Make us your home page
Instagram

'Singing Baker' delivers cakes in SouthShore & Brandon area with a tune

The Singing Baker, a.k.a. John Bella, surprises Mercy Gilbert, office manager at Bright Horizons Citigroup Family Center, with a birthday cake and a serenade.

Eric Vician | Special to the Times

The Singing Baker, a.k.a. John Bella, surprises Mercy Gilbert, office manager at Bright Horizons Citigroup Family Center, with a birthday cake and a serenade.

TAMPA — He has crouched behind filing cabinets, hidden behind doors and even emerged from the flight deck of an airplane during the boarding process, all in the name of delivering a cake and a song.

John Bella is the Singing Baker.

After nearly 20 years of building that reputation in Syracuse, N.Y., he has brought his signature shadow cake, baker's hat and vocals to Hillsborough County. Bella and his wife Sue, who helps bake the cakes, sold their New York bakery and moved to Florida to be closer to their daughter, Tiffanny Wood, a SouthShore artist. He recently brought the Singing Baker back to life locally.

"I couldn't get away from it," he said.

The Bellas are taking advantage of Florida's cottage food law, which allows them to bake their ultra-moist iced buttercream and fudge specialty in their Riverview home. John said he will continue to operate out of his house while looking for a building where he can open a full bakery on one side and showcase his daughter's art on the other.

At his peak in Syracuse, John said he was delivering 40 to 50 cakes a week. The idea to burst into song came during a delivery to a law firm, when a woman requested she be serenaded.

"The showoff in me said, 'Sure. Why not?' " he said.

John's Florida goal is to be singing 20 times a week with a cake in hand while he searches for a permanent brick and mortar location to expand the business.

Cakes range from $45 for an 8-inch round to $96 for half a sheet that serves 50. Prices include delivery and a song for all occasions. Flowers and after-hours deliveries are extra. Call (813) 512-6474 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

Jersey Mike's opens second Brandon spot

Jersey Mike's Subs opened its second Brandon location Wednesday at 1248 E Brandon Blvd. Franchise owners Bill Atkins and Shane Lueck announced a grand opening and free sub fundraiser that runs through May 11 benefiting the Brandon Foundation.

Jersey Mike's Subs is circulating 10,000 coupons throughout the community offering a free regular sub for a minimum $1 contribution to the Brandon Foundation.

"Jersey Mike's commitment to making a difference, coupled with an exceptional product, is what really sets us apart," Atkins said.

Started in 1956, Jersey Mike's has 1,300 restaurants open and under development nationwide. In just three years, the company has nearly doubled in size.

The restaurant's hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week. Call (813) 681-1956.

Borders space to give way to medical offices

CBRE arranged the sale of a former Borders bookstore on Town Center Boulevard in Brandon Town Center for $2.05 million to Florida Medical Clinic, which plans to convert the vacant space to medical offices. Florida Medical Clinic operates more than 30 locations in Hillsborough and Pasco counties.

The renovation of the 22,585-square-foot building mirrors a project Florida Medical Clinic completed last year when it purchased and renovated a Borders bookstore on N Dale Mabry Highway.

Florida Medical Clinic also recently announced plans to build a facility at Wiregrass Ranch in Wesley Chapel.

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

'Singing Baker' delivers cakes in SouthShore & Brandon area with a tune 05/08/14 [Last modified: Thursday, May 8, 2014 10:01am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Philanthropist Helen DeVos, wife of Orlando Magic owner and mother of Betsy, dies at 90

    Obituaries

    GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Helen J. DeVos, a philanthropist from western Michigan known for her support of children's health, Christian education and the arts, has died at age 90, her family said Thursday.

    Orlando Magic owner Rich DeVos, left, waves to fans while watching court side with his wife, Helen, during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Chicago Bulls in Orlando. The family of Helen DeVos said the philanthropist from western Michigan known for her support of children's health, Christian education and the arts has died. She was 90. Her family said she died Wednesday, Oct. 18, of complications from a stroke following a recent diagnosis of myeloid leukemia. [Associated Press]
  2. SeaWorld cuts 350 jobs across company, including in Orlando

    Business

    ORLANDO — SeaWorld, which has struggled with declining attendance, announced Wednesday it is cutting 350 positions.

    Kalia, a 12-year-old orca whale, during rehearsals for the upcoming Orca Encounter at SeaWorld San Diego, on May 18, 2017. [Howard Lipin | San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS]
  3. As Clearwater Marine Aquarium expands, it asks the city for help

    Growth

    CLEARWATER — When Clearwater Marine Aquarium CEO David Yates saw an architect's initial design for the facility's massive expansion project, he told them to start all over.

    Clearwater Marine Aquarium Veterinarian Shelly Marquardt (left), Brian Eversole, Senior Sea Turtle and Aquatic Biologist (middle) and Devon Francke, Supervisor of Sea Turtle Rehab, are about to give a rescued juvenile green sea turtle, suffering from a lot of the Fibropapillomatosis tumors, fluids at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium Wednesday afternoon. Eventually when the turtle is healthy enough the tumors will be removed with a laser and after it is rehabilitated it will be released back into the wild.  -  The Clearwater Marine Aquarium is launching a $66 million renovation to expand its facilities to take in injured animals and space to host visitors. The aquarium is asking the city for a $5 million grant Thursday to help in the project. American attitudes toward captive animals are changing. Sea World is slipping after scrutiny on the ethics of captive marine life. But CEO David Yates says CMA is different, continuing its mission of rehab and release, it's goal is to promote education, not exploitation. JIM DAMASKE   |   Times

  4. One of the best places for investing in a rental house is in Tampa Bay

    Real Estate

    Two Tampa Bay ZIP Codes are drawing national attention.

    . If you're looking to invest in a house to rent out, few places are better than  ZIP Code 34607 in Hernando County's Spring Hill area, according to ATTOM Data Solutions.
[LANCE ROTHSTEIN   |  Times
 file photo]

  5. Tampa Chamber of Commerce announces small business winners

    Business

    TAMPA — The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce selected the winners of the 2017 Small Business of the Year Awards at a ceremony Wednesday night at the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts. More than 600 attendees celebrated the accomplishments of Tampa Bay's small business community.

    Vincent Cassidy, president and CEO of Majesty Title Services, was named Outstanding Small Business Leader of the Year by the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce.