Bloomingdale Chocolate Shop on the Move
The Original Leena's Chocolates has moved to Plaza Bella, increasing its square footage and offerings.
The Original Leena's Chocolates recently moved to a new location.
Now operating at 1048 E. Bloomingdale Ave., Valrico, in the Plaza Bella shopping center, owners Anthony and Leena Caligiure could not be happier with the expansion.
"Our lease was up at the former location (in Lithia Crossings), and we wanted to expand the store," Anthony Caligiure said.
Being the entrepreneurs the Caligiures are, they wanted to take the business to the next level. Unfortunately, the location on Lithia-Pinecrest was not able to allow them to expand.
With the move to Plaza Bella came an additional 800 square feet of space, the addition of Duomo gelato (a company out of Tampa), and coffee and espresso offerings with beans roasted by Kevin Brownell, former owner of DaSilva's Coffee House & Roastery in Lithia.
"We wanted to keep the name going and keep roasting the product, and the Caligiures are a great couple to work with," Brownell said.
"We're so excited to have Leena's move into the plaza," said Plaza Bella owner Roz Creager. "I think they make a wonderful addition."
The duo has welcomed numerous party-goers through its doors, offering dipping parties for ladies' night out, kids' birthdays and other occasions.
"With the additional space, we will be able to accommodate a little over 20 participants," said Anthony Caligiure, "which is double the number we used to."
And, with the additional space comes additional offerings. The Original Leena's Chocolates plans to roll out a Chocolate Bootcamp for chocolate lovers.
There is now seating for approximately 40 guests at any given time with covered patio seating.
"We plan to have jazz nights with local artists appearing," Caligiure said.
The couple officially opened the doors of their new store Sept. 1 and are excited about the prospect of having a more personal experience with their guests.
"Customers now get to sit down, relax, have meetings or whatever," Caligiure said. "It helps us get to know our customers that much more."
The Original Leena's Chocolates will continue making its unique chocolate creations during the holiday season and throughout the year. But now the shop will join its neighbor, Sweetie's Delights, to pair products for special occasions like weddings.
"Moving to Plaza Bella is a perfect fit," Caligiure said.
Visit The Original Leena's Chocolates at its new location between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday.