PALMA CEIA — In 1938, Italian immigrant Giuseppe Favata opened Joe and Son's Grocery in Ybor City. His son Johnny kept it running until 1976.
Now comes Johnny's granddaughter, Andrea Messina Gebbia, opening Joe and Son's Olive Press on Nov. 11. The shop offers 50 varieties of olive oil, including ultra premium, extra virgin and infused speciality oils, plus balsamic vinegars and an array of pestos, pastas and risottos.
She and her brother, store manager Michael Messina, honored their roots by decorating the Bay to Bay Boulevard shop with old family photos and advertisements from the original store.
At the Olive Press, oils are dispensed from stainless steel containers, "protection from light and heat,'' said Gebbia. Shoppers sample and make selections, "then we pour, cork and seal the bottles right here." Infused olive oils — try the blood orange — start at $10.99 for 200 milliliters. Specialty oils, such as truffle or butternut squash seed, start at $14.99. Fresh ultra premiums start at $11.99.
"There is a huge difference in the taste because of freshness,'' said Gebbia. Her husband, Chris Gebbia, a former U.S. Army Ranger who works at MacDill Air Force Base with U.S. Central Command, helps out in the store frequently.
Many of the balsamic vinegars are aged for 12 years, then infused with herbs and fruits. Sicilian lemon, cinnamon pear, dark chocolate and Tahitian vanilla are popular choices. For the purist, they sell an 18-year-old balsamic vinegar.
Joe and Son's Olive Press, 3401 W Bay to Bay Blvd., is open Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sundays, noon to 4 p.m.; visit joeandsonsolivepress.com or call (813) 831-5600.
Euro Living showroom modernizes furniture
Modern furnishings for contemporary homes fill Euro Living Furniture's new showroom on Bay to Bay Boulevard, immediately west of MacDill Avenue. Look for the colorful molded plastic "ghost" chairs, $349, usually displayed out front.
The store opened this month offering indoor and outdoor, residential and commercial, urban and suburban furniture "at prices for all budgets,'' said manager Issa Jaber, who comes from the company's Orlando store. Sofas, tables, lighting, rugs and accent pieces come from such companies as Calligaris (Italy), Lazar sustainable designs (USA) and AP Industries (Canada). Complete interior design services are available.
Euro Living Furniture, 3109 W Bay to Bay Blvd., is open Monday through Saturday, 10 to 6 p.m. and Sundays, noon to 6 p.m. Visit Eurolivingfurniture.com or call (813) 832-3232.
Roosters pampers men specifically
Here's something to crow about: Roosters Men's Grooming Center offers modern precision haircuts and shaves with old-fashioned barbershop style. Dave Thompson opened the first Florida franchise of the Michigan-based company Dec. 12 in Whaley's Plaza in SoHo.
"Customers get comfortable in big, black leather chairs,'' he said. The Club Cut, featuring head massaging shampoo, haircut and hot towel, costs $29. A seven-step shave, $20. Military, police and firemen receive discounts with ID.
"This is a place a guy can come get personalized, leisurely care. It's not some assembly line or women's salon,'' said Thompson, who counts himself among the "follically challenged" but still enjoys the traditions of barbering.
Conversation is driven by the customer, he adds. "Some want to talk and some just enjoy the pampering."
Roosters Men's Grooming Center, 533 S Howard Ave., is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. Visit roostersmgc.com or call (813) 253-3200.
Amy Scherzer can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3332.