Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

You Say When Yogurt highlights Brandon awards ceremony

Brad Bridges and his wife, Juli, were raising a 1-year-old and 2-year-old twins in 2007 when Brad decided to leave his job at Nestlé ice cream and become an entrepreneur.

The 1992 graduate of Bloomingdale High School had lived in five states in five years and decided it was time to return home and start a business.

Brad founded You Say When Yogurt Shoppe, launching his first location in Westfield Brandon and introducing to Florida the first self-serve shop of its kind. For the first 18 months, he worked from open to close, seven days a week. He has grown the brand into the Southeast's largest self-serve yogurt and smoothie chain with 23 locations, including 19 in Hillsborough County.

Thursday night, Bridges accepted the award for Small Business of the Year in the 1-5 employees category. He thanked business partner Karly Remmert, shared his daughters Abby, Ava and Emmy's favorite joke with a receptive crowd at the Sheraton Tampa East and kicked off the Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce's 32nd annual gala event with a rumble.

"We didn't start out to be the Walmart of yogurt," Bridges said. "It took a long time to educate people on what to do and how to do it. You go through life cycles."

Four other small businesses also won in various categories. Brandon Open MRI, which Jeffrey Stone founded in 2001, took home the award in the 6-15 employee category and Sencommunications Inc. won in the 16+ employees group.

TakeOut Butler LLC was named the top home-based business, while Carr Pediatric Dentistry claimed the title of best minority- and women-owned business.

Paul Senory thanked his wife, Fran, for 51 years of marriage, 26 years of working together in business and for allowing him to open Sencommunications, a voice data communications company, in Brandon back in 1971.

"She was mad at me," he recalled. "Ticked. She didn't talk to me for two years. She said, 'There's nothing here but cows.' "

Erik Butler, whose company TakeOut Butler delivers food from local restaurants straight to your table, said he was blessed.

"I want to thank all our loyal, carnivorous customers who continue to feed our business," he said.

Dr. Natalie Carr, an East Bay High School graduate, opened her dentistry practice in 2010 with a focus on educating children and their parents about proper dental care. She shared the podium with her entire staff and gave special thanks to her high school guidance counselor who was in attendance as well — Robert Heilmann, now the principal at Riverview High School.

Eric Vician can be reached at [email protected]

You Say When Yogurt highlights Brandon awards ceremony 10/18/13 [Last modified: Friday, October 18, 2013 12:35pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. 'Empire' star Grace Byers keynotes USF Women in Leadership & Philanthropy luncheon

    Human Interest


    TAMPA — The first University of South Florida graduate to address the USF's Women in Leadership & Philanthropy supporters, Grace Gealey Byers, class of 2006, centered her speech on her first name, turning it into a verb to share life lessons.

    Grace Byers, University of South Florida Class of 2006, stars on the Fox television show Empire. She delivered the keynote at the USF Women in Leadership and Philanthropy luncheon Friday. Photo by Amy Scherzer
  2. Southeast Seminole Heights holds candlelight vigil for victims' families and each other


    TAMPA — They came together in solidarity in Southeast Seminole Heights, to sustain three families in their grief and to confront fear, at a candlelight vigil held Sunday night in the central Tampa neighborhood.

    A peaceful march that began on east New Orleans Avenue was held during the candlelight vigil for the three victims who were killed in the recent shootings in the Seminole Heights neighborhood in Tampa on Sunday, October 22, 2017.
  3. It's not just Puerto Rico: FEMA bogs down in Florida, Texas too

    HOUSTON — Outside Rachel Roberts' house, a skeleton sits on a chair next to the driveway, a skeleton child on its lap, an empty cup in its hand and a sign at its feet that reads "Waiting on FEMA."

    Ernestino Leon sits among the debris removed from his family’s flood-damaged Bonita Springs home on Oct. 11. He has waited five weeks for FEMA to provide $10,000 to repair the home.
  4. McConnell says he's awaiting Trump guidance on health care

    STERLING, Va. — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Sunday he's willing to bring bipartisan health care legislation to the floor if President Donald Trump makes clear he supports it.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he’s “not certain yet” on what Trump wants.
  5. Tampa's Lance McCullers shows killer instinct in pitching Astros to World Series


    HOUSTON — It felt like the beginning on Saturday night at Minute Maid Park, the arrival of a new force on the World Series stage. The Astros are back, for the first time in a dozen years, and they want to stay a while.

    Houston Astros starting pitcher Lance McCullers (43) throwing in the fifth inning of the game between the Houston Astros and the Tampa Bay Rays in Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, July 12, 2015.