Happy Birthday, Nihja!

1 Comment

Today we’re celebrating Nihja’s 22nd Birthday at Patrons Insurance Agency. He’s not just an agent, he’s family. To celebrate, we’re handing out cookies to everyone! Well actually, we give out cookies every Friday, but we’re still excited about his big day. Check back here later to learn more about this superstar agent. I (Jenn) will be stopping by the office to ask him a few questions. However, feel free to give him a call now at the office (727-394-1890) for a free quote. We’re passing those out all day everyday!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Banyan Tree Catering: New Partner of Patrons

Leave a comment

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.

Car Shopping – Retrospective

Leave a comment

Just recently the time came up to purchase a new car for our family. Our sedan served us well, but its time had come. Not only did it not start at times, but the cooling system was gone. (Who doesn’t like pulling their car over to cool down every 10 minutes? Oh, wait, that’s me.)

In our car search, as a family of four (with two small children) the main things that we were concerned with were safety and affordability. A good look over government crash test ratings immediately ruled out some car options. We wanted 5 stars on all impact angles, and 4+ star rollover.

After we had a list of  attractive and safe options, we evaluated cost. The true total cost to own a car is much more than ticket price alone. Factors like gas mileage, dependability, and cost of repairs can quickly make a car more expensive over the life of your five-year loan and beyond.

As a family, we also wanted a car with some features (power locks and windows are a must with two small children!). But, too many features–however fun or useful they may be–can quickly add up to a greater number of very costly and unnecessary repairs in a few years.

Depreciation is also something we wanted to consider, as paying a little more now was worth getting a much larger resale or trade-in several years from now. Lastly, we were concerned with the cost of insurance, because our insurance premium would be just as regular a payment as the car payment itself, and last as long as we owned the car.

A helpful website in this process was Edmunds.com. Some especially helpful information were professional and customer reviews, cars’ true market value so you don’t overpay, current dealer incentives so you don’t miss out, and details about features and gas mileage.

There are also some tools that were valuable, especially the True Cost To Own calculator, which takes many of the above financial concerns and calculates the approximate true cost to own over a five-year period. We were surprised to find that despite differences in ticket prices, our two final choices of a Honda CR-V and a Mazda 5 were essentially the same price, total cost to own.

Due to better reviews and more space, we decided that the Honda CR-V would be the right car for our family. Finally, to help us find the right time to buy, we were even able to utilize the Predictive True Market Value to get the best price for our vehicle!

Restaurant Review: The Conch Republic

4 Comments

16699 Gulf Boulevard North Reddington Beach, FL

One of my favorite things about my birthday is the traditional birthday dinner out with my family. Every year my parents let me pick where I want to eat and buy us all dinner. I love to try new places so I asked my friends on Facebook for recommendations. They said I should go to the Conch Republic on North Reddington Beach, so I did.

The food was awesome! We started with the smoked fish spread on Club crackers that was so good that my fish-hating dad ate it and so did my 3-year-old. My son kept eating the spread off the same cracker (yes, it became gross) and asking for more. Then, I had a house salad with bleu cheese dressing–pretty good. For my main course, I had the Stuffed Pork Chop–amazing! It was a Bone-in oak-grilled pork chop butterflied stuffed with their own apple bacon chutney dressing, topped with an apple walnut glaze. I only wish I could’ve eaten while it was hot. I was holding the baby when it came out, but it was delicious at a few degrees above room temperature.

I would love to go back, but next we’ll go with the kids when it isn’t so busy. We went on a Friday night and the restaurant was packed. We were seated very close to a full bar so it was cramped and LOUD! It was also difficult to get a high chair. There was only one left when we showed up at 6:30p.m., but the buckle was broken, something my 7-month-old can’t be without. We had to take turns holding him and eating until another chair was free, which wasn’t until halfway through our main course. Yet, these were my only issues and I could easily avoid them by eating there on a weeknight or at lunch time. And, if you don’t have little ones and don’t mind some noise, it’s not an issue at all.

On the bright side, the food was great and everyone sitting to the right of the bar had a great view of the beach. The staff was very friendly and helpful and it was reasonably priced ($15-$25 per person). Next time I’ll try some of their seafood, like the Cedar Plank Salmon or the Fresh Gulf Grouper (my mom and husband had, and loved, grouper sandwiches).

Just a reminder, Patrons Insurance Agency insures restaurants and other businesses. If you’d like choosing a policy for your business, please call us at 727-394-1890 or get a free quote online at www.patronsinsurance.com.

I <3 The Road Photo Contest

Leave a comment

We had so much fun with the I ❤ My Pet photo contest, we decided to do another one! You don’t need a pet for this one. We want you to tell us all about  your Summer road trip. Tell us where you’ve gone this Summer and why we should go there too. I will post the photos to the “I ❤ The Road Photo Contest” album on our Facebook page along with your description. Then all of our Facebook friends will vote (by clicking the “like” button) for their favorites. Email your photo to us at patronsinsuranceagency@gmail.com and we’ll post it pronto. Click here for contest details.

You’re not the only one traveling this Summer. Two of our agents at Patrons Insurance Agency, Dawn (mom) and Siobhan (daughter), are headed West right now. Their destination is unknown, but they’ll share photos from their trip along the way. You can find their photos on our Facebook page too in the “Dawn & Siobhan Headed West” album. Perhaps you’ll be inspired for your next road trip. They return August 7th and the I<3 The Road photo contest winner will be announced on Tuesday, August 10th. Their prize? A $25 VISA gift card. Stay tuned to our blog for all things road trip related until then.

Lunch At Bubbie’s Cafe

Leave a comment

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

Leave a comment

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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!

Older Entries