Sprouts Opens on Lithia Pinecrest
Sprouts Open on Lithia Pinecrest Good news for parents and children throughout the Valrico area. Sprouts, a play, music and art facility, opened recently on Lithia Pinecrest Rd., just south of the intersection of Lumsden Rd. Sprouts, which opened in the area five years ago, encountered many obstacles while attempting to move into its own freestanding building which kept the business closed for just over a year. “Sprouts is back and stronger than ever,” says Rene Vojnovic, owner and operator. “The new building is designed specifically for the children.” According to Vojnovic, the little white cottage has wall murals throughout, thanks to the work of local mural artist Ann Migowski and is designed for safe play. Classes are offered for children from 9 months to 5 years, with parent/child play-music with colorful, soft play equipment and mats for structured, fun, kid-friendly classes and art classes in a custom-made room with easels displaying the work of the world famous artists. In addition to the Mommy and Me play, music and art programs, Sprouts and Vojnovic obtained child care licensing, allowing Sprouts to offer a new Moms Morning Out each Monday. Children 3-5 years can spend the morning at Sprouts without a parent or caregiver and enjoy music, snacks and art. Sprouts’ classes are already underway. Visit www.sproutskids.com for information including schedule, fees and to register for a free trial play-music class or contact Vojnovic at 653-2233 or 393-9084. Creamery Comes to Valrico Soft serve ice cream fans keep your eyes open in the Lifestyle Family Fitness-anchored plaza at the intersection of Bloomingdale Ave. and Lithia Pinecrest Rd. According to representatives at Toppers Creamery, the soft serve ice cream franchise will be opening a location in the plaza in the next 90 days. Toppers offers high quality chocolate and vanilla soft serve with a variety of toppings to mix in. For more information, visit www.topperscreamery.com and check future issues of the Osprey Observer. Chamber Hosts Business Seminar The Brandon Chamber of Commerce is hosting a seminar this month to help members find balance in their lives during these tough economic times. “Life Balance” is presented by Black Diamond Associates and will be held on October 28, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Chamber’s TECO Energy Board Room. The cost, which includes lunch, is $18 for members, $12 for Elite members, no charge for Platinum Elite members and $30 for prospective members. The following topics will be addressed in this seminar: life balance truths, balance quadrants, formula for success and closing the balance gap. To register for this Biz Ed 101 Session, contact Amy at 689-1221 or via email at abelliveau@brandon chamber.com. Space is limited. Biz Ed 101 is a professional development program of the Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce, sponsored by Sunshine State Federal Savings & Loan Association. Salon Welcomes New Stylists There are some new faces at the All Me Salon on Kingsway Rd. in Brandon. Talented hair professionals Master Stylist Martie Webb, Advanced Stylist Rachel Weaver, Melissa Haynes and Joe Caglianone, who has 30 years of experience, all recently joined the team at the upscale north Brandon salon. All Me Salon is located at 1263 Kingsway Rd. and can be reached at 651-1213. Hours are Tuesday-Friday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Valrico Resident Promoted at Scottrade Scottrade, a leading branch-supported online investment firm, has promoted Valrico resident Brian Courtney to manage its Tampa branch office, located downtown at 1408 N. Westshore Blvd., Ste. 104. As branch manager, Courtney is responsible for branch operations, managing personnel and providing customer service. Courtney began his career at Scottrade nearly two years ago as a stock broker at the St. Petersburg branch office. He has 10 years of experience in the financial services industry. “Scottrade is focused on customer interaction,” said Courtney. “Working directly with our customers is something that I value.” As a leading online investment firm, Scottrade offers a full line of investment products, online trading services and market research tools to help investors take control of their financial future. Scottrade provides customers the convenience of buying many stocks online at just $7 per trade and the support of the largest branch network among online investment firms, with over 350 nationwide branch offices. Named Highest in Investor Satisfaction by J.D. Power and Associates, Scottrade is dedicated to exceptional customer service and unprecedented value. Scottrade is also one of the FORTUNE magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” in America. For more information, visit www.scottrade.com. New Market Offers Fresh Produce From handmade glass jewelry to homemade fudge, there is something for everyone at the new farmers; market, taking place on Wednesdays from 12 Noon-6 p.m. at the Lancaster’s Hydro Farm Produce stand. Vendors’ items, including organic herbs and plants, artwork, photography, pet portraits, shea butter imported from Africa and orchids will be for sale. In addition, visitors can purchase funnel cakes, popcorn, hotdogs, homemade fudge and Italian ices. The stand is located at 5329 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. Dog Groomer Comes to You Does your dog get stressed out at the thought of a trip to the groomer? Then let the groomer come to you! Valrico resident Joy Simms, owner of Pampered Paws Mobile Dog Grooming, serves Brandon area dogs with services including baths, haircuts, ear cleaning and nail trimming. “Each dog is cared for one at a time, so that your pet does not sit in a cage for six to eight hours until we get around to them,” says Simms, who started her business at the age of 21. “Being in a loud, strange environment for several hours is very stressful for dogs. Our service is far less stressful. The best benefit is that you don’t have to take two trips to the groomer nor have to deal with the hassle of loading and unloading your pet.” For more information, call 562-PAWS(7297). YMCAs Challenge Corporations This year, the Brandon area YMCAs will take participants on a wild adventure full of mental and physical challenges at the 2008 Corporate Challenge: Survivor! fundraising event. Held on Friday, November 7, from 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. at YMCA Camp Cristina, a 65-acre outdoor adventure site in Riverview, the event will put teams of six–10 members from local organizations head to head in a day of healthy team-building competition. The Corporate Challenge Volunteer Planning Committee is comprised of Riverview and Brandon area community leaders, including Tanya Doran of Spacewalk of Brandon, Cathy Middleton, Russ Young of South Bay Hospital, David Van Dyke of Gevity, Tyler Niermann of Wachovia and Melissa Poague of Media General. Sponsorships are available, and team entry is $500, which includes all activities of the day, light breakfast, lunch, and a signature commemorative bandana. All proceeds benefit the YMCA’s Building Strong Kids Campaign, which helps make YMCA participation possible for children and families in the Brandon area regardless of their financial circumstances. For more information, call Bryan Beckham at 677-8400. Photographers Recognized Local photographers Edward Booth and Betty Huth, owners of Huth and Booth Portrait Gallery, recently received the Florida Service Award for service to the profession at the Florida Professional Photographers Annual Convention. “We both were honored to receive the Florida Service Award given for service to the profession,” says Booth. “Receiving this award in just three years is very unusual.” According to the duo, they have worked together for 18 years to create family portraits with the expectation that they will be handed down from generation to generation. “We pride ourselves in providing our clients with exceptional portraiture of families and children,” says Booth. “It’s a pleasure that we continue to strive for, that of seeking excellence in preserving precious memories.” Since moving to the area from California in July of 2005, Huth and Booth have been active members in the Riverview and Greater Brandon area communities volunteering their services to numerous charity organizations, clubs and civic centers. They are also members of the Brandon 86’ Rotary Club. The Huth and Booth Portrait Gallery is located at 11711 Nikki View Dr. in Brandon in Lake Brandon Professional Park. For more information, call 571-2100 or visit www.hbphoto.com. Hospital Welcomes New CNO “Susan Laber, RN, BSN, MHA, CHCQM, has been promoted to the Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) of Brandon Regional Hospital,” says Mike Fencel, the hospital’s chief executive officer, “replacing Cheryl Goforth who was promoted to CNO at Trident Health Systems, in Charleston, South Carolina.” Prior to assuming this role, Laber was the interim CNO for several months, as well as assistant CNO at Brandon from 2006-2008. Since her promotion, Laber and her family have relocated from the Sarasota area to FishHawk Ranch. Laber’s vision for her nursing team can be boiled down to “do what is right for patients first and inspire others to do the same thing. The opportunity lies in providing an environment where patients are the number one priority; use data to make positive changes; challenge the status quo and create a positive culture where nurses want to work.” For more information, call the hospital at 571-5105. Bonefish Grill Awarded Top Honors Consumers have voted and the results are in: Bonefish Grill has been awarded the Platinum Award in the seafood category at this year’s Consumers’ Choice in Chains Awards. Platinum is the highest honor. The annual survey, conducted by Restaurants & Institutions magazine and now in its 28th year, is considered a key measure of success for restaurant chains across the nation. For the 2008 awards, more than 3,100 consumers were asked to rate 120 restaurant brands on eight customer satisfaction attributes: food quality, menu variety, value, service, atmosphere, cleanliness, reputation and convenience. “We are especially thrilled that this award is voted on by consumers,” says John Cooper, president of Bonefish Grill. “It means our customers appreciate the lengths we go to in delivering an exceptional dining experience. Congratulations and thanks go to our teams across the country.” Patricia Daily, Restaurants & Institutions’ publisher, says, “The R&I Consumers’ Choice in Chains Awards is a people’s choice award that conveys to the industry and beyond which restaurants have earned consistent business and guest loyalty and why.” Complete survey results are available through Restaurants & Institutions magazine (www.rimag.com). For more information and sample menus from the restaurant, visit www.bonefishgrill.com. Winn Dixie Helps Hurricane Victims Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc. announced recently that customers can help their neighbors affected by the 2008 hurricane season by simply donating at any neighborhood Winn-Dixie. Winn-Dixie is implementing its “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” program in all of its 521 stores as a way to assist the American Red Cross, which has seen its Disaster Relief Fund depleted after an active year of disasters. The Red Cross provided food, shelter, counseling and other assistance to the communities affected by the storms that battered Florida and the Gulf Coast during the past month. Similar efforts across the country have forced the Red Cross to launch a national drive to raise $100 million to keep the Disaster Relief Fund afloat. Winn-Dixie customers will find “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” donation sheets available at all registers, where they can donate an amount between 0.50 and $500 directly to the American Red Cross. The cashier will scan the Neighbors Helping Neighbors donation sheet, which automatically adds the amount designated by the customer to the total bill. “Our neighbors face a long and difficult recovery process, and we want to do everything we can to help them,” says Terry Grooms Derreberry, Winn-Dixie manager of corporate giving. “Our hearts go out to those who were impacted by these storms.” The American Red Cross provides immediate response in more than 70,000 disasters each year through its Disaster Relief Fund. Disasters include fires, hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, and tornadoes. Contributions to the relief fund are used to provide food, shelter, counseling and other assistance to victims, as needed. The Winn-Dixie in the Bloomingdale Plaza at 179 Bloomingdale Ave. can be reached at 681-7337. For more information, please visit www.winn-dixie.com.

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Assignment Editor Kate Quesada started working at the Osprey Observer in 2004 after graduating from the University of South Florida with a masters degree in Mass Communications. Since then, she has held various positions at the paper and has been working as the assignment editor since January 2020. She lives in Lithia with her husband Mike and sons Dylan and Max and stays active in the community on school PTA boards and volunteering with local organizations.