Make us your home page

Lil' Taste of Country food truck wheels into Brandon

BRANDON — So far, Carl Stearns Jr. said, it has been pretty easy to make his business grow.

"Anyone who tries our food becomes a repeat customer," Stearns said.

Stearns opened Lil' Taste of Country this year. He bought an old NASCAR trailer and retooled it, installing a full industrial kitchen and turning it into what he calls "a mobile food dispensing unit."

That's what most people call a food truck.

Most days, Lil' Taste of Country parks on Turkey Creek Road and State Road 60. On alternate Tuesdays it's at Bill's Pharmacy, on SR 60 just east of Parsons Road. Lil' Taste of Country is open from 11 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. five days a week, closed Sunday and Monday.

The fare is authentic barbecue, cooked over low heat.

"I do Southern homestyle cooking," Stearns said. "I start cooking at midnight to start serving at 11 the next morning. I call it fast food cooked slow."

In the evening and on days off, Lil' Taste of Country offers catering. Because he has a much bigger kitchen than most food trucks, Stearns can offer a wide range of menu items for catering jobs. He's not limited to barbecue.

Call (813) 763-6384 for further information.

High-tech business opens in Riverview. Michael Laura runs a high-tech business, but with an old-fashioned philosophy.

Essentially, he said, he keeps his clients happy by being straightforward and scrupulously honest.

"It's all about trust," said Laura, who opened Streams Datalight Technologies on April 25.

Streams Datalight provides technological support for small and mid-sized businesses. Much of its work is focused on schools.

"If they don't have a dedicated IT person or group, we try to be that entity for them," Laura said.

His company can take care of any technology-related task that an in-house IT department would, from designing and setting up networks to providing training in use of new products.

Unlike a lot of other companies that do similar work, Laura said, he doesn't make a profit on equipment and supplies he orders for his clients.

"If I buy something for you, I show you the invoice," he said. "I'll charge you exactly what I paid."

He has been in this line of work, with other companies, for many years, he said, and knows how to get fair prices. If he finds out a supplier has been overcharging, he stops using that supplier immediately and doesn't even consider bids from that company for future jobs.

He generally charges his client companies a flat monthly fee that he negotiates according to their needs. That way they don't have to pay $100 or $200 for a quick phone call to their tech support person, the way they would with some other companies.

Streams Datalight Technologies doesn't have a storefront. To reach the company, call toll-free 1-888-817-4195, email Laura at or go to

If you know of something that should be in Everybody's Business, please contact Marty Clear at

Lil' Taste of Country food truck wheels into Brandon 07/05/12 [Last modified: Thursday, July 5, 2012 4:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Report slams Pinellas construction licensing agency

    Local Government

    LARGO — The Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board mismanaged its finances, lacked accountability and violated its own rules, according to a scathing report released Wednesday by the county's inspector general.

    Rodney Fischer, the executive director of the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board, resigned in January.  [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  2. A meatless burger that tastes like meat? Ciccio Restaurants will serve the Impossible Burger.

    Food & Dining

    TAMPA — The most red-hot hamburger in the nation right now contains no meat.

    Luis Flores, executive chef at Ciccio Restaurant Group, prepares an Impossible Burger at Epicurean Hotel's Food Theatre. Impossible Burger is a plant-based burger that will launch on Sept. 27, 2017 in all the Ciccio Restaurant Group locations, except for Fresh Kitchen. "This burger caters to the carnivorous, not just the vegetarians" said Jeff Gigante, co-founder at Ciccio Restaurant Group. ALESSANDRA DA PRA  |   Times
  3. Construction starts on USF medical school, the first piece of Tampa's Water Street project


    TAMPA — Dozens of workers in hard hats and boots were busy at work at the corner of South Meridian Avenue and Channelside Drive Wednesday morning, signaling the start of construction on the University of South Florida's new Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute.

    Construction is underway for the new Morsani College of Medicine and USF Health Heart Institute in downtown Tampa. This view is from atop Amalie Arena, where local officials gathered Wednesday to celebrate the first piece of what will be the new Water Street District. The USF building is expected to open in late 2019. [ALESSANDRA DA PRA  |   Times]
  4. Tampa Bay among top 25 metro areas with fastest growing economies

    Economic Development

    Tampa Bay had the 24th fastest growing economy among 382 metro areas in the country for 2016. According to an analysis by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Tampa Bay's gross domestic product, or GDP, increased 4.2 percent from 2015 to 2016 to hit $126.2 billion.

    Tampa Bay had the 24th fastest growing economy in the country for 2016. Rentals were one of the areas that contributed to Tampa Bay's GDP growth. Pictured is attorney David Eaton in front of his rental home. 
  5. Tampa Bay cools down to more moderate home price increases

    Real Estate

    The increase in home prices throughout much of the Tampa Bay area is definitely slowing from the torrid rate a year ago.

    This home close to Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa sold for $3.055 million in August, making it Hillsborough County's top sale of the month. [Courtesy of Bredt Cobitz]