Sample Tastes From More Than 20 Restaurants At Annual Expo
By Jennifer Silverstein
For residents wanting to taste the best that Brandon has to offer while browsing booths of local businesses, the Brandon Business Expo is the place to be on Thursday, May 20. The Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce (GBCC) will host the expo and Taste of Brandon from 3:30-8 p.m. in the Special Events Center at the Florida State Fairgrounds, located at 4800 U.S. Hwy. 301, near I-4.  Celebrating its 22nd anniversary this year, the expo already has more than 200 exhibitors signed up, and businesses of all types, from restaurants and caterers to storage centers and cell phone carriers, are welcome to set up a booth. “Last year we had more than 1,800 people attend on a rainy day!” said Program Administrator & Media Relation of, Business & Community Development Jamie Reid. “This year, we hope to exceed this number and see over 2,100 people.”Co-title sponsors are Renaissance Consulting and Development, LLC and Ed Morse Cadillac of Brandon. The media sponsor is The St. Pete Times/The Brandon South Shore Times. Supporting sponsors include Extra Space Center, HiTEC, MetroPCS, Mobile Meals, LLC and TECO. Contributing sponsors include Florida Virtual Schools and Fuzion Graphics & Print. The “taste-off” voting sponsor is ArchiTech.The 2010 Taste of Brandon competition will display area restaurants, bakeries and caterers. Restaurants will offer attendees free samples of their food. Attendees are asked to vote for both their favorite restaurants for the designation of Taste of Brandon and Dessert Taste of Brandon.“We have a computerized voting area for them to visit after they have visited all of the exhibitors,” Reid explained. “Their ticket stub allows them one vote per category for their favorites.”To date, participants in the 2010 Taste of Brandon include Beef ‘O’ Brady’s “The Original,” Carr’s Catering & Events/Rick’s Cafe & Grill, The Catering Company, Chicken Kitchen, Chick-fil-A at Lake Brandon Village, Copper Bell Café, Corporate Café, Costco Wholesale, GFS Marketplace, Hungry Howie’s, Jaymer-Que Southern BBQ & Ms. Cyndi’s Corner Café, Mango’s at Embassy Suites-Tampa/Brandon, Mimi’s Café, The Resort & Club at Little Harbor, Romano’s Macaroni Grill, Smokey Bones BBQ and Grill, Stingray’s Grill of Brandon, LLC, Taiga Restaurant Bar & Lounge, Tio’s Bakery & Kitchen, Tres Amigos Cantina and WizeGuyz Pizza.Spaces are still available, with booth fees costing $200 and prospective member spaces for $300. A 10-by-10-ft. booth will include an 8-ft. skirted table, pipe and drape, signage, two chairs, advertising and event tickets. Attendee tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door, with parking per vehicle costing $5. Product sales are allowed at the expo with a sales license and each exhibitor is required to have giveaways. For more information or to register for this event, contact Reid at 689-1221, ext. 8843 or Registration is also available online at

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