Writer Elizabeth Stafford spotlights some of her favorite small businesses in Tampa, Florida and shares how you can help support these local spots during COVID-19.
** Please check with the individual businesses for their most up-to-date operation plans.
South Florida: 6102 S Macdill Avenue, Tampa, FL 33611
Seminole Heights: 5206 N Florida Avenue, Tampa, FL 33603
What I love about this business: I love this business because they always provide me with an amazing vanilla latte or cafe con leche. They’re always so friendly, and the setting is so relaxing.
Mission: “To provide our community with the best possible coffee in an environment that is relaxing and unique. We are community driven coffee.”
Ways we can help: “You can order online, purchase gift cards, or leave a tip for our staff at spaddyscoffee.com. Both locations are open 7 days a week with online, contactless pick up.”
A positive message: “We are all in this together and we will overcome this. Stay positive, stay healthy, and stay caffeinated. We are here for you!”
Bed of Roses (Tattoo Studio)
4340 S Manhattan Ave, Tampa, FL 33611
What I love about this business: Josh has done all my tattoo pieces, and I couldn’t trust anyone more with creating the exact piece I want. I’ve seen the work of all the artists, and it’s truly a talented team. The atmosphere is always super relaxed, and it’s a great place for super aesthetic photos.
Mission (in owner Josh Agostinelli’s words): “A ‘bed of roses’ is an idiom that translates to a comfortable situation, and that’s exactly what we aim for. We pride ourselves on our customer service, creative diversity, and inclusivity.”
Ways we can help: “All of our artists are available for commissions if you’d like a drawing/painting made custom for you or a loved one. You can reach out to any of us by following the artist links on our shop Instagram.” (Josh is selling shirts on his Instagram.)
A positive message from the owner: “We all have so many things to be thankful for. In these uncertain times, rather than being fearful and angry, be grateful. Use this time to cherish your loved ones, explore yourself, and grow.”
2019 W Kennedy Blvd, Tampa, FL 33609
What I love about this business: Every time I walk into this place, I am greeted with such big smiles and energy! The instructors give their all during a workout, and they get to know everyone who walks in the door. I feel nothing but loved and supported here.
Mission (in the words of manager/instructor Stephen Long): “SOHO CYCLING is a place you can call home. We are a boutique-style indoor-cycling studio offering a friendly, fun, judgment-free zone where everyone is WELCOME. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or a beginner taking your first class, our riders come to us from all different backgrounds, levels of fitness, and experience.”
Ways we can help (in the words of the business owner): “Purchase packages online at sohocycling.com. these packages will be active for 1 year once we are fully operational again! Purchase clothes on our Instagram! Every Friday we will be featuring a 72 hr FLASH FRIDAY SALE! These will be custom pieces or sets that will be on sale for 72 hours. Check out the Instagram story and highlight before they are gone at @sohocycling”
A positive message: “I just want to remind everyone that our lives don’t stop in quarantine. LIFE, by definition, talks about our capacity for growth, reproduction, functional activity, and listening….CONTINUAL CHANGE. It’s new yes, but to be afraid….good…but change is literally what we do. Change is a part of our lives and should be fully embraced. Anyways, that’s how I see it. We use work, errands, workouts, etc. as distractions and social interactions as a tool to help us model our emotional responses to various things. So many people don’t have those things to distract or model their lives anymore and are having to truly be alone with their thoughts which can be exhausting. But find comfort in not understanding, knowing that it’s OK not to have the answer or know the next step, that it’s ok to sleep in a little or not have a routine. It’s new, it’s different…but it’s ‘change.’ And CHANGE will only lead to growth.”
Update (5/20/2020): Most instructors are back, but there have been several schedule changes. They are operating at a much lower capacity than usual to promote social distancing. The bikes are spread out. Check out The SOHO Promise for full details.
King State (Drinks/Breakfast/Lunch)
520 E Floribraska Ave, Tampa, FL 33603
What I love about this business: I love seeing a local business that has had so much love and hard work poured into it. The aesthetic, coffee, and food are perfect. Everyone is so kind, and I love being there while getting work done.
Ways we can help: You can check out their site and order ahead for curbside pick-up. All you have to do is drive up, call the shop, and they will bring it out. They even have latte growlers! On Friday nights, they’ve been doing pizza nights. Check out their Instagram for their pizza night details.
Faedo Family Bakery
5150 N Florida Ave, Tampa, FL, 33603
What I love about this business: This bakery has the best Cuban bread! Everything there is made with love, and it all tastes amazing. The prices are also extremely reasonable. Before quarantine, it was open 24 hours!
Ways we can help: Stop by and pick up a few loaves of bread! It is cash only, but I get a few feet of Cuban bread for only two or three dollars. Check their Facebook for hours, and make sure it’s only a couple in the small store at a time when you visit. As a tip, grab one of the full loaves of bread, cut off what you want, and then freeze the rest for a later time!
Buddy Brew Coffee
Three locations currently open:
2020 W. Kennedy Blvd, Tampa, FL 33606
1605 Snow Ave, Tampa, FL 33606
1289 N. Palm Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236
What I love about this business: The coffee is amazing, and all of the staff members are so kind. Every shop has a clean, modern aesthetic. It’s a great place to get some work done or meet for business.
Ways we can help: Download the Buddy Brew app on your phone and order ahead of time. Once ordered, stop by and grab it! A lot of their locations are in places that are great for your daily walk outside so it’s definitely convenient to stop by.
Update (5/20/2020): You can also donate to their employee relief fund here.
Mandarin Heights (Craft Cocktails)
5901 N Florida Ave, Tampa, FL 33604
What I love about this business: Their cocktails are amazing, and the whole vibe of the place is fun. It’s a great place to hang out with friends and grab cute pictures. (If you’re of age, of course!)
Ways we can help: They are doing curbside cocktails through their Instagram. Look at the menu, text the provided number your order, and go pick it up during the designated time window! You’ll get all the ingredients sealed up in little bags, and you can put it all together at home.
Ichicoro (Ramen Bowls)
5229 N Florida Ave, Tampa, FL 33603
What I love about this business: The ramen bowls are to die for! Their restaurant always has a great environment, and the food will leave you full and satisfied.
Ways we can help: They are doing pick-up, no-contact delivery, and providing ramen kits here. Order some ramen, curl up in your pajamas, and have the perfect night.
STORY ELIZABETH STAFFORD
PHOTO TIM MOSSHOLDER