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Everybody's Business

Latam's moves to offer catering only; Luxe Couture body sculpts and tans; new funeral services in South Tampa.

YBOR CITY — Latam's has left the building — that would be the historic Centro Asturiano building, where the Morejon family has been cooking Latin cuisine since 1994.

Owners David Morejon Sr. and his son, Adam Morejon, relocated May 14 to Seventh Avenue, to the eastern end of Ybor City, to focus on catering.

"We'll cook at your venue in one of our mobile kitchens," said event planner Denise Van Sickle. Specialities are tamale en cazuela, oxtails, stuffed lobster and Agliano steak, she said. "I'll also assist with finding and decorating a venue."

Although dine-in is no longer offered, lunch is packed to-go Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Offerings include sandwiches, salads and daily specials, such as roast pork or chicken creole, deviled crabs and stuffed potatoes. Most recipes come from the late Gilbert and Josephine Morejon, who founded Latam's in West Tampa in 1968.

Latam's has been approved to cater RNC events as well as to cook for employees and volunteers during disaster and hurricane-relief emergencies. "From intimate affairs to black-tie to concerts, we can handle everything," Van Sickle said.

As for their former space, said Centro Asturiano executive director Rick Duran, "I am open to anybody coming to talk to us. It seats up to 250 people and is available to rent daytime or evening."

Latam's is at 3701 E Seventh Ave. Visit latamcentro.com or call (813) 223-7338.

New spa offers body sculpting, tanning

Chamberlain High grad Brandi Long met New Yorker Debora Przybycien when they were studying for biomedical degrees at the University of South Florida.

Now the two women have put college on hold to open Luxe Couture Tan & Body Sculpting on S MacDill Avenue at Barcelona Avenue. The spa is nestled in a Palma Ceia bungalow, circa 1906. They're also setting up a training facility in the adjacent building where TRX suspension workouts are "all core, all the time," Long says. Yoga classes will start as soon as she completes her training.

Doors opened Monday to offer detoxifying and replenishing body treatments and wraps, exfoliation, polishes and facials, including a belly facial for pregnant women.

Since the wellness studio will be closed on the Fourth of July, the celebration begins early. The first 25 people to book a spray tan appointment get it on the house.

Luxe Couture Tan & Body, 2714 S MacDill Ave., is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. Visit LCBody.com or call (813) 839-2725.

Funeral home serves families and pets, too

Affordable funerals are long overdue in Tampa, says John McQueen, president of Anderson-McQueen funeral home.

McQueen says that's one reason he brought the family business into Hillsborough County with the June 4 opening of ALifeTribute FuneralCare on Henderson Boulevard.

"Our cost is significantly less, as much as 165 percent," McQueen said. The Pinellas County operator chose a location in Tampa that had been a funeral home for decades.

McQueen highlights two differences: pet cremation and local ownership.

"We consider pets part of the family and treat them like your mom or dad," he said.

Started five years ago, the company's Pet Passages division now exceeds the human division, serving more than 3,300 families annually.

And family matters.

"My dad started this in 1952, my wife and I own it now and my 12-year-old son plans to be the next one to run his grandfather's funeral home.

The business is at 4040 Henderson Blvd. Visit alifetribute.com or call (813) 288-8705.

Do you know something that should be Everybody's Business? Call (813) 226-3332 or email ascherzer@tampabay.com

Latam's moves to offer catering only; Luxe Couture body sculpts and tans; new funeral services in South Tampa. 06/28/12 [Last modified: Thursday, June 28, 2012 4:30am]
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