Lennise Germany | Livy O’s
When life hands you lemons…well, you can make lemonade. Or you can do what Lennise Germany does and sprinkle them over shrimp in a Creole seafood pasta or prepare a homemade mojo citrus for roasted pork. As a thriving business in the event industry, Livy O’s experienced a significant shift in the midst of a global healthcare and economic crisis, but the team did not falter. When parties cancelled and celebrations were postponed, Lennise pivoted her company to offering family-style meals for take-out and delivery. And when her son was diagnosed at the start of the shut-downs with rhabdomyosarcoma, she never withdrew from the helm of her family’s organization. Instead, she increased production to feed Tampa’s frontline workers, bringing joy and the best comfort food in the city to our healthcare professionals. If you don’t KNOW Lennise Germany, it’s not too late to support and follow one of the most beautiful souls I’ve come to love and adore.
Lennise, tell us about yourself and your family business!
We are a family-owned and operated entity that offers corporate and private catering, culinary club for kids and teens, and an intimate meeting and event space located in Brandon. Our business was founded in October 2014 by selling meals from the trunk of our car. After two years of selling meals, we received our first opportunity to cater for a Fortune 500 company and have been on the rise ever since. The name Livy O’s derives from our children. Our daughter Livy (10), twins Olena and Obree (8), and son Omar (12). We are a blended family. Sons Jamaar (21) and Key (19), are also a large contribution to growth of our family business.
What has the pandemic taught you about our community in Tampa Bay?
The pandemic has taught me that Tampa Bay is not a city that cracks under pressure! In addition to COVID-19, one of our children, Omar, was recently diagnosed with cancer and is currently undergoing chemotherapy. The fact that our community has not only supported our business but saw that we are a small business and a family in the midst of a crisis that needed support was overwhelming. There are no words to express our gratitude.
Why was it so important for you to give back?
It’s important to us to give back simply because we’re supposed to. We are not takers in our community or in our everyday life. It is our due diligence to freely give, expecting nothing in return. In doing so, we will automatically receive in ways indescribable. Even when we feel we have nothing to give, we give our time, talents and treasures. To withhold those is a disservice to the growth of our business and to ourselves.
With your eyes on the future, what’s next for you?
What’s next for us is expansion. COVID-19 and our son’s cancer diagnosis revealed that we were playing it safe. Our original vision was to have multiple locations and to become an everyday household brand. With this newfound revolution we decided to no longer play it safe. The plan to expand has begun and we’re on our way!
What do you love about living in Tampa Bay?
We love living in the Tampa Bay area because it’s home. The phrase “home is where the heart is” is ever so true to Livy O’s and The Germany Family. Our heart is imbedded in Bay Area. Complete strangers are praying for our son. Customers know our children’s name. We’re natives of Tampa Bay and have seen its growth and a glimpse of its future…there’s no money that move us out of The Bay.
Photo by Howie Mac Photo | Originally published in our June Issue.