Business Digest 01/30/2019

At the center of this photo are, from left, Pasco County Commissioner Jack Mariano, Wawa store manager Ana Karina Cespedes and Pasco County Commissioner Kathryn Starkey, among store associates and community members, getting ready for the ribbon cutting for Wawa’s Odessa Store No. 5334. (Courtesy of Ron Riccio/WaWa)

Wawa opens in Odessa
A new Wawa location opened at 12048 State Road 54 in Odessa, with a ribbon cutting and grand opening celebration on the morning of Jan. 24. It is the first Wawa store in Odessa.

Pasco County commissioners Jack Mariano and Kathryn Starkey attended the event, which featured giveaways and a hoagie-building competition between Pasco County Fire Rescue and the Pasco Sheriff Office with $1,000 donation made to charity of each team’s choosing.

Store officials also announced a commitment to support hunger relief efforts with a portion of the first week’s hoagie sales up to $1,000, to benefit Feeding Tampa Bay.

2019 Economic Forecast Luncheon
John B. Jung Jr., senior management director and head of BB& T Capital Markets, will talk about “The U.S. Economy — Facts are Stubborn Things” during the 2019 Economic Forecast Luncheon on Feb. 1 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., at Hyatt Place of Wesley Chapel, 26000 Sierra Center Blvd., in Lutz.

Registration is $40, with a $10 discount for Pasco County Staff. Advance registration is required no later than Jan. 31.

To register, go to and click on the Events tab.

Treasured Friends Gift Shop helps ‘Love One Another’
Treasured Friends Gift Shop, at 12329 U.S. 301 in Dade City, had a food drive at its store to benefit “Love One Another,” a charitable organization that provides a hot meal to those in need every Sunday, according to a news release from Lucy Avila.

“Love One Another” also receives food donations, pet food and clothing, to distribute to people in need, Avila said, in the release.

This is third time that Treasured Friends Gift Shop had a food drive to benefit “Love One Another.”

For more information about “Love One Another,” call Lucy Avila at (352) 424-4972.

Bay Brick Pavers opens showroom in Land O’ Lakes
Bay Brick Pavers has opened a custom patio paver showroom at 3940 Lake Padgett Drive in Land O’ Lakes, according to a news release. Unlike many warehouse-sized patio paver facilities, this showroom aims to gives customers a personal experience, in a scaled-down retail space. The showroom has an extensive inventory of paver samples on the facility’s floor, with displays of retaining walls and fire pits.

The showroom features a wide range of premium hardscaping products for outdoor spaces, including brick pavers, concrete pavers, clay pavers and thin pavers.

The showroom will serve customers in Land O Lakes, Wesley Chapel, Lutz, Odessa and Tampa. To learn more, visit, email moc.s1566243561revap1566243561kcirb1566243561yab@o1566243561fni1566243561, or call (813) 850-2651.

East Pasco Networking Group
Supervisor of Elections Brian Corley will be the featured speaker at the Feb. 12 breakfast meeting of the East Pasco Networking Group. The meeting, which starts at 7:30 a.m., will be at IHOP, at 13100 U.S. 301 in Dade City.

Central Pasco Chamber
Rena Romano will be the featured speaker at the Central Pasco Chamber of Commerce’s general membership meeting on Feb. 12 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Plantation Palms Golf Club, 23253 Plantation Palms Blvd., in Land O’ Lakes. Romano will talk about “Accountability and Leadership Skills to Succeed in Business.”

The cost for the luncheon meeting is $20 for members who RSVP by the Thursday before the meeting, and $25 for non-members and members at the door.

To contact the chamber, call (813) 909-2722.

WOW-Too (Wow of Trinity and Odessa)
WOW-Too started as Women of Wesley Chapel and was so popular that it expanded into Trinity and Odessa. The group meets on the third Wednesday of each month from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m., at the Holiday Inn Express Trinity, 2125 Corporate Center Drive in Trinity.

Connerton sale
The Tampa division of Lennar recently purchased the remaining undeveloped land in Connerton, according to a letter sent to Connerton residents from Lennar and Haymon Woods, the former owner.

Lennar will assume the role of master developer going forward, the letter states.

“With the new change in ownership, Lennar is collaborating with residents to hear what amenities you would like to have, that would maximize the community experience,” the letter states.

Residents also were invited to fill out a survey to let Lennar know their opinion regarding current amenities and what they think can be improved in the future.

Lennar also plans to have a family friendly event on Feb. 9, with food trucks, live music and a bounce house, the letter states. The event will provide an opportunity to “introduce the local Lennar team, meet residents, and discuss plans for the community and the amenities.”

Lennar is currently building in 97 communities throughout Hillsborough and Pasco counties.

Free business seminars
To find out about other free seminars and resources available through Pasco-Hernando Score, visit

Who is your customer?
Learn how to identify your customer in this seminar, which is part of the Pasco Economic Development Council’s SMARTstate Entrepreneur Education Series. This session, called “Who is My Customer?” helps businesses identify the “right kind” of customers for their specific business model.

The free session will be on Feb. 27 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the Dade City Entrepreneur Center, 7838 Meridian Ave., Suite No. 309, in Dade City.

To register, go to the events calendar on the website.

For more information about the entrepreneur center, call (352) 437-4861.

Florida Medical Clinic foundation assists Thomas Promise
The Florida Medical Clinic Foundation of Caring has awarded a $15,000 grant to The Thomas Promise Foundation, according to a news release from the grant award recipient.

“We are grateful for the support of the Foundation of Caring,” said Joe Simmons, executive director of the Thomas Promise Foundation.

Thomas Promise, based at 4542 Gall Blvd., in Zephyrhills, provides bags full of food, complete with six meals and snacks, to enable food insecure students from Pasco County schools to have food over the weekend. It helps more than 1,400 students at a total of 25 schools.

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