RIVERVIEW — Isabella Rosal first tapped into her entrepreneurial drive before she reached her teens.
Growing up in the Philippines, she convinced her mom to purchase snacks in small bags that she would then sell to her friends off the back of her skateboard. She said she always sold out, paid her mom back and kept the profits.
Now 29, Rosal has opened her first "real" business called Tea Bowls and Desserts (TBD@301), located at 3840 U.S. 301 in Riverview. The retail location, that she co-owns with husband Jerwin and brother JP, builds on her financial background while staying true to her roots.
"I feel like I was born to do this because I was running a business since I was 10-years old," said Rosal, who met her husband in the Philippines but waited until his Navy tour ended in Italy to move to the United States four years ago.
TBD@301 freshly brews white, green, black, oolong and herbal teas and pairs them with traditional Filipino fare. Filipino chef Maria Katipunan, who moved here six months ago from Hawaii, prepares the rice bowls to order and customers may also add a dessert, such as cookie dough, cheese cakes or macaroons that are locally sourced.
Rosal, who worked in finance before opening the first of what she hopes to be multiple TBD locations, just quit her job at PricewaterhouseCoopers earlier this year and just completed the first month of a 5-year lease in the plaza near Smokin' Pig BBQ.
"We picked Tampa because we both have finance backgrounds and we realized we can't be the small fish in the big ponds of New York or California, so we wanted to be here," she said.
The only thing "To Be Determined" by TBD customers is whether you want hot or iced tea and whether you want to make it a combination. For $10 you can enjoy a Filipino egg roll called Lumpia with rice and your choice of pure or blended tea.
When you walk in, simply follow the tea leaves on the floor that lead you to the tea wall featuring a dozen special blends sourced by local tea expert, Dylan Chadwell, who used to work at Teavana.
The Rosals are looking to expand in the future to places like Tampa, FishHawk and Clearwater Beach. For now, they want to build the TBD brand in Riverview. It's open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Patrons can enjoy a free board game while they relax in the 900 square feet store that features Wi-Fi and USB plugs in the outlets.
Save 20 cents if you use your own tumbler and sign up for perks such as free cookie dough or a 5 percent discount by visiting tbdcafe.com. For every cup sold, five cents goes to local non-profit organization G3 Life Applications (g3lifeapps.org) to fund projects year round. Call (813) 420-0013.
Five Below goes up
at Regency Square
Five Below's Brandon fans soon will not have to trek to Carrollwood or Plant City to find hip deals that appeal to teens and tweens for less than $5. The Philadelphia-based brand is one of the fastest growing retail chains in the United States and is set to add Regency Square to its list of more than 500 stores in 32 states.
Everything in the store, from cool ear buds to room organizers, ranges from $1 to $5. Visit fivebelow.com to see their inventory, connect on Facebook and view job postings.
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