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The Hustle

Name: Simona Fratila (Yummy Europe)

Posted By Margie Manning

Yummy Europe is a grocery and deli store carrying products from Eastern Europe. Owner Simona Fratila decided to open the store because she loves to cook, especially food from her native Romania, and she could not find many of the products at other local stores. After being a stay-at-home mom for her two young children for seven years, she said it was time to do something new. Fratila expects Yummy Europe, at 1320 34th St. N., will be open by late August or early September.

Years in Tampa Bay

Six years in Tampa Bay, 14 years in the United States

Hustle (job)

Ownder/founder of Yummy Europe

What do you do?  

I’m opening and operating “Yummy Europe” a fresh grocery store in the Union Central District, featuring a diversity of European products, but not only, like smoked meats (sausages, bacon, ham, salami…), cheeses, snacks and sweets, spices, beer, wine and juices. I will also have a small deli section with take-out cold sandwiches and salads. My main goal is to introduce homemade specialty sausages and other ready-to-cook/eat dishes that people can take home and cook or warm up. Local produce like vegetables, fruit and eggs will also be available.

Why do you do it?

I’d like to offer a little taste of Europe to the people that have relocated to the United States and are missing their home country, and also to the locals that may or may have not visited Europe.

What was your Catalyst? (How did you get started?)

Even though I am now calling the United States “my home” and I love it, it still makes my heart happy when I walk into a European market and I find products from my country. This has always been one of my dreams, but family comes first so I have decided to wait until my kids grew a little older.

What’s a common misconception or unknown aspect of what you do?

I’ve been told that a grocery store of this size has no chance in front of the big chain grocery stores. To me, that's even more of a challenge, to provide the Disston Heights neighborhood a place to shop that is local and loving of my European culture. With my love for our community and my love for European culture, there is no way that this business will not succeed.

What’s the most challenging part of your Hustle?

Sourcing my products was a challenge, but I persevered and made sure that I was able to bring St Petersburg the best products consumers can find without traveling to other cities. Also, getting my license and permits have been quite a challenge these days during this pandemic.

What’s the most valuable piece of business advice/insight that’s helped you?

I was fortunate enough to meet two wonderful people and I cannot thank them enough: Jenna Malowany and Hal Holder both from Keller Williams Commercial. They guided me through every marketing and business aspect that I could use to make my new adventure successful, and inspired me with confidence.

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