SEFFNER, Fla. - Hawaii may still be closed to visitors, but for a bit of Hawaii right here in the Tampa Bay Area, you can visit The Exotic Plumeria in Seffner.
When you walk into the outdoor showroom the sights and scents overwhelm your senses first thing.
"That's what Hawaii smells like," explained owner Alan Bunch, "It's the Singapore plumeria. It is the most fragrant plumeria there is."
Bunch was an accountant until 1989 when he took his first trip to Hawaii, where he fell in love with the exotic flowers that transformed his life.
"Nobody can just have one plumeria," Bunch said, and he was no different.
His love affair grew into a full-blown business, and 31 years later, his Seffner location houses acres of the flowers, plants and trees of all colors.
And right now, those fragrant flowers are nearing the peak bloom of the season, so you could say business is "blooming."
"We were going to take credit," said Bunch, "(But) all of the customers coming in said they wanted to get outside."
The Exotic Plumeria is an outdoor venue, so they don't face the challenges of social distancing in an indoor setting.
"It helps the soul," Bunch said. "They can come out and sense nature...(and) nature feeds it like nothing else."
Exotic Plumeria in Seffner is located at 453 West Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. For more information visit their website at https://www.exoticplumeria.com/ .