Sunday, November 19, 2017
Business

Brewery plans to open in Ozona on Pinellas Trail

RECOMMENDED READING


OZONA — Unlike the classic board game, this Candy Lane has no gumdrop mountains, lollipop woods or peanut brittle houses.

But if the owners of Tampa Bay Brewing Company have their way, the short street in Ozona will soon be identified with another type of treat: craft beer.

John and Vicki Doble and their son David began Tampa Bay Brewing Company 18 years ago in Ybor City. They are ready to open a second microbrewery, and they want to do it on Candy Lane, which borders the Pinellas Trail in laid-back Ozona.

The Doble family has offered $1.04 million to Brad, Judy and Todd Kugler, owners of DVA Inc., a wholesale distribution company, for a 23,500-square-foot warehouse at 133 Candy Lane. The closing is scheduled for Nov. 7, according to David Doble.

"We'll start construction the next day,'' said Doble, 36. "We've been thinking about this for quite some time.''

The Ozona brewery will have a 15,000-square-foot production area, Doble said. It will include six tanks for fermenting, two brite tanks (to carbonate the beer) and a 5,000-square-foot packing area where workers will fill kegs or cans. It will also include a tasting room for patrons to sip freshly brewed beer while watching the action on the Pinellas Trail through a large picture window.

Since the Dobles started the business in 1995, they have seen annual sales grow to $3.8 million, Doble said.

They struck a licensing deal this year with a former customer, Norm Lehman, who has opened Tampa Bay Brewing Company Coral Springs.

And they've seen the popularity of their Old Elephant Foot IPA grow, with Great Bay Distributors and Pepin Distributing placing it in select stores on both sides of Tampa Bay.

By the end of 2014, David Doble hopes to hire 75 workers for the Ozona location, including office staffers, production workers and servers. He's hoping for more robust sales of Old Elephant Foot IPA and wants to add at least one more brew to his repertoire.

"We already have a name picked out. It will be called the Reef Donkey. It will have a secret selection of hops with a lemon/citrus and slightly tropical fruit aroma,'' Doble said. "Anyone who has fished this area knows a reef donkey is a nickname for the amberjack, and fishing is a great part of this area. We want it to be all about our locale.''

The Dobles began looking at the Ozona property months ago. Because it's close to Ozona Elementary School and alcohol would be sold there, the Dobles needed a variance from the county board of adjustment, according to John Cueva, zoning manager for the county planning department.

"It ended up that the variance was granted, but with several conditions,'' Cueva said. "They'll need to be reviewed annually, as well as things like dispensing only beer, no hard liquor, and putting extra lighting out in the parking area.''

Ken Donald, a longtime Ozona resident and community advocate, was skeptical when he first heard about the Dobles' plan. This year, Donald was an outspoken opponent of J.C. Craver's, a restaurant that brought late-night crowds when it offered live entertainment. The restaurant closed in June.

So Donald attended the adjustment board meeting.

"I wanted to make sure that the same thing wasn't going to happen again,'' he said. "I'm glad to hear that certain requirements were put in place, and actually, I'm excited. To think of a microbrewery and a product made here in Palm Harbor and sold elsewhere is exciting.''

Doble, who plans to move his wife and two daughters to Ozona by the end of the year, is thrilled that the business has gotten the go-ahead.

"Look, we want to be a feather in Ozona's cap. That's what we've always wanted.''

Piper Castillo can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 445-4163.

Comments

Stolen car crashes in St. Pete, leaving passenger, 15, with life threatening injuries

Two boys in a stolen car struck a dip in the roadway and crashed into a tree, leaving the 15-year-old passenger with life-threatening injuries, St. Petersburg police said.The crash occurred about 11:25 a.m. Sunday as the car sped west on 11th Avenue ...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Search suspended for missing Cortez boater who left from Egmont Key

The U.S. Coast Guard suspended its search for a missing 63-year-old boater on Sunday evening, two days after he and his dog were reported missing 5 miles northwest of Mead Point, just inland from Anna Maria Island.On Friday, Fraser Horne of Cortez le...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Parents, children welcome downsized MOSI in Tampa

Parents, children welcome downsized MOSI in Tampa

TAMPA — Avery, 6, slid his sneakers up the side of 200-pound rubber tire from the space shuttle Columbia and sat on top.His father, Ilder Jeannot, called for him to get off of it — usually climbing on museum displays is frowned upon. But in the new M...
Published: 11/18/17
Updated: 11/19/17
Sunday Conversation: Tona Bell invites customers to enjoy a ‘digital detox’

Sunday Conversation: Tona Bell invites customers to enjoy a ‘digital detox’

Like so many small businesses, Saturday will represent a special day for Paper Seahorse owner Tona Bell. Bell’s cozy bungalow business at 211 S Howard features paper and stationery, specialty pens, vintage typewriters and crafts classes. It will offe...
Published: 11/17/17
Updated: 11/19/17
Florida jobs recover from Irma, unemployment rate drops

Florida jobs recover from Irma, unemployment rate drops

As economists predicted, the tough hit that Florida jobs took from Hurricane Irma was not long-lived. The state added 125,300 jobs in October, almost breaking even from the 127,400 jobs it lost in September. According to state figures released Friday...
Published: 11/17/17
Apple will postpone release of  HomePod

Apple will postpone release of HomePod

The Washington PostApple said Friday that it’s pushing back its plans for a Siri-powered smart speaker until sometime early next year.The HomePod speaker was announced in June, with an initial launch date set for December. Apple said that its smart s...
Published: 11/17/17
HSN, Good Housekeeping pick five contest finalists

HSN, Good Housekeeping pick five contest finalists

ST. PETERSBURG — Good Housekeeping and St. Petersburg-based HSN have chosen five finalists for their entrepreneur competition. The partners are searching for a novel item to promote as endorsed by the Good Housekeeping Seal, denoting reliability and ...
Published: 11/17/17
Trigaux: State of Tampa Bay startups? Disconnected we falter but there’s a plan to fix that

Trigaux: State of Tampa Bay startups? Disconnected we falter but there’s a plan to fix that

How are we doing?That was the Big Question posed more than once this past week in Tampa Bay. First, the Tampa Bay Partnership and USF debuted in-depth and new ways to measure Tampa Bay across a wide range of indicators to gauge whether we are gaining...
Published: 11/17/17
Tesla’s latest creation: An electric big rig that can travel 500 miles on a single charge

Tesla’s latest creation: An electric big rig that can travel 500 miles on a single charge

The main course was expected: a pair of sleek silver Tesla semi-trucks that get 500 miles per charge, go from zero to 60 mph in five seconds and — if the hype is to be believed — promise to single-handedly transform the commercial trucking industry.B...
Published: 11/17/17
We ask Tampa Bay startup leaders how best to advance entrepreneurial ecosystem

We ask Tampa Bay startup leaders how best to advance entrepreneurial ecosystem

What one thing could be added to the Tampa Bay startup community to help it grow and prosper?The Tampa Bay Times reached out to these leading area entrepreneurs and startup experts for answers.RELATED COVERAGE: Trigaux: State of Tampa Bay startups? D...
Published: 11/17/17