TARPON SPRINGS, Fla. — Tarpon Springs is known for its Greek life, but there's a new business that's bringing back childhood nostalgia.
SodaWorks is a specialty beverage shop that sits in a quaint shopping strip along Pinellas Avenue. The owner, Rebecca Giannulis opened her business in January 2022 after a road trip to Utah.
"I came back. Did a lot of research, a lot of prep and I decided to open," Giannulis said.
Inside the steampunk-themed business, customers can find an array of sodas or bases to choose from.
"It could be soda, ice tea, lemonade, Red Bull energy drink and then you can add over forty different flavors to the drink," Giannulis said.
From there, soda enthusiasts can choose to mix up the flavors, add everything from sprinkles to gummy worms, and top it off with whipped cream. Before the soda life, Giannulis flipped homes. It was because of that success that she was able to prepare herself financially to take the leap to open her business.
"I just kind of feel like anything is possible. If you just make a plan and believe in yourself you can really achieve anything," Giannulis said.
As a young, black female business owner, Giannulis often gets asked who the owner is. The question may get old, but knowing she opened a business on her own doesn't.
"I'm just really proud of something that I created and that it's tangible and it's something that is in the community that people can come and join. I think that is really cool to be able to contribute to that," Giannulis said.
ABC Action News' Meteorologist Denis Phillips even contributed and created a concoction.
When Giannulis moved to the bay area from Michigan she wasn't too keen on hurricanes. To help ease her worries she would watch Phillips. A fan from the start, she asked him if he wouldn't mind visiting her store. Phillips responded immediately. His drink of choice is a combination of Diet Dr. Pepper, peach and pineapple syrup and finished with a splash of half and half.
To sweeten the deal some of the proceeds of the drink are donated to the Children's Miracle Network.
For more information about SodaWorks, visit thesodaworks.com.