Celebrating Tampa Bay's Business Women With An Inaugural Ladies Night - Roses & Rose'
Yes, we all heard the news, Tampa Bay was ranked #1 city for female entrepreneurs according to Business.org. Honestly, this accolade comes to no surprise to us, considering we are a women owned and operated company we truly thought, “well, obviously we are the #1 city in America” female or not, we simply adore Tampa Bay. We know how great Tampa has been to us. However, something we do find interesting is this credit came just a year after Tampa received #4 spot in the country as one of the smartest cities in the USA by Huffington Post.
Therefore, we believe it’s safe to assume that a smart city only beckons to run with the smartest female entrepreneurs in the country. We think that Jim Yong Kim, the President of the World Bank Group says it best,
“We know that everyone benefits when women have the resources they need to fully participate in economies and societies.”
So when we were approached by Gina Moccio, the founder of Babe Crafted, we knew that this would be an event of epic proportions. We knew that this evening could become a staple in the Tampa Bay Community for years to come. That such a collaboration would really benefit not only the women that would join and be involved, but the socioeconomics of Tampa Bay as well.
With work underway we had a tremendous pool of talent to choose from, so how could we simply select only one amazing female chef to represent Tampa Florida? Did we only want to choose one or could we break the mold of our traditional Toast on The Town events to curate something truly unique and special for this inaugural evening?
After hours of deliberation we knew that we wanted this to be a showcase of a multitude of chefs and talents. We proclaimed, this ladies night would have to be different, independent of our staple events, where we highlight one chef and their establishment and team. One by one each course meal and the evening’s details began to fill the rooster with their niche expertise and exquisite work.
As female entrepreneurs and professionals, we've come a long way to earn our place at the peripheral table (read Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In) and thus we decided to begin the evening by flexing our spending power. Don Me Now a.k.a. Bubbly Barchique, formerly located in South Tampa recently opened its doors in the emerging Channel District. When we took one look at the space, the location, and what it meant regarding Tampa Bay's Community Development, we knew that it would be the perfect setting. Danielle Evans, the founder and owner of Don Me Now and Bubbly Barchique, enthusiastically agreed to become the hosting sponsor for the evening.
And something that was once taboo, femininity, quickly became the foundation for the evening’s showcase. Bubbly Barchique has a stunning white marble, elegant, yet strong presence.
Her boutique blends two types of therapy, champagne and retail! The combination of the two is brilliant. Danielle has a keen eye for style and not just fashion. She understands the difference between the two which is witnessed in the meticulous selection of apparel and accessories. Danielle and her personality will beckon you to want to stay even longer. In fact we encourage you to go visit her often as her styles are limited and always revolving.
Wine, Champagne, Bubbles Oh My!
Of course with the ‘summer’ just ending. With cooler air beginning to grace our lives, we felt that this night might be one of the last chances we get to indulge in one of our favorite wine/champagne varietals, Rosé! When we told Danielle that we wanted to have Rosé as the beverage centerpiece, she knew exactly which of her suppliers she wanted to showcase. Now that is a woman who knows her stuff!
Piper quickly jumped on board with a Piper Sonoma Brute Rosé, Poema Cava Rosé and a Piper Heidsieck Rosé Savage. The selection of wine and champagne were simply perfect.
Piper opened the evening with the Chic Brut Rosé, from the Cava region of Barcelona, Spain. This brut has an intense salmon pink color with tiny and lively perlage. Aromas of roses and red berries, ripe red fruits and black currant filled the summer air. It is an exquisite expression of balance, maintaining a lovely structure.
The Event Theme
Naturally we often associate roses with female touches. A rose, when taken care of, can be enjoyed from a distance or up-close and intimate. It’s color, vivacious, beautiful long stems, and their development from a bud into a gorgeous blooming blossom is indicative of how we view females around the globe. Thus roses became the ideal expression to represent Tampa Bay’s growing, budding, blooming, fabulous female community. So the theme organically nestled into the inaugural Roses and Rosé Ladies Night.
It's All About The Flowers
As an event specialist, flowers are something we are very familiar with. Tampa Bay also has no shortage of incredible floral designers, which made the selection of this aspect rather difficult. However, we knew we needed something and someone different. A female owned floral designer that took Tampa by storm and was unique enough to showcase the future of our city’s business scene. We wanted something modern yet classic, stunning to look at and that would complement the beauties in the room. Through our discovery process we came across Stephanie from Posies Flower Truck.
Upon first introduction we were completely inspired and in love with her business model. The perfectly outfitted VW, pale blue truck that travels around Tampa Bay with a bed of flowers gives off the kind of feeling we wanted to emulate at the event. We were giddy when we saw the truck. Moreover, when we met Stephanie we knew that she was exactly who was destined to outfit the evenings blooms.
The flowers used for the evening were:
- Juliet Coral Garden Roses
- Hermosa Roses
- Shimmer Roses
- Blush Spray Roses
- Quicksand Roses
- Blue Eucalyptus
- Dollar Eucalyptus
A Foodies Mentality
We took a big risk by choosing the drinks before the food. As foodies we all know to never select the liquid before proper reflection on the choice of food. To choose the wine / champagne before the meal is something that most simply do not do. In fact kind of doesn't make sense. Thankfully from this we decided to move forward from and just trust that our food and wine experts would know how to work from this position. We sampled a few plates from several women, and then we came across Jacqueline Luhrs with LS Organics. Her food was clean, organic, healthy, and absolutely delicious. The colors of the ingredients that she chose popped almost as if done purposely to complement the Rosé that would sit side-by-side. All it took was one taste, three smiles and there we were crafting the menu together. The menu called for family style service, because after all we knew that after this evening we would become such.
The Food Courses As Followed:
1st Course - Candied Radish With Vegan 'Chicken' Salad, the Piper Sonoma Brut Rosé served as a fresh, fragrant and delicate dry finish to this perfectly satisfying appetizer. (Highly recommend ordering the largest container of this)
2nd Course - Curry Cauliflower Salad. This salad is enough to turn anyone into a cauliflower junky. It was paired with the Poema Cava Rosé light and well-balanced acidity. Its elegant strawberry, raspberry and rose petal notes invited the palette to a stunning tango of spice, crunch, and freshness.
3rd Course - Turkey Balls, Sweet Potato Mashed and Green Beans were well balanced with the Piper Heidsieck Rosé Savage Champagne from Reims, France.
This moist dish was a delight with the incisive attack, juicy berry fruits in the middle-palate. A mischievous delight of spicy and smoked notes in its stunning finale. Imagine blackberry, blackcurrant and strawberry all scattered on a golden platter edged with mandarin orange and finished with exquisite traces of saffron.
Dessert - Our Happy Place
As many of you know, our Toast team is filled with connoisseurs of (bit obsessed) coffee and desserts. Therefore, it made the selection of the final course for the evening a difficult one for us. Lets face it, at this point Tampa has so many excellent producers of both these niches that we had to be very selective.
Thankfully we’ve had our eye on these two artisans and business owners for some time now, especially the fellow Babe Crafted member Julie Curry of Bake’n Babes. If you check out her Instagram you'll understand why we have been watching her. And so tasting time was at hand and when I came around to Bake’n Babes at The Hall On Franklin, there was a small yet mighty selection. So I asked what her most popular dessert was...the cookie had no chance. I devoured it! It was perfect. We knew that we didn't want to inundate our ladies with a big filling dessert just something petite to round off the pallet to end the evening. So we asked Julie to create and collaborate with us. Her creation- a delight! Not only did it look stunning it quenched the desire for that little something sweet.
Vanilla Cupcake with a Raspberry Champagne coulis center and Rosé Buttercream
Knowing that our evenings run a little on the late side and are on “school nights”, we wanted to ensure that our guests could either enjoy a coffee right then and there or they could bring it with them and enjoy it the next morning to get to work and keep hustling and making Tampa Bay one of the smartest cities in America. Without question we knew that we had to have Taylor from Made Cannery Coffee. If you haven't heard of Made yet you might have been living under a rock. Taylor and the Made Coffee team diligently worked to create a name for themselves across Florida and we believe have helped put Tampa on the map as a coffee brewing state. They provided 5 different coffees to choose from. The coffee is amazing and thankfully if you become a local perk member you will be receiving a perk from them shortly.
The coffee that our Toastee’s were able to choose from were Cold Brew, Nitro Brew, Traditional Cold Brew, Chai Con Leche, Chocolate Con Leche
Our evening was supposed to be set on the sidewalk right in front of Don Me Now. However, with the hurricane in question we acted swiftly to ensure plan b would be just as fabulous. Danielle with Don Me Now pulled her contacts and graced us with an even more fabulous location, the Fitzgerald in Channelside District. They provided us their entire Lanai, covering us from any bad weather and never once compromising the views. The Fitzgerald came through at the final hour and it truly couldn't have been a better setting for the first annual ladies night roses and Rose.
We believe this inaugural Ladies Night dinner solidified Tampa as truly the top place for business women in the country and the smartest city in America. After meeting all the women in attendance we can say this with all confidence. However, don’t take our word for it...check it out for yourself. Here are what some Toastee’s had to say. Instagram and Facebook
Other articles of reference honoring the great women of Tampa Bay.