Family reunion: Well-known family celebrates over 100 years in Tampa

Mobile

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA)- If you are from Tampa, then the name Ferlita may ring a bell. 

The Ferlita’s have been in the Tampa Bay area since the turn of the century after Gaetano Ferlita left Santo Stefano Quisquina for Ellis Island. 

“He was looking for a better life,” said Ferlita’s granddaughter, Geraldine Garcia. 

Ferlita eventually made his way to Tampa as a bricklayer, building the Tampa Bay hotel, now the site of the University of Tampa but his manual labor job didn’t last long. 

“He started his own little wine delivery truck which eventually blossomed into Schlitz distributorship,” said Ferlita’s relative, Pat Companioni. 

According to the Ferlita family, the wholesale distributorship was the leading in the country and the only one receiving a consignment of beer by mail without prepayment.  

The company eventually sold in 1968 but the family’s journey to the ‘American dream’ wasn’t over. Ferlita’s son, Salvatore made his way into the banking business, opening the Central Bank of Tampa in the late 40s.  

Now, because of one man who had endless ambition, the Ferlita family is thriving in Tampa to this very day. 

“It’s one man dream that has brought all this family and all this love together,” said Garcia.  

On Friday,  for the very first time, four generations of the Ferlita’s gathered for a family reunion, one that would have left Gaetano Ferlita beaming with pride, perhaps this is his greatest accomplishment. 

“It’s a special day for all of us. It really is,” said Garcia.  

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Top Videos

Pirate ship themed cruise set to make maiden voyage on Gasparilla

Thumbnail for the video titled "Pirate ship themed cruise set to make maiden voyage on Gasparilla"

Storm team 8 Forecast: Cooler and drier today with a lot of sunshine

Thumbnail for the video titled "Storm team 8 Forecast: Cooler and drier today with a lot of sunshine"

Gasparilla 2020: What to know before you go

Thumbnail for the video titled "Gasparilla 2020: What to know before you go"

Law enforcement runs tight ship to keep 2020 Gasparilla safe

Thumbnail for the video titled "Law enforcement runs tight ship to keep 2020 Gasparilla safe"

Mortgage mess fixed

Thumbnail for the video titled "Mortgage mess fixed"

Veteran relieved after dangerous oak tree removed from near his home

Thumbnail for the video titled "Veteran relieved after dangerous oak tree removed from near his home"

New medical marijuana dispensary opens in Lutz 'There was a tremendous need'

Thumbnail for the video titled "New medical marijuana dispensary opens in Lutz 'There was a tremendous need'"

Politics On Your Side - January 19, 2020

Thumbnail for the video titled "Politics On Your Side - January 19, 2020"

Gasparilla invasion causes headaches for business and residents

Thumbnail for the video titled "Gasparilla invasion causes headaches for business and residents"

Sarasota Beef' O Brady's employee tests positive for Hepatitis A

Thumbnail for the video titled "Sarasota Beef' O Brady's employee tests positive for Hepatitis A"

Path of Destruction: Polk County Deputies investigate why driver of Jeep lost control

Thumbnail for the video titled "Path of Destruction: Polk County Deputies investigate why driver of Jeep lost control"
More Local News

Latest Videos

More Local News

Trending Stories

get the app

News App

Weather App

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss