By Tatiana Ortiz

Grab an apron and some utensils to test out one’s culinary skills during a cooking class with the Rolling Pin Kitchen Emporium in Brandon. It offers cooking classes with a wide range of topics from desserts, soups and more for individuals of all ages.

Since 1995, this store did get named as the “Culinary Resource” for the Tampa Bay area and the gourmet kitchen store regularly stocks 15,000 items.

Owners Chef David West and his wife Karen recently awarded their first scholarship called Rolling Pin Kitchen Emporium Annual Culinary Scholarship with the reward amount of $1200 to Renita Jones. She was also presented with a Wusthof knife set. Jones studies Restaurant Management at Hillsborough Community College. She does affiliate herself with the Brandon and Dale Mabry campus. With five classes left, she plans to graduate towards the end of fall 2017 and earn an Associate in Science degree in Restaurant Management.

“I am very excited and grateful to be the first recipient of the Rolling Pin Kitchen Emporium Annual Culinary Scholarship,” Jones said.

Jones learned about the scholarship through her professor and program manager for the hospitality department named Frederick Jaeger at the Hillsborough Community College Dale Mabry campus. She would always ask questions throughout the semester to see if any scholarships became available to strictly just culinary students. Jones met the requirements for the Rolling Pin Kitchen Emporium Annual Culinary Scholarship and chose to apply through the Hillsborough Community College website. “To qualify for this particular scholarship, students must maintain a 3.0 grade point average and much more,” Dave said.

Outside the classroom, Jones attends the Ybor City Saturday Market and sells her cupcakes at a booth there, for which she began this journey almost 13-years ago. Jones also decorates wedding cakes and bakes an assortment of desserts through the business she owns called Lexi Cakes. To learn more about it, visit

For information, visit It is located at 2080 Badlands Dr. in Brandon. Open Monday- Wednesday 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. Thursday-Saturday 10 a.m.- 9 p.m. Sunday 11 a.m.- 6 p.m. Call 653-2418.

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Tatiana Ortiz
Tatiana Ortiz is a freelance writer with the Osprey Observer Newspaper. She began as an intern here in 2010 and has been writing since. Tatiana graduated from the University of South Florida in 2015. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications with a concentration in Public Relations. In her free time, Tatiana enjoys photography, biking and being with her family.