Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Can tweets, hope and Facebook keep debt-ridden Tampa tortilla maker going?

TAMPA

A social media campaign to save a local tortilla company may be working — at least one business owner hopes so.

After a Web site highlighting the company's financial struggles launched in June, La Bonita Olé has nearly 900 followers on Twitter, more than 400 Facebook fans, and 1,200 petition signatures spreading owner Tammy Young's story online.

Young hoped to avoid the sale of her business to new management by proving her company's worth and popularity to SunTrust Bank. She hired a social media strategist who came up with the idea to engage the public online.

In the months since, tweets and Facebook comments have pleaded for SunTrust to keep La Bonita Olé, at 5804 E Columbus Drive, alive with its current management.

For now, a hearing originally set for Wednesday has been canceled indefinitely in hopes that the bank and company reach a joint plan, Young says.

The ordeal began last year when the $12 million tortilla manufacturer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. That move put Young at risk of losing the company. She owes SunTrust more than $3 million for loans taken out in 2006 to pay for expansion into a new facility and the growing pains that followed.

Bill Krueger, a SunTrust vice president, declined to comment for this story.

The bank was not happy with the 17-year-old company's online campaign. Officials filed an emergency motion with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court on June 24 seeking the shutdown of SaveTheTortillas.com for its "misstatements of fact and law," according to court documents. A judge ruled for Young to remove some statements, but allowed her to keep the Web site.

The campaign has boosted brand awareness and possibly sales, Young says, but negotiation is what she really wanted.

"Yep," Young said. "But it's not done yet."

Ileana Morales can be reached at imorales@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3403.

Can tweets, hope and Facebook keep debt-ridden Tampa tortilla maker going? 08/20/09 [Last modified: Friday, August 21, 2009 11:41am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Florida members of Congress tell Trump to back off Atlantic drilling

    Blogs

    WASHINGTON - A large, bipartisan contingent of the Florida House delegation has a firm message for President Donald Trump: Lay off plans for oil drilling in the Atlantic.

  2. Lakeland soldier, stationed at Fort Bragg, faces child porn charges

    Crime

    A soldier, formerly of Landland stationed at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, faces 10 counts of child pornography after Polk County deputies say he downloaded inappropriate images while visiting family.

    Nathan Scott Gray, formerly of Lakeland, faces 10 counts of child pornography in Polk County. He is stationed at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. [Polk County Sheriff's Office]
  3. A total of 367 men and women reside on death row at Florida State Prison and Union Correctional Institution, down from 383 at the start of this year. [AP photo (1989)]
  4. Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough, right, host MSNBC's "Morning Joe" at NBC Studios in New York on April 14, 2010. President Donald Trump on Thursday assailed Brzezinski in unusually personal and vulgar terms, the latest of a string of escalating attacks by the president on the national news media.
  5. Goliath grouper are anything but gentle giants for Florida fishermen

    Wildlife

    Goliath, the biblical giant, wasn't known for bothering fishermen. But the gigantic fish named after him — they can weigh up to 800-pounds — is notorious for exactly that.

    Biologists take samples from a goliath grouper that was caught in the Gulf of Mexico. The fish was released back into the gulf. Florida fishermen have petitioned the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to allow them to catch the up to 800-pound fish for a limited time. [Courtesy of Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission]