Make us your home page

Philly Phlava opens in Bloomingdale; Dog-Eze in-home trainers available

Benjamin Coia, center, has opened a Philly Phlava in the Bloomingdale Plaza anchored by Winn-Dixie. Brothers-in-law Sebastian Pisciolari, left, and Diego Restrepo will run the new shop.

Eric Vician | Special to the Times

Benjamin Coia, center, has opened a Philly Phlava in the Bloomingdale Plaza anchored by Winn-Dixie. Brothers-in-law Sebastian Pisciolari, left, and Diego Restrepo will run the new shop.

BRANDON — Benjamin Coia thought his future was in hockey.

The Philadelphia native played a year at Canisius College in Buffalo, N.Y., and then had his sights set on bringing roller hockey to Philly.

Instead, with the help of his father, John, and support of his wife, Adriana, he brought a taste of Philadelphia to Hillsborough County when he opened Philly Phlava in Town 'N Country in 2005 and expanded into Carrollwood in 2008.

Now the Town 'N Country resident has entrusted the help of his brothers-in-law, Sebastian Pisciolari and Diego Restrepo, to expand to the eastern part of the county. Philly Phlava opened Aug. 31 at 127 E Bloomingdale Ave. in the Bloomingdale Plaza near Winn-Dixie.

"I'm always looking for places," said Coia, who also operated a food stand for Lightning games at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. "From Day 1, the most requested area was Brandon."

Coia said the brothers decided on a third brick-and-mortar location instead of taking the catering trailer out more or starting a food truck business. Philly Phlava has catered everything from surprise 40th birthday parties to St. Patrick's Day parties, and Coia said 30 percent of his business is deliveries — within 5 miles — even to Dallas Cowboys fans on football Sunday.

"Just don't tell us before we make your food," he said jokingly.

Coia and his Philly Phlava brand are as Philadelphia as you can get. From the Flyers orange on the walls to the cheesesteaks — complete with rolls shipped from Amoroso's and your choice of cheese, including Cheez Whiz.

Hoagies and Center City soft pretzels? Check. Italian water ice? Yep. And as a bonus, Hank's soda in the fountain — including orange cream and birch beer.

For the South Jerseyans, panzarotti are on the menu, which translates to a deep-fried pocket of dough, cheese and sauce. Diners can get a 10-inch cheesesteak, small fry and fountain drink for about $10 after tax. Breakfast also is available.

Check out the full menu at

Need to train a puppy? Got a dog with issues?

Brandon has a new dog whisperer for hire. Locals familiar with the Cesar Millan television show where he trained problematic dogs from 2004 to 2012 can now request similar services from Dog-Eze Training Specialists, a family-owned business that Brett and Amy Pittman of Valrico opened last month.

The Pittmans offer the advanced obedience and dog psychology services that kept viewers tuning in to Millan all those years, more common requests include housebreaking and puppy training.

"That's a TV show," said Brett Pittman, who has been training dogs since 1989 and has a golden retriever, Jack Russell terrier and a Morkie (Yorkshire terrier-Maltese) at home.

Pittman recalls a particularly challenging client. He once turned around an ornery 8-year-old cocker spaniel that, despite being the family pet, attacked the daughter to the point of stitches.

"They were going to take it to the pound to put it to sleep," he said. "Within a short period of time the dog's whole demeanor changed from that point forward."

Pittman, who has trained dogs for local athletes, celebrities and media personalities, offers his in-home expertise in Hillsborough, Polk, Pasco and Pinellas counties. His first customer was Dr. Dennis M. Lox, founder and medical director of Florida Spine and Sports Medicine in Clearwater. The day after the Pittmans had a private discussion about going into business, Lox called and wanted his new dog trained because he recalled Brett trained another dog 18 years earlier.

"I kind of feel like it was a God thing," Pittman said. "We kind of rolled into it."

Pittman started training dogs for All-American Dog Training Academy, but has owned and operated American Grounds Maintenance since 1998. He said he wants to "phase out" of his landscaping business in favor of dog training full time, something he has done privately for friends and family members during the past decade.

Visit for information.

If you know of something that should be Everybody's Business, email Eric Vician at

Philly Phlava opens in Bloomingdale; Dog-Eze in-home trainers available 09/04/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 11, 2013 3:44pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Legalized medical marijuana signed into law by Rick Scott

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed into law a broader medical marijuana system for the state, following through on a promise he made earlier this month.

    Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation on Friday that legalizes medical marijuana in Florida.
  2. Line of moms welcome Once Upon A Child to Carrollwood


    CARROLLWOOD — Strollers of all shapes and sizes are lined up in front of the store, and inside, there are racks of children's clothing in every color of the rainbow.

    At Once Upon A Child, you often as many baby strollers outside as you find baby furniture and accessories. It recently opened this location in Carrollwood. Photo by Danielle Hauser
  3. Pastries N Chaat brings North India cuisine to North Tampa


    TAMPA — Pastries N Chaat, a new restaurant offering Indian street food, opened this week near the University of South Florida.

    The menu at Pastries N Chaat includes a large variety of Biriyani, an entree owners say is beloved by millions. Photo courtesy of Pastries N Chaat.
  4. 'Garbage juice' seen as threat to drinking water in Florida Panhandle county


    To Waste Management, the nation's largest handler of garbage, the liquid that winds up at the bottom of a landfill is called "leachate," and it can safely be disposed of in a well that's 4,200 feet deep.

    Three samples that were displayed by Jackson County NAACP President Ronstance Pittman at a public meeting on Waste Management's deep well injection proposal. The sample on the left is full of leachate from the Jackson County landfill, the stuff that would be injected into the well. The sample on the right shows leachate after it's been treated at a wastewater treatment plant. The one in the middle is tap water.
  5. Honda denies covering up dangers of Takata air bags


    With just a third of the defective Takata air bag inflators replaced nationwide, the corporate blame game of who will take responsibility — and pay — for the issue has shifted into another gear.

    Honda is denying covering up dangers of Takata air bags. | [Scott McIntyre, New York Times]