RUSKIN — Olga Kredi likes to network and apply her more than 30 years of outside sales experience to aid the growth of the South Shore area. After helping Hillsborough Community College expand there, she is now focusing on connecting the new local residents to the established businesses.
She manages Welcome Home South Shore, a Ruskin-based marketing company that also services adjacent communities including Sun City Center, Apollo Beach, Gibsonton and Riverview.
Welcome Home South Shore welcomes new homeowners with a gift basket filled with community information and certificates from local businesses. It also helps local nonprofit organizations by providing new homeowners with a list of each group's needs and volunteering opportunities along with local church worship services and upcoming events.
"We not only do the sales, but also hand-deliver the baskets," said Kredi, who also works with her stepmom, Maria. "This is a personal thing. The new homeowners have no contacts here, and they get the pleasure of getting coupons and the business gets the recognition in the community."
Kredi credits the concept to Gene Wren, who manages the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6287 in Apollo Beach.
In addition to helping newcomers adjust to their new communities, Welcome Home South Shore also assists local businesses in expanding its client bases. The company promises to personally visit 30 homes (or real estate closings) each month with the bountiful baskets filled with businesses' promotional and marketing items such as food samples, coupons or gift certificates — so long as it isn't a BOGO-type offer, because Welcome Home South Shore believes if you can find the deal somewhere else, it's not the same as the personal touch it offers.
For $4 per visit (for a one-year contract) or $5 per visit (for a six-month contract) Welcome Home South Shore will present companies' information and offers to potential new customers in the comfort of their new home. The marketing company also provides a mailing list of all the homes visited each month so businesses can track the customers and follow up with other promotions.
Interested local SouthShore businesses can contact Kredi at (813) 486-8038.
La Septima Cafe adds to ambience with patio
Since 1995, La Septima Cafe has brought the taste of Ybor City to Brandon area residents. Now the family-run restaurant has expanded with patio dining. While the patio does offer an al fresco dining experience that many Floridians enjoy, it is an air-conditioned environment so diners need not worry about the humidity.
The new patio, that has only been open a couple weeks, offers more than 30 extra seats and a private room. Some Ybor-themed imagery on the walls adds to the ambiance of the Fernandez family's popular Cuban cuisine.
To handle the extra business, La Septima has announced on its Facebook page that it is hiring full-time servers. Base pay is $5.03 plus tips. La Septima is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. at 702 W Lumsden Road. Call (813) 685-0502.
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