Ian Tafoya

I spent most of my younger years living in the Philippines, born as a Military “brat” I was a world traveler before the age of 10. My father was stationed in Japan, Italy, Singapore, and Spain. We finally settled in Denver, Colorado where I rode out the rest of my teenage years. When I turned 18 I decided to join the Peace Corp and was given such a wonderful opportunity to work with a medical team in Togo, Africa to help teach “Woman’s Empowerment”. It was the most challenging 2 years of my life, but I will always be reminded of how grateful I am for what I am given in life.
I built an amazing career in the restaurant industry for over 25 years and climbed my way to becoming the Food and Beverage Director for the Country Club of Orlando. I spent 15 years at the Country Club of Orlando building some incredible relationships and re defining my abilities in the industry. Along with having the title of F&B Director I also was given a title of “Inhouse Florist” to help with the Catering Team with an idea to make the club a “one-stop shop” for events and wedding. I developed such a love and passion for the flowers, not just in designing but for the reaction of seeing happy, joy, and love “feeling” from the recipients. Its such an amazing experience to have my business continue to move forward and watch it grow everyday, which I wouldn’t be able to do with out the continued support of my community in College Park.

Q: Please tell us a little bit about your family.
My filipino mother was an amazing chef, head of household, family psychiatrist, and listener. She always made time for us. My father spent 8 months out of the year on a Naval Ship until his retirement in 1998. I have 1 younger brother, Daniel who is currently raising an amazing family in Denver and I also have a younger sister, Dalina who can masterfully play any instrument that you put in front of her

Q: Please tell us about your current, past, or future career. What do you love most about what you do?
My hospitality career started at an early age, with inspiring dreams of working on a Super Yacht. I just absolutely love making people happy.

Q: What are a couple of your favorite restaurants in our community?
Christos College Park is always on my list and living so close to the Tap Room at Dubsdread makes it so much easier to gain access to their delicious menu.

Q: How long have you lived or worked in our community?
I started my career at The Country Club of Orlando in 2004. I then branded myself in 2018 and haven’t stopped clipping flowers since

Q: Who is the most interesting person you’ve met here in our community?
Kevin Fonzo is an amazing chef and always keeps his craft on point! Highly respected and always appreciated.

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be and why?
There is a special place in my heart for Puerto Vallarta Mexico. There is so much art and the authenticity is breathtaking in person. My creative muse is always at full attention when I explore the city.

Q: What is one of your favorite movies? TV shows?
All time favorite movie is Citizen Kane, second would have to be Casablanca.

Q: What advice would you give to people?
Think Big- Don’t be afraid to be Bold!

Q: What is something on your bucket list?
Retire Early

Q: What is your go to band when you cant decide what to listen to?
Portis Head or Bjork

Q: What current or former local business makes you the most nostalgic about our community?
Not necessarily a business, but Jazz Fest on Edgewater and The Christmas Stroll always makes me happy.

Q: If you could choose anyone that is alive today and not a relative; with whom would you love to have lunch? Why? And where locally would y’all meet for this lunch?
Being such a HUGE fan of Golden Girls, I would pick Betty White. I think we could both enjoy a Cheesecake at The Cheesecake Factory

Q: What is your favorite thing or something unique about our community?
Having a Retro Publix and the convenience of having access to so many great shops and restaurants on Edgewater.

Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 to 10 years?
Designing weddings and creating wonderful memories

Q: What is the most beautiful place you have ever been?
Baracay de Cavite Beach- I have some beautiful memories as a kid growing up

Q: Favorite month? favorite holiday? and best single day on the calendar?
October has always been my favorite time of year, celebrating fall harvesting and family get togethers.

Q: Finally, what 3 words or phrases come to mind when you think of the word HOME?
Family, Food, and Familiarity