Bad Ass Coffee of Hawaii opens in Lutz
Bad Ass Coffee of Hawaii has opened a franchise in Lutz, at 25195 State Road 54. The shop offers premium coffees with a kick, branded merchandise, and menu items inspired by the Hawaiian Islands, according to a news release. The Lutz location is owned and operated by local entrepreneurs Chris and Jillian Bruckner.
Local to the Tampa area since 2010, the Bruckners have been a part of Tampa’s booming economic growth, opening four gas stations and three Taco Bus franchises to serve the community, according to the release. The Bruckners signed a development agreement that will bring five locations to the Tampa area. The Lutz opening signifies Bad Ass Coffee’s debut in the Tampa area.
Bad Ass Coffee of Hawaii – Lutz is open Monday through Sunday 5 a.m.to 10 p.m. For more information, call 813-949-2428, or visit https://locations.badasscoffee.com/list/fl/lutz/.
Pasco EDC annual award winners
The Pasco Economic Development Council (Pasco EDC) had its 34th Annual Awards celebration at Pasco-Hernando State College’s Instructional Performing Arts Center (IPAC), at 8657 Old Pasco Road, on the evening of Sept. 8.
Here’s a look at the recipients and a condensed description of their contributions, which were detailed in a news release from the Pasco EDC:
- Pasco Establishment Award: nfant Labs
This company expanded its business into Pasco County in 2022, adding a 2,000-square-foot product assembly manufacturing location in Port Richey. The business is a medical device and digital health company that produces a product line that helps neonatal intensive care units determine how premature babies are feeding so they can learn to feed on their own, which enables them to go home sooner.
- Economic Excellence Award (small category): Florida Avenue Brewing Company
This company recently invested $900,000 in new equipment and increased its brewing capacity from 40,000 kegs to 70,000 kegs. It added eight jobs in manufacturing and sales, including a full-time lab manager, allowing them to run full testing on all products and to help smaller breweries with troubleshooting issues. The company also has expanded to the Destin area and is seeking to expand its presence overseas.
- Economic Excellence Award (large category): Global Electronic Testing Services
This company has experienced rapid growth during the past year and has invested $1.6 million in the purchase of an 8,600-square-foot facility in the West Pasco Industrial Park, as well as more than $3 million on automation equipment. It has hired more than 100 new employees. Since 2022, the company has added more than 209 new customers globally and increased its services by nine, bringing the total to 27. It has increased its aerospace and defense market from 10% to 60%. The company also has developed an AI Counterfeit Vision System (patent pending) to improve its efficiency and serve more customers at a quicker pace.
- SMARTstart Entrepreneur of the Year: Alexis C. Bell and Paul Dunlop, Fraud Doctor
This company provides robust anti-fraud solutions, helping to safeguard businesses from fraud threats. Their services play an integral role in creating a transparent and fair business environment. Bell and Dunlop, who are the FinTech’s founders, joined SMARTstart in August of 2021 and are based at the SMARTstart at the Grove Entrepreneur Center in Wesley Chapel. They are active in entrepreneur roundtables as well as classes and workshops. Fraud Doctor launched its new Šóta Signal Analytics product less than two years later at the Synapse Summit at Amalie Arena in early 2023.
- Special Recognition: AmSkills
This nonprofit provides hands-on training for high-demand trade skills that are helping to shape the future of American manufacturing. AmSkills’ programs are instrumental in bridging the skills gap and ensuring a well-equipped workforce for the industries of tomorrow. The nonprofit’s staff grew from five employees to nine in 2022 and helped to launch more than 200 new careers into the local manufacturing industry. The organization recently has invested $1.3 million for 4.5 acres and $2.2 million in a 13,600-square-foot facility in Holiday, and an additional $1.3 million dollars in Advanced Manufacturing Training Equipment for Mechatronics, Robotics, Machining, 3D Printing, Laser and Metal Fabrication.
- Leadership Award: Ray Gadd
Ray Gadd has worked with Pasco County Schools for more than 30 years, serving as deputy superintendent since 2012. He has been involved in numerous education and human service organizations, including the Central Florida Behavioral Health Network, the Pasco Planning Commission, the Pasco Pediatric Foundation and several nonprofit organizations. He played a leading role in helping to pass the first Penny for Pasco Referendum in 2004, and has been heavily involved in numerous school district initiatives and partnerships, including the Kirkland Ranch Academy of Innovation, Starkey Ranch K-8, Angeline Academy of Innovation, PHSC’s Instructional Performing Arts Center (IPAC) and others.
An estimated 400 local professionals and leaders attended the event.
These business celebrations were recently held or will be held soon, based on news releases sent to The Laker/Lutz News, or postings on various organization websites:
- Euphoric Ink Studio, 2107 Mariner Blvd., in Spring Hill, will host a grand opening on Sept. 29 at 6 p.m., with food, games, raffles and giveaways, and music by DJ Kue. For more information, visit the tattoo studio on Facebook.
- Esthetics813 had its grand opening celebrations on Sept. 15, Sept. 16 and Sept. 17 at its second location, at 5700 Saddlebrook Way in Wesley Chapel.
- Subaru of Wesley Chapel had its grand opening on Sept. 7, at 26570 Silver Maple Parkway in Wesley Chapel.
- Disruptive Marketing Headquarters hosted its grand opening on Aug. 24, at 9502 N. Florida Ave., Suite B, in Tampa.
- Brightway Insurance had a ribbon-cutting on Aug. 21, at 2470 State Road 54 in Lutz.
- Precious Paws Animal Hospital had a grand opening on Aug. 16, at 326 W. Bearss Ave., in Tampa.
Pasco EDC welcomes Don Anderson
Don Anderson has joined the Pasco Economic Development Council’s SMARTstart team and will manage the new West Pasco Entrepreneur Center in Holiday.