By Libby Hopkins

CandlePhala Pesano of Valrico wanted to give back to those in need in the community through her business, Seventh Avenue Apothecary. Pesano, her daughter, Jessica and her niece, Erin Grossman are all partners in the business and come from a large family that has its roots in Ybor City.

“Seventh Avenue Apothecary is a family owned and operated company pouring small batches of candles in Tampa,” Phala said. “Our signature scents are reminiscent of the historical, cultural and culinary legacy of Ybor City and our own Cuban and Italian heritage.”

Their distinct fragrances are blended using an all-natural soy wax, free of dyes, with natural coated cotton wicks.

“Every hand-crafted Seventh Avenue Apothecary candle starts with an understanding of what people appreciate and enjoy in fine soy candles,” Phala said. “We provide exceptional style, unsurpassed selection and superior fragrance.”

Seventh Avenue Apothecary partnered with A True Face to create candles called “Comforts of Home.” The candles come in two scents, harvest apple and fresh cut grass. For every candle sold, $5 will be donated to local Tampa Bay homeless shelters and charities.

A True Face is an organization of creative students from the Art Institute of Tampa who are dedicated to engaging and educating the public on the evolving state of homelessness in the Tampa Bay community and beyond. Phala is thrilled about this partnership because some of the candle proceeds will go to the Emergency Care Hel Organization of Brandon.

“We are excited about this partnership because we as a family feel that homelessness is something  no one should have to deal with and we wanted to find a way to help those in need,” Phala said. “We are thrilled that we are able help ECHO with the proceeds from our candles.”

Jennifer Peterson, academic department director of design-graphic and interior at the Art Institute of Tampa said she was excited that her students were involved in every step of the candles creations.

“Our students had the opportunity to go to Seventh Avenue Apothecary’s shop and pick from all the different scents, as well as work on the design of the candle,” Peterson said.

To purchase a candle, visit and click on the campaign button at the top of the home page. To learn more about Seventh Avenue Apothecary, visit

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Libby Hopkins
Libby Hopkins has been a part of the Brandon community for more than 30 years. She is a graduate of USF with a degree in journalism. She has been a freelance writer for The Osprey Observer Newspaper since 2008. She also the Executive Director of Center Place Fine Arts and Civic Association. She is a dog mom to her rescue dog, Marshall. She loves being a part of the Brandon Community and she loves sharing positive news about our community.