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Three Tampa Bay food entrepreneurs share their experiences starting small businesses

Two men talk during a Zoom call interview.
NPR Extra YouTube Channel
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Guy Raz interviewed Zach Correa in May 2021 when Correa was a 'How I Built This' fellow.

One of them, Zach Correa, started his online local produce marketplace with the help of NPR's 'How I Built This' fellowship.

This week on Florida Matters, we talk with local food entrepreneurs who have started their own small businesses.

Zach Correa, who created an online marketplace called lemonGRAFT, is one of them. A few months ago, he launched it as an opportunity for Tampa residents to buy and sell their homegrown produce.

Correa started the project with the help of NPR's "How I Built This." He participated in their fellowship class last year.

RELATED: Meet The HIBT Fellows: Mark Atlan & Zach Correa

Host Matthew Peddie also talks with Sam Meyers, who started the Tampa Bay Rum Company in 2015, and Shayla Daniels of Chez Shay’s Sweets.

Meyers says that starting a distillery seven years ago was difficult. But changing state laws around alcohol sales and the pandemic has prompted him to open a pirate bar onsite, which will open later this year. He hopes it will help with profits.

On the other hand, Daniels started her business last year after working as a pastry chef for the Columbia Restaurant. She says the change has been rewarding but also expensive due to inflation and supply chain issues.

You can listen to host Matthew Peddie's conversations with Zach Correa, Shayla Daniels and Sam Meyers by clicking on the “Listen” button above. Or you can listen on the WUSF app under “Programs & Podcasts.”

Hi there! I’m Dinorah Prevost and I’m the producer of Florida Matters, WUSF's weekly public affairs show. That basically means that I plan, record and edit the interviews we feature on the show.
I am the host of WUSF’s weekly public affairs show Florida Matters, where I get to indulge my curiosity in people and explore the endlessly fascinating stories that connect this community.