WESTCHASE — For years, residents in this northwest Hillsborough County community have bemoaned the lack of a quality breakfast option where they can grab a cup of coffee and breakfast to match.
Richard Hunt took notice.
The Grind Coffee Bar and Cafe at Westchase will open in about two months at 9532 W Linebaugh Ave.
The coffee shop and restaurant will feature premium roasted coffee and breakfast with fresh ingredients.
"Everything is baked in house," said Hunt, a Westchase resident. "We offer gluten-free and a little bit of everything for breakfast."
This marks the second Grind location in the Tampa Bay area. The first, on the University of South Florida St. Petersburg campus, has been open for three years.
Hunt and his business partners — his wife, Louann, and another couple — decided Westchase was a logical next location.
"We're Westchase residents, and as residents we really have always looked for a good place for breakfast and proper coffee and we just don't have that," Hunt said.
The Linebaugh Avenue location seemed especially attractive because most other businesses in the shopping center, including World of Beer and Maloney's Irish Pub, are closed during morning hours. The store will have a drive-up, pick-up option for those who don't have time in the mornings to come inside.
The menu will feature morning favorites such as fresh-made frittatas and pastries, along with lunch specials like chicken salad and sandwiches.
While hours are not yet set, Hunt anticipates being open seven days a week.
Learning Express returns to area
The toy store with a splash of learning has returned to the area. Learning Express is now open at Westfield Citrus Park mall at 7814 Citrus Park Drive. The new store is owned by Stefanie Dunlop and her husband, Kris, and located near Macy's.
Learning Express had previously operated on Race Track Road, and many were disappointed when the store closed in 2011.
The Dunlops relocated to the area shortly before that closure.
"When it closed we were sad and ironically looking for a business to open in general," Stefanie Dunlop said. "So it all sort of worked out."
The Boston franchise has about 130 stores nationwide.
Dunlop is a mother of two small children and loved the concept of Learning Express. The chain specializes in toys that incorporate fun and learning.
Customer service is a special focus at the Citrus Park store, Dunlop said. It offers personal shopping, free personalization of certain gifts and gift wrapping.
"We try to provide our customers with what they need," she said. "They have jobs and we try to simplify the process for them."
The Citrus Park location features a car delivery service. A customer can call the store and request a gift for a certain age group and gender and a store clerk will select something, wrap it and deliver it to the customer's car. A special drive-up area is designated at the outside entrance of the store.
"It's easy for them to pull up and we bring it out," Dunlop said.
During the holidays, the store will introduce Santa's wish list. Kids can come in and mark down everything they want Santa to bring them, and friends and family can access the list to make gift giving easy.
"We'll gift wrap and take a lot of those stressful things off parents' plates," Dunlop said. "It's about making things simpler."
Learning Express Toys is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. For more information, visit learningexpress.com.