President Three Buffaloes, the umbrella company owning Roots Tap Room & Wine bar and Roots Cellar
Brandon Snyder wants to own a dive bar.
That’s right. The guys who today owns Roots Tap Room & Wine Bar and Roots Cellars, the man who is making a name for the finer things in the middle of Plant City, the man who plans to open a cocktail bar and full-service restaurant, wants a place that stinks of beer and a jukebox competes with the chatter at the bar.
“They’re fun. You go in there and get a little crazy, whatever. People are always in there with fun stories,” Snyder says. “You leave your pretensions at the door. One day you may have a group of frat kids, on another you may have a group of guys who’ve been buddies since they were in their 20s, now they’re 70 years old shooting pool and smoking cigars.”
For now, though, he’s got to be satisfied owning a pair of must-go destinations for those inside and outside Plant City.
Snyder got his start in restaurants as a student working at an Outback Steakhouse in Plant City.
It was the kind of job where you learned multiple aspects of the business, from bussing tables to working nearly every position from front of the house to the back of the house. He stayed at Outback for about eight years before leaving for Delray Beach. When he got to town, he took a job at a small sushi restaurant.
One night, when restaurateur Oscar Morales brought his entire training crew in for dinner, Snyder served them. Morales soon opened a gastropub restaurant called The Office and hired Snyder. Morales became the young’s man’s mentor.
'You leave your pretensions at the door. One day you may have a group of frat kids on another you may have a group of guys who’ve been buddies since they were in their 20s, now they’re 70-years-old shooting pool and smoking cigars.' Brandon Snyder President, Three Buffaloes LLC.
Snyder remembers his first night at The Office. Morales sent him home before the first shift because “my shoes were in disarray.’
“He had previously worked in the hotel business, fine dining etc.,” Snyder says. “So the next day I came back and I’d gone to the dry cleaner and had them dry clean with heavy starch my entire uniform, bought a pair of shoes.”
That night, at line up, Morales pulls him out and turns to the rest of the staff and says, “Everybody, I want you to see Brandon’s uniform. This is how I want you to dress from here on out.”
Morales eventually helped Snyder discover fine wines, drinks and dining, the corner of industry he now specializes in.
But there was one tragic detour left for Snyder.
In 2012, after moving to Denver for a year, he returned to Plant City after his father got sick with terminal cancer. His father died the following year and Snyder took over the family business, an investment firm. Snyder was a financial advisor.
“I hated that. It wasn’t for me. It doesn’t suit my personality,” he says. “It’s not what I was passionate about.”
He sold the firm in February 2019 and in August 2019 opened Roots.
Name: Brandon Snyder
City of Residence: Plant City
Employer: Three Buffalo LLC
Birthplace: Mobile, Alabama
Years in the area: 30
Marital Status/Children: single/ no
Alma Mater/Degree: Florida Atlantic University/ BA Intercultural Communication
What community group or organization are you most involved with? Rotary Club of Plant City
What's the weirdest job you've ever had? Financial advisor
What's your top tip for being productive? I always enjoy writing out lists of tasks I want to accomplish for the day or week. There is a certain level of satisfaction when I am able to cross something off of my list. That motivates me to continue pushing forward. I also like giving myself sales goals for my businesses. If I write it down and it stares at me all the time, chances are I will reach that goal. Also, don't forget to sleep.
If you could have a side hustle, what would it be? I would own a dive bar
What's your favorite off-hours activity? Whitewater rafting
Have you gone to the movies in 2021? If yes, what did you see? Free Guy is the last movie I saw
What's the top item on your bucket list? Raft the White Nile River
What's your favorite podcast? The Joe Rogan Experience
Where is your happy place? On the Ocoee river in a boat with my dog
Describe yourself in three words: Adventurous, daring, loyal
Who is your mentor for your career and why? Oscar Morales, he taught me lots of skills but most importantly he taught me the proper way to treat staff
What are the biggest lessons you have learned from your mentor?
• Always treat your staff well. If you are loyal to them they will be loyal to you
• Dress the part, if you are the GM of a restaurant then dress like it
• Don't allow customers to walk over you, be polite but firm
• Stick by your word
• Don't ever throw another staff member under the bus
• Tabasco sauce in ramekins placed strategically around an outdoor dining area will keep flies away