Tampa Maid Foods Celebrates Grand Opening With Ribbon Cutting
by James Coulter
Do you buy battered shrimp or breaded scallops from the frozen food aisle? Have you ever ordered a fried pickle or green tomato from a local restaurant? If you have, then chances are your frozen delicacies were prepared by Tampa Maid Foods.
For the past 40 years, Tampa Maid Foods have been preparing breaded and battered food items, especially seafood such as shrimp, calamari, scallops, and oysters. Other items include breaded mushrooms and cauliflower, and fried pickles and cheese curds.
Their frozen foods are sold at regional and national food chains and served at local restaurant throughout Polk County. If you’ve ever ordered fried pickle fries, chances are they were prepared by Tampa Maid Foods. For the past 11 years, they have partnered with Jimmy Buffet to sell their food at Magaritaville.
Now the food company is set to create other innovations in frozen delicacies with their new Innovation, Culinary and Education Center, which recently opened with a ribbon cutting ceremony hosted by the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce. Tampa Maid Food has been operating in Lakeland for 23 years.
Rod Van Wyngarden, President and Chief Operating Officer, has been in the food business for 35 years, having previously worked for companies such as Cargill, and having run several restaurants.
After moving with his children eight times, he decided to settle down once and for all in Florida. He moved to Lakeland, where he has been working with Tampa Maid Food ever since. Both his job and his new community have proven to be a great fit for him and his family. He is especially excited about growing Tampa Maid Foods at their new location.
“We couldn’t be more excited about Lakeland,” he said. “When I moved down here with my family, I couldn’t pick a better place for my family than Lakeland. As we look to double in size in the next ten years, which is our mantra, this center is a step in that direction.”
Ryan Ress, a board member for the Chamber Executive Committee, commended Wyngarden and his company for choosing Lakeland as the location for their new facility. He hopes that the new place will bring with it economic opportunity.
“We would like to thank you for your investment in the community, and the economic growth of Lakeland as a whole,” he said. “You have been here for 23 years, so we appreciate the continued growth and the innovation center.”
Lakeland City Commissioner Phillip Walker likewise commended Tampa Maid Foods for the economic development their company has provided to the local community, especially within his own district. The innovation center itself cost more than $5 million to construct, and the company overall has employed nearly 340 employees.
“Thank you for choosing Lakeland for doing business in our city,” Walker said. “Lakeland is a vibrant city…we are the best. Thank you again for being here.”
The Tampa Maid Foods innovation center is located at 1600 Kathleen Rd, Lakeland, FL 33805. For more information, call 863-687-4411, or visit their website at: https://www.tampamaid.com/