Last weekend, the owner of Tampa’s Bo’s Ice Cream sounded distraught and concerned when detailing a temporary closure made unavoidable in the wake of a family tragedy.
“I honestly don’t know when we’ll reopen, I’m just juggling a bunch of different things right now,” Josh Vitte told CL about the 7-day closure. “The main thing I worry about is our employees. They can’t go that long without a paycheck.”
Well, on Monday, Vitte told CL that Bo’s is back open, but he also said that 14 hourly employees at the iconic ice cream stand could use just a little bit of help.
“A lot of people reached out over the weekend, and the outpouring from the community was tremendous. Some of them asked if we started a GoFundMe, and I had honestly never thought of that,” Vitte said.
Unexpectedly fixing machinery at Bo’s over the last year, combined with a tree that fell on the Bo’s sign, put a strain on the business, making it even more difficult to compensate employees forced to sit out while Vitte got his family’s affairs in order this weekend, so he’s reaching out and looking for just over $7,000 to help offset the money Bo’s employees lost over the last week.
“I don’t want it to look like we’re asking for a handout, but the truth of the matter is it's been a rough year, and our employees could use the support,” Vitte told CL.
The figure ($7,145) represents a normal week of payroll, and Vitte said he’ll close the GoFundMe when that amount is met.
“These funds will be distributed directly to the employees, and any additional money that is raised before the fundraiser is closed will be used to cover the costs accumulated from lost/spoiled product and other overhead expenses from the recent closure,” the GoFundMe page says. “Thank you all for your support, we love our community and look forward to seeing you soon.”
Hours at Bo’s Ice Cream—located at 7101 N Florida Ave. in Old Seminole Heights—are 11 a.m.-10 a.m. Sunday-Thursday and 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday.
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