VALRICO — A five-year search for just the right setting to build his dream business has taken William Guzman about 700 feet away from where it all began.
Guzman owns the Latino's Supermarket in Valrico across from the Home Depot just north of the State Road 60 and Mount Carmel Road intersection.
While he has enjoyed steady business since moving to the area from Long Island, N.Y., in 2006, he envisions a larger store to attract a broader customer base.
Guzman will raze the former Hillsboro Motel & Efficiency Apartments near his current location and construct a 7,000-square-foot fresh market visible from the highway.
"It will be more catered to international people, not just Spanish," said Guzman, who estimates 85 percent of his customers are Latino.
The new construction will replace his 13,000-square-foot operation he rents at 131 N Mount Carmel Road with a focus on what he calls reasonably priced produce and freshly prepared meals.
Guzman estimates his catering and buffet sales account for 25 percent of his business and said he donates leftovers daily to local churches and charity organizations "because Spanish food is never the same the next day."
"We try to give people good prices with good products," said Guzman, who doesn't consider larger supermarkets his competition. "Publix will always have their customers, Walmart will always have their customers and we have our customers."
Guzman said he will continue to rent space to some of the other convenient service providers his customers have grown accustomed to, such as the hair salon, locksmith and jeweler.
He expects the new store to create 20 new positions.
Learn more by contacting the Latino's Supermarket at (813) 685-9110.
Simple Life, Bass Pro relationship blossoms
The transformation from foe to friend has taken another step for Kelly Morris and his new relationship with giant outdoors retailer Bass Pro Shops.
Morris, who owns Simple Life Outfitters, recently moved out of the Valrico location he opened in 2010 to grow his brand online, through the more than 70 Bass Pro Shops in North America, traveling shows and events.
Morris, whose company garnered national attention during a trademark infringement logo battle with Bass Pro Shops that came to an amicable resolution in January 2013, closed his 1,200-square-foot shop that featured outdoors apparel on State Road 60 at the end of May.
He has since launched his Kickin' Back line, featuring various images of people from the feet down. The line is available in 29 Bass Pro Shops, with plans to expand throughout the chain by the end of the year.
"It's been pretty exciting," said Morris, who signed a vendor agreement with Bass Pro Shops. "At first, it was scary and we were getting low on funds. Now, the store closing was voluntary and working with them has been great. We are starting a brand from the ground up."
Morris said he is working on more saltwater designs that he calls "different, fresh and original."
Bass Pro Shops has broken ground on a new store in Westfield Brandon. Morris said they are targeting an early 2015 opening.
Go online to facebook.com/ thesimplelifeoutfitters to see Simple Life's offerings.
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