The vision for Next Level Brands is to elevate the culinary landscape of Tampa Bay by creating a collection of highly lauded dining experiences. Inspired by the culture of hospitality, concepts will be warm and inviting gathering spaces with innovative cuisine and first-class service; where eating and drinking together is a way of bonding, building connections and making memorable experiences.
Jeff Gigante, a St Petersburg Fla. native, has been successfully developing a diverse collection of restaurant concepts, for 25 years, steadfastly earning a reputation for hospitality, community involvement, and philanthropy.
Gigante started his path to a culinary career at a young age. Inspired by memories of the shared family table, he began working in all areas of hospitality, including, service, management, and operations.
During his senior year at Florida State University, where he received a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts in Film, Gigante, made his foray into the restaurant world, opening Gigamo Bros pizzeria. A few short years later, while pursuing acting and hospitality in NYC, Gigante worked with and befriended the Lanza family, successful entrepreneurs with a passion for restaurants.
Rising from food runner to trusted manager, Gigante convinced James Lanza to come to Tampa Bay, a city he saw as bright with potential for food and beverage and entertainment concepts. Lanza was hooked and together the two would co found along with chef Luis Flores, Ciccio Restaurant Group, establishing multiple popular brands over the better part of two decades.
In 2019, Gigante, with an eye towards his own vision, opened Forbici Modern Italian, in Tampa's Hyde Park Village, known for Roman style pizza and pastas, in a lively, convivial atmosphere.
The formation of Next Level Brands is a natural evolution and the culmination of Gigante's life's work. Bringing together a talented and dedicated team built on valued relationships and an unwavering commitment to next level hospitality.
Gigante's true inspiration comes from his wife and best friend of 16 years, Erica and their children, Ciro and Isabel. The Gigante's enjoy travelling, water sports, family bike rides, and of course shared meals where Gigante's favorite saying has become a family motto: "Every friend was once a stranger."
A highly driven entrepreneur, Andrew Wright is Founder, CEO and Managing Partner of Franklin Street, a full service commercial real estate firm headquartered in Tampa Florida and Managing Partner of Ally Capital Group, an investment company specializing in real estate and debt instruments associated with real estate.
Born in New York City and raised in Tampa, Florida, Joseph Guggino is an attorney and an investor with a penchant for the restaurant industry. Previous investments include Caffe Paradiso and Forbici Modern Italian.