Women Dominating the Food & Beverage Industry - Guide to Greater Tampa Bay
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Women Dominating the Food & Beverage Industry

Women Dominating the Food & Beverage Industry

Tina Avila creating An Authentic Dunedin Legacy with Casa Tina Mexican Restaurant 

Tina and Javier Avila have been serving delicious Mexican cuisine at Casa Tina to locals and tourists for over 31 years. The Dunedin eatery has kept the same recipes since it was established in 1992. As an inspiring example of a successful businesswoman and entrepreneur, Tina Avila built Casa Tina as one of the most popular Mexican restaurants in the area. 

“I realize that as a female business owner, we have to multitask not only with the demands at work but also ensure everything is running smoothly with the family,” said Avila. “It was a challenging 20 years. Running the kids to school and events, volunteering and working long hours needed to run a successful business takes a lot of savvy.”   

According to Avila, entrepreneurs have to learn to wear many hats and an excellent business head to wear them with. Between managing waste, payroll and profit margins, she has become a Jack of all trades. Despite all the responsibility, she is still in the restaurant talking to the customers, having a good time and laughing. 

Avila is proud of her success with Casa Tina. She is passionate about providing her customers with the best possible experience. Always on the lookout to improve her restaurant and the experience, she has worked hard to develop a loyal customer base that comes back time and again for the delicious food and warm, welcoming atmosphere. 

What makes Casa Tina unique is Avila’s attention to authentic Mexican dishes. 

Casa Tina catered their menu to represent most of the 32 states in Mexico. Moving away from Americanized-Mexican food was difficult, especially for the customers who are so used to it. But they take pride in making authentic, indigenous food that are actually healthier alternatives.  

We strive to keep every dish to its original recipes, only using ingredients that reflect that specific region of Mexico,” said Tina.  

The Avilas also believe in giving back to their Dunedin community. Each Monday, 20% of their proceeds go to a local charity represented that day.  

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“It has worked really well for us because the community takes care of us and we take care of them. We’ve been very blessed because we have expanded twice and bought another property downtown,” she said.   

Another unique feature of Casa Tina is the aerial cirque performances and on Saturday and Sunday which adds to the festive atmosphere and makes for a great night out.   

Tina’s commitment to excellence proves that dedication and hard work can pay off and that success is achievable with the right attitude and determination.  

By Deborah Holmen, M.Ed., NBCT.

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