Our Empower Lunch Series was formed to encourage entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship in our community. Once per month we will facilitate a friendly conversation with a business owner and/or executive and have them share their stories from the trenches with a select group of Emerging Leaders. From forming and funding, to operating, or even selling, you will walk away empowered with intelligence and confidence to start or strengthen your business.

Empower Lunch with Cliff Barsi

Fri., Sep. 28, 2018

Noon – 1:30pm

Metropolitan Ministries

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Cliff Barsi, Vice President of Food Service & Social Enterprise — Metropolitan Ministries

Cliff Barsi brings a wealth of successful entrepreneurial experience to Metropolitan Ministries. In 2012, he launched Inside the Box (ITB) Catering after winning the first prize of $25,000 in a non-profit social enterprise business plan competition. After a year of catering, the first retail café location opened in downtown Tampa, followed by a second location in the Westshore business district in 2014. ITB has grown over the past 5 years through the creation of a Grab & Gourmet line that is available at the Tampa & Orlando International Airports, and an expanding line of grab and go cafes.

Recently, the addition of Dough Nation has drawn rave reviews at its downtown location. A new, higher-end ITB Café was launched at the Heights Public Market at Armature Works in February 2017. All of the Social Enterprise businesses generate proceeds to fund a portion of the 1.6 million meals served annually by Metropolitan Ministries to hungry and homeless people throughout the Tampa Bay area. Additionally, ITB acts as the “hands on training” component of the Culinary Arts Program (CAP). Over the past five years, ITB CAP has trained and placed over 175 students in some of Tampa’s finest restaurants.