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President And Co-Owner – Columbia Restaurant Group
4th Generation Family Member

The fourth-generation “caretaker” of the Columbia Restaurant Group, Richard Gonzmart has been named – as part of more than 100 awards – Community Hero by the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Boys and Girls Clubs, and Big Brothers and Big Sisters. He also has been officially named a Luminary, a Visionary and a Philanthropist of the Year as well as Father of the Year, Hispanic Man of the Year, Businessman of the Year, Alumni of the Year at Jesuit and Academy of the Holy Names, Outstanding Citizen of the Year and Tampa Police Citizen of the Year.

He has been inducted into five Hall of Fames, among them, the Distinguished Restaurants of North America (DiRoNA) Hall of Fame. He is a three-time James Beard semi-finalist for Outstanding Restaurateur.

Gonzmart serves or has served on dozens of non-profit boards and organizations, including Tampa General Hospital’s Foundation Board. He is passionate about the education of our youth and young adults, and about finding a cure for cancer. His mother Adela co-founded the USF Latino Scholarship Fund.

Pope Francis recognized Richard with the highest recognition of the Catholic Church, the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice.

Richard’s great-grandfather started the world-famous Columbia Restaurant in Tampa’s historic Ybor City in 1905. Still 100 percent family-owned, it’s now the oldest restaurant in Florida. There are seven Columbia restaurants in the state. Other restaurant concepts include Casa Santo Stefano, Cha Cha Coconuts, Ulele, Goody Goody and Café Con Leche Ybor City, increasing the number of restaurants to 14 and brands to six.

Richard has been married to his high school sweetheart and first love Melanie Gonzmart since 1973. They have two daughters, Lauren Gonzmart Schellman and Andrea Gonzmart Williams. Andrea works with her father in the family business. He has five grandchildren: Twins Isabella and Michael, Maximilian, Alexander and Amelia, who represent the 6th generation.

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