New Photo Contest on Our Facebook Page!

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How sweet is this!

We all know of a little place in town that has the best food and service. They make you feel at home. We’ve already told you about Bubbie’s Brown Bag Cafe. Now we want to hear about your favorite “hole in the wall” place. It could be an old-fashioned hot dog joint downtown, a family owned Greek restaurant or a cafe with amazing desserts. Just email us a photo of yourself at your favorite place and we’ll post it to our Hole in the Wall photo contest album on our agency’s Facebook page. The winner will receive a $25 VISA gift card that can use to buy their next meal at their favorite little place to eat or whatever they want. So share the love and tell us where you like to eat! Who knows, it could be our next favorite place. I bet the owners would be excited for a little publicity.

To learn more about how to enter this contest, please visit our Facebook page and read the description on the Hole in the Wall photo contest album. Thanks for participating and good luck!

If you own or run a restaurant in Tampa Bay, give us a call (727-394-1890) about commercial insurance and we’ll give you a free quote. You can also get a free insurance quote online at our virtual insurance office, www.patronsinsurance.com.

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Make Free Music Videos with Animoto

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You too can create videos like this one for FREE! Animoto allows you to turn your photos and videos into 30 second slideshows with very little effort. All you have to do is upload 8-10 images, arrange them in the order of your choosing, pick out a song and theme (earth, water, fire, classic) and let Animoto create a music video for you. They choose the transitions and make sure the timing works with the song. You can even add text, like I did for the video above. One of the difficulties I’ve had with the service is not knowing how many photos will fit in my video. I often upload the number recommended with two or three text slides and find out that the last 2 photos didn’t make the cut. I think this may have to do with the length of the songs I choose; some are less than 30 seconds long.

However, if you’re looking for something more elaborate, you could just purchase an All Access ($30/year) or a Pro account ($249/year). For $249 a year you can make music as long as you want, as many as want. Unlike the free account, they won’t be branded–no Animoto graphics for you. With a professional account you also have the option of downloading your videos so you can upload them where you please and create DVDs. Members with free accounts can email their videos or share them on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, Blogger, MySpace and a few other places. Videos can also be embeded on a person’s website. However, the video above had to be exported to YouTube first, then the embed code for that was used here on this blog.

I like using Animoto because I know next to nothing about editing videos, but I do like to showcase our commercial clients, like Rejuvenation Station Studios. I usually export my video creations to YouTube and then share that link on Twitter and our Facebook page. If you’d like to try out Animoto for yourself click here to create your free 30 second video. Don’t forget to show us what you made!

Banyan Tree Catering: New Partner of Patrons

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Debbie Murray

We’re happy to announce our newest Partner of Patrons, Banyan Tree Catering. If you’re looking to cater an event of any size, on any budget, you need to call Debbie and Nevar Murray of Banyan Tree Catering. You may have seen Debbie on the Home Shopping Network (HSN) with world-renowned chef, Wolfgang Puck. In fact, they’re on the air all weekend, for Wolfgang’s 12th Anniversary, selling all kinds of wonderful WP products like a rice cooker, 3-in-1 blender, convection oven, knife set, grill/griddle and a cook set.

In addition to being an on-air demonstrator, Debbie is also a cookbook author (she has 8 published so far!) and has been catering for the elite in Tampa Bay. Her beautiful daughter, Nevar, recently worked the star-studded  Governor’s Ball and other red carpet events with Wolfgang Puck.

This mother-daughter duo is known for making delicious food that looks amazing. They cater weddings, dinner parties, graduations, benefits. Patrons Insurance Agency customers can get a special discount of 10% off. Just print out your coupon here. You can also find Baynan Tree Catering on Facebook.

Contact Debbie at 727-403-4978 or debbie@banyantreecatering.com. Don’t forget to tell her that we sent you.

Lunch At Bubbie’s Cafe

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Friday I finally had the pleasure of eating at Bubbie’s Brown Bag Cafe. I came after their lunch rush, so I was able to take my time and ask questions. Owner, Chris Dunn, encouraged me that “the menu is really just full of suggestions” and I could have whatever I wanted. You can choose your bread, meat, cheese and toppings. Chris made me his own variation of the Reuben, hot corn beef topped with homemade cole slaw and swiss cheese on toasted marble rye bread with homemade Russian dressing. It was a thing of beauty. I had to take a couple of photos before my first bite.

You won’t find this sandwich on the menu, but you can ask Chris how he likes his Reuben and he’ll make you one too. Most people fill up on just one half or have to take a break, but I just kept going. Nursing moms know what I’m talking about. This delicious beast of a sandwich also came with a dill pickle spear, a sample of coleslaw, a bag of chips and a tall glass of A&W rootbeer. The chips and drink were free with my sandwich purchase because I brought in my Patrons Insurance coupon. If you want to get the same deal, click here and print.

While I chowed down, I got a chance to get to know Bubbie, Chris and Amy (Bubbie’s daughter/Chris’ wife). This family is so sweet and welcoming. Bubbie sat down and fed my 6-month-old some organic applesauce so I could eat without a baby crying in my ear. Afterwards he fell asleep in her arms while we talked about having babies and Amy’s special egg salad. They also treated my 3-year-old to some baked (nothing is fried at Bubbie’s Cafe) chicken nuggets. He was so excited to be there, he couldn’t sit still. Thankfully, no one minded. I will definitely go back to Bubbie’s Brown Bag Cafe for lunch soon!

Partner of Patrons: Bubbie’s Brown Bag Cafe

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Last week Katie also interviewed another one of our partners of Patrons, Debbie “Bubbie” Scheier of Bubbie’s Brown Bag Cafe. They’re a Jewish-style deli in the same plaza as our office and you can view their ad here. Unlike Tom at Gulf Flooring, Bubbie and her son-in-law Chris Dunn (owner of Bubbie’s Cafe) have only been in business for a little over a year, but they already stand out from over bay area lunch spots. Bubbie’s Cafe provides nutritious lunches for many private preschools all over Pinellas County and they only serve certified Angus Beef.

Katie, one of our commercial insurance agents, talked to Bubbie about how their business came to be and how they are reaching today’s consumers. Did you know that Bubbie’s Cafe has a special coupon just for friends of Patrons Insurance Agency? Just click here and print out a coupon for a free bag of chips and drink with any sandwich purchase. If you’d like to see their menu before stopping by for lunch or you want to get more information about Preschool Catering, visit their website at www.bubbiesbrownbagcafe.com. You can also find them on Facebook here. To watch Katie’s interview with Bubbie, check out our You Tube channel here. You’ll also find Katie’s interview with Tom at Gulf Flooring as well as our Ask An Agent videos.

Bubbie’s Brown Bag Cafe is located at 11334 Seminole Boulevard in Largo, Florida. They’re open Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.. Call ahead (727-319-3377) with your order if you want to grab your lunch and go. Don’t forget your coupon!

Partner of Patrons: Gulf Flooring

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Patrons Insurance Agency is partners with several bay area businesses, like Gulf Flooring. Recently, one of our Commercial Insurance Agents, Katie McGuire, sat down with the mastermind of the business, Tom Merryweather, to ask him some questions. He has 43 years of experience in floor covering and a love for his sons. Gulf Flooring is proud to be family owned and operated, just like Patrons Insurance Agency. We were excited to learn from Tom’s many years of experience in business and in radio. In a world of Facebook, Twitter and You Tube, they still do business the way they always have. They do their jobs with excellence and benefit from the best kind of advertising, word-of-mouth.

Gulf Flooring is located at 11310 Seminole Boulevard in Largo, Florida (right next door to us). For a free estimate, call them at 727-392-RUGS (7847). Because Tom appreciates how our agency handles their business insurance, he’s offering 15% off to friends of Patrons Insurance Agency. Just click here, print out the coupon and start saving!

Please check out our video interviews with Tom on You Tube to learn how their business was started and how they’ve kept afloat in this tough economy. You’ll also find videos of another Partner of Patrons, Bubbie’s Brown Bag Cafe. I’ll write a post about them soon. For now enjoy the slideshow.

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