Chef with Down syndrome reopens business after closing due to coronavirus | The Rebound Tampa Bay

Tristan Snapp sells desserts at Bakery Box Pop-Up
Tristan Snapp
Posted at 4:18 AM, May 11, 2020

TAMPA, Fla. — Tristan Snapp dreams of owning a food truck someday. He’ll work the window, dishing with customers, while his father works the grill.

“I would love that!” says the 23-year-old budding chef.

Tristan’s dad, Jay, laughs: “Yeah, he already put me in my place on that one.”

RECOMMENDED: Trainer with autism opens Tampa Bay area gym for people with special needs

Tristan has Down syndrome, which won’t keep him from following his foodie dreams.

“I’m just being myself,” says Tristan.

“People with special needs can do anything,” says Jay. “Maybe they just do it in a different way.”

Tristan currently rents space at the Pro Kitchen Hub in Tampa.

His current business, Tristan’s Amazing Bites, sells delicious desserts at the Bakery Box Pop-Up shop next door to the hub.

He also started a small catering business that specializes in sliders.

RECOMMENDED: Gigi's Playhouse to hold virtual walk to bring acceptance to Down Syndrome

Tristan had to shut things down for a while due to the cornonavirus. But now he’s back.

“I really, really enjoy it,” says Tristan. “I have a passion for it.”

On this day, Tristan and his father are working next to other budding chefs and entrepreneurs, including Liz Anthony Protein Bites.

The Snapps are making Instagram-ready cups of strawberry shortcake, which will be sold at the Bakery Box.

As they work, father and son laugh and smile and socialize.

“This has been his dream for about five years now,” says Jay. “One day he came up to me and said, ‘Dad, I want to own a food truck.’”

Tristan’s father credits programs at both USF and GiGi’s Playhouse with helping his son focus on a career.