Tampa's "hub" for everything local in the bay.
That's the mantra dubbed by the Flavor of Tampa Bay, which recently opened its first space in South Tampa at 4817 S Westshore Blvd.
Former NFL defensive lineman and current radio talk show host Ian Beckles started The Flavor of Tampa Bay 10 years ago operating out of a small, food truck.
Now, the business has expanded and not only has a food truck, but features a marketplace designed to showcase local businesses.
And the businesses offer more than just food.
According to Beckles, although food is most commonly associated with flavor, flavor is not limited to food. It can mean fashion, furniture, art and more.
"I've been exposed to the struggles small business go through, and a lot of small businesses that just need a little help and exposure," Beckles said.
"So we opened a local market because it's a good place to present that to the masses (radio) and I'm just trying to support up and coming local companies.
"I didn't know it was going to turn into this but it just did and I've become a brand ambassador for people's products. We're just trying to represent the best of the best in the bay area."
The market partners with a number of companies to create a collaborative effort.
Flavor of Tampa Bay still operates its food truck in the front, and the venue allows other businesses to rent the space for parties, classes, podcasts, workshops and more.
Some businesses and local residents have already taken advantage of the marketplace such as The Traveling Cheeseboard, who recently hosted a charcuterie party at the venue.
Flavor of Tampa Bay has held numerous soft openings since September, but held its official grand opening Tuesday (Oct 30).
It operates from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information visit flavoroftampabay.com.
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