RIVERVIEW — A cup of coffee sent Michael and Rebecca Zwerin into a new career.
They were at a franchise show at the Tampa Convention Center last year, toying with the idea of starting a new business, when they accepted a cup of coffee offered by one of the franchise companies. They hadn't even considered any kind of food or beverage business, but after the first sip they knew what they wanted to do.
"We're both coffee lovers," Michael Zwerin said, "and as soon as we tasted that coffee we were hooked."
They bought a franchise and started their own company, Thanks a Latte, out of their home two months ago.
Thanks a Latte offers coffeemaking machines to local businesses. The self-cleaning machines serve up an 8-ounce cup of regular coffee, latte, cappuccino, espresso or chocolate.
Because the machine grinds beans for each individual cup, Zwerin said the coffee drinks are comparable to what places like Starbucks offer, for a fraction of the price. (Thanks a Latte uses Joffrey's beans exclusively.)
Thanks a Latte offers the machines to businesses with no initial cost. The businesses' only expense: $1 for every cup of coffee served. (Volume discounts are available).
The machines can be set up as vending machines, so a company's employees and customers buy each cup. Or they can replace the office coffeemaker and employees can chip in every week for their coffee. Employees have coffee available, and employers like the fact that employees aren't leaving the office a couple of times a day to go to a coffee shop.
One of Thanks a Latte's first customers is a Valrico restaurant that serves its diners with the coffee from the machines, Zwerin said.
The new company is just getting off the ground. The Zwerins are looking for about 30 more businesses to offer Thanks a Latte's brews.
They'll soon be installing a machine in a public area at the Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce so local businesses can sample the coffee.
For information, call (813) 442-1077 or visit thanksalattetampa.com.
Wellness center expands: After eight years in its original location, Bloomingdale Acupuncture & Wellness Center has moved into a bigger space.
Longtime patients shouldn't have much trouble finding the new location, though. It's just a couple of doors down from the original one.
The move to 110 E Bloomingdale Ave., near the corner of John Moore Road, was necessitated by the wellness center's continuing expansion.
A second doctor, Rose Honor, has joined owner and founder Guillermo Caceres. Both are doctors of Oriental medicine and acupuncture.
The center also added three licensed massage therapists to the staff. Bloomingdale Acupuncture & Wellness Center also offers nutritional guidance.
The new space includes a large meeting room, so soon the center will offer free lectures on various health topics.
The center's doctors and massage therapists see clients by appointment between 9:30 a.m. and noon and between 3 and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Call (813) 341-2200 or visit acutampa.com.
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