Chairman – Columbia Restaurant Group
4th Generation Family Member
Casey Gonzmart is the great-grandson of Casimiro Hernandez, Sr., the founder of the world-famous Columbia Restaurant in Tampa’s Historic Ybor City. The Columbia was founded in 1905 and is the oldest restaurant in Florida, and the largest Spanish restaurant in the world.
Casey learned food preparation at an early age in the Columbia kitchen. Casey graduated high school from Tampa’s Jesuit High School and his formal education in hotel and restaurant administration continued at the Ecole Hoteliere in Lausanne, Switzerland, and at La Escuela Sindical de Hosteleria in Madrid, Spain. He apprenticed at the Ledoyen Restaurant in Paris, France, and the Intercontinental Hotel in Geneva, Switzerland. He is chairman of the board of the Columbia Restaurant Group.
Through the years, Gonzmart has participated in a number of community organizations. He serves on the Board of Directors of the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. He is a member of the Industry Liaison Council for the International Hospitality & Tourism Management program at Saint Leo University. He is the past chairman of the Ybor City Development Corporation and past chairman of the Ybor City Chamber of Commerce in Tampa, Florida,
Gonzmart resided in Sarasota, Florida, operating the Columbia Restaurant on St. Armands Circle for over 20 years before returning to Tampa. While in Sarasota, he served as president of the St. Armands Circle Association, and as president of the Suncoast Foundation for Handicapped Children. He served on the board of the Sarasota Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Mote Marine Laboratory.
Over the years, Casey has received many awards including induction into the Tampa Bay Business Hall of Fame. He received the Vicente Martinez Ybor Legacy Award bestowed upon those visionaries who have made a lasting impact on Ybor City, the award was given by the Ybor City Museum Society. Casey was also honored by the City Commission of Sarasota as an Outstanding Citizen of Sarasota, and was named Business Person of the Year.
Casey and his wife, Heidi, live in Tampa and have a son, Carson. Casey has seven children who represent the 5th generation, Cassandra, Casey Jr., Jessica, Charlie, Christian, Marlena and Carson. His oldest son, Casey Gonzmart Jr., works at the corporate office, continuing the legacy of his family’s business.