SeventhAvelogoBy Libby Hopkins

Every year, Martha Stewart and the editors at Martha Stewart Living honor makers, small-business owners and creative entrepreneurs in the fields of crafts, design, food and style. These makers are recognized for their dedication to creating beautiful, quality products and building successful business and communities. Seventh Avenue Apothecary is a candle company owned by Valrico residents Phala Pesano, her daughter Jessica and her niece Erin Grossman. Martha Stewart and her panel of judges selected their business as a finalist in the design category.

“We are hoping to share our story and gain exposure about our Tampa company,” Grossman said. “Seventh Avenue Apothecary is a family owned and operated company pouring small batches of candles in Ybor City. Our signature scents are reminiscent of the historical, cultural and culinary legacy of Ybor City and our own Cuban and Italian heritage.”

American Made spotlights the maker, supports the local, and celebrates the handmade. The program is made up of people and communities that have turned their passion for quality craftsmanship and well-designed goods into a way of life.

“Our candles are created by sourcing only the finest ingredients and are proudly made locally,” Grossman said. “By using American grown soybeans, we are supporting the U.S. Agriculture and economic sustainability. We pay attention to detail and every candle we make creates warmth, happiness and light.”

The ladies are passionate about helping others in small but important ways and want to inspire the community to do the same.

“Since our inception, we have had the opportunity to support a number of causes,” Grossman said. “We have also been able to create jobs and employ other women. We believe that everyone can spread joy and be a light in the world. We work hard to create an environment that is encouraging, loving and inspiring.”

To learn more about the 2015 Martha Stewart American Made Awards, visit To vote for Seventh Avenue Apothecary, visit, Winners will be announced on Friday, October 23. To learn more about the candles created by Seventh Avenue Apothecary, visit or call 247-3814.

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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.