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October 12, 2018

Meet Clementine Café

Since they met in the restaurant business, it makes sense that Brian and Misty Sommers, and their 12-year-old son Franklin, run a family restaurant—Clementine Café. A true labor of love, the café operates out of a Duckweed grocery store in Channelside and serves a full menu of crowd favorites like cuban sandwiches and tacos and an irregular rotation of other meals to mix things up. While instagramable food at local eateries is very on trend, the Sommers family is trying to accomplish something a little bit different.

“I don’t consider myself part of the trend,” Brian said. “Maybe people would say something we serve is trendy, like tacos. Tacos are trendy, but I don’t think we serve trendy tacos. We want to satisfy people.”

And people are definitely satisfied. Many Clementine Café customers find themselves stopping by two and even three times a day and claim they feel better for it. The food is completely local and designed to be healthy and delicious in line with their motto: When you eat to live…we’re here to nourish you. When you live to eat…we’re here to delight you!

“I really think that Brian is the culinary force behind our team, and he puts out wonderful food,” Misty said. “That’s the secret sauce, but our customer service is really key too. Those two things together are just a winning combination and that is where the success in Clementine Café has blossomed.”

Delicious food and quality customer service is the equation that is helping Clementine Café break into the Tampa food scene and even start growing a bit too. Soon they’ll have two neighborhoods worth of customers to get to know, and you can bet they’ll do it.

“The idea that we know almost half of our customers’ names is pretty crazy,” Brian said. “We listen and we care, and we’re trying to serve what they want and what they need. It’s extremely intimate and no one else does that.”

While the Sommers family is developing those meaningful relationships with their customers, they also get to grow stronger as a family because they do everything together. In addition to running the business, Misty and Brian homeschool Franklin, so part of his studies include working in the café gaining real life experience that will make him more prepared for a job.

“Work ethic is really big in the café and for homeschooling,” Franklin said. “I made it my goal to learn how to do everything, whether it’s washing dishes, running the front counter or cooking in the back. It’s my goal to be one of the best people in the café.”

Being family owned and operated is just another thing that drives people to Clementine Café, and the the Sommers family is proud to be a part of the small business movement.

“People really enjoy being a part of something,” Misty said. “When they can be cheerleaders for small businesses, they can become invested in that business. There’s so much growth in Tampa right now and we love being part of that.”

Hungry for your first bite of Clementine Café? Check them out on Instagram @eatclementine and stop by the restaurant at 111 N. 12th Street in Tampa!


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