tea. What is a great cup of coffee without a great dessert? Joffrey's desserts include not only fresh backed goodies (love their cookies) but also smoothies and Blue Bunny ice cream.

And, Jessica and Gladys can also cater your next breakfast or luncheon meeting.


So, next time you are in Ybor, stop by Joffrey's for a great cup of coffee, some good food and the comforts of home.


- Michele Keating


Jessica Valdes & Gladys Highers

1600 E. 8th Avenue, E-100

Tampa, FL 33605



A Very Eventful December

Tom Keating Head Shot

Holiday Season in the "City"


Hola -


One of the best features of the Holiday Season is that things slow down just a bit, so we get time to reflect on the past and make plans for the future. The last few years have been a troubling time for many - the most serious recession in a life time, a glacially slow recovery and a still uncertain future. Most of us have been asked to do more with less... and many of us have. As we come to the end of the calendar year at the Ybor City Chamber, we have had several unique opportunities to get together.


First, we celebrated "Navidad en Ybor," our Membership Committees new name for our Annual Holiday Party. Hosted by the Hampton Inn & Suites, we had over 75 members come out to network and celebrate. 60 toys and $150 in donations were split equally between the Salvation Army and the East Ybor Historic Civic Association. Thanks to all of our sponsors for the wonderful food and beverage: La Segunda Central Bakery, New York New York Pizza, Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches and Yuengling Brewing Co., with wine donated by the Chamber's Board.


Our Annual Holiday Membership Luncheon, held at the Columbia Restaurant, was another great opportunity for folks to get together to celebrate the season. The Hillsborough Community College - Jazz Ensemble, led by Professor Robert Winslow, provided a program of live music during the lunch hour that consisted of both big band jazz and familiar holiday tunes. An extra treat was the stilt-walking toy soldier and the rockette dressed in Santa attire provided by Event Show Productions. And of course, you can't beat roast pork with black beans & white rice and all the trimmings served by the Columbia.


A very special celebration for the Chamber was last Friday's Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting for new member Buffalo Wild Wings. Wild Wings ownership has renovated a historic building on 7th Avenue and 17th Street that was mostly vacant for over half-a-dozen years. This nationally-known franchise will be a destination within the District and their advertising will help bring customers to other businesses within Ybor City.


Next on our collective agenda is the 27th Annual Outback Bowl. We have two great "travel teams" coming this year - the Michigan Wolverines and the South Carolina Gamecocks. Join us in the "City" for the Outback Bowl parade and pep rally December 31, 2012 - or any other day of the year!


Ciao, Tom Keating
Chamber Happenings

Place Your Business Directory Ad Today-  Sales for ad space in the Chamber's 2012 Edition of the Annual Business Directory is available.  Make members more aware of your directory listing with a special message in a display ad. Call Michele Keating for rates, sizes and availability by Friday, December 21st to lock-in your space. 813.248.3712 x25

January 8- Ybor Chamber Membership Luncheon, Tues. 11:45AM- 1:15PM- 
The Chamber will kick-off the new calendar year by hosting the new Executive Director & CEO of Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo, Craig Pugh.  Mr. Pugh will be sharing news of the parks newest happenings and plans for the new year. Find out what it is like to work at what Parents Magazine calls the " #1 Zoo in the U.S."  813.248.3712 x22

February 12- Business Expo: Ybor at Work, 11:30AM- 2PM-  The Ybor City Chamber of Commerce will be hosting its Business Expo at the Columbia Restaurant in lieu of its regular luncheon. This is a great way to promote your business to other Ybor businesses and let them know what you do, in effect showing attendees "Ybor at Work!"  Reserve your space by contacting Anna Ramos. 813.248.3712 x 22 
February 23- The 66th Annual Fiesta Day, Sat. 11AM- 6PM- The chamber is gearing up to share Ybor's authentic culture with the bay area with a day filled with food, fun, and entertainment.  This free, family oriented "street festival" takes place on Ybor's famed 7th avenue and draws and estimated 20,000 people annually! To be a vendor please call 813.248.3712 x25

Events and Announcements by Tom Favata 

Click on the highlighted event name for more information.

Now thru December 22- Holiday Inc. at The Straz Center- If you are in the mood for a holiday show this season join ESP Theatricals and the David A. Straz Center for the Performing Arts in their tale of an elf that has lost her holiday spirit and what it takes for the Board of Holiday Inc. to make her merry.  The show will leave audiences inspired and ready to celebrate the season. 813.229.STAR (7827) 

December 22- Boat Parade of Lights: Holiday Spectacular, Sat. 6:30PM- 9PM- The American Victory Ship has a place for you on-board to enjoy the Boat Parade of Lights.  Attendees will enjoy music, refreshments, and holiday cheer. 1.866.468.7630
December 31- Outback Bowl New Year's Eve Parade and Pep Rally, Mon. 5:30PM-  7th Avenue will once again play host to the Outback Bowl parade and official pep rally. This free, family friendly event will feature the cheerleading squads from the University of Michigan (Wolverines) and the University of South Carolina (Gamecocks)  as well as floats and at least fifteen marching bands. Come out and cheer on the teams and hear some great bands play!  813.874.2695

December 31- The Rose Ball New Year's Eve Gala at The Italian Club, Mon. 8PM- 1AM- make plans to attend the Italian Club's New Year's Eve Gala in what will surely be a nice evening.  Tickets to the shindig include cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, dinner and dancing, with music by the Mark Anthony Band. 813.248.3316 

Be sure to visit or call the Ybor Chamber's Visitor Information Center to answer your holiday needs. Tourism counselors are on hand to help you answer any of your "Ybor Holiday Happenings" questions, and they even have a good selection of gifts available to stuff stockings or place under the tree! 813.241.8838