A Special Welcome To New Members
1930 E. 7th Avenue
Tampa, FL 33605
Thank You To Renewing Members
Tampa, FL 33611
Bright House Networks
4145 S. Falkenberg Rd., Suite 1
Riverview, FL 33578
ELEMENT Engineering Group, LLC
Derek M. Gil
1713 E. 9th Avenue
Tampa, FL 33605
La Tropicana Cafe'
1822 E 7th Avenue
Tampa, FL 33605
Publix Super Markets, Inc
P O Box 32024
Lakeland, FL 33802
Ron Dennison Insurance Agency, Inc.
8019 North Himes Avenue #405
Tampa, FL 33614
Click on a highlighted company name to learn more about your fellow members.
As you all know, Ybor City is known for its cigars and its history. One of our members is an aficionado on both subjects, Wally Reyes, owner of the Gonzalez Habano Cigar Co. and Ybor's Cigar Industry History Tour. Wally is a grand master cigar maker and along with his wife, Margarita, currently holds the Guinness World Record for the World's Longest Cigar, rolled at the November 21, 2009, "Cigar Heritage Festival" in Ybor City. The cigar was measured at 196 ft. 3 3/8 in. and returned the honor back to the U.S. from Cuba.
In addition to rolling and selling his own cigars, Wally is also an Ybor City tour guide, sharing the rich history that makes Ybor unique. Cigar Industry History Tours are conducted daily from the Ybor City Museum. Wally is a walking encyclopedia of Ybor City and a must for history buffs.
In addition, Wally is the Chamber's "official" cigar roller for our events. Since the Chamber took back the production of Fiesta Day in 2010, Wally has joined us every year as a vendor on 7th Avenue, and he rolls cigars for our annual Ybor Aficionado Days Smoker.
Wally is a real Ybor City gem!
Cigar Industry Tour
Gonzalez Habano Cigar Co.
March 13-21 Snack Food Association SNAXPO
Estimated Attendance: 1,400
Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina
March 19-23Estimated Attendance: 2500
HQ Hotel: Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina
Ybor City in the Green Again!
Things were hopping this Friday and Saturday from one end of La Setima to the other. Thanks to Tampa's Rough Riders for a very successful St. Patrick's Day Weekend in Ybor City! From the Hop on Friday night to the parade on Saturday night to post-parade recovery Sunday morning, the members of the Rough Riders were wonderful hosts. Krewe leaders got to know each other on a personal level.
Michele and I entertained my sister and brother-in-law this weekend. Bill is on the Staff of Andrew Jackson from Springtime Tallahassee and they were in town to participate in the parade. A lot of folks don't appreciate the economic impact these special events have on the community. This one crew from the Florida's Capital City brought in 60 couples for 2 nights and 3 days, contributing well-over $20,000 to the local economy.
Next up is the Gasparilla International Film Festival (GIFF) this week, March 19th through 24th. GIFF will hold many showings, panels and special events in the Historic District during this year's edition. The Chamber and YCDC have been working for some time to bring more of GIFF's great activities to Ybor City.
The Chamber's next special event is Ybor Aficionado Days coming-up on Saturday, April 13th and Sunday, April 14th. Aficionado Days celebrates the rolling of the first commercial cigar in Ybor on April 13, 1886 and the inauguration of Tampa's Cigar Industry. Saturday is the Tapas Trail and After Party/Smoker and Sunday is the Brunch at the Columbia and the amateur "Tapas Cooking Challenge." Buy tickets for one or both days on-line at www.ybor.org.
If you are a member of the Ybor City Chamber or interested in becoming one, join us for Ybor after Work on Thursday, March 21st, 5:00 to 7:00 at one of Ybor newest restaurants, Buffalo Wild Wings, for complimentary wings and drink specials. This is a great opportunity to meet fellow Chamber members and develop new business relationships.
Ciao - Tom Keating
During the Tapas Trail, stroll the streets of historic Ybor City while you sample tapas, hors d'oeuvres, antipasti and mesa at over a dozen of Ybor's top restaurants. Unwind at the After Party & Smoker at the Italian Club. Enjoy music, premium cigars, desserts, café con leche, and samples of rum, wine and beer. On Sunday, enjoy a Silent Auction with great prizes, live jazz, a lavish buffet & the Tapas Cooking Challenge at the historic Columbia Restaurant in Ybor City. 813.241.8838
May 13- 7th Annual Ybor City Chamber Golf Tournament, Mon. 11AM- The Ybor Chamber will once again be spending a day out on the green with our member golf player in a shot gun start, four person scramble at Emerald Greens Golf Resort & Country Club. By participating in this event you will be introducing your company to many local professionals as well as supporting the Ybor City Chamber of Commerce and its HCC Scholarship Fund. For more details call 813.248.3712 x22
Events and Announcements by Tom Favata
Click on the highlighted event name for more information.
Now thru March 24- StageWorks Presents Annie Baker's Circle Mirror Transformation- In this hilarious and touching play we catch glimpses of the poignant drama that animates ordinary lives in a small town acting workshop. The play celebrates the subtle and surprising transformative power of creativity where secrets come to light in unexpected ways. 813.251.8984
Now thru April 20- Small Business Entrepreneurship Workshop- HCC's Institute for Corporate & Continuing Education is offering a workshop designed to help participants develop a solid business plan as a first step in ensuring the success of any business venture. 813.253.7982
March 23- The Great Egg Race, Sat. 10AM- The Christian Family Church invites children and families from Ybor and neighboring downtown communities to enjoy a day that includes an egg hunt, food, games, live entertainment and prizes. 813.802.8736
March 28- Think Tank Thursdays, Thurs. 6PM- 8PM- Join retired Police Major Gerald Honeywell at Swope, Rodante P.A. for this networking event for Tampa Bay Business Leaders & Professionals. There will be cocktails, appetizers and idea exchanges. RSVP at 813.283.8035
April 4 thru 26- 39th Annual HCC Juried Student Art Exhibition- The Ybor School of Visual and Performing Arts Gallery on Hillsborough Community College's Ybor Campus invites you to see some of the best works produced by their students during their annual juried art exhibition. 813.253.7674
April 7- 16th Annual Festa Italiana, Sun. 10:30AM- 6:30PM- Everyone's favorite Italian festival is right around the corner. Mark your calendars now. Get more details at www.festaitalianatampa.com or by calling 813.342.3630
April 20- Community Yard Sale, Sat. 10:00AM- 4PM- Sentry Self Storage is throwing a Yard Sale at their property. A portion of the proceeds raised will benefit the March of Dimes. 813.248.6569
April 20- 12th Annual 5K Roar Through Ybor, Sat. 6:30AM- The Race for Sight raises funds to make sight-saving corneal transplants possible and to support those in our community who are visually impaired. There will be an after race celebration, cool prizes, t-shirts, goodie bags, and awards for top male and female in 11 age divisions.