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. Wrestling to return to old Tampa armory — but just for one night

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — For the first time in decades, wrestling will return to the old Ft. Homer W. Hesterly Armory with a reunion show scheduled for late September.

    For the first time in decades, wrestling will return to the old Ft. Homer W. Hesterly Armory with a reunion show scheduled for late September.
Now named the Bryan Glazer Family JCC, the armory regularly featured stars such as Dusty Rhodes and Jack Brisco. On September 26, it will host a one-time only reunion night. [JAMES BORCHUCK | Times file photo (2016)]
  2. Wanted: New businesses on Safety Harbor's Main Street

    Local Government

    SAFETY HARBOR — A green grocery store, a hardware store, restaurants, boutiques and multi-use buildings are all wanted downtown, according to discussion at a community redevelopment workshop held last week. And to bring them to the Main Street district, city commissioners, led by Mayor Joe Ayoub, gave City Manager …

    Whistle Stop Bar & Grill is one of the main stops on Main Street in Safety Harbor. [LUIS SANTANA | Times]
  3. John Morgan intends to pressure every Florida politician to fund wage initiative

    Blogs

    John Morgan, the publicity-loving personal injury lawyer/entrepreneur who spearheaded the successful medical marijuana initiative, soon plans to start collecting signatures for a 2020 ballot initiative raising Florida minimum wage. He plans to "spend millions of my own money" on the effort, but he also intends to …

  4. Westbound traffic on Courtney Campbell blocked after crash

    Accidents

    Westbound traffic on the Courtney Campbell Causeway is being diverted following a crash early Thursday morning.

  5. Q&A: A business leader and historian jointly delve into Tampa's waterfront

    Business

    TAMPA — As a native of Tampa, Arthur Savage has always had a passion for his hometown's history. And as a third-generation owner and operator of A.R. Savage & Son, a Tampa-based shipping agency, his affinity for his hometown also extends to its local waterways.

    Arthur Savage (left) and Rodney Kite-Powell, co-authors of "Tampa Bay's Waterfront: Its History and Development," stand for a portrait with the bust of James McKay Sr. in downtown Tampa on Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017. McKay, who passed away in 1876, was a prominent businessman, among other things, in the Tampa area. He was Arthur Savage's great great grandfather. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]