2020 is a year like no other we’ve experienced in our lifetime. It has presented us with challenges that, at first, seemed insurmountable. We’ve evolved as needed to accept and face adversity with strength and perseverance.
This is a year to be especially thankful because we keep on keepin’ on with a little help from the remarkable community surrounding us.
Here is a spotlight on 10 Tampa Bay businesses, and who and what they’re thankful for in 2020.
“This year, I’m especially thankful for the resilience and perseverance of my team. When the pandemic hit, we had to pivot quickly and effectively to adapt to a changing climate. In many ways, the challenges of 2020 were the catalyst we needed to take our business to the next level. Everyone involved remained positive, worked long hours learning new technology, and recognized the opportunity, allowing us to grow and thrive during a difficult time.”
Tim Moore, CEO | Diamond View Studios
If you can dream it, Bake’n Babes can concoct it. From Nutella-stuffed salted chocolate chip cookies to the cookie dough-Oreo-brownie batter layered sleazy brownie and the over-the-top signature shake, Bake’n Babes has been the landmark for trendy treats since 2017. Currently operating in GenX Tavern and awaiting its second location in Armature Works, their specialty items will never steer your taste buds wrong.
“There’s a lot of lessons 2020 has taught me, but an important one for me was learning to be flexible and being able to quickly adapt to change. When the pandemic closed down a lot of places, it also closed down our home for our bakery. We had to pivot, and quickly find a new home to operate out of. I’m thankful for the kindness and generosity of Dave Burton and his team for allowing Bake’n Babes to operate out of GenX Tavern. I was thankful that we were able to keep all of our staff and operate safely with a contactless pickup for our customers. I had to shift my feelings of certain desserts that I loved making, and look at things from a more data-driven perspective. We changed our menu to be more labor and cost-conscious. We are very thankful that we have now found a new and permanent home in Armature Works. We are extremely thankful to Chas Bruck and the entire Armature Works family for believing in us, and giving us a place to call our home.”
Julie Curry, CEO | Bake’n Babes
Tampa Bay Buccaneer-turned-entrepreneur Vincent Jackson is CEO of residential and commercial real estate firm CTV Capital, responsible for more than $100 million in Florida development since 2014. He also keeps himself busy as the owner of two Tampa hot spots (Cask Social and Fergs Live) and entertainment center/event venue, Manhattan Casino in St. Pete.
“I am thankful this year for the durability and flexibility of members of my staff in multiple industries. We were cautious and pragmatic, but we were able to survive and sustain until the environment improves. We are far from getting through the tough times but we feel educated and are equipped.”
Vincent Jackson, CEO | CTV Capital
You’ll find serial restauranteur Dave Burton behind the likes of Flock and Stock at Sparkman Wharf, as well as the ’80s and ’90s retro-style GenX Tavern and deliciously delightful Tampa Pizza Company, where he is managing partner.
“Throughout the craziness of this year, I’ve learned that I’m thankful for how appreciated our hospitality industry is and how important we are to the fabric of our society and culture. We’re the places people go to meet the loves of their life, to celebrate life’s events, and we are the foundation for how neighborhoods are built. Certainly, our country’s health and economic recovery are priorities 1 and 2, but restaurants, bars, and the hospitality industry play a vital role in the 3rd and final phase–the recovery of the human spirit, which may just be the most important phase of this pandemic.”
Dave Burton, CEO | Burton Holdings
Jeff Gigante is best-known as the co-founder of Hyde Park Village’s Forbici Modern Italian and CRG, the parent company of several popular restaurant brands, including Fresh Kitchen, Taco Dirty and Daily Eats. Last month, Jeff launched Next Level Brands with real estate maven Andrew Wright and attorney and investor Joseph Guggino. The vision for “elevate the culinary landscape of Tampa Bay by creating a collection of highly lauded dining experiences.” Next Level Brands’ concepts currently include Forbici Modern Italian and others are just around the corner.
“What I’m most thankful for this year is that we’ve all been taught what’s most important in our lives are not things or status but our loved ones and the health and wellness of those in our lives. Having just opened a new business 6 months prior to the pandemic I’m super thankful that this time allowed me to lead our team in a dignified and thoughtful way keeping our community and those less fortunate foremost in our mind and to show in real-time that how much you give of yourself directly correlates to what you receive back in blessings.”
Jeff Gigante, co-founder | Forbici Modern Italian
Serving Tampa since 2017, The Law Offices of Ryan Cappy specializes in business interruption claims and personal injury claims (wrongful death, slip and falls, auto accidents, et al.). Cappy Law is also Tampa’s go-to for wills and trusts, social security disability, medical malpractice and more.
“In 2020, I’ve been thankful for our entire legal team and the way they have embraced technology as a way to adapt and make our law firm thrive while in a pandemic. This year showed me that while working remotely we can remain, and even become more efficient and embrace different types of technologies to make our firm more streamlined. This innovation will only benefit us when we move back to a more normal workplace office setting. I am extremely proud and thankful for our staff who have shown flexibility, discipline and adaptability during Covid, while our law firm has been remote.”
Ryan Cappy, founder | The Law Offices of Ryan Cappy
Sparxoo is a full-service integrated digital marketing agency that champions brands like Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, Symphonic Distribution and Tech Data. Sparxoo ignites brands with innovative online marketing campaigns, brand strategy and web sites. Looking to WOW the world with video? Look no further than Sparxoo Studios, the award-winning video storytellers behind campaigns for Fleming’s Steakhouse, Sparkman Wharf, St. Pete Distillery and Fintech. Sparxoo CEO and founding partner David Capece went a step further and launched CROOW, a creative collaboration platform, this spring. With the tagline “Unite and Conquer,” CROOW’s goal is to streamline project collaboration between creators and clients.
“Resilience and teamwork have helped us make it through 2020. Accordingly, I am most thankful for our team rallying together with passion and focus to deliver great work on behalf of our clients, all while embracing the adventure of new ways of working. As we turn the calendar to 2021, I look forward to applying our collective energies to growth and new creative explorations.”
David Capece, CEO | Sparxoo
“This year I’m thankful for all the creativity that has been spawned during these times and for technology which has allowed us to continue assisting all of our family law clients without interruption. I am grateful that we have been able to grow our business during this unusual year!”
Christina Anton Garcia, co-founder | Anton Garcia Law
Choose Ideal Agent and don’t sweat the home-selling process. They’ve already done the dirty work for you by interviewing top-ranking agents and negotiating commissions. Sellers will be matched with ideal, full-service agents at an ideal commission. Ideal Agent’s SMART SELLER system helps home sellers get the maximum for their homes.
“Being in residential real estate, the onset of COVID brought back memories of the real estate market crash during the Great Recession. Our business model was put to the test and luckily excelled during the lockdowns. I’m thankful for my friends, family and team that allows me to pursue my passion for innovating the real estate industry.”
Steve Johnston, founder/CEO | Ideal Agent
Backed by their extensive payroll platform and comprehensive payroll experience, Clearwater’s Switch Payroll Services partners with companies to provide a smooth payroll experience for both employers and employees. They go beyond payroll and offer solutions in human resources, time and attendance, workers’ comp and 401k for industries including restaurants/hospitality, manufacturing, healthcare and professional services.
“I am thankful for the mentorship I have had in my career and personal life to have the courage to start a business during this pandemic. As exciting as starting a business can be, it is also scary for the unknown. However, having over 20 years’ experience in the industry, I am confident in order to be successful. I’m thankful for the partnerships and professional relationships I have gained and leaned on in order to start and grow this new venture. Overall I am thankful for my family and friends that have been there in my life and career.”